I am new this topics. I like to learn more. I am now watch movie or video from web sites using my computer. I use a browser do to the web site and they provide a list of available movie and I just click on the one I like to watch it. My parents do not have computer. I was thinking of buying a hardware player to do the same thing for them. I start to do some investigation and have seen people talking about player supporting IMS and uPNP. I am not sure if they are the same thing and can do what I want. If I get a player that supports IMS or uPNP , do I just provide the player with the url (like what I did with my computer) and the player will display the same choice and I can just click a button and it will play it like computer. If that is the case, what player can do that ? (I prefer the regular PC type and not Apple because I am using windows)
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That hardware player if any exists still must access the web through some kind of browser in order for your parents to see the videos. I would just buy them a cheap laptop and be done with it. It should only take you a couple of minutes to write out the instructions on how to turn on the computer and call up a browser and input a URL. A big benefit of using a computer for your parents is they can email you too. Of course that would require some more instructions but it is doable.
Your point is well taken, especially laptops are relatively cheap these days. However I had tried before. They don't like the small laptop screen and the sound. They prefer big screens like 32" and above. Just for the sake of gaining knowledge in this area. Based on what you said, those web sites that offer movies are not using uPNP or IMS which those players claim to support. As I said I don't even know what is uPNP or IMS but from searching the web, I know that people are using IMS for watching movie over the internet.
Another thought is to use a blue ray player that can access the internet. Mine can access YouTube, Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Napster and the weather channel. However, you can't input a URL of just any site you want. You are limited to just a very few websites. There is no browser. To solve your concern about the small laptop screen, just purchase one that has HDMI out and buy a cable to hook up from the computer to the TV. But you would have to have internet access near the computer in order to get the websites that you want. I have found that DSL here in my area only provides the bare minimum speeds for accessing videos. In the end you will probably find that your parents will tire of setting up any system you have for them and just watch TV without any external stuff.
No computer !
do they have internet service ?
the hardware will Not work with out internet service
do you live in the same residence ?
can you set this up, pay for the subscriptions to NETflix or Hulu
I doubt they will be interested in youtube
They are both seniors and can do emails (took me a while to get them to learn). Giving them the complete instruction to start the computer and go to an URL is not difficult, They have an old 36" tube TV which they love and still in really good shape. Whatever suggested here are do-able for sure, A new laptop with HDMI and a new big screen. The support is the issue. If the computer does not boot or the url link is not working for whatever reason or any user error, I'll get a phone call and I have to go fix it ASAP. That's why I am thinking of something that is more turn key solution. I do have an option of upgrading the cable and give them more channels. Roger's will be laughing. Also I am not sure the current digital cable convertor will work with additional premium channel packages. The other option is to look for a media player (such as Oplay or equivalent). I believe those player will be turn key once you have it set up. Yes I properly have to upgrade their internet to higher speed. But that should cost less than cable package. If the player works, I can cut down on cable cost by going to more basic package or even drop it.
That tube TV probably won't have HDMI ports.
might find a 'media player' such as Sony, with a component video output
their 36" TV might have component video input option