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Best networking flat screen

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have built a home network with a W7 64 bit PC as the server.
I have a couple of older flat panels that I have networked media players attached to, a WD player and a Boxee Box. This is mostly how I watch television, content from my PC.

It would be great to be able to find a newer flat panel (LCD, LED) that can network with my PC so I can play the media on the television without another gadget. I enjoy both the WD and the Boxee but the wife finds it cumbersome.
I have surfed until my eyes are bleeding looking for the television with the most comprehensive capabilities but its like comparing apples to oranges. Adding to the problem is the fact that this sort of feature is offered mostly in the large television/expensive/complicated range of product.

I'm looking for bedroom televisions, 32" - 40" that I can use to either watch cable (Verizon FIOS) or network content through my CAT6 cable from my PC. The more formats it would play the better...MKV, AVI, MP4, etc., etc. and of course pictures and music.

Anybody know of something out there that fits this bill?
post #2 of 5
I believe (and I know someone will come and correct me if I am wrong that you will be limited to LCD telvisions at the price range you are looking at. Both Panasonic and Samsung offer a few "Smart" models in that size range.....No TV will match a dedicated player however when it comes to playback of files (from what I have read).

One thing we will need to know is a price range as this will help narrow down the choices...Just from the main Panasonic and samsung websites it appears to range from ~640-just over 1K for the sets that meet your size requirements....There may be others (LG, ect) that also offer televisions, but I only did a quick search.........Once we know how much is you max to spend it will help narrow down the field....
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply.
Somewhere in the $600 range is what I was hoping for.
I have some experience with an LG plasma (42" for $400 I bought last July 4) which has a USB port that plays most everything I throw at it, and a Samsung LED that similarly plays most everything through its USB port, but I have no experience with televisions that can play content when connected to a network through an ethernet port.

Vizio has a model that might fit the bill, though I dont know for sure:
post #4 of 5
This isn't necessarily relevant for this thread because of the unit(s) in question, but I own the LG PZ950 from 2011, which is a PDP, and I have a portable Seagate hard drive plugged right into one of the USB ports on the FP and it plays back every single file I have on that thing, AVI, MKV doesn't matter. I was pleasantly surprised biggrin.gif
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I use an LG plasma at aork that plays back everything as well, its just that in their smaller TV's they dont provide that option.

I did go purchase the 32" Vizio E320i-A0 at Costco because they have an excellent return policy, and it just may be going back.

The TV is a "smart" TV, which is to say that it can connect to the internet. I have my home networked with good CAT6A cable and connecting to the internet was a breeze. Unfortunately it doesnt seem to be able to access my home network. I have a W7 64 bit PC that I use as a server and it works well for me in other rooms where my televisions are connected via a Boxee Box or a WD player, I had hoped that the Vizio would connect to my network the same way as the media players but it doesnt. It just connects to the web through loaded aps on the TV and I couldnt care less about that.

So I thought, well O.K. lets just plug my portable hard drive into the USB on the Vizio and watch content that way. It recognized the hard drive and I was able to play content from the drive, but if you navigate away from the hard drive there is no way back to it. There is actually no designation for the USB when scrolling Input. I couldnt believe that, but there really is no way back to the hard drive unless you unplug and plug it back in.

My Verizon remote doesnt synch with the TV either. You know the routine of finding a number that you program into the Verizon FIOS remote to get it to synch with the television so the Verizon remote works to turn the TV on/off so you dont have to juggle two remotes? Well that doesnt work, there are just three codes for Vizio TV's and none of them work.

Kinda disappointed. I know its a pretty cheap price and I shouldnt expect much but it's just for a workout room and if just one thing worked that was important I would be so happy... able to access my network to play content on my PC, or play from a portable hard drive without having to reconnect every time you navigate away, but not so much.

Its close to being useful, but in the end its just a pretty good cheap panel.

So is there a 32" out there that is better able to accomplish reading from a USB?
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