Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 8 Old 03-01-14, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
Dan Lee
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Wisconsin
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Arrow Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

I have a “Stock” dell 4600i unit I have some questions on how to build this, to work as well as possible as a home theater pc.. We will be running movies and tunes off of external usb drive and stream video’s from the net.

We are setup with a 10 meg account from the phone company and wish to use the bandwith as well as possible.

This desktop has ubantu 14 “Mint” installed on it.
I also bought a wireless keyboard to operate the Pc, and replaced the ram from 512 to three sticks of 1meg to total 3 megs.

If anything I say, you do not understand, PLEASE understand I have had a stroke and doing best I can for family, so any help will be appreciated.

If you are curious on where we live is in Wisconsin, USA.

1. Considering the “Stock” graphics card has “NO” hdmi output, so should I get a different card to be able to hookup to tv or is vga going to be good enough considering, “the way I understand it” this board is AGP compatible. ? ?
If I should get a different card, what is a good enough one you can recommend ? ?

2. Considering this unit has what seems to be a power supply of 250 watts, do I really need to install a higher powered one, and if so, why and do you have a recommendation ? ?

3. Considering wife and I both have body issues, Should I install a different operating system on it for us to have easier / better control ? ?

4. Money is a little bit of an issue but can spend about $100 dollars per month, but do NOT want to build something of a waste or should I let wife use this unit and get something else from the 3 or 4 desktop choices I have sitting on floor ? ?

5. After I get done with the living room tv taken care of, I need to get tv in bedroom done, or is there a way to have this one desktop able to power both tv’s to watch different programming ? ?

6. Will I be able to search on internet for streams and then play when I am in openelect, “that I believe I should install” considering I do NOT know how to program, or do I have to get out of openelect to search for streams ? ?

We do have many pieces of sterio and video equipment and wish to soomer or later get that hooked up but figure first issues first.
I am thinking to put an ad on internet to find someone to help with this but trust is not very good any more after being scammed some in past.

I have done some searching of info but is over whelming to me and need short and sweet answers.
Example is this post took hours for me to invent, in word, so posting was hopefully clearer.
Great invention is spell check.

Thank you for any considerations. Dan
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-04-14, 05:23 AM
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Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

Dan, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this looks like a lost cause with this particular machine... that 250 watt power supply won't power much of a video card and about the most you'd be able to stream offline without it choking on you is youtube...any more money spent into this machine would net you very little results. been a computer technician for years and if you want to stream anything modern I'd honestly say you'd need at least $500 or so to do it even reasonably well

may I ask what online video service you're looking at streaming??? if you're thinking of netflix, amazon prime or something like that than you'd best be served with a blu-ray player with smart capabilities or a ROKU to do the job. both will be able to stream stuff fairly easily with usb for movie and music needs
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-04-14, 05:57 AM
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Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

I agree with Mike. Some older Dell models had a proprietary power supply connector to the motherboard. If that is the case for yours, it will make finding a higher power PS a problem.

You could use the old PC as a network attached storage then use a set top box like Mike mentioned above to access content on it. The Roku won't do that but see if you can find a used Netgear NTV 550 on e-bay. That one works very well for that purpose, has a HDMI connector and supports all HD audio format. The KDlinks HD-720 is a current model set top box that works that way as well.

How about a streaming only subscription to Netflix with a set top box that works with Netflix? Or maybe a subscription to Hulu Plus? Even the most basic Roku will do that. This will give you access to many on-line movies and classic TV series. Apple TV is another very good device for that, but shows are only available via the iTunes store.

Hug your pet today!
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-04-14, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
Dan Lee
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

I am VERY, VERY thankful to all that help me and wife with the info needed.
It is being a HERO to us, Period.

It is so surprising how much a body can go overnight, as i used to have an higher IQ..
Trust has went way down and scams are to possible, with almost loosing everything overnight almost, (American Family BEWARE) and then both of our bodies having issues is surprising.

As stated we have more movies and tunes we would EVER, EVER, be able to watch or listen to, so we are thinking to stream networks from stream sites and do a hulu + subscription.
Right now we are spending about $100 a month with Satellite that drives me NUTS to pay them for commercials..

We do not wish to buy used and when we buy I research to find best deals..
We are ready to spend what ever amount to have what is needed considering TV and music is so important in our lives now.

Can we surf the net with the equipment we should buy now ??
Considering we both have different computers to in front of us at all times, do we really need to surf with what we buy ??

What are some recommendations of what we should order,, now that you good people know of our needs ??
If we have to spend more than $100 to get this all done ASAP so be it..
I can NOT do much more confusion to this brain.

EDIT: I have started to look at some players for sale and am now feeling overwhelmed..

EDIT TWO: Another thought is if /when we get a player, we do NOT need to install Openelec correct ??

