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Capturing Media Content Looking for Direction/Hardware

#1 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

Picture this -- I’m a refugee from the ancient VCR-world, having recently lost the ability to record an occasional favorite network show. It seems a minor luxury, but my beloved cable company went full-digital and now requires a DVR rental to perform that same function. I have an old 16:9 ratio 40-inchToshiba analog TV (1997) that looks terrific. Given the existing great-performance, I plan to upgrade only when it dies. In the meantime I’m interested in capturing that media content on the cheap, but am also most willing to invest in new adaptive-hardware. I’m not interested in a paid service (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.); mostly the ability to access the Net and the network streaming available there (PBS, tv.com, etc.).

Off and on I’ve researched numerous hardware/software options but have yet to settle on anything that I’m confident will serve my needs. Along those lines, I’ve read about recording a stream with software (CamStudio). It seems one cannot ‘download’ a video, but ‘recording’ is possible. My sequential thought there was to capture the content on my desktop; burn the file to disk and then play it on my DVD player. Not familiar with file protocol, I wonder if that’s viable (???). I don’t know; seems awkward.

Next. Having an Ethernet cable alongside the TV, I have also considered a direct connect to my netbook computer. The TV has both component and composite video input; the computer a VGA output. My research suggests that integrated converters for such arrangements don’t always work (???). Again; seems awkward, with a low functionality quotient.

Of late I am thinking I would like to sit conveniently in front of that old TV, with ability to surf the Net via a wireless keyboard and stream items that catch my fancy. Recording of same would be a plus. In that regard (and consistent with the recent PCWorld article), would something like the Western Digital WDTV Live Hub product be viable for me? At this point I would appreciate some comment on my research and advice on best options.
Thank you,
TheKingfish
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#2 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:48 AM

Ok, the VGA to component output is easily do-able, and typically quite easy to work with. The only problem here, is that there really aren't any "cheap" DVR options. There are options I will gladly mention in a few moments, but understand, the cheapest methods will cost about $100 in parts and only give you so-so results. The best options will run about $400.

DVD's use a format called MPEG 2. Most video recording devices on a typical PC do NOT use MPEG2, unless specified by a hardware encoded capture card. This means, you will end up capturing in a more 'typical' format, then going through a rather long conversion process. To be honest, this is anything but ideal.

For an ideal setup, what you are going to want, is a tuner that can handle your digital cable natively. There are very few such creatures that can capture encrypted digital cable. The Ceton 4 is your best bet - expect it to run about $400 though. That card can record 4 channels at once, including ALL digitally encrypted channels that you are subscribed to. The only exception will be on demand content. The Ceton 4 is also Windows Media Center friendly. Windows Media Center provides a very nice interface for such recording.

Less than ideal, would be a tv capture card coming off the digital set top box. Basically, you just feed the current channel to the PC, and let it record. Done correctly, you can also allow the PC to take control of the set top box, and once again, use Windows Media Center to record the tv. These tuners range from very, very cheap ($25) to moderately priced ($150). The best suggestion here, is a Hauppage PVR card with what they call the "ir blaster".

Hope that helps.

EDIT: FYI - The PC hardware dependencies will vary greatly depending on the hardware you choose. Should you choose a cheaper capture card, you could end up needing a very powerful PC to handle the on-the-fly encoding. While the Hauppage, and the Ceton cards typically do all the work, and require very little PC power, just decent hard drive transfer rates.

This post has been edited by waldojim: 10 December 2012 - 12:52 AM

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" -- Isaac Asimov

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#3 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

I have loads of friends who are in the same boat as you. I've helped them maintain an analog VCR and TV with converter to record those network shows. One user calls his little den with his setup, his "wayback" machine. I use a stand alone VCR/DVD recorder to tune and record after converting. Then a two hour tape can be copied to DVD for burning. Once I get it on DVD, I can copy off to my computer and do editing and reburn to another DVD. Most often I do that process with copies of VHS-C tapes from a camcorder. Capturing a stream for later burning is easiest from the computer, but can be done from the display line instead but usually requires you watch/record. Streaming is subject to many interuptions, mostly outside your gateway. I've tried many video capture devices, plug in cards and USB, finding drivers to be a serious fault and often refuses to work with patches. Generation of a system with a media center in mind needs the capture device to be the first drivers added to insure they get first assignments.As an extra added after a system is completed, drivers clash and lockups occur.

