Tech Talk: PC’s, TV’s and IP’s

2/18/2010:

[Continuing this week’s featured post series about technology that Hoboken residents may be using or thinking about using…]

Physical media is near-dead!

To me, DVD’s & CD’s are pretty much dead. I canceled Netflix long ago (I just wait till movies are on HD cable/satellite), and I download 100% of my music, and stream via PC or portable device (although I’ve been too lazy to interface that solution in my car since I don’t drive much).

Sooner or later, one would hope that everything will be available, and playable centrally – and from any device you may be using (iPhone, Blackberry, home computer, laptop, TV, Xbox, and whatever else may come our way in the future) without complicated setup and configuration. I certainly don’t want or need another box, device or ugly contraption to have to plug in, wire, and connect. And since I don’t have a Playstation or Xbox – the Nintendo Wii is out, and will be reserved for dopey games exclusively (after I dust the damn thing off…)

For the purpose of this article, I’d specifically like to discuss bridging the gap between your TV, PC and the internet.

TV & PC – one and the same?

Let me start by detailing my “entertainment config.” I have a DirecTV system (HR21 HD-DVR), a couple DVD players (which I’m planning on disconnecting and getting rid of), a Nintendo Wii, a laptop, and a desktop PC.

The first goal is to get rid of the DVD players – and use the PC’s DVD player to stream to the TV in case I ever need to watch a movie. Additionally, I’d also like to be able to stream stored videos, photos, streaming videos (i.e., YouTube), and music to the TV. Lastly, I’d like to be able to watch TV or recorded DVR programs on my PC or Laptop.

Since I have little free time, I haven’t started my project just yet – but from what I’ve briefly read online – I can simply use a 802.11 wireless connection on the DirecTV receiver – and connect to the Windows 7 network quite easily. Additionally, with a free program supplied by DirecTV called DIRECTV2PC – I can also watch TV and DVR’d programs on my PC. We’ll see how that goes…

How many of you DirecTV users have configured your system similar to above? Any tips, tricks, caveats?

What about Verizon FiOS or Cablevision?

I don’t want to leave other TV subscribers out – for one, because I’m still very curious about the Verizon FiOS TV capabilities – and two, to see what Cablevision subscribers can & cannot do.

  • Can you achieve similar inter-connectivity with FiOS? Does Windows 7 recognize the FiOS receiver? Do they have a program that lets you control a FiOS receiver from your PC?
  • What about Cablevision’s HD DVR setup? With all the problems Cablevision has here in Hoboken – I have my doubts.

Any *simple* solutions out there?

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Tech Talk: PC’s, TV’s and IP’s"

winesnob
Member

did anybody else have problems with their iphone yesterday?

homeworld
Member

Did anyone else’s Cablevision TV stop working at midnight? They don’t answer their phones…

Easy-E
Member

Yeah, it happened to us too. Right at 12 it stopped.

In response to homeworld who said:
Did anyone else’s Cablevision TV stop working at midnight? They don’t answer their phones…

HansBrix
Member
HansBrix

To clarify: I wish the *Roku* streamed at 1080 – Pandora, being audio only, works fine.

mcgato
Member
mcgato

I recently got a new BluRay DVD player that can stream movies off of Netflix (note that not all of Netflix material is available for online streaming). It also has access to youtube and a few other things.

I think that something like this is the future of viewing, where the programming bypasses the cable or dish and only uses the internet. I may be wrong though.

HansBrix
Member
HansBrix

I recently got a Roku box that does something similar. In addition to Netflix, I can hook up streaming movies from Amazon, connect to my Flickr account, TWiT, MLB.com, and Pandora. Pandora is pretty cool, I am finding. I just wish it streamed 1080 – but that day will come.

Eventually I plan to be cable free. All the non-basic channels are 33% ads anyway. Literally.

BTW, thanks everyone for the DVD ripping tips. I’ll try something out this weekend. Like that 411 character, I want to ditch the discs.

In response to mcgato who said:
I recently got a new BluRay DVD player that can stream movies off of Netflix (note that not all of Netflix material is available for online streaming). It also has access to youtube and a few other things.

I think that something like this is the future of viewing, where the programming bypasses the cable or dish and only uses the internet. I may be wrong though.

SummitGuy
Member
SummitGuy

Won’t help you with Direct TV, but with Fios or other cable systems the Tivo HD is a great solution. It uses cable card technology, hence why it is cable only, no direct tv. It allows moving programs to the PC and back, downloading from Amazon. Netflix etc.

Pretty easy to use Tivo or third party software to move programs to the PC and automagically format for an iPhone or IPod.

And yes, you can rip DVD’s and BlueRay disks to your PC or NAS and transfer them to the Tivo to watch.

Windows 7 Media center is a player in this space now as well (And without Tivo’s fees) for cable users as you can now buy cablecard tuner cards for it. Recently a 1 cablecard 4 tuner card was announced allowing you to record up to 4 programs at the same time!

wpDiscuz