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Media

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Media Setup? 236

An anonymous reader writes: There's no dearth of media technology today. Not only do modern console emulate set-top boxes, but there are dozens of tiny appliances that bring TV shows and movies to your screens with varying levels of convenience and cost. So, what setup do you use? I'm curious about the hardware you use to collect, transmit, and display the media, in addition to the software running it, and the services you use or subscribe to that provide the media. I imagine there are a lot of cord-cutters in this crowd — if that's the case, how do you acquire the shows you want to watch? What problems still need to be solved in this area?
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Ask Slashdot: What's Your Media Setup?

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  • Old school (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mycroft-X ( 11435 )

    A library card and a comfortable chair. Though I've been using the same chair for a long time so I probably need to upgrade the firmware.

    • Very similar to mine. I do have a Thinkpad from Lenovo but I took all of my Television sets to the recycle depot about 5 years ago. For films I prefer my local Imax Cinema.

      • A middle of the range samsung LED smart TV
        A simple set top box from CableWorld with no dvr or frills
        An Onkyo receiver that's 7 or 8 years old
        A samsung bluray player that cost me about 50 bucks

        Digital is digital.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You can be pretty lazy now when it comes to your media set up. So big screen smart TV (forget brand, hardly makes a difference) and an external hard disk drive connected via USB port and that is all you pretty much need, apart from a computer to fill that hard disk drive, whether from an optical disk drive or the internet.

          So you can either sneaker net that external hard disk between your computer and TV or spend a bit more on a modem router and connect the TV and your computer and the hard disk to the ro

      • Imax/3D cinema on Brazil is shit (serious). The exhibitors want to save money so they buy cheaper projectors (and insufficient for the job) and inadequate projection screens (but cheaper), resulting in a blurred and too dark image. So, when I want to watch movies with family I have a dedicated computer connected to a 50-inch LED TV (samsung) and a reasonable 5.1 sound set.
    • My library has nice lounges set up so I can go there to read, surrounded by wisdom.
    • That's not old school My media setup is a stick and a drum made from a log and human skin.

      Now THAT'S old school.

      • Human skin? We had to do with Australopithecus hides.

        Unless you got a particularly fat one it took three to make a tambourine. Puny little fucktards.

  • MythTV for OTA an Dish distributed around the house.
    Chromecast for simple things
    Xbox One for Amazon/Bluray
    • by kzanol ( 23904 )
      Also Mythtv.

      Backend: Headless server in the tech closet:
      2x pcie dual dvb-s2 receivers.
      8x4TB HDD
      1x payTV subscription card (Sky), used by all the sat receivers via oscam and sasc-ng

      A couple of tvs in the house, all w/ Acer aspire revo ion-based mini PCs running mythtv frontends.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      MythTV used as a video jukebox with large redundant storage arrays and HTPCs next to the TVs.

      Roku's next to the HTPCs to deal with the streaming services.

  • Plex + Roku (Score:3, Informative)

    by dslauson ( 914147 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @01:25PM (#50774817) Journal
    I have a Linux box with a RAID array full of media. I run Plex server on it, and stream to a couple Rokus running the Plex client on a couple different TVs, as well as the Plex app on phones/tablets/laptops.
    I sound like a Plex app, but it really is fantastic software.
    • Another vote for Plex here, especially on the server end. I run it on my Debian server and it just works on anything you'd like to play media with.
    • Plex on a win box, 12TB of storage on a linux box, some combination of rokus, firesticks, ATVs, Chromecasts, and portable devices strewn about the house willy nilly.

      Plex managed to out-Apple Apple on the just works front. Just works at home. Just works on the road (okay - not quite, my LG G3 on Verizon stutters annoyingly, but everybody elses shit works fine). I spend almost zero time managing it.

    • I have a smart TV and use Plex on an old computer. There's a Plex app for the TV but I never got around to installing it because it works fine (via DLNA I guess) without actually installing the app. For my other devices (tablets/etc) I use Plex apps or just access the stuff over a Windows shared folder. Plex is nice for the wife because it's easier to understand, but for my own use it's just as simple to access the content on the Window share.

