use wifi (dsl internet) and blueray+ to watch tv

jerry_njOctober 7, 2013

I have looked on the Garden Web family and can't find a place better than this for techie questions even if it bridges to TV.

I have at one time looked at buying a Blueray and discussed it here. I decided to just keep using my DVD for rental (or check out from library) movies.

Now, again, tired of the cost of Cable TV (I have DSL Internet so I buy TV as a standalone service), I started looking at streaming TV over the Internet.

It seems this is possible if my DSL is fast enough (how fast does it need to be, will 3 MBit download be fast enough?), and I have some way to interconnect the streaming video into a TV via the HDMI (my more recent laptops have that interface), of course I need a TV with HDMI input, well it's about time to buy a panel (LED?) flat screen HDTV anyway.

But it seems if I buy one of the Blueray set tops it will support streeming video, including TV (cable stuff too). So again I am encouraged to buy a Blueray and a HDTV. As I use cable only for TV and even though I buy a next to minimum number of channels (80 as I recall) it still cost me about $50 a month including all the taxes (that's another yoke I am looking to drop at any chance, taxes). It could be I could pay for the Blueray and 32" (space limitation) LED TV in less than a year, $600 will buy a lot of electronics. That said, and limited to 32" on the LED panel do I need 1080p or is the 720p sufficient. I ask this in the context of a guy who shots digital pictures at 3 mp in a 10 mp camera as I believe I can not see the difference in a "snap shot" print of 4"x6" so I believe the same principal applies to TV, higher resolution is needed only for the larger screens.

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A little search uncovered the following recommendation on Internet speed: " In order to have smooth video, you need a connection that is more than 2 Mb/s. " so it look that an upgrade from my current 1.5 MB DSL to 3 MB DSL should allow me to run TV and Movies in a streaming mode.

It appears that services such as Netflix (not an endorsement) offer much of what I'm looking for for $8 a month, much lower than my cable TV.

I also see "smart" TVs offer the Internet interface and application support for service such as above making it unnecessary to buy a set top box (such as the BlueRay idea in my original post). I see this with WiFi interfaces too so no need to run an Ethernet cable. Better yet, I now can put a TV in any room in the house, no antenna coaxial to last, TV in the Bedroom.

I also see 1080p without a premium cost associated in the LED flat panel, the VIZIO (who has ever heard of that line?) 24" at Walmart is offered at under $200, I'll check back and expect to find a 32" under $250... and it seems no additional equipment needed .... well how about audio? The thin LED TV must have next to nothing for speakers.. one must need a separate audio system to get good sound...not sure here what the TV will drive - must have an output for a "home theater" sound system aka a stereo.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 3:42PM
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As far as what program sources to buy, it obviously depends what you want to watch or if you watch TV at all. Some people happily get along without a TV service, as a spending choice. It wouldn't work for me to not have access to news and sports programming and the other things my family watches. But maybe using Netflix and Hulu would be ok for you. Maybe you should try it before you cancel your cable service.

I wouldn't compare digital photo resolution with TV resolution. 1080 is "just like being there", 720 isn't, no matter what the screen size.

You won't get 1080 HD over a 3 meg line. Netflix says it's more like 5-7 megs for HD, and my experience with streaming video over my home network is that HD is frequently 7-9 megs. No worries, all the sites adjust the resolution for the available speed. Just don't expect to see the same quality as you see on display in the store from a 3mbs internet connection, it won't be there.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Thanks, I expect to get Cable News and local channels.. then some of the History, Discovery, even ESPN and MTV are watched on occasion

Netflix isn't very up front about what you get for $7.90, but it implies "everything". Same goes for Comcast, but I have navigated their web site enough to program information directly.

Sounds like I should go for the 1080p even if my internet speed will not support it. If I really like what I can get I may up the speed. The Century Link (my dsl provider) recommends 7 mb for streaming video, I haven't priced that out but the 3 mb runs about $50, so the offset closes fast as my dsl speed goes up. I have been quite happy with 1.5 mb for computer browsing/email/even youtube clips..but then my Internet goes back to the pre-internet days when we were all a buzz when we got a modem that went over 12K bits. Of course there was no real web browsing then.

I do like the idea of using wifi rather than tv cable to feed a tv where ever I want it within in WiFi cell size.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Here's the recommendations from Netflix

0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband speed
3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for DVD quality
5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
7.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for Super HD quality
12 Megabits per second - Recommended for 3D quality

So as you said, HD starts at 5 mb and "super" is 7 mb. I may just upgrade to 3 mb (dvd quality) and check out the operational benefits before I restructure my whole connect strategy: phone, internet, tv (which my go completely to streaming).

