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Topic # 126853 22-Jul-2013 12:23
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I finally called Sky today and told them bye bye. Feelsgoodman :)

I have an HTPC in the lounge which I want to continue using of course but I also want to integrate Netflix, Vudu, BBC iplayer, etc, etc too. On top of that I will also have DVB-T Freeview plus all of my stored media on the HTPC.

I would like to keep using WMC if possible as it has maximum WAF and it is a nice interface despite its limitations.

Freeview and stored media are sorted already in that case, but what will be the best way to integrate Netflix, Hulu, iplayer and such?

I am coming up with a list of options that so far includes the following:


1) Forget about streaming TV on WMC and get a Roku 3 and use this for streaming TV. Create an activity on my Harmony to watch streaming TV in order to retain WAF and the ability to use remote to navigate

2) Run setup of WMC again so it thinks I am in US and get the default Netflix plugin activated. (What about the other services? And will I still be able to get NZ DVB-T if I do this?)

3) Add shortcuts to the websites for each service to the TV strip of WMC using WMC Studio or similar. (This should work but I won't be able to use remote on the websites right?)

4) Use XBMC (or another front end) as I believe this has better plugins for the streaming services? (Will it cover all the main services? And can one watch DVB-T using XBMC or would I have to use another program for that?)

5) Use some other magical setup I haven't thought/heard of that combines all of the above???


Is anyone out there running a one stop shop for streaming, freeview and stored media (with high WAF, ability to use remote, etc)??

Thanks!

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  Reply # 863503 22-Jul-2013 12:51
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1. It does feel good doesn't it!

2. I can't tick all the boxes but I'm using htpc + WMC + dvb-t + Netflix uk.

Unotelly pros are that it works, and only the htpc thinks its overseas, not every pc in the house. Cons are that every week or so you have to update your IP address by pressing a button on your browser screen. You can get round this by getting a fixed IP address but they seem to cost money.

Netflix is fantastic. 100's of times better than Sky for a fraction of the price. I haven't found a way of making the WMC remote work with it though - just the volume control which is system wide. I'm using the remote that came with my hauppage tv card.

To switch to Netflix we press the green button on the remote which quits WMC, revealing the win7 desktop and a toolbar shortcut to Netflix. It would be nice to work out something prettier, but everyone in the family caught on straight away.




HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
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  Reply # 863572 22-Jul-2013 13:38
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my recommendation, ive finally got a truly all in one solution.

samsung smart tv. it can run plex, netflix, hulu.

I'm writing a nextpvr client for the samsung tv, which allows live tv, scheduling recordings, tv guide, watching recordings etc. basically mimics the nextpvr gui so looks exactly the same, and just connects to the nextpvr on a server/desktop. that way 1 server which records everything, but each tv can access same recordings, schedule a recording etc.

i have a server in my garage running plex media server, nextpvr, and a bunch of other things.

so finally got a all in one system built into the tv. no more htpcs, ouyas, raspberrypis, mac minis, apple tvs etc :)

oh and since all in the tv, im just using the tv remote and its very easy to use.  you push the "smart hub" button which lists all your apps, so netflix, plex, nextpvr are displayed, then you just select which one you want.  to jump from netflix to nextpvr i just press "smart hub" then select "nextpvr" "ok" (about 4-5 button presses).  no worries about apps losing focus, or the remote stops working :)

ive also got it connect to a receiver which has a xbox connected to it, my receiver has ARC (audio return channel) so when im not using the xbox, the tv sends audio from the tv into the receiver via a single hdmi cable, and when i am using the xbox, the receiver just sends the video to the tv (once again using the single hdmi cable).  i dont need to use a second remote to turn on the reciever, change inputs on the receiver or anything.  just the one tv remote.

and if you've ever used xbmc with CEC, its limitation is you dont have access to all the tv remote buttons, but a samsung tv app can access every button, so i can use channel up/down to page up/down lists in nextpvr (soon in plex, just waiting for samsung to approve the latest release).  

im very happy :)



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  Reply # 863595 22-Jul-2013 14:14
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Thanks guys. Reven, you system sounds awesome, and is obviously where this is all heading (you just buy a TV that does everything) but what if I don't have a Samsung TV...?

In your opinion, would the second best option be my #1 above, using WMC for live TV and stored media and Roku for streaming? (or similar)

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  Reply # 863612 22-Jul-2013 14:58
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second best option IMO, is to by a samsung smart bluray player. will do everything + bluray then.

or do what I did and sell your tvs, all your clients, and buy a new samsung tv :) (i sold ouyas, pis, remotes, 2 tvs and bought 2 new ones :))

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  Reply # 863613 22-Jul-2013 14:59
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reven: my recommendation, ive finally got a truly all in one solution.

samsung smart tv. it can run plex, netflix, hulu.

I'm writing a nextpvr client for the samsung tv, which allows live tv, scheduling recordings, tv guide, watching recordings etc. basically mimics the nextpvr gui so looks exactly the same, and just connects to the nextpvr on a server/desktop. that way 1 server which records everything, but each tv can access same recordings, schedule a recording etc.
Wow, I think you just sold me on the Samsung TV. I was already leaning that way as they have the TVNZ on demand app built in, too. Do you notice any troubles with the plex app? I take it it's smooth? What about 5.1 passthrough to the amp?