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        Yeah, I have a linux server that has a vpn for torrenting, I just share everything out via samba and watch it on an old Wii, using wii-mc (homebrew). I also use netflix and route it through the vpn to increase my library. flixsearch.io lets me see what's on netflix in different countries and I just map my vpn accordingly.

        I find alot of things that are yahoo or amazon exclusives in the US, are available in other countries on netflix, so I just take a short VPN vacation.
    • Plex, with roku frontends for TV's piles of other front ends (my Voip deskphone runs the plex app, actually rather nice for music). 30TB of usable space. Sickrage, couchpotato, and headphones feeds it. Mostly usenet as a source.

      I technically have cable and a cable card in a hd homerun (bundled internet+cable is cheaper than just internet at the same speed). All the hoops to jump though made it far more of a pita than it's worth.

  • I've got a Mac Mini pluggued to my HDTV with 3 tv tuners hooked to it. It runs EyeTV from Elgato [elgato.com], I pay about 20$/year to get the program list automatically. The tuners are hooked up to an antenna in the hattic. The thing can record 3 shows at once. The software lets be watch recorded shows and live TV on my iPad/iPhone if I whish so. The media library is also shared to my other computers in the house. I've been using the setup for years and it's a joy to use.
  • nexusplayer with kodi and netflix. I did buy an ethernet adapter for it. works much better.

    6TB NAS with movies/tv shows.

    HD Homerun with tvheadend for local stations/recording/live tv on kodi.

    PS3 for Blu-Rays and DVD's

    Network is all wireless AC/wired 1GB with router and switches.

  • Lear 8 track in the car, Nakamichi cassette at home. Chick magnet 24x7.
  • I've an ITX chassis with 5 HDDs in RAID6 for storage. It runs Kodi (formerly XBMC) and plays any 1080p content I throw at it , syncing the TV to the same Hz as the content, which is nice.

  • I get to watch maybe 2 shows a week when I'm paying attention. 0 when I have other things to do.

    It's not a case of being able to access specific shows, it's a case of whether or not there is something to watch in the vast number of shows available to me. There usually is.

    Currently half way through Salamander on Netflix.
    There are plenty of places to pay for movies online if that's your bag.

    • by VAXcat ( 674775 )
      Salamander was great! I wish there were more Dutch/European TV series available.
      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        Have you checked out the netflix selection when you are on vacation in europe... via vpn? Check out flixsearch.io
  • Gear: I have a Nexus Player / Blu-ray player / Receiver in the Living room and a Nexus Player for the bedroom.
    Control: I use a Logitech smart hub to control the living room and the included remote for the bedroom.
    Software: I run KODI (ala XBMC) for file viewing, a NAS (w. MySQL) for shared files and KODI shared viewing history. There's Youtube / Netflix built-in and anything else I need, I use the Nexus Player's built-in chromecast support.
    Cable: None! Woo!

    I've literally tested dozens of media viewing solut

  • I've been using XBMC since XBMC was first a thing... so there's is some level of inertia here. But nonetheless I still use xbmc/kodi based solutions.

    I've been using rpi's with openelec for many years now, all content sourced from smb shares on a central box. It does 1080p on all displays, with no issues co-sharing the same content. Usually gigabit, but when I have to use wifi for the display-attached unit, I use the network settings tweaks in advancedsettings.xml for Kodi in order to let the device buffe

    • by pr0nbot ( 313417 )

      I find Kodi/XMBC to be god-awful, UI wise. I use it because it came on a device (http://fiveninjas.com/) but it's a struggle every time I want to do something like add a new source, or correct some incorrect info it's attached to a DVD rip, etc. I can't imagine that someone sat down and designed the UI, so I guess it evolved and at this point changing it would piss off too many users.

      • I don't mind the UI on it. Not sure when you last tried it or how much it's changed. Granted, setup is a little non-straight forward, but once it's all setup and going, using it is as easy to our family as any other media server, maybe more.

        They've made repo(app) installation easier now, as you can just add one source/repo and install it, and it is a quick installer for almost all the major popular other app/repos that you need. Once you install it, you can just go through the list and click on any ot
  • Big screen TV. No connection to the intertubes.

    XBox 360. No connection to the intertubes.

