I have been very lucky, and been given a new TV, since my old one was dying. However, because it was a gift, I didn't get to choose the model, and I've ended up with a "non-smart" TV. It's a Panasonic Viera TH-L32B6Z, so it has HDMI inputs, a USB input, and one set of RCA inputs, if I've read the specs right.
Here's where it gets tricky.
Up until now, I have used an old original Xbox running XBMC to stream media from my network to the television. This is still working, but I'm not sure how much longer it will.
I have an original MySky box with RCA output only.
Already, I'm running out of connections, and that's ignoring the old school DVD player I have plugged in too.
I do have a manual RCA switch box, but I don't want to have to use it to switch between MySky and local media streaming, as I do this a lot.
I'm thinking about getting hold of a media centre box to attach to the TV. Here are the features I need/would like to have, in order of importance:
1. Needs to be able to stream from the local network (PC-based network, requires authentication)
2. Wireless connection to the network would be preferred, but wired would be manageable. Wireless needs to handle WPA2.
3. Preferably HDMI connection to the TV
4. Possibly able to stream from web - Youtube etc would be nice
5. Possibly able to make use of a service like unblock-us etc, to access streaming services.
Now, I realise that if I want to lay out a chunk of money, I could do this all pretty easily. But I am poor. Seriously poor. Only reason I can afford this at all is because I have a couple of relatives prepared to chip in as a birthday present. So, realistically, there is no way I could go over a couple of hundred, and really less than that would be ideal.
I've browsed a couple of sites, found some options, but they're really unclear as to how well they would actually work. So I figured I'd turn to the experts here. Any thoughts/suggestions? I'm relatively tech-capable to set it all up/get it going, but my partner needs to be able to operate it too, so operation once set up needs to be relatively simple.
Cheers in advance!