Android smartphone instead of HTPC? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-08, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 32
Android smartphone instead of HTPC?

I have been looking at the features I use on my HTPC and then comparing it to my smartphone.

I have started to realize that all the features I use on my HTPC are available on my android smartphone and I got to thinking. Im feeling rather ambitious at the thought of this maybe its the rye and coke I have been consuming but I think it is feasable. I am just unsure as to the praticality of using it.

I use an xperia arc and it supports HDMI output. This is not just a video out feature for media playback but the entire OS.

I have looked at available apps and was surprised at the offerings.

I use magic jack for home phone.
Netflix + Hulu + OTA hdtv channels for my media.
I own a PS3 Xbox 360 and Wii as well as a gaming pc and have found myself lately playing android games. I am pleasantly surprised at the games available on android.

I also use the speakout wireless exploit on my smartphone and get unlimited data more or less for $10 a month on my smartphone.

I got to thinking how nice it would be if I just made a small cradle behind my wallmounted tv for my android smartphone and using that as my Media center. I could essentially turn my tv into the smartest of smart tvs using my smartphone.

I can use netflix through my phone just fine.
Hulu apps are available but I have yet to try them.
I can play all types of games using a ps3 controller synced to my phone as well as the Onlive gaming app to access graphics intensive games that would require a dedicated graphics card.
There is a magic jack app available for android.
Now there is a live dock that is offered by sony that would let me use USB accssories like a keyboard and mouse or gamepad etc. I wonder if it would support a magic jack.

so thoughts and wondering if anyone else has considered using a setup similar to this.

I really like the thought of utilizing my smartphone to its full capacitys and being a portable media htpc at the same time. The biggest drawback I can think of at this point is storage and an acceptable and simple way to use all the features from the comfort of a couch when the smartphone is docked.

So if anyone has any ideas or feedback feel free to add to this thread.
sparky204 is offline  
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-08, 01:42 PM
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Probably better to use your phone as a remote control and have a dedicated box, like Roku/Boxee/Plex/AppleTV/GoogleTV... Especially if someone else might want to watch it while you are out with your phone...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-08, 02:06 PM
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If I understand what you are describing, utilizing your phone with the unlimited "browsing" as unlimited "data" with Speakout, go ahead and use it. We'll all benefit from these types of uses by either losing the $10 per month service or by the price going up but in the meantime you will have benefited. Perhaps I misunderstand but if indeed you will be moving GB's of data for $10 per month and are, it will end some day?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-08, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Im not worried about the plan disapearing. If it does it does. Until then take advantage of it. Whats the point of having a great plan and not utilizing it for fear of having it taken away for overuse. That is some real backward logic.

High demand for such a service would mean the suppliers would adjust to meet the demand. If you dont use it and keep it hush hush the way most of these speakout users try to, the demand stays small and therefore carriers will see no need to offer plans similar to the speakout.

I for one emplore everyone to try to use the speakout plans whenever its feasable.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-08, 05:44 PM
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Location: Whitby, Ontario
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I'd be more worried about the processor or radio burning out prematurely due to the excess decoding processes required.

This isn't really what smart phones are designed for.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-01-09, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by sparky204 View Post
I can use netflix through my phone just fine.
Try blowing the phone version of Netflix onto a big screen HDTV and I think you might be a little disappointed with the outcome. You'd be far better off buying a Logitech Revue Google TV box for $150 and using that.

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