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Media Station Advice

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  • Media Station Advice

    I've tried a few monitor extenion (VGA) cables to plug my computer into my TV but they don't work. I've been told that they get really touchy at anything over 1m long.

    So I was thinking of investing in one of these hard drive media station things. Like a big external hard drive that I can download movies onto and then watch through the TV. Problem is I don't even no where to start and what to look for.
    Can anyone give me some advice on things to look for or stay clear of?
    Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner Adelaide

  • #2
    My current setup involves an AppleTV running XBMC with a networked TimeCapsule storing all my shows etc. Bit pricy setup, but as i brought the components for their original task not to bothered.

    For me this works brilliantly.

    For a quick cheap and easy maybe look at something like this:

    Western Digital WD TV (HD Media Player) - Reviews - Advisors - AV Enthusiast Centre - Media Streamers - PC World

    Also a good site i found to get HDMI cables that don't cost heaps

    UGLY Cable - HDMI Cables, LCD / Plasma Wall Mount Brackets


    • #3
      Yeah i'm more after quick, cheap and especially easy as i'm not the cluest about computers.
      Basicly all I want to do is watch movies that are on my computer through my tv. The computer sits about 2m away from the TV in the same room so if there are any other suggestions i'd like to hear them.
      Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner Adelaide


      • #4
        What kind of tv is it? SD or HD? Does it have a HDMI or DVI input? Let us know the model number if you can.

        You'll need to set the resolution on your computer to match the TV or it won't work. Try setting your refresh rate to 60Hz, or 50Hz if that doesn't work.


        • #5
          Its a 50" HD Panasonic Plasma. Not 1080p, just HD. Don't have the model number off hand though but I know it is 100Hz.

          Just had a read of that WD TV link you sent through and that sounds like it could be the go. I don have an external hardrive already that I use just for movies and TV shows so I think that should plug straight in.
          Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner Adelaide


          • #6
            The computer into the tv option would be the cheapest and easiest to manage.

            It will work, you've just got to get the settings right. Try playing around with your display settings. Even though your TV is 100Hz, it'll only accept an input of 50 or 60Hz.


            • #7
              Depending on your computer's video out options s-video could also be an option. What outputs does your computer have? other than RGB.

              In regard to the wd tv thingy from what i see, under specifications, it says it has 1 TB hard drive already in it, which seems a bit odd for that price.


              • #8
                I have done that before and it worked fine but I have to drag the PC box back and forwards. Thats why I thought i'd just get an extension for the monitor cable so I can leave the box where it should be but still plug it into the tv. But the monitor cable is VGA and not HDMI and all the long VGA cables i've tried have stopped working after a few seconds.
                Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner Adelaide


                • #9
                  If your computer has only got a rgb monitor output, then your graphics card is very old. If you do have a dvi output and your tv has no dvi input then you can get a dvi to vga convertor, everyone has one lying around as you get them with new graphics cards. Then get a dvi cable, which can go up to 5 meters and then plug into your tv with the adapter. EDIT: Just make sure you convert the correct way, on thinking about it the ones you get with new graphics cards are the wrong way around

                  Other option is upgrading graphics card to one with tv out options, or something like the wdtv box thingy.
                  Last edited by grum666; 02-09-2009, 12:07 PM. Reason: I remembered somthing


                  • #10
                    who told u vga is good for a metre or so..?? tell em thier knobs...
                    i sometimes run upto 2x 25m = 50m vga cables joined together from pc in ie comms room out to plasma or lcd monitor in the field..and it works fine..

                    make sure your pc video card settings are not higher then the monitor you have canaccept...and make sure you monitors vga port is actually configured in the monitors menu to be vga and not as the vga port can be set as dual use for video in ..some monitors not all..

                    another thing ..are u using the same output vga as you plug your pc monitor into or a second one on the pc..

                    if so you may have to enable the second monitor output
                    in the pc,s video settings..


                    • #11
                      Upgrade your computer man.

                      VGA is so 2001.. should probs go for something that at least has DVI out or HDMI..

                      Failing that.. Get a PS3 or Media Gate (only a couple of hundred dollars) and then start streaming..

                      My Media set up at the moment is my 24" HDMI capable monitor connected to my computer (with an ATI Radeon 4870 graphics card) and the PS3 also connected to the monitor.

                      We used to have the PS3 hooked up to the TV down stairs and we would stream movies to it, this worked quite well.

                      On the farm in Esperance we have a Projector connected to a laptop with 3 external hard drives with a good number of movies/ tv series on them, this is networked to the other computers (2 - 4 depending on who is down there). We stream from the other computers to the laptop.


                      If I was to make a point here with my massive wall of text. It would be.

                      Experiment with what you have around the house first.

                      Then think about spending money.
                      comic sans is OKAY!


                      • #12
                        Ok I will have another look at whats on the back of my PC. It's not very old, less than a year, and it has a Nvidia 512mb graphics card but not sure of the exact model so from what you guys are saying there should be some other form of video out other than VGA.
                        Roady - It was one of the computer guys at the Good Guys that told me that when I was looking for an extension cable. And yes I have a shorter one that runs the monitor and was just unplugging that and plugging in the longer one when I wanted to use the TV.
                        Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner Adelaide


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Twinks View Post
                          And yes I have a shorter one that runs the monitor and was just unplugging that and plugging in the longer one when I wanted to use the TV.
                          In that case you'll need to change your resolution in display settings before plugging it into the TV.