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  1. Hi everybody,

    I have a Laptop and a 'TV with a USB enabled Set-Top-Box'.

    Laptop: Intel i3, Linux 17.2.

    The Set-Top-Box: Cable MPEG-4. Component video, Three-wire standard. Linux The Set-Top-Box has the USB facility [2Gb-7TB] on which programs can be recorded for later viewing.

    What I am attempting to do is;
    I want to copy other videos from other sources like Laptop, to the USB and view them on my TV.

    What I tried is;
    I disconnected the USB from the Set-top-box and mounted it on to the Laptop. However I could not open the contents, may be because of lack of an appropriate software that can read the files and also could not copy, paste files from-to the USB may be because of system permissions or File system differences. Since I am not well versed in computers, I do not understand much of what could be the problem.

    What I found was; after a bit of my tinkering here and there was that the file system on the USB is Ext3. On the Gparted it shows that the software embedded on the USB i.e the Set-Top-Box is Linux. Here below is the information got from issuing the 'fdisk -l' command.

    Disk /dev/sdb: 7951 MB, 7951351808 bytes
    1 heads, 62 sectors/track, 250483 cylinders, total 15529984 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0002e374

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 2048 15529983 7763968 83 Linux
    What I want to make possible is;
    Can the USB somehow be accessed and the videos from my Laptop converted to appropriate formats [I read that Set-Top-Boxes use the .trp formats] and copied to the USB, so that they can be viewed on the TV.

    I would very much appreciate any guidance towards achieving this.

    Kindly help.

    Thank you
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Can you mount the /dev/sdb in linux? Or does that not work at all? Or empty?

    You need to able to copy the files to the hdd without messing up the USB partition/file structure. But I guess it will be even harder to get your files in correct format so it plays on your set-top-box....so just get a chromecast or appletv.
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  3. Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Can you mount the /dev/sdb in linux? Or does that not work at all? Or empty?
    Yes I can mount the USB drive. And its contents are as shown in the screen shot below;

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Set-top-box Folders.jpeg
Views:	480
Size:	119.3 KB
ID:	35316

    Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    You need to able to copy the files to the hdd without messing up the USB partition/file structure.
    I was not able to copy the files, even with root privileges. Permission denied. The file structure is Ext3. The STB initially asked to format the drive when inserted for the first use. Just to test, I formatted the USB in Ext4 on my Laptop and inserted it in the STB. It didn't accept. But then I removed it and again reformatted it to EXT3 on my Laptop, and it accepted it! I was able to record a program and watch, as normal.

    Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    But I guess it will be even harder to get your files in correct format so it plays on your set-top-box
    Are there no Linux/Windows software available to convert MP4 or MKV files to the files compatible with the STB to watch on the analog TV?

    Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    so just get a chromecast or appletv.
    Just trying to save a couple of bucks, if it is possible. If it isn't then would go for the purchase option.

    Moreover it is a learning experience. I am just trying to find new ways of utilising the existing equipment.

    Thanks again Baldrick, for giving your time.

    Regards
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  4. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Can you play the rec.pvr with for example VLC Media player? Or try open the rec.pvr with mediainfo and see if it can see any video details. If not I guess it will hard to get your files in similar file format.

    Does the set-top-box manual mention anything about USB video-playback? Some boxes can play mpg, avi/divx/xvid files.
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  5. Thanks Baldrick,

    Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Can you play the rec.pvr with for example VLC Media player? Or try open the rec.pvr with mediainfo and see if it can see any video details. If not I guess it will hard to get your files in similar file format.
    No Baldrick, I tried but, they could not be played with VLC. The MediaInfo does not give much of information, except that its aspect ratio is 1.333333 and its size.

    Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Does the set-top-box manual mention anything about USB video-playback? Some boxes can play mpg, avi/divx/xvid files.
    There is no information in the manual regarding types of files compatible with the STB. However, I did something. I converted a HD video to two NTSC file, mpg and mp4 files and pasted it on the USB, after formatting it on the laptop to ext3. I even re-named one of them as rec.mpg. Then I connected it to the STB. But the STB did not find the files at all, the USB was shown to be empty!

    Thank you Baldrick for your compassion.