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  Reply # 863626 22-Jul-2013 15:05
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if you want netflix on a samsung tv, you need to configure it to use the US store. when you change stores, all apps are deleted and the countries base apps are downloaded. so sadly you cant run tvnz + netflix (you could upload tvnz if you got a zip copy of the app).

plex is awesome on the tv, plays everything ive tried. the views arent the best IMO for large collections, but i believe new views will be added in future versions of the plex app. you can jump to a letter in lists which speeds up navigation if you have hundreds of movies.

my receiver says 5.1/7.1 is coming through, and sound is coming through all my speakers, but honestly i havent tested if its truly 5.1/7.1.

i really cant recommend a samsung tv enough. just make sure its a smart tv. i got the F6400 models (a 50" and 55")

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  Reply # 863638 22-Jul-2013 15:17
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reven: if you want netflix on a samsung tv, you need to configure it to use the US store. when you change stores, all apps are deleted and the countries base apps are downloaded. so sadly you cant run tvnz + netflix (you could upload tvnz if you got a zip copy of the app).

plex is awesome on the tv, plays everything ive tried. the views arent the best IMO for large collections, but i believe new views will be added in future versions of the plex app. you can jump to a letter in lists which speeds up navigation if you have hundreds of movies.

my receiver says 5.1/7.1 is coming through, and sound is coming through all my speakers, but honestly i havent tested if its truly 5.1/7.1.

i really cant recommend a samsung tv enough. just make sure its a smart tv. i got the F6400 models (a 50" and 55")
That's great, thanks. Yeah i'm looking at the F6400 50" at the moment. Given I paid over $3k for my 1024x768 Samsung Plasma 7 years ago and it's still ticking along i'm both sad and happy, heh. 

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  Reply # 863642 22-Jul-2013 15:22
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Can you download Plex app on the Samsung TV if it is not set for US?




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  Reply # 863646 22-Jul-2013 15:25
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yup, its available in a bunch of countries.

heres a FAQ for the app and a list of supported countries.



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  Reply # 863693 22-Jul-2013 15:59
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Cool. So what would be the advantage of buying a smart TV if I can just get the smart bluray player which (I assume) does the same stuff but also plays blurays/DVDs/Cds? I assume you need to use Unblock US or a vpn to configure it for the US store (and to get Netflix of course)?

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  Reply # 863696 22-Jul-2013 16:03
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smart tv, its in the tv so better integration. im not 100% all apps work on the bluray player, netflix does, plex does (there listed known supported devices).

for the price of a bluray player, i thought i may as well buy a new tv.



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  Reply # 863703 22-Jul-2013 16:08
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The price is significantly different :) Good Guys has a Samsung wifi, dual core, smart BD player for $238

http://www.thegoodguys.co.nz/nzonlinestore/Samsung_3D_Blu-Ray_Player_with_Wi-Fi_BD-F6500

I know what you mean though, if you can have it all in one device..... (hence the whole point of HTPCs in the first place)

Oh, and is there an app for BBC or other non-US content?

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  Reply # 863707 22-Jul-2013 16:14
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once again its tied to your country, so you can only install apps from one country.

but for iplayer, you can install the plex channel and just watch that via plex (which is what ill do, when dr who comes back, havent tried iplayer yet).

for some reason i thought the bluray players were closer to $500, which i didnt see the point in spending that much on one. my brother got a 46" smart tv last boxing day for $1000 i believe which runs plex and everything. that was a 2012 model. so you maybe able to get something similar for $800 now. sure its $550 or so more, but all in one :)

ive spent so much money on HTPC stuff over the years, HTPCs, mac minis, apple tv's, raspberrypis, ouyas etc. trying to get the perfect solution. finally got there i think, so i'm not really bothered about the extra $$$ for the tv all in one.

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  Reply # 863769 22-Jul-2013 18:32
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Asmodeus: Cool. So what would be the advantage of buying a smart TV if I can just get the smart bluray player which (I assume) does the same stuff but also plays blurays/DVDs/Cds? I assume you need to use Unblock US or a vpn to configure it for the US store (and to get Netflix of course)?


Unless you are on Slingshot, then you can enable GLOBAL MODE and all you have to do to the smart TV is to "switch countries". :)




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  Reply # 864122 23-Jul-2013 10:40
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I've got the unblock-us DNS set in my router so when I recently bought my new Smart TV, it automatically popped up with the Netflix, Hulu etc. apps and they all "just worked". Very impressed.

Plex works very well, but as mentioned, the default views are a bit average. Hopefully updates are forthcoming. Playback of all content works perfectly, including full DTS/DD passthrough.

Main HTPC is on the verge of being discontinued for a low-end Intel NUC with a RAID1 USB 3 enclosure plugged into it.

Oh yeah, the TV itself natively plays any form of media I can throw at it, including MKV's with embedded 5.1 audio.




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