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Thread: Internet-TV for dummies.

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    Member diomedes's Avatar
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    Internet-TV for dummies.

    I've currently got my boys laptop hooked up to the tv, so I can watch shows/youtube, check my favourite sites on the big screen. Well, he's gonna need this laptop back in a week when he goes back to school, so I have to figure something out. Is there a better way to do this than attaching a laptop? Any suggestions?

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    webmaster twistedsymphony's Avatar
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    I've heard a lot of good things about Amazon FireTV. It's designed specifically for Netflix/Hulu/etc.

    I don't know how good it is for YouTube support or other places where you might watch TV. There are other similar devices (like Roku) but they're all nearly identical in their functionality.

    Google Chromecast is an interesting solution too if you've got a SmartPhone or Tablet and Wifi in your home. You basically pull up a YouTube or similar video online and "broadcast it" to the Chromecast over WiFi. it's only $30 and it's worth having just for those times when you want to show a friend that video you saw without having to have them watch it on your phone.

    The best solution really depends on where exactly you're getting your content, AFAIK nothing can fully replace the functionality of a PC other than a PC, but if your viewing is mostly a few key services then there's probably a device or two that will work just as well.

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    Member diomedes's Avatar
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    thanks for the info. We would mainly be using it for general internet browsing and watching videos online. perhaps it would be best to just hook up another laptop? this setup works just fine for me, but having it through a tablet would be a bit more convenient.

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    webmaster twistedsymphony's Avatar
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    Web-browsing on your TV is not something any of these devices do. A Playstation 3 (as well as a PS4 and Xbox One) have web browsers built in, but they all suck. Usually whenever I've tried to use any of them I get frustrated with how slow and clunky they are or the lack of 3rd party pugins necessary to make many websites work, that I just give up and go find a computer to use instead.

    You might consider looking at an Android based "TV Stick" there are a lot of these devices around and they're pretty cheap ($50-$150). Nearly all of these are made by no-name Chinese companies. There are some good ones though, just make sure you read up reviews before you buy.

    It's basically an android based smart phone without any screen that is designed to plug into your HDTV and it can do anything that an android tablet or smartphone can do... which includes web browsing. they usually have built in Wifi and Blue-tooth and a few USB ports. typically you'll need to find some way of controlling it but they make wireless mini-keyboards with touch pads for this task.

    this is a newer model of a stick I've used in the past that worked pretty well, I can't speak to this one specifically but I was pretty happy with the performance and reliability of it's predecessor:
    http://www.amazon.com/Android-Quad-c...eywords=RK3188

    here is a keyboard that I've used for a PC that I have hooked up to my TV.. it worked well enough that I actually bought a second one for a PC that I have in a different room:
    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wirel..._bxgy_pc_img_y

    I needed something I could type on, but they do make more compact stuff geared for lighter use:
    http://www.amazon.com/Hausbell-H7-Wi...FH5HQ989RNVMNX

    ------------
    They do make mini Windows PCs designed for this too. They can be pricy though as they run in the $200-$500 range but they can do everything a Windows PC can do and they're designed to mount compactly on the back side of your HDTV.

    http://www.amazon.com/2-8GHz-Dual-Co...MXRWSF3DSYV9YS
    ^note that's a "barebones" system so you'll need to buy a harddrive and install windows yourself.

    Windows 8 actually lends itself really well for TV use.
    Last edited by twistedsymphony; 09-01-2014 at 12:01 PM.

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    Member diomedes's Avatar
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    Would this do the job? http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00I...A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB
    A bit more $$ than what you showed me, but still less than getting another pc/laptop.

  6. #6
    webmaster twistedsymphony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diomedes View Post
    Would this do the job? http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00I...A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB
    A bit more $$ than what you showed me, but still less than getting another pc/laptop.
    That would be a replacement for the TV Stick NOT for the mini PC I linked to. the ChromeBoxes run on Android so it's similar in functionality to your cell phone, which is pretty good but not as fully featured as a windows PC.

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