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26 posts

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# 78135 28-Feb-2011 09:57
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I am in the market for a new flat screen Television (my old one falling over during the quake). I will not be getting one for a number of weeks (maybe even longer), but thought I may as well start the research now.

I have noticed that some of the newer ones have ethernet ports. My question is about what functionality these ethernet ports add.

I currently use a Win7 media centre setup with a digital TV card which connects to the TV via a HDMI cable so all the TV input comes via the computer.

I presume the ethernet port allows you to stream media to the TV, but how will this work with Win7mc, and how would the quality be compared to the HDMI cable I use now. It would be handy to be able to relocate the media computer to elsewhere in the house, but picture quality and response time is more important.

Also, if the streaming is fine, what sped network would be needed. currently I use mostly 100mb, and would I need to upgrade to gigabit?

Thanks,
Mark.

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  # 444035 28-Feb-2011 10:07
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I have a Sony TV with an ethernet port. The only use I've found for it is for the 'Play To' feature in Windows 7 and on some phones (such as LG's Windows Phone 7 handsets) to push media such a video or music to the TV. FYI - 'Play To' uses the DLNA protocol common in many devices today.

Since I have an Xbox 360 attached the the TV as a Windows Media Centre extender I already have 'Play To' capabilities on the Xbox so don't have an ethernet cable plugged into the TV.




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  # 444043 28-Feb-2011 10:21
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Yeah it's used for DLNA streaming to the TV.

If you have a htpc, ps3, xbox or player like wdtv live connected to the tv via hdmi it makes more sense to have player do the work and output over hdmi rather than using DLNA straight to the tv as these usually have a better interface/ui and broader support for different video formats.

 
 
 
 




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  # 444051 28-Feb-2011 10:30
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Sounds like keeping the same setup with the computer feeding directly to the TV is the way to go then.

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  # 444057 28-Feb-2011 10:42
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I've just started with a Panasonic 50" plasma. I've got the TV plugged into my router via ethernet, and the best use I've found for it is the YouTube app within VieraCast. I don't know about other brands, but I've found this to be very good. The UI isn't the greatest, but if you login with your YouTube account, you can access your playlists, and that's much better than using the search engine.

The best thing I've found is that, inexplicably, YouTube videos stream flawlessly when watched through VieraCast, at any time of the day or night. All our other computers stutter when playing YouTube after 6pm, presumably when internet usage is starting to peak, and it takes ages to buffer even short videos. So I've taken to building playlists on my computer, and then using VieraCast to access those playlists, and watch them smoothly on the big screen.

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  # 444098 28-Feb-2011 12:25
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millamber:

Also, if the streaming is fine, what sped network would be needed. currently I use mostly 100mb, and would I need to upgrade to gigabit?



As mentioned above, ethernet ports on Tv's are usually for DLNA streaming, Most of them are just 10/100 ports, I have not come across any that have gigabit ports, but I stand to be corrected.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 444274 28-Feb-2011 22:06
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As above Dlna is the main use. I just got a samsung plasma with Dlna. I'm a bit disappointed with it.

I admit I presumed that it would play the same formats the USB does. I was also unaware that Dlna is not fully supported from Mac.

Most of the stuff I have that will not play on the xbox will play on the tv but can not pause or seek.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 444306 1-Mar-2011 01:17
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I've not found the LAN port on my Panasonic 50V20 to be much use at all.

Software updating - useful.

Youtube - don't use it much and prefer to download and save any interesting stuff once, rather than pay for multiple downloads.
Skype - don't use it much and prefer to be in the office rather than the lounge.
Flickr - tried it for a time; abandoned it.
Weather/stock information etc - marginally useful.

DLNA - a misbegotten technology in my opinion. Why on earth don't they just build in a Samba client? DLNA on Mac is, as has been said, not fully supported. There are a couple of systems out there, but the only one I could find for my old, but otherwise entirely adequate iMac, was the aptly named "Twonky". It works, sort of, but it has a truly awful interface. Support for codecs in the TV is a limitation.
---

Somewhat off-topic
-----------------------
As a bit of an aside to the DLNA story, in looking for a system for storage and retrieval of video content, I tried WD NAS and TV Live solutions, but none worked properly (!)
The NAS didn't allow me to delete files, and corrupted the disc directory; the FF/RW functionality on the WDTV is broken. WD support is terrible.

I settled for a number of 1-2 TB drives attached to my iMac in addition to the 1 TB I have in my Vu+ Duo. It happily accesses them all using SMB (although the iMac has to be on to act as a server) and it supports quite a wide variety of codecs and encapsulations. It can also stream any content to anywhere on the internet (!) It's not a perfect media player by any means, but I can work within its limitations, unlike the WD offerings.

 
 
 
 


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  # 444345 1-Mar-2011 10:07
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Initially I used the ethernet port on my Pana 46V20 quite a bit.
However, over time I've moved to a dedicated media playback device... the Apple TV 2.
Re: The Panasonic, it was a pain in the arse until I through a wireless keyboard into the mix, then it was usable. The interweb integration is actually far more refined than the likes of the Samsung's - heck, you have to have the Skype app open on a Samsung to receive a call, whereas my Panasonic can receive a call (you don't need to answer it, obviously) at any time.
Re: DLNA.
I use a Mac and Twonky works very well, except for the limited codec support from Panasonic.
Pity.
It's a set and forget scenario.

BUT, now I'm running a jail broken ATV2, I can play all my media directly off my Airport Extreme (1TB drive plugged into the router) and stream pretty much all the formats I want around the house wirelessly without the Mac's even being switched on. The XBMC integration has been brilliant, and now the bugs have been ironed out - it's easier and easier for people to set up.

For me, DLNA was the taster... ATV2 is the solution.
However if I had a Panasonic BluRay recorder, I could see the media server side coming in handy for a bedroom TV...

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  # 444347 1-Mar-2011 10:10
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Also, if you want to try out a TV with a LAN connection, go into your local big box store, ask for a demo and have a play. I've managed to play with all the 'bigger' brands. The best seem to be Sony and Panasonic, Samsung offers LOTS of apps, but few quality options, LG has quite a few apps... but things seemed a little slow? Sharp was useless... I mean really useless. Yet to play with a WDTV though.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 444349 1-Mar-2011 10:11
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By apple tv 2 do you mean the new black one

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  # 444407 1-Mar-2011 13:01
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I've got a Samsung LCD, I can stream from the PS3 Media Server software on my PC to the TV. I don't though, I use the PS3, as then the sound goes out through the receiver. I'll probably use it twice a year for youtube and firmware updates.

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  # 444478 1-Mar-2011 15:22
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merve0o0: By apple tv 2 do you mean the new black one


Yup - at $170 it's a brilliant bit of kit.

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  # 444482 1-Mar-2011 15:42
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Dunnersfella:
merve0o0: By apple tv 2 do you mean the new black one


Yup - at $170 it's a brilliant bit of kit.


+1 on the Jailbroken ATV2. Tiny, easy to use and plays everything that's sitting on an SMB share.

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  # 444484 1-Mar-2011 15:50
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WD TV Live (or something like that) is apparently worth a look too.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 444516 1-Mar-2011 17:54
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Dunnersfella 2 hrs ago

merve0o0: By apple tv 2 do you mean the new black one


Yup - at $170 it's a brilliant bit of kit.


Thanks I will order one next week. Didn't know the jailbreak was out for them.

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