General discussion

Streaming TV or streaming Blu-Ray player?

Getting a new 40"-42"home theater system. I'm looking at the LG 42LH90 or the Samsung UN40B6000.

Consumer Reports says that the better deal is to get a Blu-Ray player to connect to streaming services. Is that the same as being able to connect to the internet via the TV? Some of the TVs & home theater systems have an Ipod dock. My living room is very small, so having 1 unit for everythins is very apealing!

What do you all think?


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Streaming TV or streaming Blu-Ray player?

It certainly can all be very confusing. You're dealing with hardware, software and how they interconnect or even connect to the internet. It varies from one component to the next. It does make it hard to know if you are comparing like products or services.

I think you really need to list what you want from your setup. Otherwise you are going to be going in circles trying to understand all of the available options.

Determine what you want. Surround sound? HD (referring in this case to 1080p)? Specific content (like sports, gaming, netflix)?

Also, what is your budget? Both for the initial equipment as well as the monthly services (satellite, cable, online gaming, movies).

Start getting specific on your requirements and you'll likely find that certain options, well just aren't options anymore.

Then you can settle on your new setup and purchase it. Don't forget about the possibility of a universal remote to avoid juggling 6 different controllers.

Morgan Harman
The Tech Source
Home Theaters and more? in Southern California.
Lic.# 849004

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Picture most important, then . .

We put most of our stock in the best picture for the $$$. We have very bright room, so the LG seems to be the best. It costs $300-$500 less than the Samsung but doesn't have conncected streaming services. I would consider spending $500-$750 more if I could get a great Home Theater System as well.

I have looked at a couple of HTIBs from Sony with wireless rear speakers which are well regarded and seem to be good deals.

What is the scoop with internet connecvity through the TV?

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I am not sure if you are clear...

on the this "internet connectivity" business, to surf the net or just streaming video from a video on demand like NETFLIX? But in either case, looking at the spec., neither tv seem capable of doing that in itself (I could be wrong though but...).

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So right about lack of clarity . . .

I really don't know he difference between the streaming services ( limited connectivity?) vs web surfing using TV as monitor ( maybe needs to networked with my iMac?). Basically I buy new technology every 5-10 yrs (luddite-like I know). So I try to get the best technology I can. But I'm cheap so I'm not springing for 3D. I would spend extra for the capability to type on my computer keyboard & view pages on my new TV. Was hoping that streaming services via TV or Blu-Ray might provide that feature (either now or thru some future frmware update. Anything like that out there?

Thanks for the discussion. It's very helpful to me.

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Go for quality on the TV.

If the TV with the best picture quality also happens to have built in streaming then great. if not, blu-ray players are quite affordable these days and have even more streaming/networking features (LG's in particular).

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Back to streaming

If you have ever tried to surf the web from a TV you would quickly find yourself back on your laptop or iPhone or iPad or whatever. Surfing the net while looking at your TV can be a pain. Plus, the resolution of the TV often makes reading text for URL's and emails quite eye-squinting at best. And that's IF you have a cable to plug a computer into the TV for video. Most of the consumer electronics do not come with a web browser. Those that do have pretty weak browsers, even the game consoles don't have very good browsers.

Most of the "streaming" that is offered these days on your TV are for services like Netflix, Pandora, etc. Check any of the Blu-ray players for examples. Some TV's are offering it too. Expect to have a hardwired connection at the location of your equipment - streaming wirelessly is also a pain. So typically it is easier to hard wire at the equipment cabinet as opposed to behind the TV. But if your TV is just on a stand, that probably doesn't matter. But you'll still need at minimum a TV, DVD of some sort (get a Blu-ray), and cable/sat receiver. Sounds like you may be looking to do surround sound too. Being an A/V pro I'm not very fond of the HTIB products. I would rather recommend you buy the best receiver you can afford and use some old speakers until you can afford to upgrade them. But you may find a HTIB solution that works - clearly there is a market for them.

Remember you'll have to use digital connections to get the most out of your new system. HDMI and optical are the preferred. HDMI gets you both digital audio and video. Optical is used to send digital audio separately if needed.

You don't have to go nuts on the cables, big box store prices will gouge you. This is honestly an area where you could do well to hook up with a local installation company. They can even get you competitive prices on components AND TV's. Try it. They should be more professional services oriented which is a benefit when trying to navigate these treacherous technical waters.

CEDIA has a search tool to find a certified company.

Morgan Harman
The Tech Source
Home Theaters and more? in Southern California.
Lic.# 849004

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