What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

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What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ruanddu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:50 am

I am currently using a Dell PC for streaming Netflix and YouTube on my LCD TV. Would like to buy something smaller and use the PC in my office. Hoping to spend no more than around $200.00. Basic preferences are: 1080p, digital audio out, ability to watch Netflix and YouTube videos.

I have been most attracted to Apple TV for price point and what it can do.

How about you? What are you using?

Thanks.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby matjen » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:58 am

Apple TV. Has worked flawlessly.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby b4nash » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:12 am

I got a Roku XS as a gift last Christmas and love it. If I was buying one, I'd go for the Roku XD since I don't care about the games.

If you have Apple iOS devices (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad), go with the Apple TV. Otherwise, the Rokus have historically had a wider selection of content.

Check out the manufactured refurbished models (same warranty as new) to save some dough. :D

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD199LL/A
http://www.roku.com/about/roku_coupons
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Petrocelli » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:19 am

I use a Blue Ray player that is Netflix compatible. You should be able to get one that is under $200.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby desertgoose » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:26 am

The "LG BD670 3D Wireless Network Blu-ray Disc Player with Smart TV" is $89.99 from Amazon. Has built in wifi and can stream Netflix and YouTube (though searching for youtube videos is somewhat cumbersome, and not all videos, especially official music videos, will stream).
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Jake46 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:28 am

Roku XD -- love it.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby sscritic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:38 am

I bought a Logitech Revue as a closeout item. It is Google TV as an independent device, which means I can open a full tv screen Chrome browser and watch whatever I want (except Fox and some other networks block Google TV streaming by reading the flash player id - my understanding). Of course, you can read bogleheads on your tv as well with Google TV. There is a Sony Blu-Ray player with Google TV built-in.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_TV

Note that this is much more than just Netflix and YouTube.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ourbrooks » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:09 am

Have you considered simply getting an additional monitor for your PC? You can watch NetFlix directly on a Windows PC in a browser.
If you use a DVI connection to the monitor, it can be up to 15 feet away from the PC.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ruanddu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:23 am

Thanks everyone. Please keep the suggestions coming.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby AdamFist » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:35 am

Xbox 360 for Netflix, YouTube and now Amazon.com video. If you're not a Xbox 360 gamer then you can look at other devices mentioned by previous posters.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:40 am

Roku. No PC required.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby hidesert » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:49 am

I've been curious as to how this streaming of movies works. I currently have Blockbuster at $9.99/month for up to two DVD's by mail and two in-store exchanges. Four movies a month is about all we have time to watch so I've been happy with this plan. They recently closed the nearby Blockbuster store however, and it is now inconvenient to return the movies for exchange. I don't think Blockbuster has streaming. Netfix advertises a plan at $8.99/month. What would I get with that? Would I get at least four first-run movies a month? I see Walmart have several streaming devices from Sony, LG and Roku for $50-$80. Anybody used the Sony?
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby scubadiver » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:53 am

I'm gonna to place another vote with the Roku. My wife and I got one as a Christmas present for the family and it has definetly enhanced our viewing experiences. I can't say that it's better than the other suggestions you've received as I have no experience with those alternatives, but the roku cost us $80 and so far it has been money well spent.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:55 am

hidesert wrote:I've been curious as to how this streaming of movies works. I currently have Blockbuster at $9.99/month for up to two DVD's by mail and two in-store exchanges. Four movies a month is about all we have time to watch so I've been happy with this plan. They recently closed the nearby Blockbuster store however, and it is now inconvenient to return the movies for exchange. I don't think Blockbuster has streaming. Netfix advertises a plan at $8.99/month. What would I get with that? Would I get at least four first-run movies a month? I see Walmart have several streaming devices from Sony, LG and Roku for $50-$80. Anybody used the Sony?



Netflix streaming doesn't have many first-run movies (at least not that I'm aware of- but we are out of the loop on movies). We use it to watch movies, LOTS of TV series, and some kids cartoons.

The Roku also supports Amazon streaming content. A lot of which is free, but you can also buy (or rent for a 48 hour period for a significant discount) movies, TV shows, etc.

Roku also supports Hulu plus, which I believe is also around $8-9/month.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Swamproot » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:10 pm

For the sake of completeness, Tivo is another option, especially if you'd like a DVR as well. The series 4 models can get all the netflix, you tube, amazon and other stuff with it. I still use my old series 2 though because I have one of the old Humax boxes that will burn shows to DVD.

