All I want to do is watch video files on my television, without having wires connected between my computer and my TV. Is that too much to ask? It appears that it is. That's the conclusion I've come to, being neither a techie nor a noob, but just a regular joe who likes to get his content over the internet, and watch it on my television.
This may sound like a trivial point, and obviously in the grand scheme of things it is. But in my daily existence, the need to have wires connecting my computer and TV is a pain, because s-video cables are bloody expensive, and therefore the layout of the furniture in my living room is largely determined by the affordable conjoining of these two devices.
I tried the DLink media server some 18 months ago, but it failed because the unit was incompatible with the video card on my laptop. So I decided to wait a little longer, because I didn't think it would take that long before the marketplace provided a solution.
Fast forward to the present. The prodiguous marketing of the Apple TV made me giddy over the prospect that perhaps my days of waiting were finally over. Except they're not, because Apple TV requires the use of iTunes, and iTunes doesn't support AVI files (and many other file types besides). The fact is that the vast majority of the video files I watch are AVIs. Yes, its possible to convert all uncompatible files to iTunes-compatible formats, but this hardly strikes me as a reasonble solution. And it reflects the political economy of a large corporation profiting from both content and hardware.
Then there's the Netgear products, the EVA700 and the EVA8000. But I've read some lackluster reviews about each, and they are not available for direct purchase from any retailer in my (rather large) city. Then I start reading about Xbox and something called XBMC, and that perhaps this is the solution. But I'm not a gamer, and I don't understand but I don't think wireless streaming is not possible with Xbox anyway.
I call some local boutique store that specializes in "solutions" for personal computing. Now he's telling me to look into some IR Blaster device. I'm not liking the look of that thing either.
All I want to do is watch video files, stored on my computer, on my TV. This is either not possible, or so fraught with problems that it hardly seems worth it.
It's 2007. This is ridiculous.