This post has been edited by mjd420nova: 10 December 2012 - 07:58 AM

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#4 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

View Postwaldojim, on 10 December 2012 - 12:48 AM, said:

For an ideal setup, what you are going to want, is a tuner that can handle your digital cable natively. There are very few such creatures that can capture encrypted digital cable. The Ceton 4 is your best bet - expect it to run about $400 though. That card can record 4 channels at once, including ALL digitally encrypted channels that you are subscribed to. The only exception will be on demand content. The Ceton 4 is also Windows Media Center friendly. Windows Media Center provides a very nice interface for such recording.


You forgot to mention that a Ceton InfiTV 4 (whether the PCIe version or the USB version) requires a CableCARD from the cable company. And since most cable companies are greedy, they likely will charge a monthly rental fee for that card.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#5 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

View Postsmax013, on 10 December 2012 - 11:39 AM, said:

View Postwaldojim, on 10 December 2012 - 12:48 AM, said:

For an ideal setup, what you are going to want, is a tuner that can handle your digital cable natively. There are very few such creatures that can capture encrypted digital cable. The Ceton 4 is your best bet - expect it to run about $400 though. That card can record 4 channels at once, including ALL digitally encrypted channels that you are subscribed to. The only exception will be on demand content. The Ceton 4 is also Windows Media Center friendly. Windows Media Center provides a very nice interface for such recording.


You forgot to mention that a Ceton InfiTV 4 (whether the PCIe version or the USB version) requires a CableCARD from the cable company. And since most cable companies are greedy, they likely will charge a monthly rental fee for that card.

Yeah, I forgot about that. Sorry, but in most cases the cablecard is cheaper than a set top box anyway, not to mention the DVR service.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" -- Isaac Asimov

Steam Machine: MSI 970A-G46, AMD Phenom 955 @ 4.0Ghz, 8GB Gskill ram @1600mhz, 128GB Plextor M5s, EVGA GTX 550Ti
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#6 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Not to be ungrateful, but for me the DVR is not an option. The cable company is the very entity that torched my VCR contentment. I know of other companies that continue to send a dual signal (digital/analog), which allows recording to remain a valued no-cost customer benefit. My company’s single-signal offer is to charge $XX for a DVR rental or $X for a card. While some might think my posture strident, my future-plan does not include sending them one penny more than the monthly service fee (an amount that increases with stunning regularity).

There are legions of folks who hate their cable provider. Sadly you may count me among them, now pressed into doggedly pursuing a work-around. Even though it’s existing and inexpensive, I am trying to look beyond the old (VCR) and toward technology that will serve in future. To that end, research points me toward the WD Live Hub product. It seems capable and efficient (???). Given the circumstance, and the benefit of forum people’s experience, will that product serve me?
Thank you,
TheKingfish
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#7 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:23 PM

View PostTheKingfish, on 10 December 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

Thanks for the feedback. Not to be ungrateful, but for me the DVR is not an option. The cable company is the very entity that torched my VCR contentment. I know of other companies that continue to send a dual signal (digital/analog), which allows recording to remain a valued no-cost customer benefit. My company’s single-signal offer is to charge $XX for a DVR rental or $X for a card. While some might think my posture strident, my future-plan does not include sending them one penny more than the monthly service fee (an amount that increases with stunning regularity).

There are legions of folks who hate their cable provider. Sadly you may count me among them, now pressed into doggedly pursuing a work-around. Even though it’s existing and inexpensive, I am trying to look beyond the old (VCR) and toward technology that will serve in future. To that end, research points me toward the WD Live Hub product. It seems capable and efficient (???). Given the circumstance, and the benefit of forum people’s experience, will that product serve me?
Thank you,
TheKingfish


Do you have a cable box (not DVR)? Cable companies do tend (right now) to provide at least one cable box for free. If so, it likely has analog video outputs (at least composite video output, but maybe S-video). If this is the case, then you should be able to hook up your VCR to the cable box and record shows. You won't be able to use the VCR tuner, so you won't be able to have the VCR automatically change channels using the timer function to record, but you will be able to manually record shows and change channels through the cable box.

