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HD Antenna with an older NON-HDMI TV & Web surfing with a media box, how to do this??

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have 6 tv in the house, with 3 people. One is HDMI, the rest are not (S-video and component and some just cable)

Trying not to throw a bunch of TV's in the garbage that work great, and spend a bunch of money.

I want to connect an HD Antenna, but need a convertor box to do that. And I would like a to be able to surf the net, you tube, net flix.

Any suggestions on how to do that??

I looked at Boxee TV, which has a great set up, but ONLY HDMI outs on it.

Some more details:
One huge 62” 4:3 HDTV Projection TV that stills works fantastic all inputs BUT HDMI
2 x27” CRT both with Video in, one with S video
2x 13 CRT cable in only
1x 32” LCD with HDMI inputs
And I will upgrade (eventually) the big TV, going with a 65” and the projection will go to another room for games.
So currently I cable TV with one HD box. And I use a laptop that has S –video out so that works fine for the 3 large tv’s. BUT my wife is not tech savvy at all. And I keep reading about the Boxee, WD TV, Apple TV etc. But they only have HDMI (I thought the Boxee had component, maybe that was an older version??)
I’m trying to eliminate the $80.00 every month for cable, without replacing every TV in the house
So far I think my best (but still a pain in the ***) would be buying a couple more laptops (used one or refurbished to save a few bucks)
post #2 of 3
Hi Carguy,

We are in the same boat, in that I have a lot of old monitors I'm trying to keep useful. But it's an uphill battle.

First, I need to make a clarification, lest somebody rips you off: There is no such thing as an HD antenna, although you see them advertised. The broadcasts here in the US use the same UHF frequencies (and some VHF frequencies) that the old analog TVs used, and the antennas are the same. I get over 100 channels over-the-air with the same antenna I've had for 15 years.

It sounds like only your projector is HD, and it is likely 720p. So it looks like you need to stay with standard definition on most of your stuff. For those older TVs, a cheap OTA converter box may be the easiest solution. I've found them at swap-meets and on eBay for around $10. If you get one, make sure it comes with a remote. You would need to run coax-cable to each converter-box, so you might also need a distribution amplifier for your antenna.

You could also find media-players that output both component and composite video (Boxee doesn't, but most others do). S-video is not very common, although my old Mediagates, which I got on eBay a few years ago for around $30, had S-video as well as component and composite. For my 1080p TVs, I use a Dune Smart D1 (expensive) and a Netgear NeoTV-550 (cheap), which both have component video as well as HDMI.

My current project is to run my antenna into an HDHomerun network-attached dual-tuner, and that would make the over-the-air channels available anywhere on my network (I have the whole place wired for Ethernet). I don't have the software working to my satisfaction yet.

I don't do much net-surfing on the TVs, You-Tube doesn't work anymore since their last software update, and my NetFlix is still DVD and BR based. But I can say that some online content will not work well on standard definition TVs. An inexpensive Roku box would probably work best for that, but I can't be of much help there.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the detailed reply, I found a boxee @ best buy for $116.00 so could not resist to try it.

But so far, I think its going back.

I'm "spoiled" that I use a 5 year old laptop, which does everything fine, I was hoping newer would be better, but so far not...

The boxee browser is brutal, it freezes and crashes once a day...

And I have not been able to find a way to get XBMC working on it.


I'm giving up on the component video out, everything is HDMI, and I guess I have to go with it, so will be buying the new Panasonic ST60 Plasma.

Did you get a media box??

Anything out new that temps you?
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