    BluRay player. No connection to the intertubes.

    Yamaha amp. No connection to the interubes.

    PVR from cable company (bought outright).

    Apple TV connected to my desktop machine, haven't used it in months except to play music through my amp. Paired bluetooth keyboard so I don't have to type with tiny little remote.

    Building a media center in a kit and maintaining it really isn't something I can muster up enough interest t

  • I started with an XBMC build for the RaspberryPi long ago. It was slow and the interface was painful to use due to the limited hardware in the Pi, but it ran movies flawlessly. An upgrade to the RaspberryPi 2 and switching from RasBMC (XBMC) to OpenELEC (a different build of XBMC or now as it's called KODI) and I have a smooth as butter interface.

    Media is stored on a NAS and all TV series and movies are cataloged on OpenELEC.

    To interface with the media centre I use an app called Yatse. It stores an offline

  • The server runs minidlna, and the media players are connected to "dumb" TVs. The house is wired with Cat 5.

  • FlexGet -> Transmission -> Serviio -> Samsung D-series Plasma TV. Serves me quite well.
  • We started using a FireTV sideloaded with Kodi (SPMC build to be specific). Have a network share from our server that stores our library and any downloaded media. Loving it. Have not used any of the actual apps on the FTV, just use it to host and run Kodi.

    While I still subscribe to AT&T Uverse TV, we've been watching less and less TV on it and instead using our Kodi appliance more and more. Going to be picking up another FireTV or 2 for same purpose soon.

    I highly recommend Kodi, and the FTV ma
  • Connected to my TV. It's clunky and unintuitive, but it works. I can connect to local shares on my lan and run netflix. Good enough and I don't have the time, or the will in my old age, to setup something more fancy.

    • I got tired of my WDTV Live and replaced it with a NUC running KODI + Chrome for Netflix + VLC for camera viewing (see the entrance gate on TV) on Ubuntu. House is mostly wired CAT5, but one of the kids has a WiFi connected BluRay player that also does Netflix.

      I was keeping my media on USB connected 2TB drives for the WDTV, and just moved them over to the NUC where they are shared better than the WDTV could manage.

  • I store my iTunes library on a 20TB (~19TiB)Pegasus array today.
    Video size currently:
    MigiMac (OSX) [~ (master)]$ find /Volumes/Pegasus/iTunes/ -type f -a \( -name \*.m4v -o -name \*.mp4 \) -ls | awk '{tot+=$7}END{printf "Total size: %.4f Gig\n",(tot/(1024*1024*1024))}'
    Total size: 6802.7659 Gig

    Mix of ripped movies and TV shows, but I also purchase a few season passes from the iTunes store... it's close to a-la carte cable and ends up being cheaper than getting all the channels required would be. I do actual

  • I was previously a Windows Media Center guy, with a nice Ceton cable-card tuner. MCE had a nice, high wife acceptance factor, and made for a better DVR than any of the big guys -- although consumer DVRs have caught up nicely in the last few years.

    Times have changed.

    Because I still enjoy games in my living room, the primary device now connected to my television is an XBox One, and nearly all television is watched on Plex. Plex is, in a word, fantastic. It was worth the $100 I shelled out for a lifetime pa

  • I've got a laptop running Kodi connected to an external hard drive where I store my media. I can access Kodi via my Roku right now, but I want to hook it right up to my TV.

    My problem right now is that my DVDs are holding me back. We have so many DVDs and no place to put them other than in the cabinet under the TV. While in there, they are difficult to look through and just take up space. I want to store them somewhere but don't want to put them in a place that will ruin them. (For example, the heat in

    • If your laptop is really old, or with an old desktop graphics card - including early PCI Express ones - you may have an S-Video output, and converting that to RCA is done by a really dumb adapter (I think the two signals from S-Video become composite video when electrically mixed)
      For instance I have a radeon X1550 here (overheating but low power piece of junk, would need a fan added) with TV output. Geforce 7600GT with TV out too. Thus desktop junk can connect to the TV.

      VGA to video converters existed in th

  • Not being a linux guy, there's a bit of a learning curve when I set it up, but now that it's running, it's pretty amazing.

