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Old 12-07-2020, 11:35   #1
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Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

I need to upgrade my entertainment system. I want to play movies from a digital drive to a LED flatscreen, with the lowest power consumption. This would replace a TV/DVD player combo.

Can a smart TV play directly from a 1TB drive?
What is the simplest system?
Any brands that work better than others?

Thank you cruising team!
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:52   #2
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

Should absolutely be able to if it has USB or hdmi connector on the TV. Dont have smart TV but I would even suspect some have wifi built in. I do this on my boat but stream to a big monitor not smart TV. There are some really nice low power draw, very small PC's out now that are perfect for this.
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Old 12-07-2020, 13:07   #3
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

if you must use a cable,use HDMI,usb is not recomended for longer cable runs
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Old 12-07-2020, 13:53   #4
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

I run a 1TB portable HDD on my Roku TV, works great. It's plugged into the TV's USB socket and I keep it tucked up behind the set. Cable's only about 18" long. I also get YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc on the set without additional equipment when there's a WiFi connection.
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Old 13-07-2020, 09:09   #5
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

The setup I use works fairly well. It consists of a Raspberry Pi running the Plex Media Server software, with a 4Tb USB hard drive plugged in. The power consumption of this combo is pretty low. I then have an Amazon Fire TV unit plugged into the HDMI port on a 32" TV. Both the Pi and Fire TV units connect to my boat's WiFi network, and I can easily stream any content from the HD to the TV - movies, music, photos, etc. The Fire TV also gives you access to the various subscription-based streaming services.
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Old 13-07-2020, 16:16   #6
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

The simplest, lowest power way of playing content is, as others have said, to use a USB hard drive and plug it into a TV with a USB port - assuming you have a USB port on your TV (my TV has one, and it is not a smart TV). However note that the TV may not have the necessary codecs to play all of your library: over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts and DVDs use MPEG-2 coding but everywhere else you will typically find other, more compressed, formats (e.g. H.264, H.265) that your TV will probably not be able to decode. You could translate these formats into MPEG-2 but then you would be taking up more disk space plus waste a lot of time.

If you want an off-the-shelf system you could buy an inexpensive media server system, typically running Android. They are very flexible and will likely solve the problem although glitches are not unheard of. If you have some computer skills then put together a media server with a Raspberry Pi; media server images are available for install on a micro-SDcard to plug into the Pi and you are off and running. Go with the Pi 4 as you would notice the performance difference. My personal solution is to add media software to my small NAS (network attached storage server) which I use primarily for backup storage. I also have an HDhomerun for receiving OTA TV; this receives and passes broadcast TV to the NAS for storage so I can record shows for later viewing. However my server does not have an HDMI port so I still have to run playback through another device, such as my laptop or a casting device. Recording is a huge win, not just for the otherwise missed shows but for being able to skip commercials and play back at a higher rate. (News shows can usually be viewed at 1.5x speed, and some like Amanpour at 2x.) BTW you can speed up YouTube playback in the settings.

My ideal would be to have a NAS with HDMI output. My Synology NAS is losing support soon so I may have the opportunity to change. QNAP offers systems with HDMI.

Greg
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Old 14-07-2020, 17:51   #7
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
I need to upgrade my entertainment system. I want to play movies from a digital drive to a LED flatscreen, with the lowest power consumption. This would replace a TV/DVD player combo.

Can a smart TV play directly from a 1TB drive?
What is the simplest system?
Any brands that work better than others?

Thank you cruising team!
A couple of years ago I did a full upgrade but kept it simple. I am sure others will have different brands that work well for them.
I installed a Samsung 32" smart TV, a Western Digital 2 TB hard-disk mounted on the back of the TV via HDMI and a new Kenwood satellite radio (Sirius).
I copied my entire DVD/Blue Ray collection onto the Hard disk. No copyright issue as I either watch the movie at home using the DVD or on the boat via the hard drive. Cannot be both place at the same time.
The TV is connected to the SHAKESPEARE–SeaWatch® 3015 15" HDTV Antenna mounted on the mast. It will pickup stations up to 70 miles away. The TV also connect via WiFi when at a marina and will stream Netflix, Amazon etc. in addition to local stations.
The antenna was not part of the upgrade. My total cost for the TV, hard disk and radio was less than U$ 500. The same TV today is about 60-80 dollar cheaper. The Sirius subscription cost was a $5 month add-on to our current subscription.
The system has been trouble free, power efficient and relatively inexpensive.
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Old 15-07-2020, 00:29   #8
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

The smallest smart TV that you can get is a 20" anything smaller is not a smart TV. I purchased a 19" Jensen which is not a smart TV, the reason I didn't buy a 20" is because where I wanted to install the tv, I didn't think that it would fit and would be too big but after installing the 19" I realize that 20" would have not been any bigger. So I may still invest in a 20" smart tv because now I know it will fit fine. If your looking for a bigger tv it would be not problem but if your trying to stay confine with size 20" is the smallest that will work for you!














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Old 15-07-2020, 01:38   #9
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

You want the big screen experience with the least power?


Try a portable projector and bluetooth speakers. Instead of a mechanical hard drive (which some TV's won't be able to run), transfer files to a high capacity USB drive or SSD hard drive. Very immersive and doesn't suck the electrons.
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Old 15-07-2020, 02:49   #10
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
You want the big screen experience with the least power?


Try a portable projector and bluetooth speakers. Instead of a mechanical hard drive (which some TV's won't be able to run), transfer files to a high capacity USB drive or SSD hard drive. Very immersive and doesn't suck the electrons.
This is exactly what we’re doing.

Low power and extremely light weight.
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Old 30-07-2020, 13:35   #11
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

What worked? The hard drive would not work directly attached to the smart TV. I bought a AGPtek player for $35 on Amazon and it plays every type of file perfectly now. 2TB is the limit for the player without a partition.
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Old 30-07-2020, 17:33   #12
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Re: Getting New TV/streaming/hard drive?

If you can install VLC (aka VideoLan Player) on your smartTV that will play pretty much any video format.
Plex is also very good, but you need a Plex server to get the media (though that can be the same device ie Raspberry PI etc).
I am very impressed with the Amazon FireHD sticks. And would go that route with my laptop acting as the Plex/Media server.
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