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35 posts

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Topic # 98715 5-Mar-2012 10:45 Send private message

OK - some advice please. I'm about to purchase an HDTV and want to make the right choices as far as the wifi set-up is concerned.

I want a 1080 TV that can play movies wirelessly from my Mac in another room. Just for background info I aleady have a DLN capable Blueray player but it is not wifi and I don't want to run an ethernet cable round the house!

Some TV's claim Facebook and Youtube comaptibility but I'm interested to know if the TV can be made to browse the web generally via AppleTV or some other network setup.

Thanks for your help.

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3113 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 590832 5-Mar-2012 18:24 Send private message

Some TV's have built in web browsers - almost all the Sony's do (not the BX cheapie range though).
Higher end Samsung's have web browsers built in, so do the better LG's.
Are the web browsers any good?
No they are not.
The lack of keyboard support (despite promises) means that you need to use your remote control to enter URL's, or, at best, use an iPhone or Android app to navigate / mouse around the page. The lack of flash support sucks too - as sites like TVNZOnDemand won't work for you.
LG have their pointy remote wand type thingee... but nothing beats a mouse / keyboard combo yet.
Samsung showed one at CES (Bluetooth) but will it be backwards compatible? Who knows...

Currently the Apple TV 2 doesn't have a native web browser - but who knows what we'll see in a week or so when iPad 3 is rumoured to be launched?
LG make their Smart TV type box... that has a pretty basic / slow web browser.

Apple TV would be the easiest way to play movies / music out of iTunes. I have an ATV2 at home and it's great for just that! I have also run DLNA on my Mac (Twonky) directly to my Panasonic TV and it's nowhere near as user friendly - and my (albeit older) Panasonic is a little picky about the file types it'll play. Whereas the ATV2 pretty much has a hard and fast rule - if it'll play in iTunes, it'll play on the ATV2.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 590906 5-Mar-2012 21:45 Send private message

Wireless is a bit hit and miss.

My experience is that I can *mostly* stream SD material pretty well using wireless, but that it can't cope well with HD. While my wireless setup has some pretty good kit (and I have tried at both 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands), and my setup is probably pretty typical for home use as far as a smallish house and units not so far apart etc, I just can't get a sufficient bitrate for sustained HD or fully bulletproof SD.

Like you, cabling is a bit too hard where I am. After reading a couple of reviews I have just ordered some ethernet over powerline kit (one of the the new "500 Mbit" kits which review testing in real-world situations indicates should be able to sustain 11-17 MB/sec transfers. Hasn't arrived yet, hopefully it will before the weekend. Plus, one of the adapters is a 4-port switch, so I should be able to hook up a media player, blu ray and Tivo in the living room all at once. You might want to consider doing this instead of wireless.



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  Reply # 591361 6-Mar-2012 17:32 Send private message

Buy an AppleTV, jailbreak it and stick Plex onto it and run the Plex Media Server on the Mac.

It works brilliantly and it's a relatively cheap solution. It'll play 1080p content just fine although I believe there's some debate as to what the actual output resolution is.

Once jailbroken you can install "Couch Surfer" onto it which is a web browser. I'm not sure if it's any good though.

They are restricting supply of the AppleTV2 at the moment, so a successor may not be far off, it may be more useful OOTB than the existing model, or it might be even more iTunes-centric.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 591363 6-Mar-2012 17:38 Send private message

AS per JimmyH - in my experience SD will stream fine over WiFi, but you'll struggle with HD.

Things are LookingUp....  A photo from my back yard :-) 

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  Reply # 591400 6-Mar-2012 19:43 Send private message

Thanks for  the replies. I am slowly forming a picture of what I need to do. And it's not that straight forward.

I am concerned about how restricted the Apple TV is compared to other options like Boxee (D-link Box) which is 1080 compatible as well. There are some other media setups with a NAS-like storage which can play straight into the TV eliminating HD streaming issues but some of these are getting mighty expensive.

I kind of get the feeling that the TV's are up to scratch but we're on the cusp of finding what direction the TV - PC/Mac - Web interface will take.

258 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 591407 6-Mar-2012 19:52 Send private message

I have a Panasonic tv with wireless (USB PLUGIN) and i used Twonky to stream all my content, now im still playing around with this, but by default it will play Avi files fine, but i added ffmpeg into it, and now can transcode MKV (well 90%) of them. Cant play DTS audio (i think its cause of the TV) but im working on this. This setup works for me, and cost me 20USD.

I think you should try Twonky on your current DVD setup and see how you feel, and go from there. They have a free version (usable for 30days).

Ive been looking at APPLETV but version 3 gets released with 1-2weeks and ill wait for that.

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