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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Smart TVs are obsolete
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2018, 23:04    Post subject:  Smart TVs are obsolete
Subject description: use a cheap wireless dongle such as chromecast
 

Why you should save your money to buy a better 'dumb' tv and a streaming media dongle such as Chromecast, which you can drive from your Puppy machine with suitable readily-available software (for chromecast anyway - local or internet media - may be trickier with Roku alternative, I don't know if there is Linux software able to drive that), or from your smartphone:

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-reasons-shouldnt-buy-smart-tv-anymore/

chromecast driving software available for Puppy:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=113314

A more resource-intensive approach is to use recent version of vlc with chromecast capability built in.

wiak

Last edited by wiak on Mon 21 May 2018, 03:36; edited 3 times in total
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nosystemdthanks

Joined: 03 May 2018
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2018, 23:26    Post subject:  

on the software side, you might look into kodi for this.
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1234
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 01:57    Post subject:  

Why buy a chromecast?

Pretty much any "old" PC with Puppy on it is perfect to make your dumb TV smarter
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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 3198

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 03:13    Post subject:  

.
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 03:27    Post subject:  

p310don wrote:
Why buy a chromecast?

Pretty much any "old" PC with Puppy on it is perfect to make your dumb TV smarter


Well, that is true, and exactly what I used to do: had an old laptop connecting to the TV. Did the job - though the old laptop only had vga connection which limited its resolution. More modern machine with HDMI works fine - however... I also though a chromecast dongle wasn't thus worth having but, wow, it turns out one of most used gadgets in the house.

Hard to explain till you actually have one, but really, chromecast provides super-convenience at very low cost. In fact, the cost of electricity running laptop for a year would probably be more than the cost of purchasing the ultra low consumption chromecast dongle (so it is basically free in comparison anyway) - and versatile since most any wireless connected device in your house (Puppy machines, phones, tablets, whatever) can output to the TV via the wee chromecast dongle plugged in the HDMI port at the back of the otherwise 'dumb' TV. So yeah, you can run cables to your laptop instead, but "times have changed..."

By April, 2017, I've read that an estimated 55 million chromecast dongles had already been sold. Are you sure you don't have one?

It's also somewhat inconvenient to have to sit in front of the TV if you happen to want to use the cable-connected-laptop for something else at the same time - unless you have very long, messy, easy-to-trip-over, cables connecting the laptop to the TV (#cavemantech). And such long HDMI cables probably cost as much as the chromecast dongle (and then there is the dedicated to TV laptop...) All in all, I don't think advocating a Puppy Linux computer as an 'alternative' chromecast dongle is very good marketing for Puppy Wink

wiak
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nosystemdthanks

Joined: 03 May 2018
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 07:26    Post subject:  

honestly, ive seen some very fancy large screen setups that have a very long hdmi cable snaked behind a big fancy sofa for connecting to an ipad. most of the chromecasts ive found in the wild are driving business displays, which isnt to say thats their primary use.

and again, if you can get kodi working on puppy then its not a bad chromecast alternative at all. sure, different form factor. but not everyone cares about that-- some people are very happy with kodi on a desktop size box. the main drawback is arguably the fan, not the size.
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 08:37    Post subject:  

Well it is said that Kodi has a great interface and I'm sure that is true. But it can be nice watching movies and videos generally on a big screen and if your computer doesn't have that then you'd need the cables as well as Kobi. Except... there is nothing to stop you casting anything running on your desktop to chromecast, with suitable casting software, so you also combine both.

In my absolutely basic setup, I have the cheapest TV I could buy - its not even particularly big being 32" only and a cheap, but nice sounding hi-fi system that it plugs into for audio, and into the TV plugs my chromecast dongle. And I sit wherever I sit with my Linux laptop casting anything local or Internet I feel like to the arrangement - though, truth is my wife uses it more than me cos I'm often busy programming whilst she is watching some old British soap series such as "Waiting for God" or "The Good Life" that she casts to the chromecast from Youtube on her Android phone. It is so simple as set ups go, which is one of the attractions. I don't feel the need for Kodi, but maybe my needs are particularly low anyway.

I do, by the way, like probably most people, watch quite a lot straight on my laptop, but the sound quality is rubbish and the small screen not exactly exciting (and useless for family viewing really), and fact is it is just as easy to cast the media over to the chromecast TV and audio system (and of course I can continue to program at the same time). Chromecast is wonderful - I think people who don't have one don't realise how useful it is - I certainly didn't (didn't really see the point - but I was wrong...). Oh it has another big advantage... my laptop is quite old and only has vga video out, but that is irrelevant when using chromecast since I can cast any resolution video I feel like and the chromecast itself connects to the tv via HDMI (which my laptop itself couldn't anyway).

wiak
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souleau


Joined: 23 Oct 2016
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 10:37    Post subject:  

Better still, TV's are obsolete.

