Newbie questions regarding TV/Hard Drive/WiFi Setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-19-2013, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi there

I am a bit lost with all the different devices and things that I could or can get and use

There is Apple TV, Boxee, Roku, WD Live TV and Android TV, not to forget to mention the build it yourself PC types and the list goes on....

What I am seeking is a device that has wireless capability to join the WiFi home network and the Internet (if need be)

The key features that I require are:

* Ability to connect external hard drive (up to 2TB)

* Ability to access the hard drives contents over the WiFi with the hard drive still connected to the device (Very important)

* Ability to have subtitles/closed captions by way of .srt files

* Can play .mkv .avi with files reaching up to 10GB in size

* Output to 1080 with HDMI
Anything else is a bonus (Especially being able to record TV (With Subtitles!) This would be a nice feature)

The whole purpose of this device is so that I do not have to take the hard drive off the TV and take it upstairs copy the files onto it and then take it back downstairs again (My TV plays .mkv through the USB input and also supports Subtitles) - It is a Samsung TV that also uses AllShare but I do not use this function but would be willing to if there was a device that could do this.

I can only have WiFi because I don't want to spend lots of money to get cat6 run through the house down to the TV.

I realize that by having WiFi if I was streaming from the Internet there is a possibility of cut outs - but this will be used primarily for playing back .avi and .mkv files that I will be copying onto the hard drive hence the ability to be able to copy and paste files into the hard drive from my PC wirelessly so that I dont have to carry the damn thing up and down the stairs all the time.

I've thought of setting up an old laptop but I don't have one powerful enough to do what I need so I would rather spend the money on a device specifically made for this. Speaking of money - I am fairly cost conscious so I would like to try to keep the price under $100.00

* Also I do not want my PC to have to be on in order to stream over the WiFi - I want it to run directly from the hard drive
I have thought of getting a Wireless Access Point that has a USB port that does DLNA and plug this into the TV using the AllShare feature (Not sure if this will work or not though) - This would probably be the cheapest bet and is 'always on'. ---- Possibly a TP-Link WR1043ND with the firmware changed over to DD-WRT or Tomato or something along those lines.
If this is a viable option please let me know.
In the good old days I would use a hacked Wii and I could access the files over the local WiFi and it would play back the movies all in one neat little box, except as we all know this has become a bit obsolete and will not play anything better than DvD Rips. So it's time to find the next best thing.

As I mentioned the subtitles are very important as I am hard of hearing.

If anyone could please give me some pointers I would very much appreciate it

Thanks and kind regards,

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-19-2013, 11:34 AM
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WDTV Live is what your looking for, does all that.

If router can run a DLNA server via USB drive then that is also an option but TV media player wont be as good as WDTV, also WiFi could be an issue. Ideally you'd want the Samsung TV and NAS both on an ethernet hub in same room for best peformance, you could get a WD powerline kit which includes an ethernet hub on both ends while running ethernet signal over power cables to router but your going to be pushing your budget higher with that and a NAS.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-19-2013, 11:57 AM
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WDTV hub has a built-in 1TB hard drive and usb port for external hard drive. It doesn't have wireless, so you'd need a bridge or AP to get it on the network.

If you don't want the built in hard drive, the regular WDTV will work for you too. It has usb.

What I'm not exactly sure about is an external hard drive being shared over the network. Is it automatically shared when you plug it in? Is that an option?

You are right about streaming over wifi - it will only cause problems with larger files. There are infinite variables, and it has worked for some people on here, but it generally is not recommended. Copying the files locally and playing them there is the right way to do it.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-19-2013, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Much thanks to Alx330 and ZmHD69PigQ for your inputs

I too shared the same question as ZmHD in regards to sharing hard drive contents of the WDTV over the WiFi

If the WDTV does not have a built in WiFi then setting up a AP is an option that I would be willing to pursue.

It looks like the WDTV is the way to go but:

The question now is do I need the WDTV and the AP - Since the AP could also support DLNA with a USB input which if using the ethernet into the TV should theoretically work with the AllShare function thus eliminating the costs for the extra WDTV unit.

Regarding the EoP I honestly think I would give that a miss for the time being at least, it is a worthy option but as Alx330 pointed out the costs are significantly higher when factoring in the prices for all 3 units (That is unless I could 'cross-over' into the WDTV straight from EoP, reducing it to 2 units and eliminating the AP)
UPDATE: I made a mistake here, I would still need the AP even with the EoP because it would be the device that holds the hard drive via USB

The wireless throughput from my router is quiet good throughout the house so the signal would not be an issue. I also don't mind waiting for the files to copy over and as ZmHD pointed out, copying the files locally to the HDD and playing them that way is the best way to do it.

So with 2 options to choose from so far, one being less (AP only) and the other being double (WDTV/AP) UNLESS the WDTV does actually support WiFi then I could eliminate the need for the AP which would reduce the costs again.

Decisions, decisions!!!

It looks like the WDTV user interface is sleek and may suit the family well, however we are quiet used to the USB input on the Samsung TV and selecting files this way. The only thing I hate about this is you cannot tell which ones you've already watched or any further information (The Wii would show what you've seen and how many times)

Thanks very much for your time guys

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