TVs & Home Theaters

Question

Hardware sugestion for streaming online video to HDTV

by ozark123 / July 31, 2012 8:07 AM PDT

I'm looking for some advice on streaming online video to my TV.


At present I am using a wired LAN, Sony SMP N100 into a Vizio VP 322 via HDMI. This set up works great. The down side is that I cannot watch video that is only available on line for example: CNET TV Happy

I'm looking for:a brute simple reliable piece of hardware that is more or less plug & play. Preferably a little black box similar to my Sony.

If I cant find that perhaps a small inexpensive PC with remote, a video card that can handle 1080P and really simple software. Preferably something I can simply connect, power up and watch.

If such a device is not available someone could make a bundle selling one.

Hey Lee Koo any chance of you presenting this to your readers?

Thanks

Don

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All Answers

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Answer
Take a look at those Google TV boxes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2012 8:12 AM PDT

I own the Logitech Revue and really want to try the Sony Google TV with its BD player.
Bob

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Link, comment.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2012 11:35 AM PDT
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The Revue looks interesting
by ozark123 / August 1, 2012 9:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Link, comment.

This looks interesting. Unfortunately the reviews are really mixed. Some love it& some hate it. Maybe because they have problems with their wireless setup? I use hard wired to avoid this aggravation.

How does your Revue work for internet browsing? My Sony works fine for NET Flicks etc. However I spend a lot of time watching HULU, CNET HBO go etc and the Sony doesn't have that capability.

Thanks

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HULU is no-go on such boxes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 1, 2012 11:50 AM PDT

HULU goes above, beyond and out of their way to force HULU PLUS on non PCs. Amazon video = fine. Netflix = fine, etc.

Again, anyone looking for the PC experience learns they must use a PC.

Hope this clears that up.
Bob

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Answer
Best way is to buy a simple HTPC
by Pepe7 / July 31, 2012 10:55 AM PDT

There currently is no affordable 'black box' that does the streaming as well as a simple HTPC. And the bonus is, you get the entire internet instead of only select content as you do now with your Sony internet appliance.

Instead of building your own HTPC (better left to us geeks, IMO and E), just find something pre-built that can handle the job. Ballpark cost for a dual core name brand desktop running W7=$300-400 online, or if you grab something on sale at a big box store. If it's something that lacks HDMI output (for example, depending on stock), finding an inexpensive video card from newegg.com/amazon/etc. is really quick and easy to add too.

There are threads on this topic if you search the forums.

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Can you recomend a specific set up
by ozark123 / August 1, 2012 5:07 AM PDT

Thanks,

I have been researching this for a while.

I agree with your statement regarding a DIY HTPC.I often see people recommend building a PC for this purpose then see a lot of posts discussing how much trouble it is to get it to perform as desired. Remote controls are seldom mentioned. I prefer to not to use a keyboard as well.

Cnet forums is my go to place for tech information. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a specific recommendation for an off the shelf solution. So far no specifics, typically a discussion of various components.

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one example
by Pepe7 / August 1, 2012 6:23 AM PDT

For the following rig, find a basic video card with HDMI output and throw it in this guy and you're set-
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Desktop+-+8GB+Memory+-+1TB+Hard+Drive/5563016.p?id=1218661380588&skuId=5563016&cmp=RMX&ky=1whxm51gbOgORrn6M8JOUlLjDtR0yY7Rx
I suggest you stay away from some of the very bare bones desktops on sale with 'economy' processors, and you should be fine. RAM and HDD space is cheap enough now that you shouldn't skimp on those either. 4-6GB DDR3 RAM & 500GB-1TB HDD should be a baseline IMO. YMMV. Don't bother with most of the 'nettop' boxes they sell on the cheap either. Better left to us folks who tweak/go through the annoyances of getting drivers to load/etc.

There are some very helpful/more knowledgeable folks here working w/ PC hardware on a daily basis. Browse those sub-forums as well for more useful tips.

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I forgot to add
by Pepe7 / August 1, 2012 11:09 AM PDT

Typically, when you see threads with component recommendations, they also give baselines for specs like I did below.

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using a remote with that type of set up
by ozark123 / August 1, 2012 12:49 PM PDT
In reply to: I forgot to add

Thanks,

Have you had any experience using a remote with that type of set up?

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Been there, done that
by Pepe7 / August 1, 2012 1:02 PM PDT

I prefer a slightly smaller logitech wireless keyboard, with trackpad or mouse. Controlling a PC properly truly requires a keyboard (most of the time) IMO and E. YMMV.

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