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Options for playing local PC content on TV via ethernet cable

Discussion in 'Media players' started by punchball, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. punchball

    punchball Member

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    Hi, I hope someone can give me some advice.

    I'm pretty sure I posted this in the wrong subforum first. I hope it's okay that I repost it here.

    I moved to a two-story house, and the router and TV are downstairs while my desktop PC is upstairs. I mainly play videos on my computer, but I want to watch them on the TV. I used to have an HDMI cable (for video and audio), and that worked great. But now I would need to get a 15 meter one. I was hoping to avoid that, since the PC (which has no wi-fi) is connected to the network with an ethernet cable.

    So I'm looking for some kind of box to connect to the TV and the router, that can either (A) receive files that I stream (with some sort of app or player) from my PC to the network, or (B) access the media files on my PC and play them. Option A would be preferable, because then I can use MPC and the great remote control app for MPC, like I used to. Or for files that need tweeks in aspect ratio etc, I might use another player. I have total control. But from my research, it seems like option A is pretty impossible. So I guess it's option B.

    I have looked into ChromeCast with the ethernet adapter. The problem is I need to use Chrome to play media, and it doesn't even support avi or mkv. Some third-party app can let me transcode these files on the fly, but that sounds like a bad idea. And what about playing DVD files on my computer?

    I thought about the Beelink X2, and I think that might do what I want. But I was not able to order it from Gearbest. They rejected my PayPal payment without being able to explain why. I'm living in Mexico, which makes things complicated. Before trying to order the Beelink from other places (all in China it seems), is there any other, maybe better, box than the Beelink out there?

    tl;dr: What's the best box to hook up directly to the router, that can play media from the network (via cable from the router, not via wi-fi) and send it to the TV? And that supports several file formats?
     
  2. attar

    attar Senior member

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    I have a WD TV box, the TV and the router at one end.
    The box is connected to the router (cat5) and the TV (HDMI).
    The remote PC, connected using cat5 to the router, has a HDD set as shared.
    Using the WD TV remote, I browse the movies on the HDD.
    I think it can connect to various external streaming services too, but that aspect doesn't interest me.
    Try the VideoHelp site for alternate suggestions.
    http://forum.videohelp.com/
     
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  3. punchball

    punchball Member

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    Thanks! I was already looking into WD TV. The only drawback seems to be that it can't play DivX files, but still it seems to support the highest number of different formats.
     
  4. attar

    attar Senior member

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    I don't have much in the way of .divx files, but I found that changing the 4cc code to xvid allowed them to play ok.

    http://www.fourcc.org/changer/
     
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  5. timmins99

    timmins99 Member

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    What you need is a media player. Do a search for media player on Amazon and you'll see hundreds of them. Go for the faster the better. It should be able to run Kodi. Kodi gives you menu style program that gives information on what you're about to play. As long you don't go too cheap, you be able to play almost anything. Kodi does music, pictures and also streams TV or movies. It takes a lot of setup but well worth it.
     
  6. scorpNZ

    scorpNZ Active member

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    What about one of those modem/routers that have the usb port for a hdd to stream

    Like you i prefer to use a pc to play movies as well however if it came to the point you need to go the way of a media player device my answer would be get a slim line pc dual or quad core,it;ll give the option of standalone install of kodi or dual boot with any OS you desire,plus the option of a spare pc if one breaks down or just bite the bullet & move the pc to where the tv is as youˋll soon get used to it being in the lounge
     
  7. punchball

    punchball Member

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    I use my PC for work and need it in the studio/office room. Having it in the living room is not an option.

    Anyway, thanks for all your replies. We were this close to just ordering a WD TV, but they are pretty expensive. We also foresaw a lot of time setting it up and ironing out problems to get everything to work smoothly. So we just decided to buy a 15 meter active HDMI cable anyway. It works great without any setup (since I can play everything already on my computer). The only drawback is that we have to actually fasten it on walls/ceilings, across thresholds etc. Actually not a small job, but probably more straightforward and less time-consuming than a box, and a lot cheaper.
     

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