You can do a similar thing with an analog TV tuner card. And many of those cards will come with an "IR blaster" function that will allow the computer to control the channel of the cable box. You can then use the computer as a DVR. This is basically what waldojim was talking about in the fourth paragraph of his original post.

Note that both of the above options will result in recordings are only in SD. While you will be able to record HD channels, they will be recorded in SD.

If you want to record HD channels in HD, then you will need to go the route of the Ceton card (or something similar...there are a couple other options) with a CableCARD.

As to the WD Live Hub, whether it serves you will depend on what you are looking for it to do. By itself, it will only stream content to the TV...either from Internet sources (such as Netflix, etc) or from you computer or from the hard drive in the Live Hub. The content from your computer or the hard drive will need to come from other sources (i.e. recording content streamed to the computer, content downloaded from the Internet, etc). If you don't have a way to get that content to the computer, then you are left with streaming service that the WD works with.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#8 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Thanks for taking the time to explain all that you did. I’m off line for two days but will think about your content regarding the IR blaster function and the computer as a DVR.

FYI I do not have a cable box; such an item was initially free from the cable company, but there is now a monthly fee. I have something called a transport adapter, which is a small bare-bones input/output unit that converts digital to analog.

As to the WD; beyond the usual services, wouldn't it broadly access the Internet via the Ethernet cable connect? My thinking was that my TV screen would essentially become a computer monitor, with the WD providing streaming/recording functionality.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
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#9 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:35 PM

On your collective input and further reflection, it would seem the lack of a cable box severely limits my options (IR blaster, etc.). A friend had me revisit the netbook link-up, but my 1997 TV does not have a VGA input which would constitute the cleanest connection. One alternative would be going into the TV component video via the computer VGA output. To contradict my earlier research, does anyone per chance have a positive outcome on integrated converters of that type?

No one took on the question in my last post, so will surmise that the WD Live Hub product is the best game in town for me. Given that assumption and that network streaming/recording is my primary goal, I will lay out the $185 and hope for success. Prior to purchase I’m all ears if you have any more thoughts.
Thanks,
TheKingfish

This post has been edited by TheKingfish: 14 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

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#10 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

I don't believe that anyone here has used the WD Live Hub product. It is hardly fitting to call it a solution, given that there are no known users of such a thing. Once more, the best suggestion I have remains the same. Use a CableCard ready TV Tuner. Yes, you will still have the $3~$5 monthly fee. Compared to the (typical) $15~20 charged for a DVR, this is reasonably cheap. The WD Live Hub you are referring to will either require the same Cable Card to receive encrypted channels, or require a set-top-box of it's own. Truthfully, I personally wouldn't pay the $185 for that device.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" -- Isaac Asimov

Steam Machine: MSI 970A-G46, AMD Phenom 955 @ 4.0Ghz, 8GB Gskill ram @1600mhz, 128GB Plextor M5s, EVGA GTX 550Ti
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#11 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:30 AM

View PostTheKingfish, on 11 December 2012 - 09:39 PM, said:

As to the WD; beyond the usual services, wouldn't it broadly access the Internet via the Ethernet cable connect? My thinking was that my TV screen would essentially become a computer monitor, with the WD providing streaming/recording functionality.
Thanks,
TheKingfish


Depends on what you consider when you say "broadly access the Internet". If you mean use a browser to browse the web, then I don't think so. I believe you limited to the "online services" listed here:

http://wdc.com/en/pr...cts.aspx?id=570

I will note that one of them is Hauppauge, which allows you to use a WinTV tuner to the WD Live Hub, but it will suffer from the same restrictions as using a tuner in your computer...it will not handle encrypted channels unless you have a cable box.

