All I want: why convergence remains a myth

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.

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S-video bandwidth is bad enough that you might not suffer a big hit in image quality by using a simple and cheap RF modulator to broadcast your video.

Hey! No wires!


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

On 12 Apr 2007 01:40:42 -0700, wrote in :

What you want to do is definitely possible, but neither trivial nor cheap. Streaming high-quality video over wireless takes appropriate software, a fast and stable wireless network, and an appropriate wireless device at the TV.

Probably the easiest and perhaps the best way to do what you want is with Apple TV , driven by iTunes on your computer.

S-video cables are actually quite cheap on eBay.

Apple is probably concerned about facilitating the playing of illicit AVI downloads from the Internet (which is what I'm guessing you want to do), and justifiably so IMHO. That said, it may be possible to work around the problem with Quicktime Pro (not expensive) -- see "Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats"


There are a number of alternatives to Apple TV that support a wide variety of video formats. Check out:

  • Buffalo LinkTheater (may be your best bet)
  • Slingbox
  • Philips Streamium

Check out Nero 7 MediaHome with Xbox 360

Not really. What you want to do is both bleeding edge and (I'm guessing) not legitimate.

Reply to
John Navas

I am experiencing the same frustration. For me, the pain centers on product quality. I read reviews of the available media extenders. The Netgear EVA700 seemed to be getting the best reviews from CNet and other "professional" web sites.

What a disaster. This gadget is about as stable as Windows software ca


I also found that the server software is mostly rubbish. I tried these DLNA servers: Windows Media, TVersity, Wizd, and Twonkyvision. TVersity and Wizd are terrible. Windows Media is almost stable, but limited in functionality. Only Twonkyvision is what I would call decent.

It seems to me that the entire DLNA marketplace is infested with broken products. Great job at building up your customer base, guys. Another year of this performance, and you won't have any suckers left to exploit.

As of now I am waiting for Apple to release the next version of the Mac Mini. I will then attempt to use it as a media extender.

Here is what I think of the other solutions:

  • Netgear EVA8000, and other new products from DLink and Buffalo Tech: The disgrace of existing products from these gangs prevents me from tryihng out their next generation of media extenders. Why throw good money after bad?

  • AppleTV: I have a lot of faith in Apple, but this gadget only goes up to 720P. Not good enough for me.

  • XBox 360: I have read reports that this gadget is an excellent media extender. But it seems quite loud. Not suitable for living room use?

  • Peecees running Microsoft Windows Software: The devices I have seen are either too noisy for living room use, or they are hugely expensive.

  • Apple Mac Mini: It is a general purpose computer, so it is rather expensive. But I see no alternative. I plan to use its disk drive to preload media from my main PC. This will avoid problems with insufficient (wireless) network speed.
Reply to
David Arnstein

Whats wrong with a media streamer like the Media MVP wireless?

Be aware however that high quality TV requires a LOT of bandwidth, and wireless may not cope with it. But given that you already have a powerpoint near both your computer and your TV, did you consider powerline networking to connect the two?

There was an article comparing several products on some PC magazine website recently. Try googling for it.

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

On Fri, 13 Apr 2007 00:26:39 +0100, Mark McIntyre wrote in :

Good suggestion, although cheaper products may not be faster than wireless, and faster products are way more expensive than S-video cable; e.g., NETGEAR HDXB101 HD Powerline Kit for $160 at

Reply to
John Navas

Agreed - it depends on how far apart the units are I suppose. In my case my media store is about 40m from the TV... !

Again one Cnet or somesuch recently reviewed the various Powerline networking units specifically with AV in mind - hmm - here maybe?

formatting link

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

First of all, thank you for all the responses -- feeling a little sheepish about my long-winded rant.

As for the powerline networking, do I understand correctly that both the video and audio signals can be transferred over the electrical wires? Would it matter that I live in an apartment?


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On 13 Apr 2007 12:55:48 -0700, wrote in :



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