While I don't know what "DVD Quality" is, it looks like Netflix will work with me with my current 1.5 mb - something less than DVD, is that in fact standard definition tv? That being the case I can do an operational checkout using my existing Internet connections.

This really minimizes my initial investment: about $200 for a 24" Smart HDTV (with 1080p for when and if I up my speed to 3 mb or more). This gives me all I need at my end as I have a Wireless router - and yes, I need to sign up for Netflix which I believe can be tested for one month free.

I assume the flat screen comes with speakers? Of course that will not give me "home theater" sound but I don't have it now.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:06PM
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If you're buying a TV (and not a computer monitor), it most surely will have onboard speakers and perhaps an audio-out socket you could use to connect something else at a later date. If you're using a PC for the wifi connection, you could equally connect external speakers to the headphone jack of the PC.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:05PM
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snidley, thanks I just recall not seeing anything pointing forward that looked like a speaker grill, in fact all have such a narrow frame there is no place to hang a speaker.

I am looking at Smart TV now, and LED seems to be the main offer for technology of the display itself I am in the 32" and smaller size market.

I talked with my local telephone company, Century Link, and agreed to a complete remake of my service package. The straight forward approach would have been to simply increase my DSL from 1.5 to 3 MB, slow but useable it appears. But talking with the sales representative on the telephone (talking is often much better than chatting on the web) and exploring all the pieces of my existing package we found I could take a telephone/internet package that ups my DSL to 8 MB (seems that is enough for 1080p) and other features we like but were not buying... hey, more for less, yes I am still paying about the cost I found for the simple DSL increase but get a lot more. It turns out as I have been with them for 20 years I had a lot of old service offerings that are no longer offered - never mind the company never contacted me to tell me I could buy more for less if I updated my service package. Same has been true in cell and LD with AT&T (the company I retired from ) - the only way to learn some service you have is available for less is to ask.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Sounds like you got a good outcome on your service bundle. Great.

You're not alone in not keeping current with what was available. Some people check periodically but most (myself included) don't. Then, when something comes up that triggers an inquiry, you find out what you've been missing!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I share the next step and "learning" in my cut the cable (TV) effort. I think this subject bridges between computer and TV and if anyone thinks I should be posting elsewhere I will move and appreciate a point to a better forum for these topics.

Tomorrow I should see 8 mb DSL, but today I went ahead and signed up for Netflix for my computer connected to the Internet at 1.5 mb. Netflix gives the first month free, so the cost of learning is mostly time not money.

Looking at my services from Netflix, for what will be $7.99 mo in the future, it appears TV is in there somewhere, but I couldn't get to anything like Cable TV, or any broadcast TV. However, I requested a movie and it came up and ran rather well at 1.5 mb, very usable. I did detect on pause while the data caught up with my computer.. I was not connecting with a HDTV.. but a newer computer is close to HD in this application, isn't it? I'll try again tomorrow to see if 8 mb eliminates all delays. Netflix advertises it delivers data at a rate consistent with access speed.

Not finding any Fox News or anything else I went on line and did a "chat" with technical support . Support came quickly, not even a full minute delay before support asked me for my question.

The answer is they do not provide "cable" TV content, bet the cable companies are the reason.

But I eo remember a few months back I was looking for Fox News on the Internet and I got it. Can anyone give advice on how to get TV news and other programs in "real time" via the Internet?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:43PM
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No Netflix is not like watching live TV so you don't get CBS, ABC and such. It has to do with the networks really, not the cable provider. With netlfix you get movies and shows that have already aired. A good bit of older stuff. I happen to love Netflix streaming and find tons of stuff to watch. Have had it for a year now, has a lot of older stuff I like to watch. I watch it on my tablet in bed or my laptop as I don't have a roku or anything to stream it on the TV but this way suits my needs as hubby could care less about it. When we travel I have watched on my phone in the car too.

One thing to remember about Netflix is if you are in the middle of watching a series and the licensing expires for that show nextlfix has to drop it so it will be gone. Same is true for amazon streaming and I would imagine hulu.

As for fox news you can go here to watch the channel live but you need to log in with your provider log in. For example O'reilly factor is on right now so I click that then I have to log in with my time warner cable user name and password then the live stream loads. I have no clue if there is some place else to watch it outside of the live foxnews site.

I have time warner TV with their middle of the line internet and stuff streams really good for me with no buffering so I have always been a happy customer. At peak times you never notice any slow downs or at least in my area I never have and I have had their internet at least 10yrs or so.