The point is that it looks like the WD Live Hub restricts you to content you already have (videos, music, pictures) that you stream from your computer or play from the hard drive on the device OR the "online services" listed on the link above. Thus, if there is some other Internet streaming service you want to use on it other than what is listed on the link above, you likely are outta luck.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#12 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

Much thanks for your continued good input. While it took research and time to sink in, I think the WD hardware is probably not the answer. I now ‘get’ that the WD is a DLNA-compliant device that requires linkage to a DLNA-compliant computer, and that requires the aforementioned card from the cable company. That $5/mo card is a consideration, but in my case I would also need to add a $25/mo cable box. And since I’m a stone-cold minimalist where the cable company is concerned, I can’t quite swallow that hard. So in end, it took your collective perseverance for me to see the light. Thank you.

Quite frankly, if it were only the five bucks I might be persuaded to bend my principle ever so slightly. However, I recently heard a new horror story about the cable company that bolsters my resolve to keep me from venturing deeper into their web. My friend’s cousin has the full-price service deal (DVR, video on demand, etc.). Included was the usual pay-for apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.), with free everything-else that one can normally access on the Net (networks, PBS, etc.). The benevolent cable company has tightened the noose; he must now pay them to send virtually everything except the networks. He’s furious for that, plus knowing there will come a time when he’ll actually pay for all freebie things on the Net, out of sheer connective convenience.

And maybe there will come a time when I will also pay the mega monopoly in that very same way……………..just not yet.

So, where to go from here? I think I am going to pursue the very first tact in my original post. Devoid of all things TV/cable, I’m going to stay on the computer side of the equation and attempt to stream-record via the referenced software (CamStudio). If I can successfully run the media into my netbook, I would then only have to conquer the video connection to my old TV. With some luck, I can get an integrated converter to push that media out of the computer VGA port and into the TV component video. If anyone has any hints to assist that radical plan, I am (again) all ears.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
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#13 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

View PostTheKingfish, on 15 December 2012 - 08:36 PM, said:

Much thanks for your continued good input. While it took research and time to sink in, I think the WD hardware is probably not the answer. I now ‘get’ that the WD is a DLNA-compliant device that requires linkage to a DLNA-compliant computer, and that requires the aforementioned card from the cable company. That $5/mo card is a consideration, but in my case I would also need to add a $25/mo cable box. And since I’m a stone-cold minimalist where the cable company is concerned, I can’t quite swallow that hard. So in end, it took your collective perseverance for me to see the light. Thank you.

Quite frankly, if it were only the five bucks I might be persuaded to bend my principle ever so slightly. However, I recently heard a new horror story about the cable company that bolsters my resolve to keep me from venturing deeper into their web. My friend’s cousin has the full-price service deal (DVR, video on demand, etc.). Included was the usual pay-for apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.), with free everything-else that one can normally access on the Net (networks, PBS, etc.). The benevolent cable company has tightened the noose; he must now pay them to send virtually everything except the networks. He’s furious for that, plus knowing there will come a time when he’ll actually pay for all freebie things on the Net, out of sheer connective convenience.

And maybe there will come a time when I will also pay the mega monopoly in that very same way……………..just not yet.

So, where to go from here? I think I am going to pursue the very first tact in my original post. Devoid of all things TV/cable, I’m going to stay on the computer side of the equation and attempt to stream-record via the referenced software (CamStudio). If I can successfully run the media into my netbook, I would then only have to conquer the video connection to my old TV. With some luck, I can get an integrated converter to push that media out of the computer VGA port and into the TV component video. If anyone has any hints to assist that radical plan, I am (again) all ears.
Thanks,
TheKingfish


In theory, you should only need the CableCARD. Unless your cable provider requires you to also get a cable box, there should be no need for a separate cable box. The CableCARD goes in the Ceton tuner card in your Windows PC (or one of the few other options that use a CableCARD such as this: http://www.silicondu...odels/hdhr3-cc/ ). Either will then allow you to watch all your cable channels on your computer and even record those channels.

