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wireless tv to computer network?
Old 06-04-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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wireless tv to computer network?

Would like to use our tv to view content on our computers. Movies and such. Now VLC media player has an iPhone app that allows one to play files - if you buy the premium app you can even browse your computer to pick files to play, control them, and turn your computer off afterwards from the hole in the couch you've sunk into. Supposedly.

I want to get content from our networked computers wirelessly to our tv. Don't think I feel the need to access the internet directly from the tv.

Anyone have suggestions on how to accomplish this - again, sans wires?

Everything I'm finding touts getting on the web for content, but that has issues - lack of choice in what one can access for instance. I just want to hook the tv into the network and pick up content from there.

Ideas? working solutions? reasons the Boxee box is the end-all be-all?
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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Is your TV actually wirelessly connected, or are you looking to use some peripheral attached to the TV (like an XBox or Home Theatre PC)?
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:03 AM   #3
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Anyone have suggestions on how to accomplish this - again, sans wires?
Doing it wirelessly maximizes the chance for failure. If you can arrange to string ethernet cable, I think that would be good.

I don't have suggestions. I think there is a large variety of ways to do this, now, and I don't know the market and your needs well enough.

I have two computers running DLNA servers, to put photos/videos/music files on my local network, and two DirecTV satellite receivers that are DLNA clients for those servers, which can request files to be displayed by the computers, and a few other DLNA devices. DLNA is a protocol for requesting and playing sound and video files over an ethernet network. A DLNA client requests the files to be sent over the network by a DLNA server, then the client displays them (using a TV and a hi-fi receiver, in my case, connected to the DirecTV receivers).

In my home network system, all goes through a wireless DSL modem and router (supplied by my phone company), and the various devices on the network can either be connected to the router wirelessly or by ethernet cable. One of my computers is connected wirelessly, but the other devices are all connected with ethernet cables to the router.

I understand that you don't necessarily want to connect up to the web and internet, which is fine, but it doesn't really buy you anything. If your home network is connected to the web, you can choose to display files from the web, as well as files on your local devices, or not. There's no harm to it.

Being a frugal sort, I use free application programs for my DLNA servers and, though the DirecTV receivers which are the DLNA clients are not free, there is no extra charge for the DLNA client function itself (which is not supported by DirecTV, and doesn't work perfectly).
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:17 AM   #4
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I use an Apple TV to stream (wirelessly) movies, TV series, photos and music from our computers to our TV. If your media is already organized in iTunes, it's as easy as plug-and-play.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:09 AM   #5
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Our tv is not wirelessly connected and is about 25 feet from our router (the nearest network connection. I really would prefer not to drill more holes in the floor and skinny under the house to do it. Nor is our tv an Apple tv and <we have pirated movies> I'd prefer not to put our content on iTunes.
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:24 AM   #6
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I think Streambox ofers products that do that -$?. Roku Netflix player and several other $100 device will stream Netflix, Hulu, whatever to your TV over your wireless. If your TV has HDMI inputs you can just connect a laptop to it with an HDMI cable - I do that now and then. With the HDMI connected laptop you can play files or stream via browser.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:04 AM   #7
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Actually, AppleTV is not a television, it's a box for your home theater. Out of the box it only supports iTunes streaming, but there are web sites where one can download hacks to enable Hulu and xbox media center, which will allow streaming content from your library.

Google "apple tv hacks."
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:17 AM   #8
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We had the laptop hooked up via an S video cable and speaker wires last night, which works, but was a pain.

Further info: neither our Oregon house nor our California place have decent over the air channels - Oregon place is in the sticks, California place is in a small bowl surrounded by mountains. We've been paying a stupid amount of money for years to Dish network for hundreds of channels we don't watch: golf/sports, Home Shopping, Latino, Music... over a year ago we switched off our Quest phone service and went to Ooma's VOIP system. That has worked out great and allows us to shift our phone service from Oregon to California without a glitch or number change. It would be great to get our tv over the internet as well, avoiding huge monthly bills and having entertainment on tap at both places: it would be neat to pay for a beefy bandwidth at both places that supported tv and internet and phone, allowed easy transition between places, allowed others to visit when we are away and not find a dry cold camp, and; perhaps of greatest import, didn't hurt my Scotch soul.

I'd rather not string wires across the houses to hook up the tv to our network and don't find computers next to tvs visually appealing. DVR or the ability to record,pause, and replay would be great.

@ donheff: a quick look at Streambox makes me think it's a bit industrial strength for us - couldn't tell what they were talking about but "one of our encoding units costs less than the cost of 1/2 a microwave broadcasting truck" didn't sound like it would fit my wallet well..

donheff's suggestion did lead me to this

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_b...eviceGuide.pdf

which is a one page breakdown of features and costs of 13 different broadband-enabled streaming devices, including the Apple unit FD uses. Anyone have input on any of the units shown on the PDF page?
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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Actually, AppleTV is not a television, it's a box for your home theater. Out of the box it only supports iTunes streaming, but there are web sites where one can download hacks to enable Hulu and xbox media center, which will allow streaming content from your library.

Google "apple tv hacks."

OOOooo! Hax0r

Lemmee get my parrot and eye patch. Under $100, wireless and ethernet, sure to play well with iPhone - check check check. no harddrive - bummer.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:58 AM   #10
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OOOooo! Hax0r

Lemmee get my parrot and eye patch. Under $100, wireless and ethernet, sure to play well with iPhone - check check check. no harddrive - bummer.
If a hard drive is important then you might want to look on ebay for an older AppleTV model. Until the new model came out last year, AppleTVs had a large hard drive for storing movies. But older AppleTVs cannot stream Netflix.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:02 AM   #11
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You might want to check out one of these:
Wi-Fi alternatives for your home theater | Crave - CNET

I have use the Netgear powerline adapter to get wireless into a guest house. It works well, and I believe it would work even better for a TV in the same room or close to your router.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:19 AM   #12
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I have two first generation AppleTV's running Boxee. It works with most (not all) standard definition video. The first generation AppleTV hardware just isn't fast enough to display HD content thru Boxee.

I also have an Acer Aspire Revo connected to the TV. This is a small PC (7 x 7 x 2 in) that sits under my HDTV. It's quiet and doesn't generate any heat. This is what I'd recommend for your setup. The Revo is running Windows XP, though newer models ship with Windows 7. Like any Atom powered Windows box with an Anti-Virus program installed, it takes about 3 minutes to boot-up but once running you can run Boxee, Hulu or any other media browser. Be sure and get a wireless mouse and keyboard. A similar model is the EEE PC and if want to run Linux, get a Zotac computer. If you're watching HD content, you'll need to buy a model sporting NVidia ION graphics. Expect to pay $200-$300.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #13
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We have a WD box that sits on top of the TV. It takes a 750gb drive. We plug the USB drive into our computers and download stuff using Pirate Bay and utorrent. Then we plug it into the set top box to watch movies. When we travel between our homes, we just take the USB drive. Also displays photo albums and plays mp3s.

WD TV Live

It offers the added bonus that we can copy movies from friends' computers. Nice KISS solution.
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