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Make your HDTV Web-ready

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:01 AM

Post your comments for Make your HDTV Web-ready here
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#2 User is offline   gk_brown 

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  Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:22 AM

The author of the article concludes that "the set-top box’s place in the future of smart TV is iffy at best. You can’t really do much besides watch the ported Web video". Yet earlier in the article he mentions that with an Apple TV "...you’ll be able to stream your existing iTunes content from your home network’s iTunes libraries. Plus, the Apple TV offers access to Netflix streaming, baseball and basketball subscriptions, TV show and movie rentals, Flickr galleries, YouTube videos, and more. And the Apple TV supports AirPlay, which lets you stream certain content directly to your TV from a computer or iOS device." Doesn't sound all that limiting to me.

He goes on to say that "that may be okay for now, but we expect Web video to continue proliferating—and standard set-top boxes will struggle because they lack Web browsers." That's a pretty weak justification for forecasting the demise of the set-top box, not to mention that browser support could easily be added to any of these boxes by a future software update.
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#3 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:25 AM

View PostMacworld, on 06 July 2011 - 05:01 AM, said:

Post your comments for Make your HDTV Web-ready here


We have more than one TV. Some more connected than others. The title had me interested and the article promised a lot, but contradicts itself and fails to deliver, in my book.

Quote

" Don’t let all the TV and tech companies out there fool you, however. You have many ways to make your existing TV smarter, other than just buying a new connected TV with all the bells and whistles built in. You don’t have to purchase a brand-new computer or yet another set-top box, either. And you don’t have to let your cable-TV subscription ... "


And then it goes on to talk about:

a ) Purchase a new tv $1k-2k
b ) Purchase a set top box or game console
c ) Purchase a high end cable box + service
+ quick online rental overview
+ mini HDTV glossary.

So exactly how will an existing HDTV get connected?? if you don't have to buy a new "smart" tv, don't add a computer nor additional set-top box.

I guess, for a start, it would have been better had the 4th paragraph been deleted by the editor ;)

This post has been edited by icerabbit: 06 July 2011 - 06:27 AM

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#4 User is offline   lotusvball 

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  Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:31 AM

Actually SageTV is not really a "Set Top Box" maker. They are a software developer that happens to sell a set top box with their platform. Do the research before you write something.
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#5 User is offline   PressureDrop 

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  Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:35 AM

I recently wanted to watch Hulu on my big screen Pioneer TV. I have an Apple TV but it does NOT include a web browser. If you jailbreak it (which I have), there are a few options for installing a web browser. However, then you have to figure out how to navigate the browser using the Apple TV remote, text entry using an onscreen keyboard is a huge pain, etc.

Then I realized I could do everything I needed simply by buying a HDMI cable and video adapter and connecting my MacBook Pro directly to the TV. Total cost? Less than $10. It's perhaps not the most elegant solution, but it's definitely the most flexible/powerful.

When iOS 5 drops this fall, a new option will become available for Apple TV owners: streaming HTML5 video wirelessly from an iPad or iPhone.
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#6 User is offline   jpmhughes 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:21 AM

View Postlotusvball, on 06 July 2011 - 07:31 AM, said:

Actually SageTV is not really a "Set Top Box" maker. They are a software developer that happens to sell a set top box with their platform. Do the research before you write something.


Yes but icerabbit does have a valid point. What good is the software if there is no hardware to run it on?
In other words, SageTV may develop software but a set top box (or other hardware solution) is needed to run it.
Besides SageTV has been bought by Google now.

What is it with people and the snarky remarks too? "Do the research before you write something"
Is that really necessary?
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#7 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:54 PM

View PostPressureDrop, on 06 July 2011 - 08:35 AM, said:

...
Then I realized I could do everything I needed simply by buying a HDMI cable and video adapter and connecting my MacBook Pro directly to the TV. Total cost? Less than $10. It's perhaps not the most elegant solution, but it's definitely the most flexible/powerful.

When iOS 5 drops this fall, a new option will become available for Apple TV owners: streaming HTML5 video wirelessly from an iPad or iPhone.


Yes, an HDMI cable - or with a bit older mac a DVI-VGA adapter + VGA cable can do wonders - to bring ANYTHING to your big screen TV. Years ago there were issues though where MacBooks & PowerBooks didn't get the screen size and some other details right and you had to use a third party utility to get things displayed right.

