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7 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 25986 8-Sep-2008 17:19
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I am in the process of building a house and as part of the process have designed in a central media cupboard. From the cupboard I have a Clipsal Star Serve unit distributing the aerial signal via RG6 and phone line via Cat5e. I also have a router here with 2xCat5e to main bed & lounge and 1 Cat5e to the other bedrooms. I am aiming to have a HTPC in the cupboard and want to be able to play streamed content across the network but am not sure as to the best method of getting this to the TV's. I am in the market for some new TV’s, but LCD’s with built in LAN connectivity aren’t available yet. I don’t want to spend an extra $1000 on a pc for each room. I do want to be able to select and play media house on the central HTPC without having to walk down there.

Is there a unit that is able to be networked via the Cat5e and then output the streamed content to a LCD TV?

What is the normal method of streaming content from a central HTPC to TV's distributed through the house?

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290 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4

  Reply # 163154 8-Sep-2008 19:49
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My opinions and ideas expressed in posts are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer in any way..

600 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 163173 8-Sep-2008 22:03
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Depending on the OS:


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72 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 163418 10-Sep-2008 00:29
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In my case I have a ReadyNAS which has a UPnP server inbuilt and so can stream media (in the same protocol that these TVs will take next year).  The inbuilt RAID is also a life saver as I know when one of my disks failed.

In turn I have three PS3s with wired connections to the network - Home Theatre, Living Room and Lounge and they work flawlessly.  PS3 is a little bit finiky in terms of the content they play but once you get it sorted it performs really well in terms of mpeg2 (ts files, m2ts files), music files (mp3) and photos (jpeg).  The HD performance is especially pleasing as they are perfoming flawlessly at bit rates well in excess of 20mbps peaking at over 30 (I had read that some people had issues when playing with peaks at above 20) - identical picture quality to the blu-ray disk

My main regrets are that the PS3 does not play FLAC natively (so I use the squeezebox instead) and it cannot play streamed DTS tracks - limited to AC3 / Dolby Digital.  Other negatives are can't have chapter breaks in streamed content or selectable sub-titles - you need to burn them in the file - neither of these are deal killers for me but they might be for others

I also have an eva8000 in a bedroom which I use (rather than run an output from a PS3 in another room) because the tv in the bedroom cannot decode 5.1 sound and as a result output from the PS3 does not work - no centre channel sound whereas with the Netgear I can tell it to downmix to 2 channel for that TV.  Netgear handles std dev ok but gives up the ghost completely on the HD files.  The netgear was the first purchase before the PS3 firmware allowed streaming, once PS3 was capaable of streaming the netgear never got used and hence relegated to the bedroom

One bonus of the PS3 (if viewing output in another room) is that the bluetooth remote means you can control the PS3 through walls etc without needing remote extenders etc, and of course not fogetting the bonus Blu-Ray player and games machine.

Pipe dream would be XBMC interface on a PS3 - I loved it on the xbox but too noisy and lack of hd performance has consigned to the dustbin - and not sure that I can be bothered with a PC with the XBMC linux / windows releases.

I would conclude finally that I have found the PS3 solution very family friendly, it just works - couldn't say the same about the netgear although it undoubtedly is more flexible - play ISOs etc with full dvd menus etcs

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