And even if you are required to get a cable box, it should not cost $25 unless your cable company is incredibly greedy. $25 would likely be for a cable box WITH A DVR IN IT. You should be able to get a plain vanilla digital cable box, which typically right now many cable companies will provide at least one for "free" (the cost is kind of built into your cable package). And that should cost you $5 to $10. For example, Comcast charges me an additional $9.95 for my second cable box. I then get charged $7 for the DVR function on top of that since my second box is a DVR. My primary "cable box" is free, but then I pay $7 for the DVR "part" of that cable box. So, basically that means that they charge $9.95 for a "plain vanilla" cable box and $16.95 for a cable box with a DVR.

OTOH, if you do go the route of using the software to record the streaming content, then those recordings in theory should actually work with the WD Live Hub. The videos you create with the stream recordings software should work like any other video file on your computer and that should work with the WD Live Hub.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#14 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:46 AM

After some thought and even a little discovery on my own, there is a solution, or was for me and may for you but is dependant on your equipment configuration. In a sense I created a channel 3 network. A full matrix switch would be most efficient but wiring direct works too. I took the output of the DVR/receiver, channel three, coax, input to the VCR, I can also feed the VCR with composite video/audio. Outputs from the VCR, coax into a switch if multiple devices or just to the coax input to the TV. The composite outputs can also be routed to the TV or any other device. This is the analog world. The house was already wired for coax throughout so routing to other devices was too simple. On a home/theather setup, cable, composite and coax, can be short as needed, leaving the composite wiring the most accessable. Recording in HD modes from composite sources can give mixed results. Playing HD content over analog displays are even more problematic. Cable boxes control that single output and with DVR multiple tuner units, still have to wait for the broadcast time to record content. My solution was to get a seperate cable box with the basic service and an analog/composite output, just for that VCR, I used it for recording audio tracks from their freebie music feed. But the cable box has to be set for the proper channel to output the composite/coax content, then the VCR has channel select and time. It gets more confused for those users who are using OTA and a DA converter on the antenna feed to an analog device. Mixing the two worlds can be confusing and many users dump everything remotely analog and start over again digital. Expensive but completely viable for now and the forseeable future. Then again, who knows what the next technology leaps will bring, a TV/Internet on your wrist??
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#15 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

Seizing on your OTOH comment (going the route of using the software to record streaming content; the videos created should work like any other video file). As you say, the WD should work for that in terms of file playback. However, it strikes me that the less expensive Roku box with-USB-port would also serve the same function (file playback). Does that sound like a better fit in my case?

My next stop is the CamStudio software and all that it brings (or does not bring). That will be a new frontier for me, so I may continue in the begging-for-advice mode. You’ve all been very helpful.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
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#16 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:28 AM

View PostTheKingfish, on 16 December 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:

Seizing on your OTOH comment (going the route of using the software to record streaming content; the videos created should work like any other video file). As you say, the WD should work for that in terms of file playback. However, it strikes me that the less expensive Roku box with-USB-port would also serve the same function (file playback). Does that sound like a better fit in my case?

My next stop is the CamStudio software and all that it brings (or does not bring). That will be a new frontier for me, so I may continue in the begging-for-advice mode. You’ve all been very helpful.
Thanks,
TheKingfish


The Roku likely will work as long as you get the videos into a file format it supports. I am not sure if it is as "versatile" in terms of supporting different file formats as the WD Live Hub (WD made a point of saying they supported a lot of file formats). This should not be a problem, but maybe a little more work if CamStudio uses some file format that a Roku does not like (I kind of doubt that will be the case, but you never know).

And I believe Roku has a "channel" (kind of like an app) that would allow you to stream from Windows Media Center on your computer.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#17 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

Well, it’s been two months since I last posted, but I thought I’d check in to share my current status and the road traveled. Most of that time was spent attempting to get the freebie CamStudio software to record Internet video content (TV websites). The good news was the generous help received throughout the process on the CS forum; excellent people. In the end it was a long arduous road for me, without success. I could share the gory details but suffice to say the mostly-developed software requires (1) a number of supplemental downloads, (2) internal settings that are crucial, (3) attention to detail and (4) patience. The bad news was that my desktop Vista audio card was weak and ultimately an insurmountable obstacle. Bottom line – that mostly-developed software works for some, but not all.

