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  1. I'm a very savvy computer/PC person, but when it comes to home theater, media, and TV's, I have much less experience.

    I'll be moving into a new place soon, and I'm going to be buying a new TV and a new router. Now, in the past, what I might have done to watch Netflix and media files on my TV, is I would just plug a laptop into my TV via HDMI cable, and viola, I can play anything.

    Problem is that it isn't very elegant (though it is powerful). I know a lot of solutions exist. People have HTPC's, Roku or Boxee boxes, Chromecast, NAS drives, etc. All various ways to watch or stream HD wirelessly so they can watch stuff on their TV or tablets.

    I have many media files I'd like to watch on my TV, in addition to Netflix, Amazon, and various streaming services. My questions is what are the "best" solutions here?

    I know a console, or Roku/Boxee, or some TV's will be able to handle watching Netflix and stuff, that's easy. But what if I want to also stream or play media files as well? What are good ways to access and play those files wirelessly... and if so, what hardware (TV, boxes, router) are needed? Maybe something I can install XBMC onto?

    I understand there isn't any one answer. My problem is that I feel like there are many solutions to what I want to do, and I'm not really sure the best approach here. Thanks!
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  2. You need media player that supports network sharing, samba - windows sharing or DLNA. DLNA alone is not that elegant because you'd have to have some server running where video is stored. What's even more important, player needs to support a lot of codecs and containers or whatever you need it to play. Something like WDTV Live streamer. Check this site http://www.iboum.com/net-media-players.php for more suggestions.
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  3. I second Al's reply. Just use a WDTV Live and you will be happy. You can get refurbished ones on Amazon for $62 on up.
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin Rapids, WI
    Search Comp PM
    I use my xbox 360 to stream movies from sites like solarmovie without d/ling. the way i do it is.

    My pc runs and uses tversity.
    I go to solarmovie find the movie i want and when i finally get the movie to start playing on my pc. i use firefox's addon videodownloadhelper and copy the url.
    then i go to tversity add a new file, select internet add the url title it and save. less than 2 minutes i go to xbox. select my tversity server and play my movies. only problems ive encountered are rewinding and fast forwarding it take like 2-3 mins for a big seek. but my kids can watch their movies while i play counterstrike on same pc without a hitch.
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  5. A Roku3 with Plex installed on both it and the computer holding the videos you might want to stream will do everything you require.
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  6. I don't know about the Roke3, but older versions were very poor at playing media files. They didn't have wide support for containers and codecs. If I remember correctly they couldn't even access network shares.
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  7. Right, but that's why I mentioned installing the Plex channel on the Roku3 and the Plex Media Server on the computer. Yes, using the USB port on the Roku3 to play MKVs or the computer to stream them can be problematic, and it doesn't play much of anything else. But with Plex it plays about anything at all and the streaming of online content is unrivaled.

    Sure, something like a WDTV Live has maybe the best media file playing, but its online streaming is pretty basic. For me, the Roku with Plex combines the best of both. Others have different needs and will choose different options.
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  8. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    The Animus
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    Originally Posted by manono
    Others have different needs and will choose different options.
    Though it may be veering offtopic the wdtv leaves out the need for having to have the computer on. At least for the file playback portion.

    It's one less complication and you don't have to waste computer time or power or anything.

    But you do make a point about limited streaming options on the wdtv. As I don't have a live model I can't comment on that. I'll stand by your experience and let you discuss that part of the issue.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  9. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    United States
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    I have a WDTV Live Plus and a Roku 1, both served by Plex. Best of both worlds!

    The WDTV has a very limited number of channels compared to the Roku, but it will play the majority of video formats I throw at it. There isn't a dedicated Plex channel, but the Plex Server is recognized as a DLNA server.

    For ~$150 (100 for the WDTV and $50 for the Roku) I don't have to worry about file formats or limited channels. I just got a Harmony remote and now have one remote for everything.
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  10. I have a smart bd player (Samsung, I forget the model), 2 Roku's, one in the home theatre, and one in my bedroom, I use Playon, Playlater, and have it in HD. My workstation is running the Playon server. It is easy for a beginner to setup. I have Plex installed but I don't really use it anymore. Playon, Playlater, Playon HD are not free but I believe you can try them for free.
    It's not important the problem be solved, only that the blame for the mistake is assigned correctly
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  11. We are probably preaching to the choir. Tusker never came back to respond with a thanks or anything.
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -Carl Sagan
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  12. Member
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    Jul 2013
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    Australia
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    Originally Posted by TreeTops View Post
    We are probably preaching to the choir. Tusker never came back to respond with a thanks or anything.
    Your posts have not gone to waste. This thread has helped me out of my annoying stalemate.

    I'll be getting a WDTV Live Streaming so I can play the 4+GB-sized MP4 files on my external NTFS HDD on my TV.

    So thanks
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