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Thread: Need advice on a home TV/network setup

  1. #1
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    Need advice on a home TV/network setup

    Hey y'all

    Suuuuuuup?

    I need some help setting up a home network. I have a windows PC connected to LAN/internet via a UTP cable.

    I'm interested in buying a smart TV, which I'm only planning to use to stream 4K video and audio to from my windows PC, so I can watch it lying in my badass new couch.

    Maybe I'm just sitting, you know? Whatever.

    I'm looking for a solution to make this happen: stream from my windows PC to my smart TV. I will need a solution that also simply streams video from websites like youtube, so not by simply sharing media files on LAN.

    Is there a solution like this possible? My TV would be on the other side of the room from my PC, away from ethernet cable connections, so I imagine my TV will have to connect to my LAN wirelessly.

    Thanks for any and all advice
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    enshu

  2. #2
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    I think you're making it more complicated than it needs to be. Smart TVs directly connect to the internet and they have their own YouTube apps. You don't need the PC involved at all. You just hook up your TV to wifi and open up the youtube app. FWIW a lot of "smart" tvs spy on whatever you're watching and send that info back to the tv manufacturer or various 3rd party services (even if you're not using the smart features).

    If you have media on your PC, just make sure it's on the same network, share your media and your TV should be able to see it as well. I've only done this for music using DLNA server on my linux laptop. Basically I have all my music in some directory, I installed the DLNA server, and then I pointed the server at that directory. Then anything on the same network can see it and play it. In this case I used my Roku media player app and it immediately saw the share and let me browse and play the music on my tv (and sound system attached to the tv). I don't know how to do that with windows.

  3. #3
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    Thank you!

    I was suggesting this setup, because I plan on adding HiFi speakers to this TV, and I would be interested in "streaming" to those speakers from my PC.

    Does anyone have any ideas on that?

    Thanks
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    enshu

  4. #4
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Then youíre gonna buy a receiver, and as long as you donít cheap out that receiver will support several kinds of network media streaming.

    If you actually want to hook up your computer to your TV, the only solid option as far as Iím concerned/aware is to run an HDMI or DP cable between the two. But you only need that if youíre going to use PC programs from your couch. If itís just video then network file access is fine and will work wirelessly.

    For YouTube etc, there are tons of devices that can run the YouTube app. The 4K chrome cast is only $50 or something, you control it using your phone. It is fine.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 09-17-2018 at 08:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    I do the HDMI cable thing, and when I'm on my couch watching stuff from my computer on my TV, I control the computer on my phone with Google Remote Desktop.

  6. #6
    I'd buy a TV with Android TV. Then you should be able to do everything you can do with your phone as well, which nowadays is almost everything. Some people even install Steam Link this way and this play their games directly on the TV. And if an Android TV is too expensive you can get an Amazon Fire TV, which can do the same.

    I got a ****ty 4k TV from my internet provider that only has a Netflix and a Youtube app that probably won't be supported anymore in half a year, so I will get a Fire TV as well.
    Sorry for the lousy German

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the advice.

    Do you guys have any recommendations on Home Theater speakers? I'm looking to turn this living room into a music listening, nay, SOUND IMMERSION, room.

    Thank you
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    enshu

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenshu View Post
    Thank you for the advice.

    Do you guys have any recommendations on Home Theater speakers? I'm looking to turn this living room into a music listening, nay, SOUND IMMERSION, room.

    Thank you
    I ordered these speakers last years for $150. Normally not the sort I would go for but a compromise for the room. I see they're no longer carried but you could find something similar. I'm really happy with them but you have to remember that you will need mounts (or stands) and plenty of wire and, unless you don't care, a fair amount of time to hide the wire or, as I did, run it in the corners of joined panels to minimize their appearance.

