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View Full Version : Need advice on laptop/tablet for TV connecting


hotreds
03-10-2013, 09:35 AM
I would like to buy a cheap tablet/laptop that would be a slave unit strictly to connect to my TV. Any suggestions on what used unit or cheap new unit would work best for this. I'm thinking about keeping it next to the TV and using it only attached to the TV.

I'm guessing a laptop/tablet with an HDMI output? Or even an S-Video output? My TV has all kindsa inputs, so no worries on that score.

Commander Quan
03-10-2013, 10:20 AM
What's your goal in doing this? Watching internet TV, viewing photo's videos you've downloaded, or something else?

AdamJoshua
03-10-2013, 10:29 AM
Right off the bat I think / iPad + Apple TV (97 bucks). One 'button' streaming wirelessly to your tv, screen mirroring, and using the tablet (and or iphone) as a remote even if you want, oh and you can stream your music through your tv speakers. Then you can do all the regular apple tv things, rent movies, watch movie apps (crackle comes to mind.. free Sony movie / tv show app) play games, etc., etc., plus it's basically fool proof.

NeuRon
03-10-2013, 10:48 AM
I have an extra ipad 3 w/retina display that i was going to post up for sale Hugh. 64gb w/wifi. Inused it about four times. Lol.. Has some extras too.. Contact me if interested sir

Ron

hotreds
03-10-2013, 01:48 PM
What's your goal in doing this? Watching internet TV, viewing photo's videos you've downloaded, or something else?

Strictly internet TV

Prefy
03-10-2013, 02:32 PM
Are you stuck on getting a tablet/Laptop? If you are looking for something to stream video you could go with an Apple TV (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/apple_tv) or a Roku (http://www.roku.com/).

Essentially these pack all the features and more of Smart TVs...Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Instant, Sports Channels etc.

hotreds
03-10-2013, 07:48 PM
I guess what I'm looking for is an inexpensive laptop with an HDMI port.

elderboy02
03-10-2013, 08:21 PM
I just bought a Slingbox 350 from Amazon. You hook it up to your DVR and then you can watch your TV anywhere. You can then buy any tablet and watch it on there Hugh :tu

themoneycollector
03-10-2013, 11:01 PM
Hugh, take a look into a raspberry pi

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14631

$35 + $5-10 for an 8GB SD card and you have a mini-computer at your disposal. Add another $10 for an optional case (or there's even a pdf available for a homeade box that you can print on card stock and keep your unit in there).

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1310

I have been looking into one since I tend to use my laptop connected to my tv to view streaming videos over the web. I'm just not sure the raspberry pi can do view all mpeg, mkv, and various format avi's from files or just about any website, like I can do on my laptop. I just haven't taken the time to do much reading, but it sure does seem like it.

AdamJoshua
03-10-2013, 11:20 PM
Hugh, take a look into a raspberry pi

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14631

$35 + $5-10 for an 8GB SD card and you have a mini-computer at your disposal. Add another $10 for an optional case (or there's even a pdf available for a homeade box that you can print on card stock and keep your unit in there).

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1310

I have been looking into one since I tend to use my laptop connected to my tv to view streaming videos over the web. I'm just not sure the raspberry pi can do view all mpeg, mkv, and various format avi's from files or just about any website, like I can do on my laptop. I just haven't taken the time to do much reading, but it sure does seem like it.


I don't think he's looking for a board that you can turn into a cheap and sorry but underpowered computer out of?

This is what you get:

http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/raspberry_pi_beta_001-580x317.jpg

themoneycollector
03-11-2013, 12:41 AM
cheap yes, quite a stretch to call it sorry and underpowered. It's a fully powered Linux computer in a tiny form factor. I'd say it's more capable than other option mentioned so far and open source at a significantly lower price as well.

Ethernet, HDMI, that's about all the connectivity you need. As far as I can tell, it has 2 things more than an ipad at 1/10th the cost. OK so you'll need an additonal $10 usb dongle to get wifi on it if you can't do wired ethernet.

I have had a similar interest to find something cheap to leave connected to my tv as well to do these:
1). play movies/music off network shared drive or nas (or saved onto a USB or SD card - wait....even an ipad doesn't even give you a usb port standard on a $300+ device)
2). view *most any* (here's where I'm not fully sure, but all signs point to yes) web based videos (youtube, putlocker). Netflix is available with some additonal work, but hopefully should be a nice neat app soon.

The RPi is just an option depending on whether you wanted to spend the minimum and still have great tv capabilities. If you're budget is higher, I would recommend a miniITX form factor HTPC before spending the money on an ipad/appletv. You'd still come out ahead and completely blow away any option in terms of flexibility and capability.

MajorCaptSilly
03-11-2013, 06:00 AM
Lenovo makes a "Tiny" PC. They come in a lot of flavors including one with a DVD R/W drive. Since you'll be using your TV screen for browsing, these may be less space consuming.


MCS

OLS
03-11-2013, 08:59 AM
Check with Bill86, Hugh.
He might not have anything like that, but he is the undisputed laptop king of the Asylum.
Tell him Brad sent you, lol.

Bill86
03-12-2013, 08:05 AM
It appears I have been summoned here. As someone who has 3 TVs running off laptops I will toss in my 2 cents.

HDMI is a must. With todays current tv's you will want to get a laptop with HDMI for it. Also you could consider a dummy computer to run one TV and set up a network for all the other TV's in the house. I run a cheap $400 desktop PC with 5 TB storage and just throw away $150-$300 laptops on most TV's. Also consider you could take one laptop and move it to any TV in the house.

When doing this you can run your current cable provider setup through Windows Media Center. It has everything and IMHO works wonderfully. If you set up a permanent desktop to it you could also store music/movies and record TV on it. Makes a nice one click setup to a vast amount of content. Also you don't need to buy/pay for anything to record TV.

If you decide to go the route of a desktop, you'll want a SSD, a decent bit of ram, decent processor and onboard video with a mobo as it doesn't matter. Then just 1TB Hard drives as you fill them. Relatively cheap.

As far as specs on a laptop, 2.0 dual core +, 4 gigs of ram, HDMI, rest really doesn't matter. I'd say go for a decent video card should you choose to play blurays on the laptop through your TV. You will need 2.0 dual core + to play 1080P blurays. If the laptop doesn't have a bluray player you could always rip them to it and play them without it. Though this would take a bit of time. Of course a SSD never hurts either. I've turned a few people onto them and I've never heard anyone ever want to go back. This will of course speed up and loading times you might have on programs/browsing windows and boot times.

For a laptop, I would say browse craigslist. You can get some real steals in the $300 price range. Certainly something that could handle a bit more should you ever choose to do more with it.

If you have any other questions I'm sure I can more than answer them. Just shoot me a PM.

MajorCaptSilly
03-12-2013, 09:55 AM
+1 on SSD. I'm running an almost 7-year-old laptop at work with a 120GB SSD and it boots lightning quick and my huge Outlook file opens immediately. It also nice to not hear a hard drive spinning all day as well.


MCS