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35 posts

Geek


#153826 9-Oct-2014 09:38
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Good morning fellow geeks :-)

I've got a problem that I'm trying to resolve and it goes a bit like this :-

I have two relatives who visit from the UK quite frequently and they LOVE their UK TV. We have Slingshot ADSL (hopefully fibre soon) with Slingshots' 'Global Mode', so viewing UK streams such as ITV Player and BBC Iplayer work fine on PCs and Ipads from our house.

What I want to do is move the viewing onto the big 50" TV, but I'm struggling to find the 'best fit' solution to this. I have lots of possibilities available to me, I'm an IT guy and I've done lots of research but I need to hear from anyone who has a working solution for this.

My setup is, or could be, based on either a Windows laptop or HP thin client running XBMC 'Gotham'. I've tried ITV Player add-on and others such as ExPatTV but they all give script errors and seem to be struggling with the URLs. I can run the players / streams fine from within a browser, it's just running it through XBMC that's giving me a headache. My ideal scenario would be thin client outputting to big TV with XBMC Remote running on Ipad so the relatives don't have to worry about remotely controlling Windows. The thin client runs Win 7 Embedded and is perfectly capable of running XBMC - I've run MKVs through it fine.

I know the machines I have will run XBMC fine, and I know the streams are fine, it's just getting the two to play together that is doing my head in ! Any advice would be greatly appreciated, cheers :-)

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811 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1150484 9-Oct-2014 09:54
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Can't you just run an hdmi cable from your laptop and watch them via a browser like chrome? All you need to add is a wireless keyboard like the Logitech k400.




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35 posts

Geek


  #1150486 9-Oct-2014 10:00
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turb: Can't you just run an hdmi cable from your laptop and watch them via a browser like chrome? All you need to add is a wireless keyboard like the Logitech k400.


Hey mate, thanks for replying. Yeah that's a fair suggestion and we have done that before but it does need a level of 'manual input' shall we say. The visitors are in their sixties and whilst I'm perfectly aware there are heaps of older people who are in to technology, these are not so I want to try and make it as seamless as possible. My TV is a bit old too and only has one rear / one front HDMI which are already used so I want to avoid cable swapping. Also, the laptop is in use quite a bit by the kids etc so using for extended sessions of TV is not really an option.

What I'm after is to be able to leave a (preferably low power) box running, connected to the TV through my HDMI switch and capable of playing streams that can be controlled remotely. XBMC does all these things, or at least it should do, but I can't quite get it there or find an alternative.....

 
 
 
 




35 posts

Geek


  #1150488 9-Oct-2014 10:05
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Sorry I just realised in my initial post I indicated that a laptop would be an option for playback - that is true but only if I decided to actually purchase another one. I'm more looking at a low power pc / thin client / what ever else as my main option.

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Uber Geek

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  #1150501 9-Oct-2014 10:05
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WD TV Live can be set to UK region and has the BBC iplayer as an app.  Not so sure about ITV and C4 (I'll check).
Or an Xbox 360

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  #1150502 9-Oct-2014 10:07
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Another suggestion is a Sony or Samsung network-connected blu-ray player.  I'm fairly sure these can be set to the UK region and will then give you the required apps.



35 posts

Geek


  #1150504 9-Oct-2014 10:13
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shk292: Another suggestion is a Sony or Samsung network-connected blu-ray player.  I'm fairly sure these can be set to the UK region and will then give you the required apps.


An interesting suggestion - I do have a Samsung player but it's an older model so I'm not sure if it would give me the apps. It is networkable, I think it has a Youtube app on it so maybe that might be a possibility. I'll investigate that one, as I don't really want to buy any new equipment if I can avoid it !

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  #1150514 9-Oct-2014 10:33
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shk292: WD TV Live can be set to UK region and has the BBC iplayer as an app.  Not so sure about ITV and C4 (I'll check).
Or an Xbox 360


Sticking with the PC option, an intel NUC or gigabyte brix is a pretty small box that is full windows (or other if you decide) so you just spin up a browser and have it permanently attached to the tv.  It can run XBMC as well if you wanted that for your regular playback - then switch to IE/Chrome etc for streaming.





