: Apple TV/streaming audio/video from a pc
2007-10-03, 11:34 AM
I have a pc in my office. It communicates with the web through a wireless Linksys router that sits by the modem and my TV in the den.
I wish to be able to show jpeg's/hear audio (stored on my pc) on my lcd tv.
I've been told that if I hook an Apple TV box to my router I could stream my pc audio/video (wirelessly) to the lcd TV.
I understand that I would have to use the iTunes software which means I would have to make iTunes my default media player as I'm currently using the WMP on my pc.
Will the Apple TV box do this? What problems will I encounter switching over to iTunes. I run Windows XP with a 2.8G chip
Is there an alternative to Apple Tv
thanks a bunch...this is my first post...and I'm not very adept at this techie stuff...read not young
2007-10-03, 01:31 PM
Welcome, and congrats on being "not young" but still interested in diving in.
There are several options available to you, and Apple TV would accomplish your goal but you'd probably have more hoops to jump through than you require.
- how far away is your PC from your TV?
- do you want to be able to listen to music on the TV while someone is doing something else on the PC, or do you want to have the same thing playing on the PC and TV at the same time?
- is your computer a Windows XP Home version or Windows XP Media Center version?
- what kind of music files do you want to listen to? I assume MP3 and WMA, but since you're not using iTunes already probably not the iTunes Apple format
- do you have any video on the PC that you want to watch on the TV, and if yes what format is it in?
2007-10-04, 11:42 AM
thanks for the response
the pc is 40 feet away...down the hall from the den and in the spare bedroom
I can't see the tv unless I go to the door and look down the hall.
I use a range booster linksys router (g series)...good communication 54mbps
I would want to access the pc's files from the den to see/hear on the tv/surround system in the den. No one would be using the pc while it was communicating with the gear in the den
Windows XP Home version
Wish to use WMA and mp3 files
video would be jpeg's plus I make movies from my slides...I think they end up in a MPG2 format; I use the ProShow Gold program for this
thanks for your help
2007-10-04, 04:36 PM
So here are your options:
Make your PC's audio and video appear on the TV in your bedroom using something like this. http://www.thesourcecc.com/estore/Product.aspx?language=en-CA&catalog=Online&category=VideoSender&product=1518974
I wouldn't think that would be very easy to control though.
More likely to be of use to you is a medialounge type device. It works like Apple TV, but integrates better with Windows Media Player. http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=127&sec=0
If you can wait a few weeks, personally I'd get one of these: http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Promotion_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1175237542889&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=4288927773L03
They'll do the audio/video playback that you're looking for right now, plus if and when you upgrade to Vista it'll give you the full sexy media center experience. Again, this has better integration with Windows Media Player than the Apple TV would.
Finally, and depending on what you want from this device, the XBox 360 would make a great media player for you. With the DVD drive and the ability to play games, it's a bit overkill but the pricepoint is pretty good. Only downside is that it has some fan noise with it.
For any of these options you're looking at $150-300.
2007-10-04, 06:46 PM
Many thanks. I'll read each thread and get back to you if I have questions. We're away for the long weekend so it will be next week. The price is not a problem.
The whole point of the exercise is:
Instead of inviting folks into my small bedroom/office and crowding around the computer to see slide shows I would prefer to have folks sit in the den and see the pics on a bigger screen.
At the same time when it's only I and my wife in the den maybe we could use the music files on the computer to be played through the stereo system
As it is now I have a Onkyo 7.1 system that also has Net-Tune. It has an ethernet port and talks to the computer so I can get internet radio and music from my pc. But that's another story. I've had it for a few years and it's only lately I've tackled the set-up. Haven't had the modem/wireless router for long and other life stuff didn't permit the time to set it up/learn it
again thanks...talk to you later
2007-10-04, 09:38 PM
You would absolutely love Media Center. I personally think that browsing photos and music using media center is the killer app. You probably don't want a new PC right now, but when you're looking for your next PC look for one with Vista Home Premium (pretty much every computer sells with that now). The photo slideshows, remote control interface, etc is all really well done and will blow away any of the other options as far as ease of use and general sexiness goes.
Knowing group slideshows are a primary need, I definitely recommend going with a media player that is also an "Extender for Media Center" so you can take advantage of that in the future.