    If you want to stream content from a PC I suggest looking into the Plex app. I used to be serious about doing this sort of thing with Xbox 360s until Microsoft killed Windows Media Center. Now, I would go the route of building a very small computer to connect directly to the TV for the streaming. You might, however, find that Plex server on the PC and the Plex app on a smart TV or set top box fits the bill.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  9. #9
    My recommendations:

    If you want it to last, do not rely on Smart TV functions. Especially Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as the TV manufacturers pack in the slowest goddamn CPUs in these TVs, it's basically insulting. You're better off getting something like a Shield TV and hooking that up instead.

    KODI is available on numerous platforms, including Android TV. It will support streaming from your PC, has plugins for YouTube, Twitch, etc, and more. That is one all-in-one package. You can even combine it with Plex if you need transcoding.

    As for streaming music to your speakers: either get a receiver with Chromecast support (Sony is one of them) or get a TV with Chromecast, problem solved. By far the easiest solution, and supports pretty much any service.

    For actual home theater speaker recommendations, we really need a budget. What to buy completely depends on what you're willing to spend.

  10. #10
    What do you think about how KODI has become synonymous with watching pirated movies on Firesticks now? Like, that's all it is now. Of course it's not but that's what it is to so many people. I should respond to people that bring it up, "you mean Xbox Media Center?"
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  11. #11
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
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    pirating movies in 2018 o_____o

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
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    o___________o

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    What do you think about how KODI has become synonymous with watching pirated movies on Firesticks now? Like, that's all it is now. Of course it's not but that's what it is to so many people. I should respond to people that bring it up, "you mean Xbox Media Center?"
    It's not so much KODI as it is the illegal piracy HTPC boxes being sold on eBay and crap. They'd just use KODI as a means of enabling it, because KODI has a very open plugin interface.

  15. #15
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    My recommendations:

    If you want it to last, do not rely on Smart TV functions. Especially Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as the TV manufacturers pack in the slowest goddamn CPUs in these TVs, it's basically insulting. You're better off getting something like a Shield TV and hooking that up instead.

    KODI is available on numerous platforms, including Android TV. It will support streaming from your PC, has plugins for YouTube, Twitch, etc, and more. That is one all-in-one package. You can even combine it with Plex if you need transcoding.

    As for streaming music to your speakers: either get a receiver with Chromecast support (Sony is one of them) or get a TV with Chromecast, problem solved. By far the easiest solution, and supports pretty much any service.

    For actual home theater speaker recommendations, we really need a budget. What to buy completely depends on what you're willing to spend.
    I agree and disagree.

    IMO, when youíre building a home theatre system what you really really really reeeeeeallllly want is each device to do one thing and do it well.

    Smart TVs are garbage. Get a good panel. If it has smart TV stuff, donít use it. Like CM said, it wonít work well. Smart ďHubsĒ are garbage too. Get a decent dedicated bluray player. Even if it has smart features, theyíre bad enough that you shouldnít use them. Get a high quality receiver with decent outputs and encoding support. Ignore the smart features. Ignore chromecast. If you want chromecast, drop the 30 bux and just buy one. Or an HTPC, or an Android steaming thing. Donít go with integrated ****. When youíre buying stuff, pretend it doesnít exist at all and donít plan to use it.

    Hereís why.

    A good TV panel will continue to be excellent for 10 years or more. A good receiver will last for even longer.

    A chromecast, smart tv, smart hub, integrated apps in receivers... those will last for exactly as long as Google and Netflix decide theyíre worth supporting. Then you need to buy a new TV, or a new receiver.

    My moms brand new Samsung smart hub could connect to YouTube for almost a year before they discontinued it. Netflix still works but it hasnít been updated since they switched from stars, so itís only a matter of time until it stops working too.

    If you compromise on your purchases in order to get smart features, you are going to regret it. Youíll get smart features for a couple of years, and then youíll be stuck with a worse dumb TV for 10.

    So I strongly suggest, get the best possible dumb devices and then buy extra (disposable) devices to do the rest. Not just TV, but everything.

  16. #16
    Right, I meant a TV + a chromecast, not one built in. If it has one built in, great, but don't decide on that ability. Chromecast is probably the most likely of all features to stick around, since it's been very very stable in its protocol since its introduction. The first gen Chromecasts still work fine without any loss of features outside of their hardware limitations. The only reason I like a receiver with Chromecast built in is you get deeper integration with music playback that you can't readily replicate with an external one (multi-room audio being the big feature). Chromecast Audio works great but it won't do things like turn your receiver on.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I agree and disagree.