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Uber Geek


  #1150520 9-Oct-2014 10:45
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I dont think you will get any joy with XBMC - if something works it doesnt tend to stay working when the broadcaster changes things around.

I would suspect your likely option is to buy some sort of network aware appliance that has supported apps for UK broadcasters.
As noted the WDTV might be an option - likewise the blu-ray player suggestion.

I have a samsung smart TV and set its area to the UK.
I can access BBC iplayer, the ITV equivalent and 4od.
I use unotelly as an unblocker - 4od goes a bit funny sometimes - but BBC and ITV services work fine.

You should investigate your blu-ray player - if its network capable it sounds like a possibility.
You may need to 'tweak' the location - on the TVs you have to use some 'special' remote key sequences to get to the area changing menu.
Maybe find the model of your player and post that here - someone is sure to be able to get you some info....




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


47 posts

Geek


  #1150812 9-Oct-2014 16:06
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My setup is, or could be, based on either a Windows laptop or HP thin client running XBMC 'Gotham'. I've tried ITV Player add-on and others such as ExPatTV but they all give script errors and seem to be struggling with the URLs. I can run the players / streams fine from within a browser, it's just running it through XBMC that's giving me a headache.


If you want to watch live UK TV, ditch expattv and install the filmon addon.
If you want to use the itv player addon, make sure you have the latest version. take a look here:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...pid1793442

There's no reason why what you're trying to do should be a problem under XBMC.




35 posts

Geek


  #1151062 10-Oct-2014 08:44
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Some good suggestions and advice here so far, thanks guys :-) I'll addresses a couple of points raised....

1) NUC or brix or WD TV is not really an option, as it involves purchasing new kit. I'm not against spending money, but it is only really for visitors and I would have no use for it otherwise.
2) The Samsung player is not a 'Smart' device as are all the current models so therefore it does not have the full range of internet apps - only the ones it was supplied with sadly.
3) XBMC works fine for all my other applications and I'm using the absolute latest version of the ITV add-on which does not work. BBC Iplayer is fine. So what I'm trying to do is a problem under XBMC.

I did have a thought yesterday about using the ITV Player Android app on a phone / tablet, and linking to the TV by MHL. In principal this works, because the player works perfectly on the device (spare Galaxy S2 I had lying around). However, using an MHL / HDMI adapter cable failed to give any output to the TV. I tried it on three TVs with two different devices without success.

Going on from the Android idea, I decided to try Android on x86 and got hold of the latest ISO. This wouldn't install though, so I'm trying to think of something else to install it on now.....

350 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #1151113 10-Oct-2014 10:01
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I did have a thought yesterday about using the ITV Player Android app on a phone / tablet, and linking to the TV by MHL. In principal this works, because the player works perfectly on the device (spare Galaxy S2 I had lying around). However, using an MHL / HDMI adapter cable failed to give any output to the TV. I tried it on three TVs with two different devices without success.


Most android apps disable hdmi output.. nice of them yes

There is no real friendly way to get this running at the moment, the best option is going to be to buy a box with the apps already working for UK (maybe a dedicated android box)

Some one really needs to embed webkit into xbmc at this point as web streaming is taking over but there is no seamless way to hook it all up to work with a remote






 


59 posts

Master Geek


  #1151130 10-Oct-2014 10:21
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Maybe ask your relatives to pick up a NowTv box for $10 (really that's pounds, but I don''t know where the symbol is) next time they're coming over.  This has all the major UK catch-up services available.

I struggled with XBMC and UK TV.  One big trouble was every time things were running smoothly they (the content providers) would go and change something, which then needs a plugin update or a workaround to be found on the XBMC side - it became an ongoing chore.

As others have suggested, Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players work well.  My H6500 Blu-ray player can have it's region changed, and it works really well.

Overall the cheapest and easiest way (I think) is the NowTV box, or even a Roku if you want more channel options - including Netflix.  If you do go for a Roku, buy an American one for $49, and set up an account on the UK roku site.  This way you'll get UK tv and save yourself $50.

Good luck!


59 posts

Master Geek


  #1151132 10-Oct-2014 10:23
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EEk - I did read your post but must have blanked out 'cable swapping' - Roku and NowTV of course do require that.  Sorry!

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