: TV Suggestions - Wake-on-LAN?

2011-07-08, 08:17 AM
My current setup:
Windows 7 PC containing media upstairs, connected to network (wired).
Home theatre downstairs with XBOX connected to network (wired). I use the Windows Media Center extender on the Xbox to stream video to the home theatre over the network. The computer sleeps after 30 minutes of inactivity, and the Xbox extender is able to wake the PC as needed.

I want to add a TV in my bedroom and am considering one of the newer models with an network port for playing video on the PC over the network. I know this won't be a WMC extender, but that's fine, as long as it can access and browse the files on the PC I'm ok with that.

My question is: Can any of these new TVs do Wake-on-LAN to wake up the PC as needed? I don't want to have to turn the PC on manually, or leave it running 24-7 (not at 10 cents/kwh!). Does anyone have some suggested models for me to look at?

2011-07-11, 03:05 PM
I see no response to this. FWIW, I have never heard of such as thing. If you have a smartphone or ipod touch, you can get apps to do it.

2011-07-11, 05:17 PM
I've never actually done this with a modern TV so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt.

In theory, if your TV is accessing SMB file shares on a Windows box (\\machinename\sharename), and the BIOS of that computer supports WOL, then when you try to access those file shares from the TV when your computer is sleeping (S1 or S3) the NIC will detect the network activity and wake the computer. It may take a few seconds for you to be able to actually browse the contents of your "server" machine, but it should still work.

I've seen this work between two different PCs, and I don't see why another device (TV, game console, etc) would make it work any differently. Since the "magic packet" is layer 2 (OSI), then it would likely have been implemented by most off-the-shelf NIC chipsets.

2011-07-11, 05:26 PM
The TV would need to support WOL for it to work. I've seen PC media software that does this but don't know what, if any, TVs do.

There are other options. Some BIOS and operating systems can be set to wake on any network activity. That's a two edged sword since other traffic could wake the PC. I've seen standby management built into media server software that will wake on predefined events and prevent standby when it is streaming media.

If all else fails, an RF remote (or IR remote with repeater) could be used to wake the server. You might also consider lengthening the standby time for the server or using standby management software that keeps the server awake when it is being used or during certain times of day.

2011-07-11, 06:39 PM
I see no response to this. FWIW, I have never heard of such as thing. If you have a smartphone or ipod touch, you can get apps to do it.
What Hugh said

that's how I do it for the 1 machine that doesn't have a smart enough box connected to it

2011-07-11, 09:17 PM
Another option could be buying a (discontinued) Linksys extender DMA 2100 or DMA 2200 on ebay. They seem to go for about $80 on average and they do likely give you more capability than the TV and you might save more than $100 by not needing this feature on your TV. And I think the extenders are more likely to support WOL functionality.

2011-07-11, 09:24 PM
or just another xbox 360

2011-07-12, 04:29 PM
Media Center Extenders do not support WOL (other than the XBox of course).

I do have a PC running at all times in my home (a server) and run a service on it called Wake Remote PC service. Basically, it watches for my extenders showing up on the network and then sends a WOL packet to the Media Center PC. If you have another PC in your house that is always on, then this would work for your connected TV as well.


2011-07-12, 05:45 PM
Dumb question #54... Since they are both Windows systems, why not combine the media server and file server in one PC and leave it on?

In my case, I have a Linux file server based on a low power Atom board. It stays on 24/7 but everything else is put into standby when not in use. The media server is based on a low power AMD CPU and runs Windows. The media server software, MediaPortal, has built in power management software that allows it to wake when clients call for services or recording events are scheduled. I would like to combine them but can't find a Windows based file server solution or a Linux based media server that meets all my needs. (Would love to get MythTV working but its not doable with the TV hardware and file server software I need.)

2011-07-13, 08:48 AM
As Hugh suggested, I already have an iPod touch with WOL software on it and it does work. However, if I have to go hunting for my iPod touch, then I might as well just go turn on the server manually.

It looks like buying another Xbox is probably the best solution, though also the most expensive one (isn't that how is usually works?). I was just hoping to have only a single device in the bedroom...the TV.

I'm shocked that no TV manufacturers have dealt with this issue already, especially with the new market obsession with energy efficiency. I guess there aren't enough high-techies out there for them to care.