    Regards
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  6. Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    they could not be played with VLC. The MediaInfo does not give much of information, except that its aspect ratio is 1.333333 and its size.
    They're probably encrypted.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    I converted a HD video to two NTSC file, mpg and mp4 files and pasted it on the USB, after formatting it on the laptop to ext3. I even re-named one of them as rec.mpg. Then I connected it to the STB. But the STB did not find the files at all, the USB was shown to be empty!
    That's not surprising. External USB devices on cable/satellite PVRs are usually meant for storage in the PVR's proprietary (usually encrypted) format, not for importing other videos.

    Most laptops have video output ports (composite, HDMI) these days. Connect that to your TV. Or get a standalone media player designed exactly for this.
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  7. Thanks for coming, Jagabo.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    They're probably encrypted.
    Mostly, that may not be the case Jagabo. Because I have heard, and read on the Internet also, that people use Data recovery applications to copy these PVR files to their PCs and then convert them to MP4s or AVIs and watch those programs on their PCs. There are applications that can convert PVR files to watch-able formats, on the PC. But anyway, here we are discussing the possibilities of doing the other way round. Taking videos from PC to STB.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    That's not surprising. External USB devices on cable/satellite PVRs are usually meant for storage in the PVR's proprietary (usually encrypted) format, not for importing other videos.
    I suppose, if that same storage device is loaded with, other videos in appropriate format, the software on the STB wouldn't differentiate between it's own recorded files, and the one's that we loaded.

    My argument here is; the STB anyway is a video player in itself, besides other things, and I just want to see if we can make it play, my videos.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Most laptops have video output ports (composite, HDMI) these days. Connect that to your TV. Or get a standalone media player designed exactly for this.
    That's the easy path. But I was thinking of witty ways of harvesting the uncharted paths.

    Take for example the Canon printer. They came with cartridges that don't last longer. Then people modified it by fixing a Ink-Tank on it. Now the Canon company adopted the same thing. Now the newer Canon printer comes with an Ink-Tank fixed on it, on demand.

    Just exploring the opportunities available, if there were any.

    Thanks again Jagabo, for your input.

    Regards
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    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I have a Laptop and a 'TV with a USB enabled Set-Top-Box'.

    Laptop: Intel i3, Linux 17.2.

    The Set-Top-Box: Cable MPEG-4. Component video, Three-wire standard. Linux The Set-Top-Box has the USB facility [2Gb-7TB] on which programs can be recorded for later viewing.

    What I am attempting to do is;
    I want to copy other videos from other sources like Laptop, to the USB and view them on my TV.

    What I tried is;
    I disconnected the USB from the Set-top-box and mounted it on to the Laptop. However I could not open the contents, may be because of lack of an appropriate software that can read the files and also could not copy, paste files from-to the USB may be because of system permissions or File system differences. Since I am not well versed in computers, I do not understand much of what could be the problem.

    What I found was; after a bit of my tinkering here and there was that the file system on the USB is Ext3. On the Gparted it shows that the software embedded on the USB i.e the Set-Top-Box is Linux. Here below is the information got from issuing the 'fdisk -l' command.

    Disk /dev/sdb: 7951 MB, 7951351808 bytes
    1 heads, 62 sectors/track, 250483 cylinders, total 15529984 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0002e374

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 2048 15529983 7763968 83 Linux
    What I want to make possible is;
    Can the USB somehow be accessed and the videos from my Laptop converted to appropriate formats [I read that Set-Top-Boxes use the .trp formats] and copied to the USB, so that they can be viewed on the TV.

    I would very much appreciate any guidance towards achieving this.

    Kindly help.

    Thank you
    It is likely that your STB is limited to playing the trp files it creates. However trp containers are not governed by a standard, and can be different from one STB to the next. Based on past threads here at VideoHelp, the transport stream contained in a .trp is often encrypted as well, and the encryption method used wouldn't be the same for every STB.

    Given the proprietary nature of these files, it is very unlikely that you will find any software able to reproduce the trp container and encryption (if there is any) used by your STB. It would have to be custom written. Not only that, but the information required to create the custom software isn't public knowledge and readily available. It would have to be gained by analyzing the files themselves. Anyone who has the skills to do all that normally has better things to do with their time.
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  9. Thanks for coming, Usually_quiet.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    It is likely that your STB is limited to playing the trp files it creates. However trp containers are not governed by a standard, and can be different from one STB to the next. Based on past threads here at VideoHelp, the transport stream contained in a .trp is often encrypted as well, and the encryption method used wouldn't be the same for every STB.