Just buy a very good computer monitor and hook up whatever to turn it into a television.
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 19:57    Post subject:  

souleau wrote:
Better still, TV's are obsolete.

Just buy a very good computer monitor and hook up whatever to turn it into a television.


You must be richer than me... Good and large computer monitors are expensive, large unknown brand LCD TV panels are cheap as chips nowadays.

Also, unless you only watch videos on your own you are still going to need the long, messy, quite expensive HDMI cables to connect with along with the power consumption of the laptop compared to a frugal chromecast dongle - so annual electricity costs still a deciding factor if you think in environmentally-friendly-dollars-kept-in-the-pocket manner. Come to think of it though, you COULD of course plug a chromecast dongle into a computer monitor, as long as it has an HDMI port, and thus avoid the cable issues when connecting to your computer.

And these advantages of chromecast are without stating the capability of streaming to the device from pretty much any other device available to you or others in your house (android etc, tablet and so on). Google should employ me to market the device Wink

The topic of this thread is about SMART TVs being obsolete, but certainly television, per se, as a broadcast communication medium is certainly less and less relevant for most of us.

wiak
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1234
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 00:19    Post subject:  

Quote:
Just buy a very good computer monitor and hook up whatever to turn it into a television.


I have two "TVs" in my house. One is a CRT I purchased in 1999 for $4000. It works fine, just doesn't pick up any signal anymore since the switch to DTV, but it has a VGA input, so Puppy works on it. The other "TV" is a projector connected to Puppy. It has youtube, netflix, facebook, DTV, murga and everything else, all on 96 inches of wall space Smile
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 3188
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 09:05    Post subject:  

I bought a 1920x1080 single pass TV Monitor from a national chain that was closing down.
Being as I am a Sky customer, it is driven from the Sky Box (which is pretty low resolution) and I just plug in the monitor cable that runs alongside the network cable and use it as a high resolution external monitor for my Laptop if I need it.

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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 1668
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 12:21    Post subject:  

Considering the Godless-Socialistic-Communistic slant of USA television (or CATV) broadcasts, 'No-TV' is better than 'Smart-TV'.

I'm OK with buying a physical DVD and playing it through a laptop, just disconnect from the internet. No other ugly wires, or interceptable bluetooth/wifi signals. And then theres data collection and third-party thanks to google. It ain't "almost free".

JMHO
8Geee

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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 12:51    Post subject:  

8Geee wrote:
And then theres data collection and third-party thanks to google. It ain't "almost free".

JMHO
8Geee


Well, despite the Chromecast dongle being made by google, you don't need to connect to the Internet at all to use it. It will still work on the local home network for streaming locally stored media from your computer to the TV. Saves a lot of cables and brings a lot of convenience. Nor does it need a chrome browser to use it, or any google software to drive it, in case you thought it did.

I've no doubt google intended its Chromecast dongle to only be used for its online ad-supported streaming services, but Linux open-source programmers soon found out how to drive it directly, no doubt to Google's annoyance...

wiak
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nitehawk


Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 658
Location: West Central Florida

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 18:56    Post subject:  

wiak wrote:
souleau wrote:
Better still, TV's are obsolete.

Just buy a very good computer monitor and hook up whatever to turn it into a television.


You must be richer than me... Good and large computer monitors are expensive, large unknown brand LCD TV panels are cheap as chips nowadays.


I just use a simple 32" flat screen as my main TV (got it cheap at a pre-Xmas black Friday sale at local WallyWorld). Then for other tvs I got several really nice 19 inch (and other) computer monitors from thrift stores.

One I paid $10 for (others I think were around $12). From Ebay I got about 3 older phones (with no carrier, just wifi and screen mirroring capability). Then I got a couple of Miracast dongles, and a little "mini HDMI to VGA" connector. Works very well. I use several android IPTV apks for live TV and movies. Terrarium, Mobdro, TeaTV, UKTVNOW, etc. etc. etc.

......I'm a cheapskate, so works for me. Laughing
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 938
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 23:43    Post subject:  

nitehawk wrote:
From Ebay I got about 3 older phones (with no carrier, just wifi and screen mirroring capability). Then I got a couple of Miracast dongles, and a little "mini HDMI to VGA" connector. Works very well. I use several android IPTV apks for live TV and movies. Terrarium, Mobdro, TeaTV, UKTVNOW, etc. etc. etc.

......I'm a cheapskate, so works for me. Laughing


That setup sounds good to me

wiak
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