Of WiFi's, Ethernets and not so Smart Smart TV's

johncgalloway

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Hi Guys


This might not be quite the appropriate place to ask this, but it does involve networking via either the cable and or WiFi.

I recently bought a Hisense 40" "Smart" TV. It does connect to my Wifi, I can watch youtube etc. but it isn't exactly the fastest, and I just can't get it to connect to my Workgroup like a PC would, so that I can remote access the HDD with my media on it.

I honestly don't even think it supports such a function, but I could be wrong.

So a dedicated drive located by the TV might be the one solution, the other is to use some sort of streaming device like Apple TV, Google Chromecast or whatever else is out there.

Side note: I have a PC at home, apple iPhone and a Google Nexus 7" tablet, so as far as OS's go I am a bit of an electronic wh*re. (I'll do your slots for sixty bucks a pop, just in case you're interested.)

I've heard of people using plex and such devices together to make their TV's Smart TV's, but I am not sure which one
would be the best way to go and if they work well over wifi, or bluetooth or direct friggin laser minus the shark. :D

Any suggestions?

My WiFi is pretty okay in the house, but the TV isn't line of sight, so I was wondering, is there some kind of repeater or possibly a signal booster one can get, so that I can boost signal in the living room?

Or would direct network connection by cable be better? (The TV does have that capability).

If this is in the wrong section, I do apologise!

:eek:
 
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furpile

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Get a wifi test app on your phone or tablet, like Wifi Analyser. This will let you see the signal strength at the TV. If the signal is decent there is no point in getting a range extender. Cable can help but if Wifi signal is decent it won't really make a difference. What is slow on your tv? Navigating the menus or streaming speed? If it navigating it means the hardware in the tv is crap, like many smart tv's. If you want to stream from a hard drive, you can use Plex or Kodi. Plex works well on lower spec devices, because the server PC is doing the work and the device is just receiving the signal. With Kodi the device needs to do the decoding (encoding?) as well, so you need a better device.

I use the Roku Stick with Plex, and it works well for me. You can also use one of the many Android sticks. Can you install any other apps on your tv?
 

SauRoNZA

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Can you install Plex on the HiSense? It's Android isn't it?
 

kianm

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Cable is always the best, if you can run a wire from your switch to the TV that would be your best option. For the best media experience it is better to get a proper dedicated media player like a Roku 3/ Apple TV connected to your network and then setup a Plex media server on your PC. That way you can also acces your media from the rest of your smart devices through the Plex app (Plex also does some wonderful magic in terms of organizing your media).

Connectivity wise, if you are too lazy :p to run the cable you could try a Powerline AV adapter but this relies on your home power wiring and that needs to be solid for it to work reliably ( eg: http://www.takealot.com/d-link-powerline-av-mini-adapter/PLID40402790 ). Otherwise you can go the range extender way.

PS: Ethernet should be your primary option followed by the rest
 

johncgalloway

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Thanks furpile (interesting nick, are we talking Harry and the Hendersons here?).

Honestly, it must be the hardware in the TV where the internet based stuff is concerned, browsing my HDD through the USB is quite fast and I've only had problems with one AVI that is very old not playing. As for the streaming, it is okay when it gets going, but oi vey, the clicking of the youtube and the waiting for the video to play, so slow. And add to that the fact that I just can't get the vids to play unstretched, or the 1080p stuff to look 1080p. (I have a 10mb line with telkom, so I guess closer to 6 - 8mb, but that should be sufficient for 1080p n'est-ce pa?)

Anyhow, you mentioned Roku? I will look into that. For streaming I was thinking Plex and honestly I do actually want to leave it up to the PC to do, my one concern is that I don't want to share my desktop screen to the TV accidentally as I wouldn't want to broadcast my errr, private time ...ummm... "videographical studies" to the living room. Ifyaknowwhaddamean.

On second thought, if I could somehow stream a game to the TV and simply sit there with a mouse and keyboard that works with the streaming service that would be uber cool. But that is not a big "must have" on my list. I just want to stream content to the TV and have the aerial dangle there unused and worthless like the crud that gets broadcast through it.


SauRoNZA, it is Android, though which horrific mutated sub-standard version of it , I do not know. I doubt you can install it on the TV, and I don't think it is required as I always assumed the streaming server software goes onto your PC or whatever base station you use and it gets "pumped" to the TV via the device in question, and converted to the appropriate signal on the fly. So no thinking is required by the set in such cases.