    Given the proprietary nature of these files, it is very unlikely that you will find any software able to reproduce the trp container and encryption (if there is any) used by your STB. It would have to be custom written. Not only that, but the information required to create the custom software isn't public knowledge and readily available. It would have to be gained by analyzing the files themselves.
    Oh, that was quite informative Usually_quiet.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Anyone who has the skills to do all that normally has better things to do with their time.
    Ah, like digging the mountain to kill a mouse. So that ends the story.

    And I would like to ask one more thing, just for knowledge sake;

    Isn't it possible to entirely remove the OS on the STB and replace it with a free open source one, and still make the STB do what it does, plus do what I want it to do. Like I did it to my PC. Replaced Windows with Linux.

    Thanks for your painstaking teachings, Usually_quiet.

    Regards.
    Last edited by Anil Kagi; 22nd Jan 2016 at 21:02. Reason: Additions- Italics.
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    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post

    And I would like to ask one more thing, just for knowledge sake;

    Isn't it possible to entirely remove the OS on the STB and replace it with a free open source one, and still make the STB do what it does, plus do what I want it to do.
    No. An STB would run a proprietary,stripped-down version of Linux due to its very limited memory and processing power. If you attempted to install a FOSS version of Linux you would almost certainly completely disable the STB.

    Just get a media player, as others have recommended. I have seen some inexpensive players priced between $35- $40 sold online here that are still able to play a variety of video and audio formats and a fair number of container file formats.

    An example: http://www.amazon.com/AGPTEK-Player-Remote-Optical-output/dp/B00NXODS4K/

    There may be better devices available for a little more.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 22nd Jan 2016 at 21:41.
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  11. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    No. An STB would run a proprietary,stripped-down version of Linux due to its very limited memory and processing power. If you attempted to install a FOSS version of Linux you would almost certainly completely disable the STB.
    OK point taken.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Just get a media player, as others have recommended. I have seen some inexpensive players priced between $35- $40 sold online here that are still able to play a variety of video and audio formats and a fair number of container file formats.

    An example: http://www.amazon.com/AGPTEK-Player-Remote-Optical-output/dp/B00NXODS4K/

    There may be better devices available for a little more.
    Since I want to watch my videos from the Laptop on my Standard-Definition-TV [Can I post this here? Or should I start a new thread?]; how about connecting my Laptop to the SDTV, through a HDMI-RCA AV cable? I have a HDMI slot on my laptop and the 3-slot RCA on the SDTV. Here below is the image of a HDMI to RCA AV cable.

    Name:  HDMI to RCA AV cable.png
Views: 1173
Size:  93.6 KB

    Can I watch the videos from my Laptop on the TV, by connecting thus? Would it require a converter in between? If so; how bout converting the HD video to NTSC, with the help of conversion software in my Laptop and then relaying it to the SDTV? Though the quality of the video would be degraded, but still I would prefer it because I can watch it on a bigger screen.

    Thank you for being with me.

    Regards.
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  12. Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    how about connecting my Laptop to the SDTV, through a HDMI-RCA AV cable
    I don't know exactly where you saw that cable but it probably won't work. I bet if you look at the small print in the ad you will see something like "requires a digital to analog converter", or "this cable is not a signal converter." For example:

    http://www.amazon.com/VAlinks-Extension-Converter-Satellite-Projectors/dp/B00RMYVW4K/

    Unscrupulous sellers advertise cables like that knowing you're not going to demand your $5 back when you find it doesn't work. You need an HDMI to composite/audio converter box like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tendak-Composite-Converter-Adapter-Supporting/dp/B00KBQZC4M/

    That device accepts a digital HDMI signal and converts it to analog composite video and stereo RCA audio signals. The device also requires power from a USB port. I believe there are some devices that siphon power from the HDMI signals
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    STB ?
    What is it a dvd recorder box, a cable tv box, a satellite box
    Every one of these has encrypted files, you will not be able to play these on the pc or the tv
    You will need to play them and capture them real time with another device
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    Originally Posted by theewizard View Post
    STB ?
    What is it a dvd recorder box, a cable tv box, a satellite box
    Every one of these has encrypted files, you will not be able to play these on the pc or the tv
    You will need to play them and capture them real time with another device
    You need to read more carefully. The OP does not want to play recordings made by the STB on his laptop. The OP wants to play generic media files that he has obtained from other sources using the STB instead of his laptop. However, it appears the STB can only play its own recordings, not ordinary media files.
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  15. Thank you for being there, Jagabo.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I don't know exactly where you saw that cable but it probably won't work. I bet if you look at the small print in the ad you will see something like "requires a digital to analog converter", or "this cable is not a signal converter." For example:

    http://www.amazon.com/VAlinks-Extension-Converter-Satellite-Projectors/dp/B00RMYVW4K/