    If you're unfamiliar with unRAID, it's pretty slick. I no longer worry about drives failing, or running out of space.

    Clients are Plex apps on phones and tablets. TV's either have Roku or Amazon FireTV sets running Plex apps.

    Plays everything. Looks great. Not sure what else you'd want.

  • I use dumpster-found comptuers, networked with cat5 stapled to the walls. Bitorrent everything. Cost is minimal.
  • I'm cheap, and always have been, so it's an easy choice. Google has made this immeasurably easier.

    There are a number of TVs in the house, and I have this thing called "wifi".

    I picked up a couple of the Google Chromecast dongles for $25 each, and they go in the TV. We have Android phones in the house, so we use Chromecast to stream pretty much everything to the TV - Amazon Prime, Netflix, or the local Plex server.

    Local media (movies and audio) are kept on a FreeNAS box, and Plex is one of the trivially confi

  • Mac Mini running Front Row with a RAID box containing four 3 TB HDs in a RAID 5 configuration.

    For media, I rip my CDs, DVDs and BluRays (on a separate PC) and also download shows from various on-line sources.

  • emby backend, kodi front end for media. Ripped from DVD and blu rays using makemkv and handbrake (the former I've found to be needed after trying to use only handbrake for a while)
    mythbackend, and I still use myth frontend. Tried to use the kodi frontend but it would never shut the hell up about notifications and it seems not to be configurable, and kodi's seek to a video from mythtv is terrible compared to mythfrontend.

    There's also a netflix subscription in play, though increasingly less time is spent.

  • by nicholasjay ( 921044 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:00PM (#50775219)

    I didn't see TIVO mentioned, so 'TIVO'

    The Roamio I have cost $300 with lifetime service and I have an antenna. The TIVO combines my Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix down in to one interface.

    If I want to see episodes of (say) Stargate SG-1, it'll show me what's available from my streaming sources. If an episode isn't available, it'll record it for me when it comes on the air. It's really a fantastic solution and keeps all of my services in one spot instead of having to bounce between them. The software on the TIVO is really the killer app.

    Before that, I had a Mac Mini & HDHomeRun with EyeTV software. That handled all of my recording needs, but I still needed Safari for Netflix or Amazon Prime.

  • Each TV at home has a small computer running OpenELEC or similar XBMC/Kodi distributions. The bigger computers are nettops like the Acer AspireRevo series. The smaller one is a Raspberry Pi 2B.

    They all connect to a NAS share that contains all my videos. I rip DVDs and BluRays that I own (several hundred) and more recently rent (via Red Box).

    Remote controls are Logitech Harmony One remotes for a couple of the boxes and an old iPad running an XBMC/Kodi remote control app on one of them.

  • TV: 46" Sony Bravia 1080p from like 2006 Amp: Marantz PM8004 (stereo only, don't need surround) Turntable: Denon PM-3 with Ortofon 2m-Red cartridge PC: Intel NUC running HDMI out, raspberry Pi with hifiberry DAC OS: Openelec on the NUC, Runeaudio for the Pi Storage: 4TB USB3 for NUC serving video, 2TB USB2 for the Pi serving FLAC Pi is headless, controlled from phone or tablet NUC is controlled via Flirc/harmony remote
  • ... feeding an antenna amp and splitter. DVD player for Netflix/library loan material.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:08PM (#50775305)

    Netflix and Amazon subscriptions + rip anything worth owning for me. Not bothering with OTA stuff at the moment.

    In terms of the ripping/encoding, I use a combination of MakeMKV [makemkv.com] and Don Melton's transcoding scripts [github.com] for my blu-rays and DVDs, since they allow me to preserve full surround sound and a high quality video image while encoding in a format that I can use across all of my devices without additional or on-the-fly transcoding (a la Plex) being necessary. I used to use Handbrake for the encoding, but I find that Don's scripts work much better for me and are a lot less fiddly in terms of their output. For now, I'm serving them up from a Mac Mini via iTunes Home Sharing to an Apple TV (and any of the Apple mobile devices in the house), since I found iTunes Home Sharing to be significantly more reliable and easier to manage and use than DLNA or other methods I've tried in the past, but I'm not averse to switching media servers in the future as my needs change, and since the files aren't DRM-encumbered, it'd be trivial for me to do so.