I don't have a cable box in my bedroom as we only pay for one in the living room but I am able to log in to time warner upstairs on my laptop and watch a good many box channels live up here on the laptop. Also while traveling I have the time warner app on my tablet and can watch all the same live channels get at home over wifi in a hotel if the hotel TV is missing a channel I want to watch. Other than that I don't know if any other way to watch live TV on the computer as if the networks don't supply it like fox does then you can't I would think. Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: fox news

This post was edited by acraftylady on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 21:15

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Thanks that matches what I've found out in those areas (a subset of your use) and it is clear the WiFi HDTV has to be connected to the cable if I am to watch any of the Cable News and even the local channels. I am not interested in putting up an antenna for the local TV, I think broadcast reception is still weak where I live out in the country - NYC and Philadelphia are not real far, 40 miles and 55 miles, respectively, line-of-sight. Twenty years ago when I was till using an antenna, in fact there was no cable out here then, TV reception was poor. Antenna design may have improved in past years, but it sill will not give me cable news, History, Discovery, and the like. I even like some stuff on MTV.

I have already ordered an upgrade in my DSL to 8 mb, and now it seems I don't need it, but I may also go satellite via the phone company and get their "triple play" pricing and be able to drop cable that way.. and get more channels for less money.. Money isn't really the issue, I just don't like paying more than I have to.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:00PM
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We grew up not having cable TV as my parents couldn't afford that and up until about 5yrs ago my Mom still had the big antenna on the roof and the box with the dial on the console TV, one in a cabinet like they did back in the day.

Well she claims when my brother came to tar up by the chimney he must have bumped the antenna and that's what caused it to not work right any more, mind you it was 30yrs old, he he. That was the pushing point where she decided to get cable and enjoy TV in her old age and in the past year she upgraded yet again and got a 46" I think flat screen but instead of spending money on a nice piece of furniture it sits atop the old console.

The console still works too. Actually I think it reminds her of my father is why she keeps it as he loved watching his Jacques Cousteau on PBS on it. We only had one TV until I was in my late teens and then my mother decided I could have a small color one in my bedroom as every time I wanted to watch the Hardy Boys my father was watching PBS. I am only 50 but I barely remember having black and white and getting our first color set. Mary

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:35PM
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Sounds very familiar on the growing up economic front.

My daughter turned 51 today. She may remember our first color TV, it was in about 1968 when I took a correspondence course in color TV repair and built a Heath Kit color set as part of the hands-on training. In those days we were still used vacuum tubes, not transistors, forget integrated circuits.

I am a retired electrical engineer and did digital circuit design beginning in 1966, and we were designing with relays for logic and some solid state and even saw some integrated circuits in our designs by the early 1970s I still have parts of that TV in a shed, I keep thinking I should salvage all the vacuum tubes for use by someone who loves to keep antiques working.

Even with all those years of work in electronic/computer technology I now find myself lost in the maze of new stuff, much too small for my old eyes and hands to deal with. .

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:21PM
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"Netflix isn't very up front about what you get for $7.90, but it implies "everything"."

Netflix CS has been very good with me.I would suggest phone them and ask 1-866-579-7115.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Yes, I have communicate via "chat"... the service was very responsive and quickly gave me the information Netflix does not have license (I think that was the term) to Cable content.

The movie and old tv selection is broad but I am not interested in watching lots of movies. I will likely drop the service during the first "free" month trial.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Update on this expanded and helpful chat.. nevermind I am now using the DSL modem directly into notebook so I can get on the Internet.

My Smart HDTV arrived to day and I set it up in the bedroom to use for watching Netflix movies via my home network WiFi. This is a seasoned network and works with two notebooks - the Router also supports on Ethernet to a desktop.

While setting up the new Smart HDTV I got to the point where I needed to input my WiFi password. Unfortunately the hand control has only a number keyboard no alphabet - sadly my password is all letters.

No problem I think I'll just change my password to all numbers. Little had I remembered what had to be done to change this password. After some struggle on a W7 notebook I went asked the web and got enough of a tip to realize I had to use the Router Supplier to change the router (WiFi) password. This I find on looking for and finding my Router box a note by me telling me to long onto: So done I get the Netgear website and using the (10 year old information) User Name: admin and Password: password I get the ability to change my password. It seems the password in my Router is managed via this Netgear site... how little I remember : (

Anyway in the process I completely lose my network when the Netgear Site hangs up.. well I waited about a hour for it to complete my request and it didn't - on another try it kicked the link down

Then I figure how can I change a WiFi password using a WiFi - that is I can't simultaneously change the password in my computer and the Router (don't know that is necessary anyway) So I go to the desktop which is Ethernet and it too is dead.

I decide to back all the way out and kill the power and then repower both the DSL modem and the Router, bring only the Ethernet Desktop on line and insert the Netgear CD to run the easy setup.. this hangs because it can't "see" the Internet... the Router itself has the Internet indicator lit, albeit it blinks some.