    Unscrupulous sellers advertise cables like that knowing you're not going to demand your $5 back when you find it doesn't work. You need an HDMI to composite/audio converter box like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tendak-Composite-Converter-Adapter-Supporting/dp/B00KBQZC4M/

    That device accepts a digital HDMI signal and converts it to analog composite video and stereo RCA audio signals. The device also requires power from a USB port. I believe there are some devices that siphon power from the HDMI signals
    I was aware that the cable functions as a signal transmitter, but not as a signal converter. However I was banking on, the video conversion software inside my Laptop.

    What if I use a 'Video converter' to convert my video, to NTSC and then play it on the VLC-MP and then use the above discussed HDMI to RCA-AV cable to transmit that signal to the SDTV? Why would that not work?

    And then there is another option I suppose. [I don't know whether I can mention this here, or have to start a new thread.] I have heard and read that, TVs, whether HD or SD, can be connected to the Laptops as an additional Monitor. And whatever is displayed on the Laptop monitor, is also displayed on the SDTV. I also have a slot on my Laptop, whose description in the manual is as below.

    "Monitor port: A port used to connect a monitor, TV or projector supporting a 15 pin D-SUB interface."

    The 15 pin D-SUB interface, refers to the projector I suppose, and not the TV. Or does the TV also, has to have it?

    How about this?

    How would that work? There is no mention of the requirement of a Converter here. Or is it understood?

    Thank you for your painstaking explanation and the links, Jagabo.

    Regards
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    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    I was aware that the cable functions as a signal transmitter, but not as a signal converter. However I was banking on, the video conversion software inside my Laptop.

    What if I use a 'Video converter' to convert my video, to NTSC and then play it on the VLC-MP and then use the above discussed HDMI to RCA-AV cable to transmit that signal to the SDTV? Why would that not work?
    Video conversion software won't help you. This is a hardware problem. To connect an analog TV directly to a computer, the computer's video graphics adapter must be able to output an analog composite video signal or some other analog signal the TV can use. The problem is that the HDMI output on a computer's video graphics adapter is strictly digital. That is why you need an external HDMI to composite converter.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    And then there is another option I suppose. [I don't know whether I can mention this here, or have to start a new thread.] I have heard and read that, TVs, whether HD or SD, can be connected to the Laptops as an additional Monitor. And whatever is displayed on the Laptop monitor, is also displayed on the SDTV. I also have a slot on my Laptop, whose description in the manual is as below.

    "Monitor port: A port used to connect a monitor, TV or projector supporting a 15 pin D-SUB interface."

    The 15 pin D-SUB interface, refers to the projector I suppose, and not the TV. Or does the TV also, has to have it?
    Yes, the TV would need a VGA port to use the 15 pin D-SUB interface. Some LCD TVs include a VGA connection, sometimes labeled "PC". Analog TVs don't, or at least I have never seen one that does.

    You need an external VGA to composite converter to connect an analog TV to a PC's VGA port.
    http://www.amazon.com/Converter-S-Video-Adaptor-Composite-cable-black/dp/B00543M8KI

    The best converters of this sort are more expensive.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 24th Jan 2016 at 01:23.
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  17. Thank you for being there, Usually_quiet.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Video conversion software won't help you. This is a hardware problem. To connect an analog TV directly to a computer, the computer's video graphics adapter must be able to output an analog composite video signal or some other analog signal the TV can use. The problem is that the HDMI output on a computer's video graphics adapter is strictly digital. That is why you need an external HDMI to composite converter.

    Yes, the TV would need a VGA port to use the 15 pin D-SUB interface. Some LCD TVs include a VGA connection, sometimes labeled "PC". Analog TVs don't, or at least I have never seen one that does.

