Internet viewing through the TV
Now and again the mrs and I want to catch up on something we’ve missed on TV, and can generally do so through the wonders of the interweb and on-demand services. Occasionally we’ll watch some not-quite-legit rips of programs that haven’t aired on regular channels yet (usually streamed on a website, not a downloaded file). Either way, it means the two of us sitting round the PC to watch, which is annoying as we have a nice big plasma TV and comfy sofas which would be much more preferable.
So, what’s the best way of viewing such net-sourced TV on the big screen? I have ascertained that although my model of TV can be wi-fi enabled via an expensive adapter, I’ll be limited to a handful of apps such as skype, youtube a few games and some online video streaming enterprises. There’s no option for a web browser to surf the web directly from the TV. As far as I can see, my options are:
A USB video adapter Our PC is a HP Touchsmart so doesn’t have the standard video out connections, so a USB version would be required to use the TV as a duplicate or second screen. I could then get a 15m HDMI cable and plug this into the back of the TV, and I would possibly also have to run a 15m audio cable as the HDMI output on the USB adapter has come via a DVI connection, so I believe doesn’t have an audio signal? And will there be issues with such a long run of cable?
The other option appears to be an Android mini-PC TV box which, if I understand correctly, will just sit behind the TV and hook up to the house wi-fi, and allow me to download a browser app such as Chrome and find the show I’m after on the web, and view it straight through the TV.
There may also be a third option transmitting a signal through the house wiring, but I’m even less up-to-speed on that.
Has anyone got any experience of similar set-ups, or got any other bright ideas?
Ta.Posted 5 years ago
We’ve got a MacMini sat under the TV to take care of all this, and serve music, movies etc throughout the house. It’s also the timemachine backup for my macbook. But, whilst a long-term solution, it’s probably overkill for what you’re after.
I’m not sure how well the 15m HDMI cable will behave – HDMI is notoriously fussy. That android thingy looks worth a punt for the price.Posted 5 years ago
Quick look suggests your about right with the limitations. Not tried the USB video out setups but as you say DVI is picture only HDMI handles sound too.
Does your TV have wired network? Some will allow for browsing of a network and then playing files that are stored there?
My setup (which in stw speak is the best obviously) is a slimline shuttle PC (very small) with HDMI/DVI out Optical audio out so picture via DVI and sound via optical to the surround sound box. Cost was a bit more than the android stick but I have a fully functioning PC running XBMC as a layer over Win 7. Control via keyboard/mouse/android phone. Also add in Spotify etc for music. Files are held on a proper desktop elsewhere and accessed via network.Posted 5 years ago
Silent and capable of doing most things.WillHMember
Thanks for the replies guys.
Mike – the TV does have an ethernet port but it will still only offer the same internet functions as the wi-fi dongle. No web or file browsing, unfortunately.
I think I’m leaning towards the android box, as it eliminates the need for long runs of wires between the PC and the TV. No doubt my infant son would find a way to damage them somehow! Having a slimline PC running next to the TV sounds ideal, but the costs are probably prohibitive based on the amount we’ll use it. And I can get ES File Explorer or similar on android to browse/view files on the desktop over the house wi-fi, plus a browser app for web-based video streaming.
Right, I think I’ve talked myself into a solution. Cheers all.Posted 5 years agoDrPMember
Not sure if you’d need all it’s functions, I.e. if you’ve got sky etc…
But the humax hdr pvr box does all that – freeview/hd, I player, you tube, and can watch ‘the movies you speak off owned by ill gotten means…..’!
You can transfer the div-x movies onto the HDD itself, or plug in a USB HDD.
DrPPosted 5 years agokevjMember
I’ve just bought an android tv box and can recommend getting one.
Netflix, YouTube, internet radio and other tv streaming apps (search for ugoos) on the main tv and sound through the amp and speakers gives a very good setup.
Xbmc app will let you stream over the network from your pc and also allows other streaming such as navix.
One thing, you will need a compatible Bluetooth keyboard or you will be sitting on the floor in front of the tv controlling it with a mouse.Posted 5 years agoStonerSubscriber
Mine is a different set up for you to consider:
Windows Media Centre on the PC (with dual PC tuner cards)
Xbox in living room with large monitor screen
Homeplug wired network connecting the two.
This allows me to use the PC as a dual channel PVR or live TV streamer and the Xbox to be the Media Extender that acts as a remote Windows Media Centre. The xbox also has it’s own iPlayer apps (as well as netflix etc, but I dont use those as they require an Xbos Live gold subscription to access).
We rarely watch live TV so this works well. However I am considering getting an android TV and connecting it to the network and a spare TV in the boy’s play room. It would be limited to watching CBBC on iPlayer etc. or streaming kids videos Ive ripped or recorded and store on the PC.
BTW, in case there’s someone left on the world who doesnt know about it, this is v handy:Posted 5 years ago
as doing it through proxies is bad anyway MTFU and torrent it
One’s against a specific website’s Ts and Cs, the other’s illegal (as you’re also uploading at the same time as downloading). I’ll stick to breaching the BBC’s and C4’s terms 🙂 They can always block me from their site. Oh, hang on, how would they do that? 😆Posted 5 years ago
+1 on the Raspberry Pi. You could install Raspbmc which will do iPlayer, 4OD, ITV player, etc plus it will stream movies either from a USB drive or a network drive. A good little review of it here.Posted 5 years ago
It also can be controlled with your tv remote which is very cool.
Raspbmc 2 by Metal-Chicken, on Flickr
Raspbmc 1 by Metal-Chicken, on Flickr
Another plus is that it can also be a dlna server which will allow you to stream movies/tv programs from the pi to your smartphone/tablet.
Untitled by Metal-Chicken, on Flickr
Untitled by Metal-Chicken, on Flickr
The only sticking point is the web browser as Raspbmc doesn’t really support this, but you could easily have a second sd card with a normal Raspberry OS (such as raspbian) on it which would handle all your browsing needs – all you do is pull out the raspbmc sd card and stick the raspbian card in. There may also be a way to dual boot – but I’m not a Linux guy.LenHankieMember
I just bought an iMac with a bigger screen than my TV instead!
Also have Apple TV which gives you Youtube, Netflix (with subscription) and iTunes, plus any content on your mac (including photos and iTunes library) if you turn on home sharing. No access to iplayer etc though, so I do that through Virgin instead, or watch on the mac. All a bit piecemeal though. Some kind of all in one solution would be good.Posted 5 years agoForge_MasterMember
Raspberry pi is a good workaround but if you’re into streaming bluray movies you’ll struggle with any that are ripped with a dts soundtrack as the pi doesn’t have the dts codec available…yet.
One very good solution is to get yourself an hp proliant microserver, if you shop around you may be able to get it on a £100 cash back deal.Posted 5 years ago
It’ll take 4 hd’s up to 3Tb each, stick a graphics card in with a hdmi out and plug it straight into your tv.
Load windows home server2011, run xbmc and remotely control it by a tablet. 🙂
Load up win server 2011 as the OS and use explorer to stream from the interne, simple.
Yep probably is. TBH I’m trying to reduce the number of Windows machines in my life and much prefer something that boots with the TV with a very small footprint, low power usage (2.5v), no virus potential and as few rotating disks as possible.Posted 5 years ago
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