I still look forward to giving AirPlay a whirl some time. I don't have an Apple TV nor a mac connected to a TV. We've used slimline PCs for years (could have been mac minis, but power, features & value ruled), pre-dating "smart" dvd players, blu-ray players & now Smart TVs.
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#8 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:11 PM

View Postjpmhughes, on 06 July 2011 - 09:21 AM, said:

View Postlotusvball, on 06 July 2011 - 07:31 AM, said:

Actually SageTV is not really a "Set Top Box" maker. They are a software developer that happens to sell a set top box with their platform. Do the research before you write something.


Yes but icerabbit does have a valid point. What good is the software if there is no hardware to run it on?
In other words, SageTV may develop software but a set top box (or other hardware solution) is needed to run it.
Besides SageTV has been bought by Google now.

What is it with people and the snarky remarks too? "Do the research before you write something"
Is that really necessary?


And what good is a box if the software has a bug and is left hanging by the hardware manufacturer, software developer or even the cable company screwed it up? Or a manufacturer goes out of business.

I think there is less to be concerned about when you deal with A & B-name brands and things like the Netflix app, and of course now there really is a large installed base, that things have to be supported properly.

But, I've learned the hard way that stuff happens, what you got is what you get and don't expect it to be supported very well. Even with Apple it can take years to get bugs/shortcomings worked out, if ever.

10 years ago I bought a pretty neat DVD player, touting as one of its features that it was software upgradable. First of its kind. No upgrades were ever released. They kept releasing newer models with the kinks worked out, newer firmware and feature xyz upgraded. (did not cause brand loyalty of course)

We have two A-brand DVRs we purchased which could backup recordings to optical media. Everything was fine and dandy for years, till Adelphia / Time Warner cable started messing with the public channel broadcasting the daily update (think TV guide data) containing station + show info for programming. Mfr blames local cable outfit, which was not motivated to fix it. I did get one or two firmware updates from the mfr under the warranty period, but then later it was considered EOL / obsolete because of the newer model that had been released. Quite fun under those circumstances to call them to try to get engineering to call TWC.

Anyhow, when it comes to tricking out the TV: keep it simple and don't spend too much, things go obsolete really soon.
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#9 User is offline   jpmhughes 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:52 PM

Quote

Anyhow, when it comes to tricking out the TV: keep it simple and don't spend too much, things go obsolete really soon.


Exactly. I have kept it as simple as possible.
I bought Playon.tv and I stream to a Wii from my Airport Extreme. I use the Wii for games and have it for streaming as well. I also use Medialink for other devices. Playon.tv has been pretty good though, I can even stream to an iPod Touch and many other devices are compatible.
On another TV I have an old PC hooked up to the TV and I use a wireless mouse. I watch my own DVR'd programs and watch Hulu using that setup.

This post has been edited by jpmhughes: 06 July 2011 - 04:53 PM

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#10 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:45 AM

View Postjpmhughes, on 06 July 2011 - 04:52 PM, said:

Quote

Anyhow, when it comes to tricking out the TV: keep it simple and don't spend too much, things go obsolete really soon.


Exactly. I have kept it as simple as possible.
I bought Playon.tv and I stream to a Wii from my Airport Extreme. I use the Wii for games and have it for streaming as well. I also use Medialink for other devices. Playon.tv has been pretty good though, I can even stream to an iPod Touch and many other devices are compatible.
On another TV I have an old PC hooked up to the TV and I use a wireless mouse. I watch my own DVR'd programs and watch Hulu using that setup.


Thanks for sharing, jpm

I had not heard about playon.tv Seems like a good thing for a very fair price :)
We're quite addicted to Netflix, Hulu, RedBox, ... ourselves. Mostly on the tv, but occasionally on something else while traveling.

I will read up on medialink a little as well. At first glance (macupdate) seems it gets some mixed reviews.
We personally probably don't need it but the more you read, the more you know :)
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#11 User is offline   ceej 

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  Posted 08 July 2011 - 04:20 PM

There's this thing called a TiVo. Been around about 12 years. Current version supports HD and many of the Internet connected features mentioned in this article. It's also the premiere DVR on the market. But I guess the author never heard of it.

This must be one of the most useless and ill-informed articles I've read on Macworld in a long time. I don't blame you, Macworld editorial staff. I blame your corporate overlords.
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