    You need an external VGA to composite converter to connect an analog TV to a PC's VGA port.
    http://www.amazon.com/Converter-S-Video-Adaptor-Composite-cable-black/dp/B00543M8KI

    The best converters of this sort are more expensive.
    Oh this too got burst. Thank you all for bursting all my myths. However I have another thought. Just picked it from the Web. Here it goes;

    There is a software called "Plex". A media organiser that organizes audio and visual content from personal media libraries and streams it to mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming boxes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plex_%28software%29

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2020227/meet-plex-the-media-streamer-that-will-make-you...-and-hulu.html

    Now how about installing this application on my Laptop and then streaming the AV content to the STB, which would then transmit and display it on the SDTV.

    Is that possible?

    Are there appropriate cables available that can connect my Laptop HDMI or USB [whichever is needed for Plex streaming to materialize.] and the Coax? I searched the net for HDMI/USB to Coax cable, [Because that is what takes the input signal on my STB] I couldn't find any.

    Thank you for the informative post, Usually_quiet.

    Regards
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    Please post the make and model number of your TV.

    This will allow the forum members to ascertain what is or is not possible.
    wake up this planet is dying!
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  19. Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    There is a software called "Plex". A media organiser that organizes audio and visual content from personal media libraries and streams it to mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming boxes... Now how about installing this application on my Laptop and then streaming the AV content to the STB, which would then transmit and display it on the SDTV.

    Is that possible?
    I've never heard of an STB with a DLNA client built in. So it probably won't work.

    Regarding the HDMI/composite cable: it's possible (though not likely) your laptop has the ability to convert to composite and output at the HDMI connector. You'll have to check your manual. And you will probably need to buy the cable from the manufacturer as there is no standard for this.

    Beware of those cheap VGA to composite converters. They have tearing problems. And picture quality is pretty low (expected of composite video, of course).

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/361433-HTPC-Image-Quality-Problems
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/289827-Projector-Problem-Some-videos-smooth-motion-...=1#post1758608 (see second image)
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/283861-VGA-to-S-video?p=1756748&
    viewfull=1#post1756748


    I've never used any of the cheap HDMI to composite converters. They may suffer from the same problems.

    Also be careful about mirror mode on the laptop (ie, where the external monitor/TV is mirroring what's on the laptop's screen). HDMI (or VGA) to composite converters are usually limited to certain resolutions and refresh rates. So they may not work in mirror mode.
    Last edited by jagabo; 24th Jan 2016 at 08:52.
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  20. Member
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    There's an old saying
    Putting the cart in front of the horse
    In other words doing things backwards
    Just buy a cheap media player, put your files on USB stick, or USB hard drive
    Play it like a dvd etc.. Sony.. Roku etc.. There are many brands
    Your recorder setup box is only going to play certain formats, and they might be proprietary
    Not going to play your mkv and mp4 . Videos etc..

    Couple of years back I bought a Homeworx PVR, it records over the air broadcast hi deff tv in mts format
    It also play's back other formats, mpeg mp4 vob etc..
    $49 then now on sale for $35
    Even if you didn't use the record function, you get a good media player for a cheap price
    HDMI and composite video outputs
    And all the recorded files can be played and edited on my pc
    Nothing is encrypted
    Last edited by theewizard; 24th Jan 2016 at 11:10.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Regarding the HDMI/composite cable: it's possible (though not likely) your laptop has the ability to convert to composite and output at the HDMI connector. You'll have to check your manual. And you will probably need to buy the cable from the manufacturer as there is no standard for this.
    That would be rare indeed. The closest thing to that I have seen is a port on something other than a PC which resembles HDMI but is actually a dedicated analog connection intended to be used with break-out cable supplying various analog connectors.

    There used to be some video graphics adapters that could be configured to output composite on one pin of their VGA connection, and would allow the computer to connected to an analog TV using a special cable obtained from the manufacturer. ...and some video graphics adapters had a dedicated TV-out port that would allow a computer to be connected to an analog TV using a special cable obtained from the manufacturer.

    However, none of these features are likely to be available on a recent laptop because there isn't enough demand for them in a world where the use of analog TVs is dwindling.
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  22. Thank you Hamilton accie, for coming.

    Originally Posted by hamilton accie View Post
    Please post the make and model number of your TV.