That's when I plugged the Modem Ethernet directly into my notebook and logged on here... clearly I have a DSL/ISP service available, but the Desktop can not "see" it via the Router.

Maybe it is time for a new Router, but .. this has worked up to this afternoon when I tried to change the WiFi password.

Any ideas? How about the hand control for a smart HDTV, shouldn't it be able to put in the alphabet? We can do that even with the ten keys on a telephone.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Jerry, your posts are sometimes a bit long to follow. I'm not sure what's a question and what's not, but two thoughts struck me:

When entering the wifi password for the TV, it may work such that if you hit one number button repeatedly, it will scroll through the letters that are on that number button on a phone. (Meaning, hit the "2" only - the first press is 2, the second press is A, the third press is B, fourth press is C, etc. It may be uppercase first, then lower case following, so a small b might be 6 presses of the "2" button. Or the other way around. Or something like that). Or, there could be a button that serves as a cursor arrow. Play with it to see.

If your router is 10 years old, that's 180 years old in dog years. I've never gotten more than 4 or 5 years out of any of mine, and I tend to buy better quality ones. Treat yourself to a new router.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Sorry about the ramble... and typos too. I find when I start typing here I am also analyzing (best I can) the problem and thoughts occur to me. I'll try to do better. At least this last time I did a search on the web first and that put me on to what should have allowed me to reset the password.

I didn't try but can, pushing on the number on the Smart HDTV controller to see if the old telephone alphabet applies there too. If that works only in WiFi setup it would still allow or selecting channel 111, say, as one hundred eleven.

I looked in my records and found the Router was purchased in January 2008, so 5+ years old, I tend to exaggerate when going from memory.... I supports 802.11g 54 MB, more than any demand I can make/support.

The problem now seems that whatever happened when I requested a password change from the Netgear Web Site ( something got screwed up in the Router. It can no longer even deliver the Internet to one Ethernet connection - nothing else on. Right now I am accessing the Internet via a direct connection between my notebook and the DSL modem. This works when I use the same Ethernet cable that normally goes to the Router.

The Netgear I have looks like what they still sell and it seems to still be supported as the site offered an update on my Router firmware, I declined thinking I'd do after the password change, maybe a bad decision.

Now I can't even get to the Netgear site via the Router, so I assume it can't do anything for the Router... I'll try to see what it thinks of me coming to their site minus a Router.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 9:19PM
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A follow up to share what I learned.

The Smart HDTV is now working and delivering streaming movies to our bedroom via the WiFi. The only wires to the HDTV (Vizio) is the house A/C electricity.

1) Don't change the WiFi password in a router using the WiFi interface, use a Ethernet interface. This is based on experience with 5 year old Netgear (low end) Router still 54 mb capable 802.11n?
I tried and the Router ended up locked up. The password change may gone astray in any case the Router could not access the internet for connection to either the Ethernet or the WiFi. Lights on the Router showed both the Internet and WiFi okay. I replaced with a newer Netgear which supports 150 mb and has more Internet based features.

2) My Smart HDTV (all?) does provide for inputting all keyboard characters via an on-screen keyboard(s). I got in trouble because the number only input on the hand controller made me decide to change my Router password to all numbers, which I did on the new Router. Still better, much faster putting in numbers from the channel keypad than to use the "Hunt and Peck" on screen keyboard. The (my) HDTV does not have a touch screen so one has to click the pointer around the keyboard to pick out inputs. This into my view only after I entered the all numeric password and hit the "OK" - the next screen was the subject keyboard - which I no longer needed, but did need later when logging onto Netflix. The operation involves being in a data field, input any leading numbers (best) from the hand held keys then hit the "OK". An on screen keyboard then appears. If nothing more is needed, i.e., all numbers, click down to the "Enter".

Side benefit: then new Router specifies Windows 8 compatibility - the old one was XP, maybe Vista qualified and some older Routers have problems with newer OS.

The HDTV showing a Netflix movie had no detectible breaks (buffering?). I thought maybe that is because of the new Router, as my W8 computer had (and still has) some breaks in Netflix streaming, not sure about other services. The W8 laptop still exhibits this problem.

One last start up issue on the HDTV. After logging on to my WiFi I pushed the Netflix button on my controller and Netflix started to load but failed. I started over again, it failed again. I then tried the Amazon application and it too failed. I then when into "chat" with Netflix technical support (they came on quickly) after the exchange of information on the situation on my end the support person typed, try youtube, so I did, and it come up/worked. I typed back the smart HDTV must be learning or youtube is more fault tolerant, No response, but I then tried Netflix and it worked and continues to work.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:38AM
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