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From Here To There
2006-07-08 22:02
by Will Carroll

It should be simple. I want to be entertained, in the manner of my choosing and the format of my choosing. It's not that simple.

I buy a CD. I rip it to MP3, or in my case, AAC. (Smaller, fit more on the iPod.) I can listen to it on the iPod. I can listen to it in the car, either off the CD or play the iPod through the car stereo line-in. I can stream it through Tivo (as long as it's not a file I bought from iTunes. Then Apple's DRM cuts in.) All that is relatively easy. Cumbersome. Expensive. Possible.

I buy a DVD. I want to watch it. I could put it in the DVD player. I can rip it to the laptop and watch it there. I can go through some complex steps and get it on the iPod. But here's where things get sticky. I can't play the iPod on TV without significant new equipment (and my home theater setup makes it even more convoluted.) There's no way to stream a movie from my laptop to the TV. If I downloaded the file (illegal, yes), then burning it to a DVD is possible -- but even with legal software, it seldom works. (I use Toast 7, paid for, thank you, but a piece of crap thus far.) TivoToGo doesn't work for Mac, despite promises and promises and even then, I can't use the Humax Tivo DVD Recorder I love. I can't stream what I can see on my laptop screen ( up to the big screen.

Why can't I watch those things I want to watch where and when I want without all the various pieces of technology getting in the way? I'm not sure who to blame -- Apple, Tivo, the RIAA, the MPAA, the bastards that make six different expensive and incompatible wiring standards (S Video must be used throughout, but not with DVI or HDMI).

If someone has a simple, consistent solution, I want to hear about it. I want to buy it and evangelize it. I just want to get THIS from HERE to THERE, whether it's a movie, a TV show, a DVD or pictures of my dog. Is that so much to ask for?

2006-07-09 12:13:47
1.   Eric Blair
The only solution I've found is to connect a PC laptop to my TV via an SVideo cable. Windows automatically outputs the video at fullscreen since it's being streamed as a Windows media file.

Of course, I'm also a Mac guy, so this isn't my favorite solution. I've basically dedicated my old school PC to viewing.

I don't recall - did you end up getting a MacBook? I'd be interested in finding out if the Parallels solution would enable this sort of functionality on the Mac. It's not streaming and it's not wireless, but maybe you could make it work with a significantly long SVideo cable.

For live baseball, I'd consider the pairing of a Slingbox and MLB EI more powerful than, especially if you throw a TiVo into the mix. Of course, then you hit the Mac client issue (which you could temporarily work around with Parallels).

2006-07-10 11:55:22
2.   Byron Todd
Several purchases to make but the biggest issue is getting something that will stream to everything else.


Linksys NSLU2 - Uses external USB hard drives as storage to share to a network, but once "Unslung" can do much more. (See
External USB2 HDD - The larger, the better.
GoVideo D2730 Networked DVD - a Progressive Scan DVD that can also played streamed movies, images and music


TwonkyVision TwonkyMedia - - software that runs on a Unslung NSLU2 device to stream music, movies, pictures to any UPnP device (defending on the capability of the device).

Cidero produces software UPnP clients for Windows machines, Mac OS X machines, etc.

2007-01-23 11:15:25
3.   jaak
I have tried MS Media Connect 2.0, MS Media Player 11 (Media Connect 3.0) and D-Link Media server. Twonky beats them all big way. It is fast and dont skip. It handles large collections (5000+ tracks) and hase very handy Artist Index, Album Index etc mode. I recommend Twonky to everybody.

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