    This will allow the forum members to ascertain what is or is not possible.
    I have given here below the specifications of the TV to the best of my ability. Forgive me for not doing that earlier.

    Company: BPL
    Model: FHR 15HA1, 53cms
    Television System: CCIR B/G
    Colour System: PAL, AV-NTSC
    Channels: VHF E2-E12, UHF21-69, X-Z+2, S1-S41, CATV Hyperband Channels.

    There is a page in the manual book in which a diagram is given under the heading, "Connecting other equipments". I am reproducing the page here below.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Connecting other equipments.jpg
Views:	181
Size:	3.07 MB
ID:	35368

    Thanks again Hamilton accie, for your compassion.

    Regards
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  23. Thank you for being there Jagabo.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I've never heard of an STB with a DLNA client built in. So it probably won't work.
    Why is it necessary for the STB to have a DLNA client built in? If an application like Plex, installed on the Laptop would transmit/stream AV signal to the STB, the STB should accept it as it would accept the regular incoming TV signal, without any problem? Or is there a catch there [The DLNA stream being different from a regular incoming TV signal, so the STB cannot accept it!]?

    I thought when Plex streams AV to STB, the STB would accept the signal like it does with the regular incoming TV signal and transmit it to the TV.

    If not; is there any other PC Application that would transmit the HD AV from the Laptop by converting it into a form that the STB would readily accept like it accepts the regular incoming TV signal?

    Hey guys, this was a very informative discussion. Thank you all wizards, for imparting me this education. Love you all.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Regarding the HDMI/composite cable: it's possible (though not likely) your laptop has the ability to convert to composite and output at the HDMI connector. You'll have to check your manual.
    I checked the Laptop manual. There is no mention about conversion details, in there. But I checked in the Mother board installation CD. I found an option to enable, that says "Using 'Easy Content Share', you can easily enjoy multimedia content from the connected DLNA devices in your home.". And it is enabled.

    How to know, whether my laptop has the ability to convert to composite and output at the HDMI connector?

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Beware of those cheap VGA to composite converters. They have tearing problems. And picture quality is pretty low (expected of composite video, of course).

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/361433-HTPC-Image-Quality-Problems
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/289827-Projector-Problem-Some-videos-smooth-motion-...=1#post1758608 (see second image)
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/283861-VGA-to-S-video?p=1756748&
    viewfull=1#post1756748


    I've never used any of the cheap HDMI to composite converters. They may suffer from the same problems.
    Thanks for the links.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Also be careful about mirror mode on the laptop (ie, where the external monitor/TV is mirroring what's on the laptop's screen). HDMI (or VGA) to composite converters are usually limited to certain resolutions and refresh rates. So they may not work in mirror mode.
    I shall take care.

    Thanks for, the concern and staying with me, Jagabo.

    Regards
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    never mind. The STB is an IPTV box.
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  25. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    And then there is another option I suppose. [I don't know whether I can mention this here, or have to start a new thread.] I have heard and read that, TVs, whether HD or SD, can be connected to the Laptops as an additional Monitor. And whatever is displayed on the Laptop monitor, is also displayed on the SDTV. I also have a slot on my Laptop, whose description in the manual is as below.

    "Monitor port: A port used to connect a monitor, TV or projector supporting a 15 pin D-SUB interface."

    The 15 pin D-SUB interface, refers to the projector I suppose, and not the TV. Or does the TV also, has to have it?
    Yes, the TV would need a VGA port to use the 15 pin D-SUB interface. Some LCD TVs include a VGA connection, sometimes labeled "PC". Analog TVs don't, or at least I have never seen one that does.
    Since my Laptop already has a monitor port, does it mean that an analog TV can be connected to it and used as a secondary monitor?

    Though my TV does not have 15 pin D-SUB interface, can I use a '15 Pin VGA to 3 RCA Composite AV Cable Adapter', [like the one in the link given below] and connect my Laptop to the SDTV?

    http://www.amazon.com/S-Video-Composite-Cable-Adapter-Converter/dp/B0087ZB1E4

    If this is possible, will the AV played on the Laptop be displayed on the TV, where both Audio and Video are available. I ask because, I read that the VGA transmits only video and one would need a separate audio cable to get the audio. But my TV does not have an exclusive audio input slot.