Whatever you pick, I would also suggest running cat 5 cable instead of connecting wirelessly if that is possible.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby englishgirl » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:14 pm

Nothing yet, but I just placed my order for a Roku HD! Very excited!
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Sam I Am » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:18 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby sscritic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:30 pm

It really depends on what you want to stream. I wanted to stream Chinese soap operas and movies from letv.com, youku.com and other Chinese internet sites. Roku can't do any of that. With Roku, you only get what Roku wants you to get, meaning providers, that have signed up with Roku. If those are the only providers whose content you want to watch, then lock yourself into Roku. I have (had, gave it to my son who passed it along to my son-in-law) a Roku, but it didn't serve my purpose.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Toons » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:53 pm

I have 2 Acer laptops I purchased from Walmart one for each TV.
Fantastic for streaming and multi tasking.Example,,I use the PIP(Picture in Picture) feature on the main TV,whenever an ad starts to rear its ugly head on a tv show I am watching,I just hit the "swap" button on the Vizio remote to the computer and browse the bogleheads site for several minutes to get educated :happy ,or read Wikipedia. Do a lot of Netflix ,Pandora,Youtube streaming this way also.
I also use Windows Media Center to view Netflix or play music from my networked "music server" in the basement(old xp computer , hard drive is filled with music) :happy
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby rr2 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:02 pm

Roku player does not support youtube videos.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby EagertoLearnMore » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:19 pm

I have my pc hooked up to the tv using HDMI cable and stream Amazon prime. Very pleased with offerings, especially Masterpiece Mysteries. Large selection of movies too. And for the $79 per year you also get prime shipping.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Swamproot » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

sscritic wrote:...With Roku, you only get what Roku wants you to get, meaning providers, that have signed up with Roku....

rr2 wrote:Roku player does not support youtube videos.


I thought youtube wasn't available either. Its just not easily available. There are actually "private channels" that aren't promoted that you can get youtube on by adding them in your Roku Channel store online. YouTube's channel code is B8VVK. There is actually a lot of free and premium (and some really obscure - Phoenix Traffic Cam) channels that can be received that way.


UPDATE: Or maybe not. I think the YouTube channel was suspended for licensing issues.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Grasshopper » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:35 pm

My laptop and C2G Wireless USB to VGA+3.5mm Audio Kit Wireless video/audio extender - External
$125 online

April 2011, Black, silver
The second generation of the TruLink USB to VGA+ 3.5mm Kit provides a powerful solution to stream audio and video to a remote monitor, projector or television. Engineered to incorporate Ultra-Wide Band technology (UWB), this kit allows for in-room wireless connectivity up to 30 feet (line of sight) between the computer and display. Setup is simple and usage is seamless because all required video drivers are embedded in the host adapter, ensuring a quick, plug and play experience. The Quick Link feature allows additional users with host adapters to quickly connect to the device adapter with no additional steps required to "pair" the devices.… more »
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ejvyas » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Asus Transformer Prime tablet
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby mptfan » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:07 pm

ejvyas wrote:Asus Transformer Prime tablet

Could you please explain how this works? Please explain it to me as if I am 10 years old, because that is the level of my understanding when it comes to this stuff. Thanks. :)
I eat risk for breakfast. :)
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby gary11 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:09 pm

Basic preferences are: 1080p, digital audio out, ability to watch Netflix and YouTube videos.

As earlier poster noted, Roku doesn't stream Youtube.

I have both devices - Roku (at regular tv) and a Panasonic Blu Ray dvd player (at home theater set up) that stream Netflix. Roku has lot more channels and I occasionally use some. Roku provides movie search capabilities on Netflix, while the dvd player I have does not seem to have any movie search capabilities.

The Roku player that I have was bought I think over three years ago (non HD version). Its performance is rock solid so far.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby campy2010 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:23 pm

My TV has aps for netflix and hulu. Very convenient.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby rr2 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:43 pm

Swamproot wrote:
sscritic wrote:...With Roku, you only get what Roku wants you to get, meaning providers, that have signed up with Roku....

rr2 wrote:Roku player does not support youtube videos.


I thought youtube wasn't available either. Its just not easily available. There are actually "private channels" that aren't promoted that you can get youtube on by adding them in your Roku Channel store online. YouTube's channel code is B8VVK. There is actually a lot of free and premium (and some really obscure - Phoenix Traffic Cam) channels that can be received that way.


UPDATE: Or maybe not. I think the YouTube channel was suspended for licensing issues.


There are ways to get youtube but all of them are kludgy workarounds to some extent.

1. Install Plex on your home computer and then Plex channel on the roku. This lets you stream media from the computer to the Roku connected TV including youtube. The downside is that you need a separate home computer. I do have this setup. My home computer is connected to the Living room TV while I have the Roku connected to the bedroom TV. There are two problems: i) It is often flaky and won't detect the Plex server computer ii) It hijacks the audio from the computer. So you cannot use it for other media. For example, one person cannot watch Netflix from the home computer in the living room while the other person watches Youtube (via Plex) in the bedroom.