I still need to update the TV's software / firmware.
 

furpile

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No, my nick is based on an inside joke, completely unrelated.

Anyway, Plex does not mirror your pc screen. You set up a library on your PC using Plex media server. You designate a folder for tv and for movies (you can also have more folders and more libraries if you want). Then you install Plex home theatre on the tv or Roku. This connect to PMS (server) and fetched data from there. You can only see what is in the library folders you set, and it downloads cover pages and info on what is in the folders. It is a really nice user experience.

I don't think you will be able to game on your PC via one of these devices, but I have never looked into that. Takealot has the Roku Stick for R860 and the Roku 3 for R1800. If you have the cash go for the Roku 3, better hardware and it has an ethernet port.
 

johncgalloway

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Thanks guys. Other people have also said cable... it isn't impractical to run one to the TV, the holes are available etc. not looking forward to crawling under the roof though, especially with the heat, and of course the fact that I am sure those beams weren't made for such a delicate little flower such as myself. :p

Can the Roku do network connections? Or just Wifi? I assume keyboards and rodents abound for these devices. Typing via remote is just not friggin doing it for me.

Plex sounds like the way to go - aside from what you guys are telling me - I have asked some of my friends and the response wrt Plex is good, just wanted to make sure. Now if only I can just stop thinking of it as EVE currency. Lol, just kidding.
 

johncgalloway

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No, my nick is based on an inside joke, completely unrelated.

Anyway, Plex does not mirror your pc screen. You set up a library on your PC using Plex media server. You designate a folder for tv and for movies (you can also have more folders and more libraries if you want). Then you install Plex home theatre on the tv or Roku. This connect to PMS (server) and fetched data from there. You can only see what is in the library folders you set, and it downloads cover pages and info on what is in the folders. It is a really nice user experience.

I don't think you will be able to game on your PC via one of these devices, but I have never looked into that. Takealot has the Roku Stick for R860 and the Roku 3 for R1800. If you have the cash go for the Roku 3, better hardware and it has an ethernet port.

Thanks for the quick reply. Currently my library is on my portable, normally connected to my USB3 port, would you suggest internal HDD only for reasons of speed?
 

furpile

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Thanks for the quick reply. Currently my library is on my portable, normally connected to my USB3 port, would you suggest internal HDD only for reasons of speed?
I am not sure, but I think the Roku 3 has a USB port as well, so you can plug the portable in there. Maybe.

You can get plex remote apps on your phone or tablet that allows you to type in the app. What works best for me on Youtube is to search on the phone, and then just cast to the Roku.
 

SauRoNZA

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SauRoNZA, it is Android, though which horrific mutated sub-standard version of it , I do not know. I doubt you can install it on the TV, and I don't think it is required as I always assumed the streaming server software goes onto your PC or whatever base station you use and it gets "pumped" to the TV via the device in question, and converted to the appropriate signal on the fly. So no thinking is required by the set in such cases.

I still need to update the TV's software / firmware.
Yes Plex is a client/server type setup. So you install the server portion on the PC you want to server from and install the client App on the TV. If it's Android it should give you this option with no need for another third party dongle.

You can use it without the Plex client over the DLNA server...but that would be silly and losing out on a lot of features.

Plex specifically does transcoding so it does what you think it does by converting it on the fly. Most other solutions do not.
 

SauRoNZA

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Can the Roku do network connections? Or just Wifi? I assume keyboards and rodents abound for these devices. Typing via remote is just not friggin doing it for me.
I see absolutely no reason to need another device if you have a TV running Android. Anything and everything should be on the App store.

Also the TV should tell you exactly what signal it's getting without the need for a third party tool yet again.
 

johncgalloway

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Mmm, come to think of it I haven't seen Android mentioned anywhere on the box, though the sales guy at Game told me it is. Then again he would've told me anything just so that I didn't continue to bother him while the soccer was on.

This is the TV: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hisense-40H5B-40-1080p-60Hz-Class-LED-Smart-HDTV/43608973

methinks it is a HiSense OS, not sure though, could be an extremely stripped down and re"dressed" version of Android. I see that in the reviews the guys also mention running through Roku instead of the TV. Dunno. I am trying to find out more.
 
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