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# 119092 20-May-2013 12:12
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NB: I apologise in advance if this is posted in the wrong forum, as I wasn't sure where this would go.

Hi guys,

My folks are getting a new TV, and I had the idea that when they did, I would suddenly be able to get them to watch all the cool HBO shows and whatnot that I have on my external HDs. To that end, I thought perhaps that a small netbook with an HDMI-out would be a cheap, easy way of getting external digital content onto the TV screen.

I have two primary questions:

1) Are there any major reasons why this is a silly idea?

2) If the answer to (1) is "no", does anyone have any recommendations as to what make/model would be suitable?


Thanks in advance,

Chris

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 822361 20-May-2013 12:18
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Why not WD Media Player instead?

A Netbook is probably underpowered, may not have proper graphics for HD video (if you have HD content), most likely doesn't have HDMI and so on. Then you have to install, configure stuff, and if your parents aren't tech savvy... You will be their permanent support staff.

Get a media player.




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  # 822370 20-May-2013 12:35
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Here's a cheaper plan again - using a Raspberry Pi - you can buy these from Element 14, add a case to your cart for free overnight shipping to NZ.

Then follow This to get things all up and running, if you're using external hard drives it's worth buying a USB Hub but other than that all you're needing is a good SD Card (class 10 is recommended and at-least 4gb)

And, once you've completed this build you'll have quite a capable media centre for under $100. I've got a few of these scattered around the home streaming content off my server and they're great since depending on your TV you only need one remote :)




 
 
 
 


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  # 822400 20-May-2013 13:33
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Chris - the WD Media player would be a better bet.
The Raspberry Pi is awesome - but as you can see in Michaelmurfy's post - requires a bit of mucking about to set up.
A laptop might require some remote support as well - dpending on your end users....

The WD Media player will just work out of the box and wont require fiddly setup.
http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/XH1208/western-digital-wdtv-live-hd-media-player
$139(ish) - shop around - though this actually looks a pretty sharp price.

Should also play nearly anything you could throw at it.
The unit above doesnt have wifi - do you need wifi?




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  # 822404 20-May-2013 13:36
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Another option is you could get a Jelly bean android TV box which acts as a great media player. You can watch youtube, surf the net, and play all movie formats, well most of them depending upon the player you chose and plenty of APP options in the Play Market



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  # 822444 20-May-2013 14:12
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Awesome, thanks for the information, guys.

It looks like the WD Media Player is a good choice.

I have two further questions now.

1) It seems that there is a 3rd gen WD media player that has wifi - I assume this is the version I want?

2) How does this compare to the apple tv? (NB: everyone in the house uses OS X, but I get the impression apple tv restricts the formats you can play, and a lot of my stuff is in .mkv)


Cheers again,

Chris

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  # 822445 20-May-2013 14:20
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Apple TV will not play MKV (unless you can find an Apple TV 2nd generation and Jailbreak it and run XBMC on it).

If you can convert your MKV to MP4 (I wish iTunes would do it) then the AppleTV will play them.
You also cannot plug a drive directly into an AppleTV.
An appleTV is nice, however, if as you say everyone uses iOS/OSX already, they can just Airplay video directly to the ATV.

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  # 822504 20-May-2013 15:56
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If your parents have the internet and wifi then the one with built in wifi maybe useful.
The WD box will play nearly anything you sent your folks - the apple tv is locked down to the apple supported files - so that way lies frustration.

If you are looking at sending your folks a range of files in various formats go with the WD unit.

This link may be useful if you want to have a share on a mac somewhere on the network and have the WD unit access it
http://community.wdc.com/t5/WD-TV-Live-Streaming-Discussions/Macbook-Pro-to-WD-TV-streaming/td-p/279296




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  # 822508 20-May-2013 16:12
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I just got one of these

http://tinyurl.com/b9237gf

so far works really well - even streaming 1080 video via dlna from my nas drive.

If you wanted to use any of the built in streaming services like Hulu etc then you would need to set up a vpn. In earlier versions of neotv this couldn't be done on the unit but had to be done on the router. I haven't yet looked into whether this has changed on the newer units.

A word of caution - only the ntv300sl has dlna & usb - the cheaper ntv300 does not.

edit: Amazon page states "can only be shipped within the US"
This is not correct - I went through normal checkout process and had no problem with international shipping - which was only $11.

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  # 822519 20-May-2013 16:33
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I would go for a Roku over WD TV. You will be able to stream from local drives or from a server (Plex for example). Plus you get all the awesomeness of streaming from legitimate sources. Roku will play MKV, MP4, MP3 and AAC.

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  # 822529 20-May-2013 16:36
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chevrolux: I would go for a Roku over WD TV. You will be able to stream from local drives or from a server (Plex for example). Plus you get all the awesomeness of streaming from legitimate sources. Roku will play MKV, MP4, MP3 and AAC.


I tried a roku out before the neotv and found setting up local streaming to be very cumbersome and could not get it to work reliably.
It doesn't support local streaming natively and requires third party apps (such as plex).
It doesn't support any form of dlna

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  # 824414 23-May-2013 20:53
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farcus:
chevrolux: I would go for a Roku over WD TV. You will be able to stream from local drives or from a server (Plex for example). Plus you get all the awesomeness of streaming from legitimate sources. Roku will play MKV, MP4, MP3 and AAC.


I tried a roku out before the neotv and found setting up local streaming to be very cumbersome and could not get it to work reliably.
It doesn't support local streaming natively and requires third party apps (such as plex).
It doesn't support any form of dlna


And plex needs a machine for it to be hosted on.

The WD's are good as they incorporate some basic streaming, and file browsing.  Suitable for regular consumers.

The raspberry pi, looks good on paper, but when looking at one for someone else, you have to be careful with, will the CEC work for the remote, or do you need to buy an IR receiver/remote, you have to buy power adatpter etc, so they get up towards $100 so aren't looking as cheap (don't get me wrong, I run two of them, but that's in my house where I can control them).  I'm not sure I'd advacate tehm for an older couple.




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