You've just made me think - I've got an old Android phone with a HDMI out. It could make a great streaming device. Good thread
Seriously considering Apple TV as an add on to the TV to enable streaming of movies rather than having to plug a laptop into the tv, but need some help in making sure that it is the right choice when compared to 'insert generic android tv plug in', a Pi running XMBC (which I would need help configuring) or just using work laptop via a Belkin WIDI box
Can the latest version of Apple TV or others do the following:
Stream videos from laptop/server or is it just from ipad/ipod/iphone
Can it work completely wirelessly
Can you 'send' Skygo from ipad to TV - This isn't really relevant at home but whilst away it could be handy
There are two ipads in the house, three android phones and an ancient android tablet somewhere so we aren't bereft of control devices...
Historically I have had a pc plumbed into the TV or an old hacked Xbox but I am now looking for a neater solution.
Sky NowTV box for a tenner, install plex onto it (its really really easy) install plex media server on your pc and Bob's your mothers brother.
Plex is a doddle to configure on the pc too.
It is a great solution if you are streaming your own movies/music, you can also stream youtube and pretty much anything else through the playto channel.
Install robyte onto any of your Android devices to have a fab remote control.
I really rate the Sky NowTV box as a cheap and very effective way of making a 'dumb' TV 'smart'...I've now bought 2 of them.
However, I believe it maxes out at 720p. Didn't realise you can put plex on it. Now on the to-do list, thanks.
I use homeplugs instead of wifi, as well as giving a reliable transfer rate I don't clog up the wifi for other things.
I went old school and built an HTPC from components I had lying around and actually bought Windows 7 to put on it. At least that way I get 1080p when the source is up to it, and with fibre being fitted on the 20th (its only FTTC round here) I might even start subscribing to Netflix or something.
Incidentally I am about to install Plex on my server as it was strongly recommended by a colleague and I couldn't get the PS3 Media server to work with Android and Windows clients (IOS no problems - go figure).
I tried Plex and gave up with it in favour of slingbox. The Plex server just seemed too complex without clear answers of what it would do so I wasn't prepared to buy TV tuners on the off-chance.
I bought an old Dell desktop PC from eBay for £50. Added a bluray drive and usb TV tuner, and setup XBMC.
It now controls all our media - live TV, recorded TV, PVR, movies (from Bluray / DVD / ripped / downloaded / streamed), music, iPLayer and the like, Youtube, the whole 9 yards.
We use a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard with built in touchpad to control it. Family love it, means we have everything in one place, and we can stream content from that media box to other devices.
Yes, it's a little bigger sitting below the telly, but it sits next to a pretty large Onkyo AV receiver, so it's not as if our living room is minimalist.
I've had the apple TV (1,2 & 3) for a number of years but recently ditched it in favour of a pi with openelec and xbmc, I just got fed up of having to re-encode any films before the ATV would play them.
I'm about as far from a linux guru as it's possible to get but from plugging it in to watching an HD film took less than 10 minutes. I bought it from ebay and it came with a case, psu and SD card with a few different linux builds on it, total cost was around £50. I inserted the SD card, selected openelec, accepted the license agreement and that was it. I had it hard wired to the LAN initially then set up the WiFi once it was running. So far it's played everything I've thrown at it flawlessy.
eta: I also downloaded the free xbmc remote for iPhone which works pretty well, although it's not quite as slick as the ATV interface
ATV2 owner. I've got it jailbroken and XBMC installed. Unfortunately ATV3 cannot be jailbroken yet. ATV2 is going for about £200 second hand.
Out the box I'm not sure how it performs streaming from a PC as I have never had to do this. Ive always used xbmc addons or Netflix. Netflix is great on it but will be much the same on any device. I imagine ATV3 wont be much different. With Unblock US subscription you can get netflix from other countries which is pretty damn good. Lot better selection. I barely watch nomal TV these days.
XBMC addons are getting a bit of a pain lately. Most sites seem to be getting blocked due to the Internet filters. There are proxies and workarounds. I've just not had time to fix them.
Im certain you can't stream skygo to Atv. I don't even think you can mirror it.
Ive never had to use a wire on my ATV2. I take it around with me. It's a tiny box and a power cable.
I was considering a second box for my room and was looking towards an android/Linux box but there is a lot of choice and none stood out as well as ATV at the time so I've put it off for now. Im now hoping to spend a bit of cash on a PC I can use in the living room for games and media. Probably build my own.
Simple remote and UI.
Odd that it has no 'off' button at all but it is very low power anyway.
Is the Pi the only true 1080P solution here or are there others? (I'm not interested in 720P) Does it scan for shared media from any hard drive and stream it in whatever format? Especially interested in ability to play MKV.