Need Advice - HD via Internet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-06-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll be retiring soon and need to cut my monthly expenses for HD programming. I thought I would be able to switch from my current satellite system to a system of internet-based connections such as Netflix, which I currently have, and add some services like Hulu, Vudu, and any others someone would recommend, that would: a> replace my current satellite feed, b> provide at least 720i programming, and not involve unique hardware boxes.
I have a 61" Samsung 1080p DLP set that I'm happy with and have a PS3, satellite STB, LG Blu-ray with Netflix (Instant Queue only), a laptop PC, and some older DVD and VHS equipment feeding the TV with a Pioneer 5.1ch audio receiver. What I wanted to do was replace the PS3 with a newer internet-ready Blu-ray player that would handle more services in a more sophisticated way (Netflix search for instance, and DLNA recognition). My wife is addicted to certain programs, largely from the SYFY network. I am considering the Panasonic BDT110 Blu-ray player which claims DLNA capability so I investigated some DLNA software I could run on a home server, Playon and Tversity, to feed programming to such a blu-ray player. But what I've discovered so far is that the programming available to play through this kind of software is dismal for resolution, some of the TV programming appearing to be no better than 240p YouTube videos. I have a 7mbps DSL feed that I'm going to upgrade to 12mbps (Qwest CenturyLink doesn't appear to be offering FIOS in my neighborhood - possibly ever!). And my home network is Gigabit but most of my devices can't interact at more than 100mbps because of older switch technology - but that should be sufficient for running HD feeds around the house locally and the 7mbps DSL has so far worked well with Netflix and their highly compressed HD programming. Netflix directly from the PS3 is watchable although nowhere near true HD. Netflix also works well with HD programming from the LG Blu-Ray player but can only access the Instant Queue. But Netflix HD fed directly through the attached 1.8GHz dual core Laptop to the TV is jerky - which I assume to be a processor horsepower problem since the laptop and PS3 are on the same network segment. And my problem with the PS3 is all the video formats the PS3 doesn't support when fed video from a network server - including tVersity feeds of local HD files that SONY declares corrupt but play on every PC in the house from Windows 2000 boxes through XP up to Win 7.
So against that context, what would anyone recommend as a way to get HD, albeit sometimes no better than 720 lines, through a home network off the internet? I have lots of computers to use as servers, I have a 100mbps network, and a 7mbps DSL feed I plan to upgrade to 12mbps - so what do I need to be able to serve quasi-HD feeds to the TV? And I am on a very restricted budget! Things like a Roku XDS or the Panasonic BDT110 are doable but not a lot more than that kind of money, i.e. under $150, but I need to know what other people have done that works to serve TV programming in quasi-HD from the internet - what software or hardware will actually work? So far I am unimpressed by Playon and TVersity and am assuming that subscriptions to Hulu and Vudu and a few others may get me the HD programming - but what box or software on a PC will serve that without major issues?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-09-2011, 08:34 AM
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I would say maybe post this over in the HTPC sub-forum? I would also maybe break it down into a list of questions so it's easier for people to consume, you'll probably get more responses that way
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-09-2011, 06:10 PM
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Well First off, you can only get DSL from Qwest / now Century Link, and you can only get FIOS with Verizon, as they compete each other for internet services....

I installed 2 shielded CAT6 wires, and 2 Quad Shielded RG6 wires to every tv / room in the house, I ran a Channel Mater 4228 OTA, HD antenna for local HD channels, I built a brand new HTPC for use with Cable TV, where I share to multiple tv's in the house with Media Center extenders to 6 tv's, and I'm running a 24 port managed switch, for bandwidth control.

I have the Qwest 12 meg service, and for the most part it works fine, but you have to remember that just because you order 12 meg service, your only gonna get around 10 megs, DSL works differently than cable internet, you have to order a faster speed of service to compensate for speed loss from your local DSL branch office....

The only real way to consolidate any costs, is doing what it looks like you want to do, I think that going to Hulu, netflix, and so on, these services are still developing, and what we as consumers have to worry about is BANDWIDTH, currently Internet service providers are playing games with regards to controlling the bandwidth to customers, and this will hurt the people wanting to go that route of Netflix or Hulu, as downloading a movie in 1080i or 1080p format will be a minimum of 15 to 20 Gigs of data, try doing that many many times a day, 7 days a week, that times how many people doing this, will result in a major hit to providing a massive amount of bandwidth needed to sustain that, meaning they are hanging a carrot in front of every ones eyes, with the cool factor of Hulu, and Netflix, but they will have to increase monthly fee's to pay for upgrading the sub-system of the typical internet speeds in this country, meaning 50 mega-bits/ minimum, up to 100 mega-bits.

Try downloading a Blu-ray movie, and then try using one or two computers at the same time, and see how fast your network is.....
You will have to start playing around with the different video formats, you can use secondary programs to convert files from AVI to MPEG, to use on multiple types of systems, PS3, Media Center, etc....

The real only way to consolidate your expenses, is to have over the air HD antenna, and you could buy an ATI HD tuner, and build your own DVR box, but, my bet, is that regular over the air tv will be eliminated in the next decade for sure, that was why Comcast bought NBC universal, that way, they would eliminate any Free option's of tv service in this country, they will push for a minimum monthly service fee, just to watch tv, and then the fight will grow into the internet system being upgraded, and everyone will be seeing their internet bills going up substantially, so trying to play the cheap route will be very difficult in the near future.....

So my main part of my post, is pick something you want to do, and go with it, as it's very very difficult to predict what's the best way to go, since this streaming technology is still in a development stage, and the " sugar coating " stage, to get everyone " Hooked " and then for them to increase the fee's Big Time!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-11-2011, 11:38 AM
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You should shift delete tversity for the time being, and use PS3 Media server. FYI.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-13-2011, 09:35 AM
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Look at the AVS main page, Netflix Raising rates, it's only a matter of time before everything is going up, will not matter what we want, it all will cost a lot...
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