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Beast/Cheapest TV Streaming Solution?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Teger, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    That's the thing, spent all that money on the TV and find the software sucks, and there's no upgrade or fix, you might be stuck with it.


    Of course if you do have a TV with crappy software, you can always plug-in an STB like a Roku, which bypasses it.

    The TV I've got, it's quite challanged and not particularly smart, it doesn't do internet or streaming, it can play videos and music from a USB stick. I just plugged a cheap Android HDMI dongle into the it. There's no STB or anything, don't even know it's there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  2. Dirty Gurty

    Dirty Gurty Senior member

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    Haha, whoops...my bad.
     
  3. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    +1. FFS, enough problems there right now.

    Anyways, another vote for the Roku.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  4. Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin Senior member

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    I thought Roku doesn't support mkv files. That is a serious issue
     
  6. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    the tv has native .mkv support - as i learned last night. roku arrives today.
     
  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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    roku doesn't play any files...only stream

    You have to use something like Plex. Once you install plex on your computer, you can transcode anything on the fly and stream it to the Roku. I've had to do this with certain types of files on the PS3 as well with some similar software...so it's not unique to the roku.
     
  8. Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin Senior member

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    I am aware it doesn't "play" files. If you had seen my earlier suggestion regarding AppleTV, I talked about jailbreaking it because that too is limited by the file types it supports. Transcoding a relatively small file on the fly is one thing but that just is not going to happen with 720p or 1080p movies (which on average are about 5 gigs or 10 gigs respectively) so you will be forced to convert them one-by-one. If your personal library has hundreds of video files which may comprise of mkv, wmv and avis of various flavours, it does not make sense to go through the long tedius process of converting them all to a single file format. I maintain a jailbroken gen2 AppleTV is the most cost effective solution. The only downside is that it is limited to 720p movies
     
  9. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I'm not sure you understand how transcoding works.

    It doesn't matter that a long movie is 5GB, because it gives you 2.5 hours to transcode that stuff. A simple transcode is no problem--you aren't trying to really compress the file down, just get it to a usable format andyour network connection to the roku should be able to handle that kind of bitrate.

    It might be an issue if your computer is particularily slow, but anything modern should be able to transcode HD video without trouble.
     
  10. Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin Senior member

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    I understand that on the fly transcoding is cpu intensive. I also understand that many people may only own 1 desktop computer which is usually older than the laptop that they own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  11. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    I use Serviio as my media server and it transcodes videos on the fly quite easily. I've yet to have any kind of playback issues using the media player built into my Samsung smartTV.
     
  12. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    I use an Xbox 360 and the interface works pretty well. I never actually play games on it anymore.
     
  13. otc

    otc Senior member

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    No reason you can't stream from your laptop if it is newer.

    The cpu requirement suggested by Plex for transcoding 1080p content (720p and SD content is obviously less) was released in January 2008 and is at the bottom of this list of CPU benchmarks

    I mean...it sucks that you have to leave your laptop on, but we are talking about being able to do this with $50. I am on my second iteration of HTPCs (after using an original xbox with XBMC for years) and it is great...but cost far more than $50.

    As a side note--I actually think that when it comes to browsing netflix or amazon from the couch, a Roku or PS3 is actually better than my htpc. The XBMC netflix plugin kind of sucks, and while the websites are more powerful than the Roku search, they are annoying to navigate with a remote from the couch.
     
  14. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Agreed. I have a beefy HTPC, but don't watch Netflix on it because other devices do it better.

    Also because Netflix won't work natively on Linux, but that's a different story.
     
  15. otc

    otc Senior member

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    That's one of the main reasons my current iteration runs win7. Netflix and Spotify.

    I've been perfectly happy with it actually. I think I used one of those tools to make a custom slimmed-down install disc that keeps most of the crap out of it (but I might have had problems with that and just gone with a regular minimum installation in the end). I miss the linux version a bit, but oh well...
     

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