    Otherwise, as far as the media hardware goes, I have my PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Dreamcast, and Apple TV all in a closet and hooked up to an Onkyo A/V receiver (TX-NR609) that then goes to my TV. I use the Onkyo AVR's remote for both the AVR and the Apple TV (since the Apple TV can be trained to recognize other remotes in its Settings). Because I keep all of that equipment in the closet (i.e. not in line of sight for IR signals from remotes) I use a Next Generation Battery Transmitter Remote [amazon.com] to transmit the IR signals via RF into the closet. Such an awesome product, since, unlike most IR transmitter/receiver devices, it effectively turns your IR remote into an RF remote, meaning that you don't have to have an ugly box sitting next to your TV to catch and retransmit the IR signal. Don't ask me how the thing works, since all I know is that you put the provided RF transmitter in place of a AAA or AA battery in your remote, and somehow it knows what to transmit to the receiving end. And the thing barely ever needs recharging, plus it even has a standard battery size you can buy at Walgreens for the user-replaceable, rechargeable battery it uses.

    Sorry for shilling out, but in case it wasn't already obvious, I really do love the little thing, even if it does look like a UFO.

    As for OTA TV, meh. My wife has already told me she'll need the Olympics whenever they come around next summer, but NBC just launched a channel on the Apple TV, so I figure we'll just use that, or else we'll stream it via AirPlay to the Apple TV from one of the Macs or iPads in the house.

  • Don't watch TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:18PM (#50775385)
    TV is addictive, if you have it you watch it. If you don't have it you don't miss it.
    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Yep, had to scroll ridiculously far down in the thread to find one of you :D

      I don't know what to do about the rest of my family, though :P

      The wife just watches various streaming sites in Russian on her laptop. She will wikipedia for a movie or series she wants to watch, then hit the Russian translation on the sidebar, then search for the Russian name of the movie. Then she'll watch the thing in poorly-overdubbed Russian from any random Russian streaming site.

      My daughter has taken to sitting in a closet (i

    • Do you have a music streaming rig?

      I really like Clementine [clementine-player.org] as a front-end.

      On the back end, I do have a little shoebox ION server with a RAID1 library. But I don't really enjoy maintaining all that myself; I really prefer having streaming music playing from some human-curated feed. http://somafm.com/ [somafm.com] has a lot of great streams, as does http://di.fm/ [di.fm] and http://sleepbot.com/ [sleepbot.com] is also quite unique.

      I'll occasionally use streamripper to record and m3u tag streams for, uh, time-shifting on the car or subway.

  • I schedule recording of over the air broadcasts, strip commercials, and archive. I buy blu rays or DVDs of shows when they are released as full collections of all seasons for $40 or under and archive those on my NAS as well and serve to the house. I don't always watch the latest things right away but I get most of the popular stuff. My library also carries many TV series and films and I can borrow them for free. Also swap with friends.
  • Home server downloads and stores the torrents, and serves a Samba share containing a neatly organized library of symlinks to the media files. I can play these back on any general-purpose computing device. One of them is a dedicated HTPC in the living room.

  • I'm currently using a FireTV Stick with sideloaded Kodi, once the folks at Silicone Dust finish their client I plan to add one of the new HDHomeRun boxes and a NAS for OTA and use Kodi to front end that and finally cut the cord since I find myself mostly watching streaming content these days but it would be good to have some way to get the locals.

  • Windows 10
    VCD
    MicroATX i3 w/ 4gigs of memory
    250g solid state drive
    CD/DVD/Blueray drive

    All mounted in a custom build frame inside of a 1930's style cathedral wood radio.

    That connects to a 500w head unit with 4 sets of speakers (12",6",tweeter, each) and a 48 LED flat screen.

    Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, DVDs, and low intensity video games all play wonderfully.

    -Rick

  • by asliarun ( 636603 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:42PM (#50775601)

    When my Comcast bill steadily crept up and reached $250 with all the bundling (internet, cable, phone - which I didn't even hook up after a year), I got fed up and seriously looked at cutting the cord. Plus, the customer service was so frustrating that I just wanted to shake off the whole bundling and customer service mess so I could breathe a little better.