    IMO, when youíre building a home theatre system what you really really really reeeeeeallllly want is each device to do one thing and do it well.
    I agree and disagree but mainly because the OP was asking about local streaming. If we are now expanding to a home theater setup idea we might be needlessly exceeding his requirements.

    It could be that a smart TV outputting audio to anything from a soundbar to 2.1 to 5.1 speaker setup (which would not require an AV receiver) could be the most cost effective option and do everything he needs. You're absolutely right that app support can be dropped on certain devices so if the smart TV features aren't adequate THEN add the necessary device.

    If he is looking (which I would think he would be) for a setup where more devices will be connected than TV has ports then he will need some sort of AV solution.

    For the record, my perspective on smart TV was somewhat different before. I couldn't care less about whether or not a TV was "smart" or not but the apps on our newest TV are at least as good as on our Fire TV that I only use it now for PS Vue although I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their service as well as the Fire TV and considering dropping both of them altogether.

    Now, specifically for streaming, I don't have enough personal experience to advise what precisely he should use. I was trying to make Windows Media Center work but it was just too flaky. That was years ago, of course. By that time I had given up on streaming my DVDs (pretty much all of them I'd converted to MP4s) and just grabbed the disc if I wanted to watch it. It also had a horrid interface for music. I don't have any idea what is the best solution for audio streaming or even audio playing directly on the computer.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  18. #18
    Admiral of Awesome
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    He said he was getting hi fi speakers. So heís getting a receiver. Heís not hooking up a soundbar to a TV.

  19. #19
    Actually he said he was planning on adding hifi speakers to the TV. You told him to get a receiver.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  20. #20
    Admiral of Awesome
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    TVs generally canít power hi fi speakers. Receivers are 95% amp. Either heís getting a receiver or heís not getting hi fi speakers.

  21. #21
    Or he just used the term besides, any sort of soundbar or stand alone speaker setup plug into the wall anyway and TVs often have a digital audio out. I don't think your advice is necessarily bad, it just might be overkill for what he wants.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  22. #22
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    Itís also one of those things I was talking about. You can get a crappy receiver and crappy speakers. Then you can upgrade your speakers one at a time. Or for the same price, you can get a ďstandaloneĒ speaker system that has proprietary connectors and an amp built into the subwoofer or some pos bluray player.

    It isnít worth it. One piece dies or doesnít meet your needs anymore, and the whole thing goes in the trash. At least get a proper direct wired receiver speaker bundle. Itís probably crap but at least itís repairable crap.

  23. #23
    Local streaming is basically a solved problem these days. Plex blows it out of the park for 99% of media. It's only when you reach into the lawless land of 4K HDR that it trips up at all.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    It’s also one of those things I was talking about. You can get a crappy receiver and crappy speakers. Then you can upgrade your speakers one at a time. Or for the same price, you can get a “standalone” speaker system that has proprietary connectors and an amp built into the subwoofer or some pos bluray player.

