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Author Topic: How to turn your computer into a TV replacement and available services  (Read 4292 times)
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3catkidneyfailure
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« on: April 23, 2010, 06:30:10 AM »

If anyone knows how, that's what I want to do. I know there are free TV reception programs out there,
but I'm also interested in pay services that allow you to get service.

My local channels and cable company are very limiting. So any advice would be appreciated, from software setup, to available websites, to paid subscriptions, to equipment advice.

Thanks!
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catbird
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 07:38:54 AM »

I don't use it myself (don't watch that much TV), but one of my daughters uses Hulu, which is currently free:

http://www.hulu.com/tv  gives specs for the service.


Recently Hulu has also announced a pay service that is in the planning stages; the announcement has generated quite a bit of controversy.

http://topnews.us/content/217848-hulu-going-free-paid
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JJ
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 11:33:43 AM »

catbird they just did a story on Hulu yesterday on the news about making some of it a subscription service. Was planning on checking into this also but 3cats if you go check it out please post back w/info. Thx!
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 12:55:33 PM »

Yep. Brother uses Hulu. Works great! Thing is, if you want to just be able to view the programs on your computer, it's just a subscription. If, on the other hand, you want to feed it to your TV, you need a server and the subscription. That could run you between 1 and 2K.
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catbird
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 01:10:33 PM »

I'd think it would be possible to feed it through your computer to your TV if your TV has various types of inputs, as most of the newer HD ones do, and if you have a laptop.  My daughter has been able to do that with a Mac laptop, which in essence becomes the server.
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 01:49:35 PM »

Signed up for Hulu account [free so far], and used it on a 2006 laptop with XP with SP3 and a single
core CPU and a really slow wifi connection. Works fine, but haven't explored all the Channels yet. Found
some interesting things to watch, but not a lot of choice on stations you connect to.

I think to run your computer into your TV and use your computer as a server, you have to have HDMI
connection capabilites on your computer and your TV and have an HDMI connection cable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
Not sure, though. Asking ...
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 01:53:00 PM by 3catkidneyfailure » Logged
lesliek
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 04:05:05 PM »

Check the major networks websites also , many of them have full length shows available for free.
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catbird
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2010, 04:39:42 PM »

I had thought that my daughter did it with FireWire; not sure.
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2010, 11:32:48 PM »

A lot of people like Netflix. It has a much bigger selection than hulu. You can either get dvds by mail or watch streaming online videos. To watch video from your computer on your tv you run a cable from video out on your computer to your tv. If you have a hidef tv you use a HDMI cable.
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2010, 05:09:14 AM »

thanks, Ned. They're changing the technologies so fast that everything you buy today is obsolete tomorrow. If you look up HDMI in Wiki, there are already about four different versions of that. So I guess one needs to buy everything at once, TV, computer, monitor, dvd player to be compatible.

I'm tempted to buy a new computer with a fairly large monitor (over 20 inches) and a built-in dvd player and some compatible speakers, and a high speed internet connection and be done with it. Then I'll just have to wait for a subscription online TV service to catch up it sounds like. No one is using a subscription online TV service and can describe what kind of packages there are?

If you search CNET download.com for "online tv, internet tv, online tv player," there's a whole bunch
of software results, in the hundreds. One that caught my eye is for XP and Vista:

TV Toolbar 2.4, an Internet Explorer add on described as:
CNET editors' review
Reviewed by: CNET staff on December 16, 2009

"TV Toolbar is an add-on for Internet Explorer that provides links to legitimate, high-quality TV shows, movies, and more. Although the toolbar doesn't give you access to anything you couldn't find yourself, having the links in one well-organized place is an advantage.

The toolbar's interface is attractive and integrates well with Internet Explorer. Mouseover tooltips explain each of the icons representing the toolbar's major features. Users can select from lists of television channels, shows, and movies, and the toolbar will link to legitimate content hosted on the networks' Web sites or on sites like Hulu. You won't find low-quality, pirated content here, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you're into. The toolbar also contains links to plenty of other types of online resources, including social-networking sites, medical information, shopping links, weather, and more. There's even an Internet radio player with a variety of stations. The toolbar's online Help file is well written and thorough, and we enjoyed having quality, functional links to so much online entertainment all in one place. Users who don't have cable or just want to watch TV on the go will find this a very enjoyable gadget, and parents will appreciate the fact that the toolbar doesn't provide links to content that's inappropriate for kids.

TV Toolbar is free to download and use, and it installs and uninstalls without issues. Overall, we found it to be a handy IE add-on, and we recommend it to all TV lovers." So I'm going be trying this one out today ... CNET is not always right. More later.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:28:23 AM by 3catkidneyfailure » Logged
3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2010, 04:03:21 PM »

So far, TV Toolbar works great on XP and IE8. Not a hitch yet on computer performance or installation and puts everything altogether for the user. Catching up on House and different CSIs, lol.
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petslave
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2010, 05:35:38 PM »

Interesting about the TV Toolbar.  I typed it into google and there are several with that name, a .org and a few .coms.  The one on CNET is this one:

http://www.onlinetvtoolbar.com
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2010, 06:00:15 PM »

I think, petslave, what you linked is a subscription service that you have to pay for. What I downloaded is free and an Internet Explorer
add on toolbar, something different.

This is what I downloaded and installed from CNET for free that seems to work well and be light on computer resources and so far problem free. Even has links to web cams at the San Diego Zoo for elephants, apes, polar bears, and pandas. Kind of neat! History channel, A&E, CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC and a number more. The file is 1.42 MB in size and comes with an uninstaller. I scanned it with AV and Anti-Malware, and there weren't any problems found:

http://download.cnet.com/TV-Toolbar/3000-12512_4-10909298.html
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 06:04:09 PM by 3catkidneyfailure » Logged
petslave
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2010, 06:14:44 PM »

I wondered about that.  It sure looked like you had to pay for that other one listed on CNET. 

I usually try to go to the original website for these types of downloads to check out all the details, but I can't seem to find one for TV Toolbar 2.4.  My search skills seem to be declining with age!
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2010, 07:52:23 PM »

Everything relating to online TV also seems to be called the same thing. So I don't think its a matter of search skills at all. The name of this file is bestgoogletoolbar.exe copyright Conduit Ltd.
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