    I first solved the internet problem by hooking up with a local vendor - a setup that I ran in parallel with Comcast's internet for a month or so. I live in a building and my local vendor has hooked up her pipe directly to the Ethernet switch in my building, so all I have to do is to hook up my wireless router to the Ethernet port in my living room. Quite elegant actually. Cabling is Cat5, but really, for my needs (~30-50mbps), that really is quite sufficient. The only downside is that the local vendor is not fiber or even copper all the way through. They have a wireless connection before they reach my building, which means that in really bad weather, connectivity is sometimes spotty. And sometimes, the wind is so strong that it moves the dish that they use for transceiving. So a tech has to reposition the dish, and I lose internet connectivity when that happens. Has happened a few times last year, but all in all, the service is decent and support is actually quite nice and human.

    Next problem: OTA. I was really tempted by options like Simple TV. I especially liked its Roku integration - which meant that I could have used Roku as my one stop shop for all TV content - on-demand or live. However, the reviews also indicated that it did have some drawbacks. So I ended up buying a Mohu Leaf indoor antenna (powered), a ChannelMaster+ DVR without storage, and a 256GB pen drive for $80 to act as storage. Antenna positioning was a bit finicky but in the end, the setup worked. Channelmaster was quite decent actually in terms of user interface, and would even get programming info from the internet for free. I didn't go for a Tivo because I hated paying a monthly fee for channel info and for their service - in my mind, the whole point of cord cutting was to reduce these monthly payments.

    I already had Netflix and Amazon Prime, but the Roku2 XS was hanging fairly often. So I replaced it with a Roku 3 (about $90) and boy, did it make a difference. I also added Hulu and Sling subscriptions. Sling really represents the future of television broadcasting. The only downside was their sports coverage - while they show ESPN, I was unable to get football. I was getting football on OTA but due to several storms etc during last winter, the coverage was often spotty. In a couple of cases, I had recorded football games and was avoiding seeing the score so I could watch it later not knowing the outcome. However, a significant part of the match was unwatchable because the screen was totally pixellated or too flickery. It is interesting to see how much we have taken reliability for granted. A nice thing about Sling though is that it allows you to see all programs in all channels "on demand" that were aired in the last 48 hours. In other words, it acts as a DVR that records everything in every channel for the last 48 hours. Something that no DVR currently does today. Well, scratch that. Comcast allows us to see a lot of content "on demand", but it often takes them a few days to make the content available on demand after it has aired.

    Finally, I also got Google Chromecast so I could throw or cast non-youtube content on to my TV. Roku finally has a youtube channel and also has a couple of other apps but there are often limitations. I did a A/B comparison of youtube over Chromecast versus youtube via Roku (directly via Roku as well as streaming from my phone - but casting into Roku's youtube channel instead of casting into Chromecast). The funny/ironic thing is that the quality of video and audio on Roku's youtube channels (direct streamed as well as cast from my phone) was significantly superior compared to Chromecast. Ironic because Google's Chromecast is inferior for Goo

  • Proliant Microserver with Synology software on it, so I can access my media on all my devices at home or on the road.

  • I just plug a laptop into an external monitor and some bookshelf speakers for Netflix/Hulu streaming. The monitor sits on an old piano bench in front of my bookshelves. When I want to use the monitor for my desktop computer, I unplug it and carry it across the room to my desk. I also have an old Android phone that I use just for music from Pandora/Spotify. I switch the speakers between the phone and the laptop by unplugging the audio cable from one and plugging it into the other.

  • I stopped paying for cable about 8 years ago. I switched to Netflix for dvds and buying a season pass on iTunes 4-6 times a year. Not long after I was able to get netflix streaming, and a few years ago amazon prime. More recently we added HBO now. This itunes/netflix/hbo arrangement is still how I consume most of my movies and tv today.

    My setup includes a 6tb hdd connected to my router that serves as my iTunes library on my desktop for "legacy media" ( i.e. ripped dvds that all sit in the attic now ). Out o

    • 48 years, still no cable. I had it for free when I bought a house once, took them about 5 months to get around to disconnecting it. Came home one day, no cable, bought an antenna and never looked back. Moved to another house in 2003, didn't bother with an antenna there or anywhere since.