    It isn’t worth it. One piece dies or doesn’t meet your needs anymore, and the whole thing goes in the trash. At least get a proper direct wired receiver speaker bundle. It’s probably crap but at least it’s repairable crap.
    Fair enough. If Tenshu has the space and money to go "all out" it's a great time to do it. I probably spent about $500 on speakers and a receiver and the receiver is a really nice Yamaha capable of 7.2.2. I use an Xbox One S for bluray as it gives me coverage up to 4K and a better bluray player is going to be much more expensive. Now that I think of it, Microsoft lost the format war mainly due to bluray support in the PS3 and now has the best console option for blurays. Funny. I picked up a Steam Link when I saw it for $15. Why not? I accidentally discovered it's ability to remote desktop my PC when my son was playing Brothers (actually my only Steam game until I recently picked up MS FSX) on it and I was on the PC and went to use the computer, thinking it was only streaming the game but it streams the active display of the computer. I haven't tried to use it for anything at all since then and I know it was mentioned above. I've always wondered how useful it would be for media.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    Local streaming is basically a solved problem these days. Plex blows it out of the park for 99% of media. It's only when you reach into the lawless land of 4K HDR that it trips up at all.
    I liked Plex the little bit I played around with it a few years ago but I ended up with the same problem I had with my physical media. Once I got past the "wow factor" I still just scrolled around looking at stuff. Setting up a decent home media solution is still something I'm somewhat interested in. Years ago I ripped all my CDs into highish quality vbr WMA files because I was going to go all in on media center and zunes but then zunes failed and media center went away. The files would play off a thumbdrive in my pickup but it could stumble from time to time as they were outside of the receiver's specs. I notice that newer units have better specs so at least I won't feel the need to redo them when I replace it.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  26. #26
    Thought he was onto something.
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    Thanks for the great help.

    I'm willing to spend a bit more than Wookie suggested (my current speaker system is about 200 euros).

    At this point I'm settling on a Sony STR-DN1080 receiver and Monitor Audio Silver 200 speakers.

    That receiver has Chromecast built-in, so it should allow me to stream audio and video to my TV and speakers wirelessly.

    I would love to hear any objections to my little scheme if you have them.
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    enshu

  27. #27
    You know, Tenshu, I think you're my 4th favorite Benelux Massassian.

    Burrie is the Dutchman and Massassi/TACC Legend, so he's at #1, vedder's at #2 as a great MotS SP editor and a friend of Deus Ex (also briefly the owner of TACC), ORJ_Jos (I think he's from the region, but I'm counting him in this list anyway) is at #3 since I think he commented on TODOA once.

    And you're definitely ahead of GothicX, that guy was a tool.

  28. #28
    Thought he was onto something.
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    Oh damn, i'm definitiely not ready for that kind of responsibility.

  29. #29
    With those speakers, you will be the chosen one.

    I'm still waiting for my 35 € Logitech ones from 2011 to break down so I could buy, hm, 40 € Logitech ones from 2018? We'll see.

  30. #30
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenshu View Post
    I would love to hear any objections to my little scheme if you have them.
    If you're gonna use this setup for movies, you'll miss a center speaker. If you don't have money for a sub or surround speakers you can live without them for a long time, but the center speaker isn't quite so optional.

    It doesn't hurt to try living without one. If it seems hard to hear people talk, though, that's why.

  31. #31
    FYI: the receiver only does Chromecast AUDIO, not video. This applies to all integrated Chromecasts in receivers as far as I'm aware.

    That is a LOT to spend on just your front 2.0. There's plenty of speakers that will sound 90-95% as good for considerably cheaper. Furthermore, you need to make sure you have a good sub. A subwoofer is basically a requirement for movie enjoyment. In fact, most recommend dual subs (even if it means going to a lower power rating model), as your room will have dead spots with just one. Subs will also benefit music considerably, but the amount it'll help depends on the type of music you listen to. Do not assume that because you're spending £1000 on tower speakers that they will have the low bass you expect.

    If you want soemthing a bit cheaper on the 2.0 side to spread the money around, ELAC makes fantastic speakers and shouldn't be too expensive in Europe from my understanding. Their price range is huge so you should be able to find something that fits your needs.

    If you want recommendations on subs, anything from SVS is a great choice. If the shipping is too much, Klipsch actually makes solid subwoofers as well. I would only recommend a sub that is at least 12" in size. Power rating would depend mostly on the size of the room you're in.

    I also agree that a center channel can be a nice addition as well, but you can always get that later. Obviously not necessary if you're primarily listening to music.

