Solved Smart TV or Media PC?

Hewlett-packard Hp pavillion dv6 series...
September 16, 2011 at 10:10:27
Specs: Win7, AMD 5400/8GB
I am purchasing a TV for our bedroom. I would like to stay around the 32” and be an LED TV. These are my only two requirements for the TV itself.

I also have a need to play Netflix, YouTube and view pictures/music/videos from my NAS server. All music files are mp3, all videos are .vob (extracted from DVD) with a few files in .mod, and pictures are all jpg. NAS server is DNS-323. These needs can be met via a ‘Smart TV’ or PC. This TV is also for my wife so the solution needs to be ‘easy to use’. Her largest need is Netflix.

Some of these needs can better meet with a desktop rather than a Smart TV. Below I found two examples of each solution. I am seeking advice from anyone who experience with this.
This Smart TV is just something I found with the ‘Smart TV’ features. It does not have to be a Google TV. My concern with this solution is if it will be able to able to play my movie files on the NAS? This TV does have DLNA support. (I looked up my NAS server on DLNA site and it said ‘maybe’) Will X Smart TV manufacturer update their interface/apps? Will Google TV or X platform get better over time and will these later releases being pushed to your TV? Are the apps mature enough to be useable? I have also considered a Roku player- but no DLNA channel. Any suggestions on Smart TV’s ?
I am comfortable with building a PC and built this one out at ~$450. 8GB of memory (probably overkill but it was $50…) 60GB SSD drive (mainly for performance- this machine will only be on if we want to watch a movie on NAS- so fast boot times are key $140) and an i3 (does not need to be power horse… $130). I would then connect a HDMI cable from computer to TV. My concern with this machine is the use of the remote. Does it function like a mouse? Can I ‘right/left click’? Browse to my movie files? Pause a Netflix movie playing a browser? I know I could get a wireless mouse but I choose this solution due to the remote. (I also know I need a wireless USB adapter… $20) With this solution I can then buy a cheaper non smart LED 32” LED TV. This solution has less ‘ease of us’ you will have to switch inputs and use another remote/mouse. This solution is probably a little more expensive as well.

So do I stick more money into a ‘smarter’ TV with better apps? OR stick my money into building a PC similar to the one above and know it can meet all my needs?

My budget is around $600-900 for everything. Cheaper is always better…

See More: Smart TV or Media PC?

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September 16, 2011 at 14:11:43
If you do go the pc route... check out these as options:

myth tv
linux mce

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September 18, 2011 at 14:30:01
✔ Best Answer

I cannot review your specific choices but if you are comfortable with building and maintaining a pc I would go with that. The main reason is that it is extensible so that as your needs and technology changes you can upgrade by component. You can also by not buying high end video/cards, etc and upgrade them later if you decide too. Not a total expert but I think I would invest more in the sound and sound system then video card. Both are only as good as your hardware.

One of the biggest things to look for is that it is QUIET. Could have the best sound system and then the computer hummmmm completely destroys it. Second for me which is really preference is a smaller footprint and good ventilation (or upgrade the heat sink). Basically I want to be able hide it.

My experience...

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September 18, 2011 at 14:30:59
Oh yeah - you can access Netfix through Win Media Center which makes it super easy.

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Related Solutions

September 19, 2011 at 08:39:44
I brought this below TV. This has 'Smart TV' features. If this TV does not meet my needs I will look at a PC.

Thanks for your input. I will look at the other PC options if I go with this choice.

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