How complicated to get a TV with apps for video playback?

Home Forums General Home Theater Discussion How complicated to get a TV with apps for video playback?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #26449
    Mike Garcen
    Participant

    So I know this is a fairly basic question, but i’ve been so entrenched in HTPC and Media Players for so long, that I haven’t paid nearly as much attention as I should to TV’s themselves. My sister is currently in the stone age in her house, so she’s looking for an upgrade.

    Her current setup:

    – Old Sony 27″ CRT (no HDMI, no VGA)

    –  4-year oldLaptop (WIndows Vista, No HDMI)

    – External Hard drive (contains all the movies & music on it)

     

    What she wants:

    – A 40-42″ television

    – Play Music and Videos on the TV

     

    At first my immediate suggestion was to get her to buy a computer or laptop with HDMI, and then when she wants to watch any movies or listen to music on it, she’d connect directly with HDMI. However, given that my sister has no money, I’m trying to see if we can bypass the laptop/HTPC since she really would be using it for such basic needs.

    Would it work to use her existing 4year old laptop, share the hard drive (was DLNA available in WMP in Vista?), and then buy an app-enabled TV from LG or Samsung that could then play the videos natively?

    Or should i quit overthinking this and just have her buy the TV and a Roku or AppleTV?

    #31888
    Ganjagadget

    I would go Samsung. She can plug the USB drive in and be done for the most part. You could do DLNA by setting up Serviio on the laptop so she doesn’t have to “sneaker net” the HDD when she gets new content. The Samsung AllShare PC software is OK but doesn’t do a good job with MKV files.

    #31889
    Mike Garcen

    so no problem with various codecs and video files and audio files for the samsung to recognize? 

    #31891
    PAPutzback

    That Laptop should have a the old style video out that a lot of TVs have for connecting to a PC. But I would start at the TV First and work back. So get a TV with the providers she wants. Hulu, Netflix…

    #31900
    Mike Garcen

    [quote=PAPutzback]

    That Laptop should have a the old style video out that a lot of TVs have for connecting to a PC. But I would start at the TV First and work back. So get a TV with the providers she wants. Hulu, Netflix…

    [/quote]

    Well, moreso than streaming she has a lot of media (music and movies) on an external hard drive. So will most of these App-enabled TV’s have a player that supports plugging that in & playing?

    #31907
    umdivx

    I am a fan of the panny tv’s their built in media/DLNA features are really nice and have the ability to add apps when new ones come out.

    -Josh

    #31911
    babgvant

    I’m not sure you’ll be able to get full music/video playback capabilities natively on a TV (except maybe the LGs with PLEX).  Most are very limited in the codecs and files systems (important since FAT32 doesn’t support large files) they support.

    Personally, I’d get an S series Panasonic and add a low-end media streamer.

    #31920
    Aaron Ledger

    Samsung’s playback is workable (DLNA or local USB media) if it supports all of the file types in use, you just have to read the manual and make sure before purchase. 

    #31923
    babgvant

    [quote=Aaron Ledger]

    Samsung’s playback is workable (DLNA or local USB media) if it supports all of the file types in use, you just have to read the manual and make sure before purchase. 

    [/quote]

    That’s the thing.  Usually support is limited to a very narrow set of codecs and containers (or combination thereof) so if you venture much beyond mp3/mp4/mov it’s not useful.

    #31924
    oliverredfox

    DLNA is functional, but the interface is kinda meh.  I have an LG TV not hooked directly to a media center PC.  I started with DLNA but noticed that it also supported PLEXMedia so I swapped to that.  Now instead of just seeing a huge list of show names, it has full MetaData and looks very nice.  For guests that don’t know my library, using Plex is many times better.  I don’t know if any other TV’s have similar nice graphic library functions, but some LG sets do at least.

    #31959
    pittsoccer33

    I sell tv’s at one of the big boxes so this is how I approach the question when people come looking to do what you’re talking about.

    1) You have to know what kind of video you have and exactly what you want to do with it.  As previously mentioned, codec support is limited (Samsung has to be the best overall).  Beyond codec/container is bitrate.  Even though Samsung tv’s can play mkv files w/ h264 video, the maximum bitrate is limited to around 18mbps in practice.  You couldn’t simply remux a bluray disc to mkv and play it over usb.

    2) Some tvs cannot play NTFS formatted drives.  I think for 2011 most have gotten with it, but it is something worth double checking if that will be relevant to you.

    3)DLNA is (in my opinion) no where near ready for an average consumer to work with.  There are too many variables at play, and there is no one server software suite that works equally well with all formats.  If your sister leaves her PC running all the time then possibly TVersity w/ transcoding set might work for her to allow all files to play to the television.

    4) Most manufacturers abandoned their 2010 smart tv platforms for 2011.  2010 tvs are not getting new app updates by and large, and even if they were their chips might not be able to run the newer programs.  

    A tv is a one every 5-10 year purchase.  A small box, like a Boxee or WDTV is a bit more consumer friendly and cheaper/easier to replace when it becomes obsolete.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.