      Local ISP "bundled" cable w/HBO with our internet for cheaper than internet alone, gave me a box and HBO GO access - watched half of a movie on HBO GO once, never bothered again, never hooked up the cable box.

  • Why would you need anything else.
  • I run a very simple (tomcat hosted) jsp based web page which reads my disk structure and renders a hideous html page which allows you to: 1) Play the movie in the browser (for the kids' iPads mostly, or 2) send a REST call to the Roku to play it on the roku (using a custom "channel" I wrote, which consists of about 5 lines of Roku's proprietary Brightscript. [roku.com]

    The Roku channel I wrote can also parse an xml file that my hideous jsp can generate, which will build picture based menus on-screen on the roku. Th
  • I live in the rural third world. I pay 15 USD per GB for slow and flaky 3G mobile internet. So I ssh into an old laptop at my father's house in the UK to download media from iPlayer or usenet or bittorrent using his comparatively luxurious broadband. Then every couple of months he copies it onto micro SD cards and mails them to me. Then I mail them back. Not exactly instant gratification, but I get what I want eventually and it costs next to nothing.
    To watch them I just use mplayer on my laptop with a Logic

  • And a DVD player.

    There's almost nothing on worth watching anyway.

  • I live by myself so this wouldn't work for anyone in a family.

    I've got a 27" iMac on my coffee table which I use for watching a few shows I download. If there are any movies or TV programs that I really like I buy them. I use iTunes for listening to podcasts and music. I tried Vox and while it sounds great it keeps changing the default application for my MP3s to Vox even though I tell it not to. So I'd love to find another program like that which has great equalizer presets. It puts iTunes to shame for

  • I DVR what shows I care to watch off DirecTV as a figleaf to the media cartels, then frankly pull the commercial-free copies by torrent. I have a 2-bay Synology NAS running Twonky DLNA feeding Roku boxes in the two rooms with TV (grownups & kids). Netflix for streaming media, and I use a combo of MakeMKV and Handbrake to cook down optical discs (yes I still get them) to add to the NAS tank. And NO, I don't torrent the disc contents; why bother? I can stuff the MP4/MKV files onto a thumbdrive and car
  • Third generation Apple TV and Netflix. I don't have to waste any time managing it and it just works.

    Apple made a stupid mistake by removing the optical audio output on the new model.

  • Wirelessly connected to a TV.

    You don't need anything more.

  • For Cable TV DVR, I have a windows 7 MCE with Cablecard which takes care of recording everything including premium cable (HBO and Cinemax). The PC is directly hooked to my primary TV. It also run plex server which streams media to Roku box hooked up to my other TV
  • Linux server running PLEX server with 4, 4tb hard drives.
    several nexus players running PLEX client.

    Desktop with BDR drive, ANYDVD, and handbrake to "collect" the content.

    Why? because fucking american internet sucks for uncompressed 1080p content with full surround. And when the internet is down, you want to watch a movie...

  • I'm running Kodi on a First Gen Intel Mac Pro 2x2 Xeon. Plenty for what I need. I've got a lot of hard drives plugged in for various libraries, some Firewire. I do all the ripping on my Linux system that has a bunch of optical drives and actually outperforms the Mac on that task.

    I'm thinking about switching it over to Linux, a lot of the Kodi plugins don't work and I'm not sure if that's because it's on a Mac or the plugins just suck. I'm going to test them on my Linux box first.

    I use the Yatse Remote [forum.kodi.tv] f

  • CentOS fileserver with ~16TB (4x2TB + 1x8TB) running Plex and Roku's attached to each TV (or projector). The new Roku 4 is available today, by the way, for $129 and supports 4k streaming.
  • 1 laptop connected to the big-screen TV, with internet connection for Netflix and ABC iView, and an external HDD for stored content.

    1 blu-ray player connected to the TV for occasional discs.

    1 eeePC with external powered speakers, exclusively connected to Live365 for music.

    Other family members all have a laptop for school, work, and netflix.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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