2. Install the "RateRix" channel on your Roku. This does youtube videos. But you cannot access your playlists and favorites on youtube. Also the searching is somewhat buggy.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby bluemarlin08 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:12 pm

I bought a Samsung Blu Ray and a Samsung with streaming availible. Previous to this I was using a hardwired Wii. The problem I encounter with the wireless appliances is that watching Netflix it is constantly rebuffering, so I just went back to the Wii. Any suggestion regarding the Netflix rebuffering issue?
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Swamproot » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:18 pm

bluemarlin08 wrote:I bought a Samsung Blu Ray and a Samsung with streaming availible. Previous to this I was using a hardwired Wii. The problem I encounter with the wireless appliances is that watching Netflix it is constantly rebuffering, so I just went back to the Wii. Any suggestion regarding the Netflix rebuffering issue?


Plug in the cable from the wii?
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby jons1988 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:29 pm

WDTV all the way. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136997

It has everything you request plus wifi. Also, depending how techie you are, there is an open-source firmware that will greatly enhance your freedom to play whatever content you want.

I currently run the stock firmware with a free program on my PC called PS3 Media Server to play any content I have on my computer.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby jebmke » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:32 pm

We have a Roku. It works great, easy to set up, we never use it.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby nwrolla » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Playstation 3 for everything. External hard drive with files and music, netflix and hulu support is nice. I do have my laptop for espn3 and sports though.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Toons » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:23 pm

mptfan wrote:
ejvyas wrote:Asus Transformer Prime tablet

Could you please explain how this works? Please explain it to me as if I am 10 years old, because that is the level of my understanding when it comes to this stuff. Thanks. :)


All you need is an HDMI cable(mini HDMI to HDMI) from Tablet connected to TV ,after that you may need to choose "source" with TV remote control to view tablet on TV screen.Download different apps to the tablet such as Netflix then stream away,,,,here is a visual from youtube :happy


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hTDAsr6 ... re=related
Last edited by Toons on Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby retiredjg » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:23 pm

hidesert wrote:I've been curious as to how this streaming of movies works. I currently have Blockbuster at $9.99/month for up to two DVD's by mail and two in-store exchanges. Four movies a month is about all we have time to watch so I've been happy with this plan. They recently closed the nearby Blockbuster store however, and it is now inconvenient to return the movies for exchange. I don't think Blockbuster has streaming. Netfix advertises a plan at $8.99/month. What would I get with that? Would I get at least four first-run movies a month? I see Walmart have several streaming devices from Sony, LG and Roku for $50-$80. Anybody used the Sony?

Aggravating, isn't it? When they closed the store near me, in-store exchange became worthless and that is what made the whole thing worthwhile in the first place! I could watch 10 to 15 movies a month for one low cost!

I now use Blockbuster (for recent movies, 1 movie at a time) and Netflix (no first run movies at all). It is not a perfect system, but it is good enough.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby retiredjg » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:41 pm

I have Apple TV which works very nicely. I also use it to play the music from my computer through the TV - sounds amazingly good (but probably not audiophile good).

Apple will stream a lot of stuff, including somewhat recent movies (that you pay for), U Tube, and some sports stuff (you may have to pay). I have only found one thing I wanted that Apple TV could not stream and it is somewhat obscure (Gaiam TV) so I was not surprised (although I think Roku does stream it).
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby bluemarlin08 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:11 pm

Plug in the cable from the wii?



What do you mean? I think all the cables are connected.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby dad2000 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:17 pm

I have newer TVs with streaming apps embedded.

I've had a Roku for 1.5 years. It's decent.

I recently bought our first Blueray player (Sony) from Costco, and it also comes with streaming apps. I think it only cost $70, so it was a pretty good value.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ruanddu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:07 pm

Thanks again, everyone.

I am very interested in the WDTV, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136997

Has anyone compared the WDTV to Apple TV? How is the Youtube and Netflix apps? Can you use your Playlists in Youtube? Can you add movies to your Queue in Netflix?

Thanks.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby magellan » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:25 pm

I use a Tivo, a Roku HD, and a laptop with a broken lcd that I bought on ebay for $175 2 years ago. The laptop has an intel core 2 duo processor which is fast enough to stream hd content without working too hard. It's also my home file and print server machine and online backup machine (running windows vista).