As a last thought, I saw this thing in the store the other day and was really impressed. It's a tiny Vista PC, but really you'd be able to use it in your bedroom just like one of these media extenders. Believe it or not, it's actually smaller than most of the other media players I linked to earlier. It does have Vista Media Center installed, and you'd be able to use it to play back all of the media on your computer in the den. It's $475 though. http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=014898&cid=170.45
2007-10-04, 10:05 PM
You're being very helpful.
I think the D-Link Media Extender is likely the best possibility. So long as there is a remote to work it with in the den, to pull the data from the pc rather than go to the pc and "push" the data...I must be getting lazy.
The DMA2100 might be the choice as I already have a DVD player hooked to the Onkyo. I'm not sure what the next model up would do apart from having a second DVD player
Where did you learn about this product. Have you seen it?
The XBox 360 is likley out. On first pass I think my current XP Home OS rules it out.
I started out by first considering a laptop sitting near the Onkyo/TV in the den and using it to access my office desktop files. It wasn't til a salesguy showed me the Apple TV that I got on to this with you.
Do you have any thoughts about putting/using a laptop in place of the Media Extender. What would be some of the pros/cons. Cost I realize is more, but if there were some super benefits I could be convinced. Certainly it would hook to my network in the house; it could talk to the desktop and then play the files on the Onkyo/lcd
As one of the last bits in all my changes I'd like to add a STB(with HD) into the TV stereo system, so I have to consider if a laptop is the better way to go
Arghh...I wish sometimes things would stand still. I still use an old Sony transistor radio (ICF 7600) in my wood shop.
2007-10-04, 10:10 PM
I missed something in your last thread. When you say Media Cetnter is the way to go...is this the software or hardware you're referring to
2007-10-04, 10:13 PM
It must be getting late. Media Center I take it is a variation on Windows Vista
2007-10-04, 10:58 PM
Why so little love for the ATV, it's not that bad of a device and for the use described here, it will more than do the job. If there is no 'true' HD content to stream, it's a pretty good device. And sooner or later, hackers will get their way with it and make thing simpler and more open.
My issue with the other media players is the UI which sucks big time IMHO and they lack horse power and extendability (added feature, improvements with updates)
As far as media extenders, they require a Windows box and this is a major turn off for many people. So if you ever build a small server or use a NAS, your screwed.
An finally, PC's are mostly clunky, cost an arm and leg and raise your electricity bill quite a bit.
This is my personal opinion but it's some time nice to see what's out there.
My 2 cents
2007-10-04, 11:36 PM
Thanks for your response. I haven't ruled out the ATV just yet, but it would mean moving over to iTunes on my desktop...I think. For an older guy this can lead to problems. So far WMP works fine...so I think I should stick to pc appliactions/hardware
But I have heard from a relaible source that the new version of ATV will likley be out before Xmas, so I will wait.
My kids all use Apple computers and I do agree there's lots to like.....but I have a fairly new PC...I used PC's in my working life but if one had to keep changing hardware, ones bank account would soon be empty.
What's a NAS
2007-12-01, 12:04 AM
Can't Apple TV stream true HD if that's the format you have in iTunes? iTunes doesn't care how big the file is.
(Responding to earlier post that suggested unless you want true HD, Apple TV is the way to go.)
2007-12-01, 02:37 PM
It's not a matter of how 'big' the file is, but rather what's in it ...
Here is what is supported with the current version:
* H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps) in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
* iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels or 640 by 480 pixels
* MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps) in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
Has you can see, only 720p can be achieved and that, at a low bitrate of 5 Mbps.
2007-12-02, 12:54 AM
Then you're not streaming. According to the Apple Store employee I spoke with today, this should enable true HD Quicktime files, for instance, to play in HD on an HDTV.
In fact, he said that any Mac iLife apps projects--in iMovie, or Garageband, for instance--will be seen by Apple TV and can be synced or streamed. But he suggested syncing HD content as if you're not on a wireless N network, video could stutter if streamed.
2007-12-04, 08:35 PM
A wired connection should be more than enough to allow any streaming (SD,HD). Wireless is another thing ... I don't use wireless since my house is wired with cat 6 wires all over.