1. What’s going on with TV?
People want their TV with more features, like internet ready, apps, web browser etc. All these extra features are basically already there on computers. Now they want a combination. Basically they want a computerized TV or a TV = TV + PC + Internet.
This is exactly what happened in the handset/phone field, Phone = game player = Handset/PDA = GPS = MP3 player = Video player = Camera/Camcorder = Book reader = Photo frame = web browser = Email browser = … = Computer! This is revolution. One is everything. Basically one thing is a PC that can of course install a lot of apps and has WIFI with extra physically dedicated features such as phone, camera, gps.
This is what’s happening now in TV field. TV companies put a dedicated board (a computer) inside their TVs to make theirs TV = TV + PC. Apple, google make some dedicated box (a computer) sitting beside the TV. Question is why bother making new things, why not just buy a netbook or any cheap desktop PC and connected to TV? The reason is this. A dedicated unit is fancier, and it can be made small, fast, and even put inside TV. It can be made so because it is only used for TV, so it doesn’t need that good quality/much cost to include all those redundant hardware/software.
2. PC to TV
For the time being, TV is not as powerful as PC yet. So sometimes, we want to stream signal from PC to TV. The specific purpose of streaming desktop to TV can be varied for people. One common reason is basically you want to see something on TV that you can see on PC. This is the exact reason why Internet-ready/connected TV is so popular, Apple TV and google TV are so popular.
For the time being, I don’t have such a powerful TV. I have a samsung LN40c650 LCD HDTV that is internet-ready, with apps and DLNA certified. It is a nice TV, but still not as powerful as computer.
Now I want to see online TV on my TV. What can I do?
There are a variety of ways to send signal from PC to TV.
1) Connect with Video/Audio cables directly, e.g. VGA,DVI,HDMI etc. This is the simplest way. It makes good video/audio quality. But I have to move my PC and make the connection every time. It is not very convenient.
2) Connect wirelessly with PC to TV video/audio transmitters. This is good. But the devices are over $100, which is expensive to me.
3) DLNA, through network. This is compromised way, but doable. DLNA is more and more popular due to its convenience to share media within various devices. But through network, the quality is not that great. The speed is also an issue. There is a tradeoff between media quality and speed. It varies with the hardware.
In my case, I want to try DLNA, since the source media online is not great already. Using TVersity, I can get photos, audios, and videos on my computer, and online such as youtube, and even live TV such as Justin.tv. For more details about this, please refer to another post: http://alenblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/tversity-dlna-for-samsung-tv/.
The question is: can I watch online TV like PPStream, PPLive etc (Chinese) on TV, which are not natively supported by DLNA?
There are some methods introduced using VLC: Link 1, Link 2, and Link 3. But it seems none of these works for me for uusee, pplive and ppstream, since I can’t find the streaming source for these software.
3. Stream Desktop to TV
Now I moved to this method that streams desktop to TV, which is universal.
The new VLC version has a feasture to live stream desktop: screen://.
You can create a desktop streaming using VLC to localhost, such as mms://127.0.0.1:1234. Then you can add this live streaming media into TVersity library.
Now you can just watch this “video” on your TV through DLNA (samsung Media Player).
Of course you could also use another live streaming software if available. In principle, this can do the work. The quality and speed might be an issue. It is an issue to me for the time beining. But as least, this provides a possibility.
p.s. screen:// doesn’t actually work for video+audio YET. Please check another post here http://alenblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/watch-online-tv-ppstream-pplive-etc-on-tv-via-dlna/ to see how to make it.