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Wi-Fi Capable Blu-ray Player vs Streaming Devices


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 Robemm

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Posted May 03 2012 - 03:37 AM

Good morning y'all. I'm VERY new to this website and am hoping I've written this assistance request in the correct area. We just purchased a new "Insignia" big screen LED HDTV. On the plus side, the picture is great; and on the not so plus side, the TV only has 3 HDMI ports so I have to be careful what I connect to the set; and one of the HDMI ports is taken up by the (Comcast) cable box. I've been reading 'til words are falling out of my ears when I lay down and I still can't get a definitive answer as to whether a better investment would be a wi-fi capable blu-ray dvd player; or a streaming device. I've been looking at the ROKU 2 XS; and it seems to have all the capabilities we want/need; but on the other hand, the "correct" DVD player eliminates the need for a separate streaming device. We already have a wireless network in the condo; and I'm using a D-Link model DIR 655 router (b/g/n). Also I can't seem to find a blu-ray player that will play DIVX and XVID format DVD's. Any assistance, suggestions, critiques that anyone has will be greatly appreciated. If it matters, we haven't selected a surround sound system yet either as I want to be able to upgrade to a 3D TV when more programming becomes available; and I haven't concentrated on that part of our home theatre yet.

#2 of 15 Steve Tannehill

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Posted May 03 2012 - 05:57 AM

Hi Robert, welcome to HTF! I have the Oppo BDP-93, and it is capable of streaming Vudu, Pandora, Netflix, Blockbuster (I believe), and it plays Divx files. You can read more about it at http://oppodigital.com. I don't know about Xvid. The player is $500, so it's a little pricey. I'm sure there are other streaming players out there that have similar features that cost less, but they may not play Divx files. The Roku is a versatile device with numerous channel choices, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, and more: http://www.roku.com/roku-channel-store . I have one of those, too, hooked up to my big screen TV. I also have an AppleTV, mainly because I use iTunes and the Roku does not work with iTunes. The Roku 2 XS is currently $90 with free shipping from the Roku.com website. As for 3 HDMI inputs, your TV is fairly normal. Does it also have component video? Your cable box might be able to use that should you be running low on HDMI.

#3 of 15 Robemm

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Posted May 03 2012 - 04:38 PM

Good evening Steve, thanks for the welcome aboard note and the ininfo on the OPPO unit. It's a bit pricey for our budget; but if does the job I want/need it to do, it may be worth the expense. I'll do some research to try and find out if it will play XVID and DIV-X files. To answer your question, yes the new TV does have component video; but if I connect the (Comcast) cable box to it instead of one of the HDMI ports, won't that degrade my HD channel reception somewhat? Again, thanks for the welcome aboard. Rob (or Bob)

#4 of 15 David Weicker

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Posted May 03 2012 - 05:10 PM

I have a Vizio TV, which streams Netflix, Amazon and others. I have a Panasonic Blu-Ray, which also streams several - Netflix, Youtube, etc. The TV is Wi-Fi, while the BR player is wired (I didn't want to pay for the Wi-Fi dongle). However, when I am streaming, I tend to connect the Ethernet cable to which ever device I'm using. I've had too many times when the Wi-Fi has to be reset (I have the same router as you), and I don't like the interruption to my viewing. As for Divx, my Philips DVD player plays DIVX, as well as PAL discs. The BR player set me back about $80, while the DVD player was about $40 You have many options. You don't have to go with a single unit. And with Cable box, BR player, and upconverting DVD player, that is only three HDMI. If HDMI becomes an issue, you can also invest in a AV Receiver which allows HDMI - that would expand your options. David

#5 of 15 Jason Charlton

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Posted May 04 2012 - 02:05 AM

Originally Posted by Robemm 

yes the new TV does have component video; but if I connect the (Comcast) cable box to it instead of one of the HDMI ports, won't that degrade my HD channel reception somewhat?
 


hi Robert - welcome aboard!


As you read this forum more and more, you'll find that as your home theater experience grows, it's more important to have an A/V receiver with all the connections rather than the TV.  Once you invest in a receiver, the TV will become nothing more than a "monitor".  That being said, I understand your concern over running out of inputs in the near future.


Regarding cable broadcast over component vs. HDMI - you really won't lose anything at all.  HDMI is preferred for carrying full 1080p video signals - however the only devices that actually OUTPUT a 1080p signal are your Blu-Ray player and perhaps the streaming devices.  Cable and satellite don't (at least to my knowledge) broadcast anything higher than 1080i, which can be carried perfectly fine over component video cables.  Your TV will automatically convert any incoming signal to 1080p (its native resolution) and the visual difference between 1080i and 1080p is pretty small.


Just remember when you switch to component video that you'll need to add a digital coax. or optical cable for the sound from that source.


Based on the sources you list, if you run out of HDMI inputs, I would shift cable to component first, followed by your upconverting DVD player, and preserve HDMI for your Blu-Ray and any other streaming device that actually outputs a 1080p signal.


Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#6 of 15 Robemm

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Posted May 04 2012 - 05:58 AM

Good morning David and Jason. Thanks for the tips and advice. I probably should have mentioned in my original post that the new TV is not a "smart TV"; and that my router is connected to my desktop pc (I know, "stone age" connecting ); and is in the "office" catchall room, different from the location of the new TV. Connecting everything through an A/V receiver is no doubt the way to go; but I've been holding off on buying one mostly because I want components that will "stretch" into the future (e.g. 3D); and right now, as far as I know, there's no 3D cable broadcasting; and very little in the way of 3D DVD's. Further, from what I think I've read, 3D technology is still in its infancy and it'll continue being "tweaked" for some time. To David: we have a subscription to Netflix; and we'd probably use a streaming device just for additional movie streaming and probably Pandora for music; but unless I can find a 30' - 40' ethernet cable, I won't be able to connect to the router since it's in a different room. We do however already have a wireless network that so far has worked all over the condo. It's good to know that your Phillips player will play DIVX, but I'm hoping to find one that'll play XVID too as I get to d/l a lot of movies in both formats. When it's convenient, please tell me which Phillips model you have. To Jason: thanks for the info on no loss of quality by connecting the cable box to the TV via component vid; and for the tip about also getting digital coax; or optical cable for sound. I appreciate all the pointers and advice. I still have a lot of reading to do; and so much to learn; and I am grateful for ya'll taking the time to help steer me in a direction. Thanks again, Rob/Bob

#7 of 15 DaveF

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Posted December 01 2012 - 03:26 PM

but unless I can find a 30' - 40' ethernet cable, I won't be able to connect to the router since it's in a different room.

thats easy and affordable :) http://www.monoprice...102&cp_id=10208

#8 of 15 tjohnusa

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Posted December 01 2012 - 04:41 PM

I have a cheap Dynex wifi br for my back porch (man cave). I find it more than adequet and pic quality is pretty much standard definition but watchable. I paid $60 for it in early summer but the deals available during the holiday season show quality players for the same price or less. By the way I have a g router and goes through 3 walls about 30' away and I have no signal issues. I use it mainly for netflix and pandora as well as dvd's. It seems everyone is going to built in wifi and after Christmas the prices will drop.

#9 of 15 Douglas Monce

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Posted December 01 2012 - 06:45 PM

From what I have been able to gather, the Roku, and the PS3 are the ONLY devices that stream Netflix in 1080p with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus. All others are 720p with stereo sound. Doug
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#10 of 15 Jim Mcc

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Posted December 01 2012 - 07:35 PM

From what I have been able to gather, the Roku, and the PS3 are the ONLY devices that stream Netflix in 1080p with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus. All others are 720p with stereo sound. Doug

Wrong. The Panasonic players stream Netflix in 1080p, 5.1 DD Plus, and display subtitles(when available).

#11 of 15 Richard Gallagher

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Posted December 02 2012 - 05:43 AM

Originally Posted by Robemm 

We just purchased a new "Insignia" big screen LED HDTV. On the plus side, the picture is great; and on the not so plus side, the TV only has 3 HDMI ports so I have to be careful what I connect to the set; and one of the HDMI ports is taken up by the (Comcast) cable box.
 


You can expand your HDMI connectivity by using an HDMI switcher. For $30 you can get one which allows you to connect three HDMI devices to one HDMI input.


Rich Gallagher

#12 of 15 Douglas Monce

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Posted December 03 2012 - 05:03 PM

Wrong. The Panasonic players stream Netflix in 1080p, 5.1 DD Plus, and display subtitles(when available).

Ah good to know. Its sometimes hard to find out these kinds of details. Doug
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#13 of 15 EarleD

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Posted December 28 2012 - 03:43 AM

I have a western digital media player. The only cost under $100 and streams 1080 and dd 5.1plus, plays everything but mp4. Highly recommend it Sent from my unlocked Note 2

#14 of 15 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 29 2012 - 11:55 PM

I just picked up a Roku streaming device for our bedroom TV -- the 720p model. I also have a Panasonic BD player with streaming features. We mainly use Amazon's streaming service, along with some Vudu rentals. Overall, I like the Roku's interface better, especially for Amazon. It will show me where we left off watching a TV series, and automatically shows us all the shows we have been watching. With the Panasonic BD player, I have do go searching for the shows every time, and it does not show me which show is next to watch in the series. The only advantage for the Panasonic is that the device supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wi-fi, while the Roku is 2.4GHz only. I have a Linksys router that will support both wi-fi frequencies simultaneously, and would prefer to use 5GHz for streaming. This is a minor issue, though. I am considering buying another Roku device for the main system, even with owning the Panasonic player, because of the superior interface.

#15 of 15 Harvey Emmons

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Posted January 05 2013 - 11:36 PM

3D capability is already available in most AVR today. I don't think 3D will make to broadcast or cable TV for along time. The price of 3D blu-rays will prove to be another road block for the format to be adopted by the masses.

my cable-charter- already had 3d movies on demand. also the sony s590 does Netflix in 1080p and dd5.1.




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