Looking for a browser-capable TV streamer?

Discussion in 'Audio/Video & Home Theater' started by Omamder5, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Omamder5

    Omamder5 Junior Member

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    Basically, I, or rather my parents, have a bit of a dilemma in the living room. We're going to mount our 47" Vizio on the wall, whereas the (old and crappy) pc is located on the other side of the room, quite far. My mother in particular wants to be able to watch her online movies on the big screen, but my father and I are opposed to running a huge VGA cable and audio connection all the way across the room (it has no HDMI). They also do not want to move the PC over to the other side of the room to hook it up if they don't have to, because it's kind of a piece of trash, anyway.

    Thus, we were juggling a few options on how to make the setup work:

    1. A wireless transmitter (?) that will allow streaming of the computer display over to the TV, essentially mirroring the computer to the telly. I thought Apple TV did something like this with Macs...

    2. A wireless tv device, like a Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, etc, that has a built in, fully-functional browser, and not a limited one. My mother regularly uses obscure (at least to us) Russian websites to get her fix, and I want to be sure the aforementioned browser will handle all video file types on the web.

    3. Giving her my Asus tablet (TF101 with the dock), connect a wireless mouse to it, and use a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable to hook it to the TV. This is not ideal, because the Asus can be painfully slow browsing the web while duplicating the image on two displays, and often runs into trouble with different video formats in both the preinstalled browser and chrome.

    4. Some other idea I haven't thought of?

    Please, give me your thoughts!
     
  2. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    AFAIK there isn't an off the shelf solution that will do everything all the time, with minimal technical understanding. I'm sure a good mass market product that meets your needs is on the horizon though, that's the direction media is moving, you're not the only one who is looking for something that will play videos in a browser on a television. If you can hold off for a few more months you'll probably save a lot of hassle and headache when the next big thing comes out whatever that might be.
     
  3. whoiswes

    whoiswes Senior member

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    maybe PlayOn + DLNA streamer (roku, WDTV, etc)???
     
  4. Omamder5

    Omamder5 Junior Member

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    Unfortunately, PlayOn still doesn't fit the bill, it gives no browser capability. And frankly, why would anyone pay for a service like PlayOn? Half of its functionality is entirely superfluous. If it requires a Roku or other device to stream to a TV, why wouldn't I just use my Roku? All of the devices it mentions (phone, tablet, streaming device) are completely capable of playing Netflix on their own, as you can download Netflix apps for all of them, or it comes built in. Some 'feature'...

    I guess I could also simply buy another cheap laptop, (Staples, where I work, often has some for $250) but we'd rather not have to get yet another computer in the house; our family already has seven including tablets and a playstation. Any more suggestions?
     
  5. WelshBloke

    WelshBloke Lifer

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    Crappy netbook and share files on the home wifi?

    Edit: oops just caught the end of your last post. Scratch my suggestion.
     
  6. Omamder5

    Omamder5 Junior Member

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    Seeing as CES is currently ongoing, and a few others (E3, that other big one in Italy(?)), I can understand why I should wait; with all the new tech stuff (Tegra 4, lots of different TV's, gaming consoles, etc), something might just come up.


    This was actually an idea, maybe just get some crummy $200 one with HDMI and be done with it. Not ideal, but if I have to...I'd just rather spend the money on something else, like a next-gen Nexus 7 or something.
     
    #6 Omamder5, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  7. Omamder5

    Omamder5 Junior Member

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    Okay, well the problem's been solved!

    Instead of a netbook, I came into Staples today and bought an actual desktop, and not a bad one, considering the price. It was a Compaq with 4 gigs of ram and running Windows 7, and the final cost came to...146 dollars! That's with tax, an incredible deal because it had been on clearance for ages. Wasn't even a demo.

    I'll just hook this one up next to my tv. I know I said I didn't want another computer, but for less than 150 bucks, it's hard to pass up. I guess I'm set. :D