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  #1  
Old 09-06-2005, 04:04 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Wireless media sharing - PC to Home Theater?

I'm looking for a solution for sharing my digital media (MP3's, photos, video) between my home PC and my Home Theater. There seem to be a few decent solutions out there but most seem immature at this point, don't play all of the common file types, or have crappy interfaces. I've looked at the D-Link Wireless Media player (DSM-320), Pinnacle ShowCenter and the ROKU PhotoBridge and I'm trying to determine if I should take the plunge now or wait for better/upgraded versions of these or other products. Links to the 3 are below.

My requirements are fairly basic:

1. Must handle music, photos and video (in that order of preference)
2. Must work wirelessly on my Linksys network (I have 802.11B now but I will go to G soon) and have encryption.
3. Should have a very good user interface that displays Title, Artist, Albumn, etc and allows setup and access to all folders, playlists, random, etc.
4. A robust remote control.
5. Fairly straight forward operation (e.g. you shouldn't have to press more than 3 or 4 buttons to get to a song, playlist, etc.)
6. Component video, HDTV display, optical audio would be nice-to-have's.
7. Price should be reasonable....low hundreds at the most, certainly not more than $300 or $400.

Also, I'm replacing my home PC pretty soon and will have a fast processor, lots of RAM and a supersized SATA HD, running XP Pro (not Media Center).

D-Link MediaLounge Wireless Media Player
http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=318

Pinnacle Show Center
http://www.hometheaterspot.com/html/...iew.php?rev=57

ROKU PhotoBridge
http://www.rokulabs.com/products/hd1000/features.php

Looking for anyone who is familiar with these products or others like them. Anyone set up a snazzy way to share media between home PC and HT system?
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2005, 06:48 PM
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TLudwig TLudwig is offline
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A Tivo connected to your home theater system and wirelessly connected to your secured network will do everything you need. Once you download the multi-media package, you can share media files or folders (songs and pictures--I've never tried video before) wirelessly to the tivo, which comes with an easy-to-use remote.

You can play music files individually or from a folder (normally or on random). Your folder setup on the tv display is identical to that on your computer (folders within folders), so it's easy to navigate between folders. During playing, the television screen displays the name of the song, the artist, etc. in a display that periodically moves around the screen. For picture files, you can view them individually or create a slideshow. I haven't tried to view video files with it, so I have no idea about that capability.

The tivo supports encryption (mine is set at 128-bit). It works perfectly fine with my Linksys wireless network (802.11g) (although I had to get older b-adapters for compatibility with the tivo).

As far as the connections, it supports S-Video and the regular A/V cables (red, white, and yellow). My model does not support component video, but other newer models might.

The price ranges a lot on these from around $100 after rebates to $500, depending on the size of the hard-drive and options like DVD-R.

The tivo also has other features, which if you've never experienced one, will change how you watch tv, allowing you to rewind, replay, and pause live tv as you watch it. It halso as recording options you wouldn't believe.

For me personally, I have a desktop and laptop connected to my Linksys network and two theater centers (one in the living room and other in the workout room), each of which is connected to a tivo. This setup allows me to share songs and pictures from either computer to either or both entertainment centers. It allows me to share recorded shows or movies between entertainment centers. And it does all of this wirelessly and in a user-friendly manner.

Rereading what I wrote, this sounds like a sales pitch, but once you get it all set up, it's pretty exciting.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2005, 01:49 AM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLudwig
A Tivo connected to your home theater system and wirelessly connected to your secured network will do everything you need. Once you download the multi-media package, you can share media files or folders (songs and pictures--I've never tried video before) wirelessly to the tivo, which comes with an easy-to-use remote.

You can play music files individually or from a folder (normally or on random). Your folder setup on the tv display is identical to that on your computer (folders within folders), so it's easy to navigate between folders. During playing, the television screen displays the name of the song, the artist, etc. in a display that periodically moves around the screen. For picture files, you can view them individually or create a slideshow. I haven't tried to view video files with it, so I have no idea about that capability.

The tivo supports encryption (mine is set at 128-bit). It works perfectly fine with my Linksys wireless network (802.11g) (although I had to get older b-adapters for compatibility with the tivo).

As far as the connections, it supports S-Video and the regular A/V cables (red, white, and yellow). My model does not support component video, but other newer models might.

The price ranges a lot on these from around $100 after rebates to $500, depending on the size of the hard-drive and options like DVD-R.

The tivo also has other features, which if you've never experienced one, will change how you watch tv, allowing you to rewind, replay, and pause live tv as you watch it. It halso as recording options you wouldn't believe.

For me personally, I have a desktop and laptop connected to my Linksys network and two theater centers (one in the living room and other in the workout room), each of which is connected to a tivo. This setup allows me to share songs and pictures from either computer to either or both entertainment centers. It allows me to share recorded shows or movies between entertainment centers. And it does all of this wirelessly and in a user-friendly manner.

Rereading what I wrote, this sounds like a sales pitch, but once you get it all set up, it's pretty exciting.
I can't believe I never knew about this. I have a 3 year old Tivo and was thinking of getting a new HD version soon. Do I need any special software or upgrade to make this work?

EDIT: I might have a problem. It looks like the additional Tivo service features such as Digital Music, Digital Photos, etc. are not available for the DIRECTV Tivo box, only a Series 2 Tivo. Can you confirm that? Otherwise, this is clearly my best alternative.
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Last edited by jetstream23; 09-07-2005 at 02:48 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2005, 11:46 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Confirmed on the weaknees.com website as well as at Tivo.com that the DirecTV Tivo box does not give you access to those addtional features.

Now, back to my original post....what technology are you guys using to send MP3's, photos, etc. wirelessly from your PC to your home theater or TV in another room?
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2005, 07:24 AM
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Pete Teoh Pete Teoh is offline
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There are uhm... "workarounds" to get Home Media and Multi Room Viewing enabled on DirecTiVo boxes... not that I'd ever do anything like that.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2005, 11:19 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Teoh
There are uhm... "workarounds" to get Home Media and Multi Room Viewing enabled on DirecTiVo boxes... not that I'd ever do anything like that.
How painful of a workaround for a novice?
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2005, 12:36 PM
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michelito michelito is offline
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I'm looking at the same kind of solution... unfortunately Tivo isn't available in Canada - pity, they are selling'em cheap right now on their website.
Has anyone used the XBOX Media Center Extender? I can buy it right now for about $50CAN but am wondering if it does the job ok. It would certainly be cheap.
I have to take a look at the options jetstream listed as well...
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2005, 01:10 PM
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WileECoyote WileECoyote is offline
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BTW, TiVos won't play any videos other than their own format. So far, you can't make a video, convert and download it to your TiVo and play it.

My TV does have the Home Media option, so I can look at Photos and play music.

A better solution for Home Theater would be to buy a cheap media-based PC and put it on your network.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2005, 03:28 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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A DirecTV Series2 Tivo with HMO (Home Media Options that give you Music, Photos, etc. streaming from your PC) is the ideal solution !!!
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2005, 03:36 PM
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Pete Teoh Pete Teoh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetstream23
How painful of a workaround for a novice?
It's not terribly difficult. You need to have basic PC knowledge, i.e., how to hook up a hard drive (from your TiVo) to a standard PC, setting master/slave mode on the HD. The software installation is easy if you purchase the software from PTVupgrade: http://downloads.ptvupgrade.com/Merc...vc?Screen=PLST
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