    Is the 15 pin Monitor port available on my Laptop, actually a VGA slot or something else? If it is the VGA, then by connecting the above mentioned adaptor, will the audio also be available on the TV? I have given the image of the slots on the Laptop below.

    Click image for larger version

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    Thanks for staying with me, Usually_quiet.

    Regards
    Last edited by Anil Kagi; 25th Jan 2016 at 01:45.
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  26. Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    Why is it necessary for the STB to have a DLNA client built in? If an application like Plex...
    Because a DLNA client is required to display video from a DLNA server. Plex is a DLNA server.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    I thought when Plex streams AV to STB, the STB would accept the signal like it does with the regular incoming TV signal and transmit it to the TV.
    Audio and Video aren't like water traveling over a dedicated pipe. They travel over a shared pipe and require specific electrical and software protocols, in this case DLNA.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    If not; is there any other PC Application that would transmit the HD AV from the Laptop by converting it into a form that the STB would readily accept like it accepts the regular incoming TV signal?
    You would need software (and hardware?) that supports the specific protocol used by your STB.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    I checked in the Mother board installation CD. I found an option to enable, that says "Using 'Easy Content Share', you can easily enjoy multimedia content from the connected DLNA devices in your home.". And it is enabled.
    That means your laptop already has a DLNA server installed. You would connect to a DLNA client through wired Ethernet or WiFi (the "shared pipe").

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    How to know, whether my laptop has the ability to convert to composite and output at the HDMI connector?
    Your manual would say so. Or contact the laptop manufacturer.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    Since my Laptop already has a monitor port, does it mean that an analog TV can be connected to it and used as a secondary monitor?
    Only if your TV has a VGA port -- which it doesn't.

    Originally Posted by Anil Kagi View Post
    Though my TV does not have 15 pin D-SUB interface, can I use a '15 Pin VGA to 3 RCA Composite AV Cable Adapter', [like the one in the link given below] and connect my Laptop to the SDTV?
    Just like the case with HDMI to composite cables, ads like that are there to steal your money. Read where it says "VGA to S-Video Cable will work with laptops and desktops with VGA cards that has TV-Out function capability through the VGA connector." Most people don't understand what that means -- the computer must output composite video, and line level stereo audio, at what looks like a VGA port. That's the small print they will refer you to when the device doesn't work with your laptop. And just like with HDMI to composite cables, there is no standard for composite video at a D15 connector. So in the off chance that your laptop supports it you would need the cable designed specifically for your laptop. Contact the laptop manufacturer to see if your laptop supports this feature.

    Face it, you're going to need a standalone media player that supports a connected USB drive, SMB (Windows network shares), or DLNA.
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    You can probably use a Vga breakout cable to supply a video signal to the TV
    But you will need stereo audio cable with headphone jack on one end and rca plugs on the other end to get sound from notebook to tv, just like using a VCR
    The tv had rca audio input jacks on it just for that reason
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  28. Monoprice's descript of their VGA to composite cable is the most honest I've seen:

    http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2509

    Your video card MUST be able to support s-Video or Composite out through it's VGA port. This is known as a TV out function. If you don't know if your video card can do this, then call the card manufacturer and ask them "Does my video card support S-Video or Composite Video out through its VGA port?"
    IT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH NETBOOKS OR ANY CURRENT GRAPHIC CHIPSET.
    In other words, fuggetaboutit.
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    Originally Posted by theewizard View Post
    You can probably use a Vga breakout cable to supply a video signal to the TV
    But you will need stereo audio cable with headphone jack on one end and rca plugs on the other end to get sound from notebook to tv, just like using a VCR
    The tv had rca audio input jacks on it just for that reason
    There are certainly 3.5 mm to RCA stereo cables that will work with the laptop's headphone jack to provide audio to the TV, but without any composite video to go along with that there is not much point in buying one.

    jagabo and I already covered the problem of getting composite video from a laptop's VGA port.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 25th Jan 2016 at 11:10.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Face it, you're going to need a standalone media player that supports a connected USB drive, SMB (Windows network shares), or DLNA.
    I agree. There are some small, relatively inexpensive media players with USB in and composite video out. The Micca Speck G2 is supposed to be a good one. There are also Android media players with composite out, LAN and WiFI which can probably run a Plex client or Kodi. Most of them cost more than a device that does not connect to a home network. I don't have a recommendation for one.
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