My other news is that I have a conventional-cable new-install bundle coming next week. It’s a deal where U-Verse (w/free DVR) just became available to me following many years of a nasty relationship with Comcast. I know that’s shocking to most readers; a cable company in disfavor. So, although I have now succumbed to fully embrace The Man (DLNA compliancy), I will soon have mainstream record capability for TV content. You might recall that was my original goal, given the cable company (digital feed) neutralization of my beloved VCR.

Given that AT&T hardware and an Ethernet cable alongside, my next/last task will be to bring a web browser onto my long-standing analog TV (w/component input). I’m thinking ability to browse and video stream, not a subscription service (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.). I am also thinking I’d like a convenient hands-on wireless keyboard and touchpad arrangement from my easy chair. My DVD player could use an upgrade to Blu-ray, so that’s another consideration. Any thoughts as to peripheral hardware that would best do the job here?
Thanks,
TheKingfish
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#18 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:47 PM

View PostTheKingfish, on 21 February 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

Given that AT&T hardware and an Ethernet cable alongside, my next/last task will be to bring a web browser onto my long-standing analog TV (w/component input). I’m thinking ability to browse and video stream, not a subscription service (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.). I am also thinking I’d like a convenient hands-on wireless keyboard and touchpad arrangement from my easy chair. My DVD player could use an upgrade to Blu-ray, so that’s another consideration. Any thoughts as to peripheral hardware that would best do the job here?
Thanks,
TheKingfish


Keep in mind that an analog TV will have a resolution of 640x480. That may be fine for you, but you do need to keep that in mind.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#19 User is offline   TheKingfish 

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Oh yeah, the 640x480 resolution is fine; producing a great picture. Although it is now a gray-beard 16 years old, the set was cutting-edge at time of purchase. It’s 40-inch and 16:9 ratio; size parameters that are conventional by today’s standards. Had this platform been the old 4:3 ratio I would likely have moved on long ago. I’m a cinema buff so the size is perfect for me. Add to that, I’m one that’s ever-reluctant to prematurely inflate our landfills. That’s the profile -- strange as it may seem.

The want of Blu-ray may also seem incongruent here, but has little to do with picture-view and a lot to do with disc availability. I live in a locale served by an excellent library, so free and wide-ranging video is a staple. With the library’s growing Blu-ray offerings, a new player would allow me to tap into their full collection.

I expose my naiveté here but, in spite of the pop culture hype for interconnectivity, I wonder how feasible my quest for adaptive web browsing on the TV really is. In my case there is the analog TV aspect, but that should be surmountable. Note that no one on this forum has rushed in with an easy-connect low-cost answer. Again, with the buzz I thought it would be just about finding the right information/hardware. You know, here’s (1) the Ethernet cable; here’s (2) an innovative little box; here’s (3) the hands-on portable keyboard >>>>> Homer can now browse the Internet from his easy chair.

Okay, let’s go to ground and switch gears here. So as not to be myopic, it’s reasonable to also evaluate current available technology. That is, television that blends the sought-after Internet connectivity for a price. A brief sweep through the big-box store shows Samsung has their trademarked Smart TV while other top brands have comparable items labeled Internet TV. A browser is built in (Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable connect) and an accessory keyboard can be had. Comparing apples to apples relative to size, the floor price of a 40-inch set is about $1100. That’s generally a high-end model in terms of having a premium refresh speed.

In the end, I wonder if holding onto the old box will pay dividends in the sense of being a bridge to wondrous new technology that’s just around the corner. Or with the aforementioned blend, has that cutting technology largely arrived? Let’s face it we’re not too far removed from the already old-hat 3D-feature marketing phase. Since 2010 a little bird has been telling me to wait that one out.

So it comes down to two obvious questions. Is there reasonable hope for my current adaptive quest? And the contrast; is it worth the effort in light of current product on the street? As always, your thoughts are much appreciated.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
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