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510 posts

Ultimate Geek

#148973 7-Jul-2014 11:53
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Just trying to weigh up options to stream from a main media server to a bedroom.
It has 1 cat5 outlet and tv outlet.

Ive got an old Dell 510m laptop running XP that I dont use - it wont run Win7 (graphics drivers)
It does however have sufficient performance to run VLC and output over the network to the 32" LCD

Is there any other software  to run on it that provide easier menu based player options (like XMBC)

Ive tried XMBC, media Portal, OpenElec and a few other options. They all have limitations with the OS or the hardware.
Im more than happy to try Linux distros (but have to be easy to setup and run!)

I thought about hdmi over cat, but realistically, the hardware is the same price as a rasberry pi - which I would prefer

Its not a big deal, as I have all the media setup I need, but just sitting here bored with a spare laptop :)

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2161 posts

Uber Geek

  #1082331 7-Jul-2014 12:02
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If you run a DLNA server on your media server, you may be able to just use an app on a smart TV to view it, no laptop required.

Location: Dunedin


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Uber Geek

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  #1082332 7-Jul-2014 12:04
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? Put plex server on your server then access using  browser on laptop.Or buy a raspberry pi + rasplex to access plus buy phone app for remote control function.




510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1082333 7-Jul-2014 12:04
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Its for an older lcd tv unfortunately. 

510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1082338 7-Jul-2014 12:11
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afe66: ? Put plex server on your server then access using  browser on laptop.Or buy a raspberry pi + rasplex to access plus buy phone app for remote control function.


The requirements seem to suggest Vista + ?
The laptop doesnt meet the hardware requirements unfortunately :(

VLC does work, its mainly that the interface is not ideal for an htpc.

253 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1082366 7-Jul-2014 12:48
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SpookyAwol: Its for an older lcd tv unfortunately. 


Probably the cheapest and easiest

Always on Raspberry Pi running Raspbmc stuck to the back of the TV


Remote Android Yatse App or Flirc to use your tv remote.

2294 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1082462 7-Jul-2014 14:29
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If it doesn't have HDMI on the tv it's going to be a hassle I think.


564 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1084065 8-Jul-2014 12:44
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try Geexbox,

Try the latest version (3.x) and if that does not work, see what version 1 is like (can be downloaded from their page)

It's a linux distro which runs off usb or cd (can also be installed) but you can boot it up and see if it wll do what you want.
Version 1 ran on 400mhz pentium, 64mb ram.

unsure how it will go for you, but try



510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1084184 8-Jul-2014 15:58
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Geexbox looked promising - it got past the menu to the splash screen but then kept reloading. I didnt get as far with version 1.2
Ill try a few more things with that first.

1145 posts

Uber Geek


  #1084300 8-Jul-2014 19:07
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You mentioned MediaPortal. I'm not sure if the issue was hardware or software, but in case it helps...
MediaPortal does still run fine on XP. It is no longer listed as a "supported OS" because the team does not officially test new releases or provide help for people running XP.

2661 posts

Uber Geek

  #1084435 8-Jul-2014 21:39
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For all the hassle of getting it working, connected, options for controlling it etc, I would have to say it was an interesting project but probably not worth it. Especially for old hardware.

Personally, my instinct would be to just buy a small media player. Circa $100-150 will get you something networkable that works well, with HDMI and analog connectivity, and an adequate remote control etc. A WDTV Live, or one of the many similarly priced and specced media players, should do what you want pretty reliably and seamlessly - pretty much plug and play.

Unless you really enjoy trying to make it work for its own sake, I would say don't persist with trying to make an old laptop fill this role.

510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1085816 9-Jul-2014 15:53
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Yeah...Im kind of loosing enthusiasm. It seemed like a good low powered option to use at the time.
Ive still got another old PC that is up to the task I guess..... :)

468 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1087828 12-Jul-2014 19:10
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whats wrong with xbmc? i have never had any issues with fact its been the most reliable one ive used.

510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1087882 12-Jul-2014 21:47
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No, nothing wrong indeed. I've got 2 systems running already both on win7 htpc's synced with mysql.
Due to the os and hardware on the dell, it seems like xbmc is a no go on that particular system.

216 posts

Master Geek

  #1089316 15-Jul-2014 14:51
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What graphics chipset on the laptop?

Personally I would suggest going for something like this:

And installing XBMC via openELEC.

If you hunt about on Aliexpress you'll probably find one with 4GB Ram and 16GB SSD for about the same price. About $200 NZ delivered. Sweet.

510 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1089895 16-Jul-2014 12:43
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Yes, Aliexpress have some interesting stuff. Not sure I I want to try and get an intel clone which advertises a cracked Win 7 install into the country  :-)


Itd be fantastic to have that sort of range in a shop down the road, but I prefer some resemblance of quality ;)

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