I thought I'd use the Roku more, but it offers way less programming than the laptop. I got a nice compact remote keyboard/touchpad for the laptop so I can remote control it from the couch. I think if I had to do it again, I'd skip the Roku and just go with the laptop. It gives you NetFlix and Amazon like the Roku, plus much more like Hulu, comedy central, PBS, and others that you can't get on the Roku.

So in short, the Roku works great but content availability is its downfall. If you just want to stream Netflix and Amazon, Roku is probably the cheapest and most reliable way and I recommend it for that. OTOH, if you want to be able to stream anything on the Internet, I'd suggest getting a cheap (but powerful enough) laptop.

I went with a laptop for power savings since mine is a file/print/backup server and it's always on. A desktop would be ok if it was quiet enough and you could put it in standby when you're not using it.

Jim
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ejvyas » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:31 pm

Toons wrote:
mptfan wrote:
ejvyas wrote:Asus Transformer Prime tablet

Could you please explain how this works? Please explain it to me as if I am 10 years old, because that is the level of my understanding when it comes to this stuff. Thanks. :)


All you need is an HDMI cable(mini HDMI to HDMI) from Tablet connected to TV ,after that you may need to choose "source" with TV remote control to view tablet on TV screen.Download different apps to the tablet such as Netflix then stream away,,,,here is a visual from youtube :happy


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hTDAsr6 ... re=related


Actually Asus Transformer Prime has micro HDMI port

So I bought a micro HDMI to HDMI cable (>3 feet) and then connected my tablet to TV.
Change source on TV to match the HDMI port you have connected eg. HDMI 2, HDMI 3
This replicates the tablet screen on TV
On tablet I play via Youtube, Vimeo, browser streaming etc.

I have a spare old laptop as well for this purpose.
Nothing beats a laptop. I have tried Roku and other streaming players but they cant really play new formats. Laptop seems to be a superset of all these devices.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ProfessorX » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:37 pm

Apple TV
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby stlutz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:27 pm

I too am a big fan of the laptop idea. I'm typing this from my wireless keyboard and viewing the text on my TV. This is my main PC (except for accessing financial websites). The other devices (Roku, Blu-Ray player etc.) are useful for streaming video from certain providers, but a computer really lets you watch anything.

After I hit Submit, I'll go to the CNBC website and watch Jim Cramer from earlier today!

(That's a joke, btw).
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Cherokee8215 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:34 pm

All I know is that I have a "Smart TV", it has a thingy that picks up the wireless signal from my cable modem, and I pay $8/mo for Netflix that I use on the TV. I can also surf the internet or watch youtube videos on my tv, although inputing text though the remote is a bit cumbersome.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby ProfessorX » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:36 pm

Oh, if I want to watch HBO GO I also plug my MacBook Air laptop into my Denon receiver. Then it uses my plasma TV as a second screen and the sound goes through my surround sound system. I connect a HDMI cable to my laptops thunderbolt port using a connector that I got on amazon for less than five bucks.

Unfortunately HBO GO does not yet work with Apple TV. Maybe it never will. On Apple TV they are after all selling much of the same content if you wanted to pay for it again.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby Bfwolf » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:45 pm

A few of you have mentioned that Netflix streaming doesn't have first run movies. I used to have both the DVD and the streaming service, and I quit the streaming portion because there were so few movies available. Has this gotten better? How long does a movie have to be out before it's available on Netflix streaming? Also, what about Amazon's availability? I am already a Prime member....what additional costs would I face?

Would love to switch from DVDs to streaming if I can watch the movies I want to watch.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby sscritic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:47 pm

My son and SIL swap my old Roku just for HBO GO. I never had HBO, but they love watching the whole year of an old series over a week or so.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby manuvns » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:08 pm

netflix and hulu plus
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby protagonist » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:24 am

There is an iPhone/iTouch app called Video Stream. I forget if it is free or costs a few bucks. It allows you to stream any video material on your PC onto your iPhone/iTouch, which you can then plug into your TV via a special cable (I think I paid about $30 or so at the Apple store...there are after-market spinoffs on ebay for less). It has worked flawlessly for me.
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Re: What Do You Use for Streaming on Your TV?

Postby BigFoot48 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:23 am

I replaced the old laptop I had been using as a HTPC for a few years a few months ago with the Western Digital TV Live Streaming Media Player for $89 via Amazon. This is an amazing device, and I regret hanging on to the clunky PC-based solution for so long.

I have it connected directly to my router, although it also has WiFi. When I first turned it on it found, and easily played, all the media files on a network computer, but I subsequently plugged a 2TB WD USB drive into the router to be a network media server and storage device and pointed the Live towards that. The Live also has a USB port if one wants to attach a drive, memory stick or keyboard. It is suppose to stream from YouTube, Netflix and more, but I have not tested that yet.
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