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Questions regarding Digital media players for HK3490 receiver

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello I have been using AVS a source for my question for a long time, but I recently joined.

My Current setup is:

Insignia LED TV

HK3490 Receiver

2 x Polk Monitor 70s

Energy S10.3 Sub. (On its way, Stole it for 169(delivered) from Newegg)

Laptop Connected through HDMi

I am currently using my TV as a monitor and I am using my PC's Stereo jack to play audio through the HK receiver.
My problem is that the HK receiver does not support HDMi, hence I have stick with the analog 3.5 jack.

I mostly watch content on the internet through youtube, HULU and websites like Putlocker.

I was thinking about connecting one those digital media players, so that I could atleast use the PCM audio stream through an optical or coax digital input (I am guessing I would get better quality this way)

I checked almost all the streaming players but I am kinda confused on how they exactly work.

So here are my questions:

Are these media players hard coded to only let me browse through Specific streaming website (e.g. HULU, Netflix etc.)?

Do these players have a built in browser through which I could browse the internet go to other websites other than the paid ones?

Will these players be able to give me a Digital audio stream that I could connect to the HK receiver?

Will the HK3490 be able to convert an incoming 5.1 stream to a Dolby Virtual speaker format?

Please suggest me something that will full the following criteria:

Must be able to play different file formats
Must have either Coax or Optical output
Must let me browse other streaming websites, or let me browse the web in general
Must not be in the 3-digit price range

That way I could just disconnect my laptop, and use this unit instead for my entertainment needs
post #2 of 3
I see no one has responded to your post yet. I use an HTPC for my browsing and streaming so I can't really help much. There is, however, a whole sub-forum \/ \/ \/ down there that deals in streaming media players. http://www.avsforum.com/f/39/networking-media-servers-content-streamers
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2002 View Post

Are these media players hard coded to only let me browse through Specific streaming website (e.g. HULU, Netflix etc.)?

Most of them are apps based, so you have to have that specific app to access that specific web service.

However, if you get a device that is DLNA compliant (and lots of them are), you could set up a media server on a computer connected to your home network and access a lot more content. It takes some setup, but it's not something that requires a degree in CS to do.
Quote:

Do these players have a built in browser through which I could browse the internet go to other websites other than the paid ones?

It varies. None of these streamers are a direct replacement for an actual computer, but some have functionality in that regard. You'll pay somewhat more for that, though. Some can also browse the web, but don't support the latest Flash or HTML 5, limiting video playback from some sites.

Quote:
Will these players be able to give me a Digital audio stream that I could connect to the HK receiver?

Some do, although some may be HDMI out only in that area. I think most will provide at least an optical out.
Quote:
Must be able to play different file formats
Must have either Coax or Optical output
Must let me browse other streaming websites, or let me browse the web in general
Must not be in the 3-digit price range

I think you're going to have a tough time finding anything with that and an under $100 price tag. A Sony SMP-N100 comes close (no browser), but is DLNA compliant.

LG's Smart TV with the web browsing upgrade might also be an option (although again, check the web streaming capability and support for Flash, etc.)
Edited by Tulpa - 6/26/12 at 9:18pm
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