DLNA vs HTPC

The first question after buying a TV was: what exactly am I supposed to watch? I’ve never actually watched any broadcast TV-channels in by life. Of course, I love TV-shows and movies, I just don’t like the channels itself. Too many commercials, not enough choice. I prefer to get the content via the Internet.

This makes the problem  a bit easier : how to transfer different audio/video content from a hard disk of a desktop to a TV?

There is, of course, technology, especially created for that – HTPC – Home Theater Personal Computer. It’s a Wintel-based computer, sitting next to the TV and using the TV as a big monitor. Only HTPC guaranties, that all the movies with different codecs and subtitles could be watched without glitches or delays. But it jas a disadvantage  – you need a separate device.

However, the TV itself and, for example, a game console like Sony PlayStation have a possibility to play audio-video content via DLNA protocol directly from a PC. At least you get this solution for free. You must be able to install the DLNA-server and connect it to your TV. The Media Player on Windows 7 actually could do it, but I was not able to install it properly. Free solutions from Internet were not very stable: they crashed and gave strange error messages.

The solution with PlayStation looks much better. First of all, the software, which can stream video to the game station – PS3 Media Server looks much more stable.  At least I was able to watch an episode of Fringe yesterday. Second , it’s possible to send the 5.1 sound not to the TV-speakers, but to an external 5.1 amplifier. The disadvantage is – you have to use a game controller to watch movies (or buy a special remote control for it).

All the solutions have their advantages and disadvantages. Probably I’ll have to try them all before choosing the best one.

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  • The next problem will be the universal remote for all this stuff 🙂

    By the way, there are home file servers (NAS) with DLNA support. I have one. My impression is that DLNA is dead 🙂

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