  32. #32
    Personally, I still feel like I'm missing something. Like I really would need to understand exactly what you hope to get out of the system now, the area it is going, and if/how you plan to build on it going forward. I just glanced at the speakers which show $1,500 here. I doubt I would ever purchase a pair of speakers in that range unless I was building a miniature cinema and I've purchased some pretty nice speakers (granted 25 years ago but they're still going (but in the garage now!)). Even for a music setup I personally like surrounds but that's no big deal. I think if you've never had a proper surround system it's probably okay to go with a 2.0 setup because you might not notice what you're missing. My first setup was 5.0 and I only added the .0 for clarity because .1 wasn't even a thing then. Certainly with the speakers you have chosen for the fronts you'll be fine at first without a sub but once you add one you'll probably not want to go back. If you have the space for surrounds, center, and sub, I would think you could get a very nice setup for around the same amount of money. My speaker setup is a compromise for the room and the 5.1 speaker arrangement in my garage is probably superior (although older obviously). According to Sony's website, that receiver's Chromecast is for music streaming as CM said.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  33. #33
    On a somewhat related note did anyone catch the Amazon event the other day? I had heard about it but finally looked at it. Goddam them. Right when I was ready to ditch Fire, and I have never really been interested in the Echo, they start doing some really cool stuff. Home security? A DVR you can connect directly to an antenna and then access on devices in and out of the home?

    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  34. #34
    Thought he was onto something.
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    God damnit, you people are making me doubt again.
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    enshu

  35. #35
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    I watched that whole amazon video and nothing in there was interesting at all. What part of your life gets even marginally better when you use those things?

  36. #36
    Thought he was onto something.
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    I guess my question now is, does a 5.1 system really add anything over 2.0 or 2.1 systems for MUSIC listening (which is what I'll be using them for mostly).

    Can't you get a similar feel of immersion from 2.0/2.1 speakers?
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    enshu

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenshu View Post
    I guess my question now is, does a 5.1 system really add anything over 2.0 or 2.1 systems for MUSIC listening (which is what I'll be using them for mostly).

    Can't you get a similar feel of immersion from 2.0/2.1 speakers?
    For music it does basically ****-all. Most receivers won't even output to the other channels unless you enable their upmixing technologies. I don't mind it but it's definitely NOT worth spending a dime on.

    Still recommend a sub (2.1) for music though.

    For immersion, if you mean movies, no. More channels is always more immersive, and the fake surround stuff is uh, acceptable at best, and usually requires insanely perfect sitting positions to sound effective at all.

    Music's only going to be truly immersive if you sit in the sweet spot, but that doesn't matter what you do.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    On a somewhat related note did anyone catch the Amazon event the other day? I had heard about it but finally looked at it. Goddam them. Right when I was ready to ditch Fire, and I have never really been interested in the Echo, they start doing some really cool stuff. Home security? A DVR you can connect directly to an antenna and then access on devices in and out of the home?

    "Home Security". Those sound detection technologies are awful, they either go off all the damn time or not at all.

    The DVR thing is just yet another version of stuff that has been out for ages, like Plex's DVR. Only difference being Plex is way better implemented.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I watched that whole amazon video and nothing in there was interesting at all. What part of your life gets even marginally better when you use those things?
    DVR are pretty cool and even if you don't buy their DVR the Fire TV DVR function will also allow you direct access to streaming services such as the one I use currently. It's just a cool feature and their tuner setup requires basically no setup compared to options like Plex. On the home security front, I've never had any security service or devices. Being able to use their spy boxes for that purpose and being notified through their infrastructure would be nice. Most of the rest were cool announcements for some I would assume. Not things I see buying into although even that car device might be cool for a vehicle with an old head unit. I imagine they'll have a heads up device soon.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenshu View Post
    I guess my question now is, does a 5.1 system really add anything over 2.0 or 2.1 systems for MUSIC listening (which is what I'll be using them for mostly).

    Can't you get a similar feel of immersion from 2.0/2.1 speakers?
    I like surround for music but if you don't care about surround for anything else I wouldn't say to put it in for that purpose. I also like a sub for music but if you are set on high end speakers you could wait. Or if it fits your budget, get both. The one thing I like about waiting on the sub is you will probably be happy without one. Then, someday, you'll add one and your music will sound brand new. Same thing will happen with surround sound for video when you add that.

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