Last edited by onlyonmonday; 03-04-14 at 12:03 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-05-14, 09:58 AM
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Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

I failed to mention how sorry I am to hear of both of your health problems. The fact that you are still physically and mentally active is a blessing!

I suggest doing this in small steps. Do you really need to surf the web via TV? Most of the set top boxes do a poor job of surfing and email. If you are having issues with screen size, how about a larger PC monitor to help?

As to what to buy now, again let's go slow. Unless you have truly excellent over the air reception and are happy with only network programming I suspect that you will want to keep your satellite subscription. None of the set top streaming boxes will give you live network TV.

However, if you are happy watching older movies and are open to a wide range of types, a Roku box with a basic, streaming only Netflix subscription will provide a lot of things to watch. Hulu Plus has older TV shows; I had it for a year, found myself not watching it and cancelled the subscription.

If you happen to have an Amazon Prime subscription, some DVD and blu ray players will access both Netflix and Amazon Prime video programming.

Perhaps a visit to a local Best Buy, H H Greg or whatever is close to you and ask for demos will help make your decision.

As for the Dell PC, as we have stated upgrading it to do what you want is not cost effective. However, it will have a VGA video card output that some TVs will accept (look for a computer/PC input and a matching connector.) That will provide a way to surf the web and do email on your TV. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you can sit in your favorite chair.

Hug your pet today!
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-05-14, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
Dan Lee
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

Thanks ALL for the caring..
A huge point is happens and the point is to NOT GIVE UP. That real hard to do at times.
I used to lift weights 3 times a week, swim, run, ect and NEVER could believe anything would EVER happen to me. So PLEASE understand this can happen to anyone if it happened to us.

OK now back too business.
I am thinking to NOT worry "now" about live tv except for our Nascar addiction..
How can I get the races seen ? Does ANYONE have an idea ? We are way too far to get reception from tv station.

The closest best buy or what ever is 62 miles one way.

To watch past episodes of programs from networks will be even better, so we can operate show at will.
the reason i am trying to get puter to operate on tv is because we have some extra ones on floor besides the dell we are working on now..

Here is what I have purchased, to control puter from chair, but now do not no if puter is going to be used for the tv.
Matter of fact I bought two because we have to have setup for bedroom considering I am in bed often, at least until my new lift chair gets here. We must be able to watch different stuff on each of the two tv;s..

i hooked up vga to tv and picture is fine for us but am not happy some because new ram I bought is not right. I bought pc2700 and what came out is pc2700u.. Now i need to find some of that.
Our tv have 2 hdmi, a Vga, ect. Its a emerson 32 inch walmart special we bought about 2 years ago for about $300..

Even if we do not use that puter for our tv wife can use because hers is Pentium 3 and real, real slow, ect..
I use a acer aspire one, while sitting in livingroom.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-06-14, 08:59 PM
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My System I think you can build a nice HDMI PC for about 400 bucks. Get a core i3 and you don't even need a graphics card. Load it with windows 7. Wmc has Netflix and you can surf web etc.....
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-07-14, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
Dan Lee
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 10
Re: Are you able to help a stroke victim ? ?

fschris wrote: View Post I think you can build a nice HDMI PC for about 400 bucks. Get a core i3 and you don't even need a graphics card. Load it with windows 7. Wmc has Netflix and you can surf web etc.....
Happy i am, as i have good news today of finally getting a chair in week or so, so i can get out of bedroom and be in livingroom with wife more often.
Now that i CANT get out very often, we are going to do a LOT more shopping online, and amazon be a HUGE help with shipping costs and also have some tv shows to watch, even if they are NOT super resent programming, and hulu+...
Less than $20 compared to the $100 from satellite will be a nice saving, and I really hate commercials.

While i was doing research of one of the mini pc things,, i ran across the ones that are plugged into the tv and can do browsing and be able to watch shows from two services, amazon, and hulu +..

Now the questions i have are;
1. How good are is ease of use, and performance of the mini pc sticks to provide the way to watch content of hulu and amazon on bedroom tv ? Remember i bought mini wireless keyboards weeks ago and would be nice if they can be used fr a great cause.

2. How well do the stick Pc's work to surf the net, considering a computer is NOT in bedroom unless i relocate my small laptop ?? It sure would GREAT to be able to surf while in bed without having to drag my n.

3. How well do the stick pc's work to get to and operate the subscription on hulu and amazon.
Considering wife and i are setup with separate puters in living room, we believe getting a player like the Ruku 3 is most likely best.

1. Is the Ruku 3 the best player for us on livingroom tv, to provide the Amazon and Hulu+ subscription ?

2. Or is there a better choice for viewing subscriptions and be able to watch/listen to the data on external hard drive like the WD units ?

3. Does the players like the Ruku 3 able to have us plug in the 2 terabit external drive to watch the movies and tunes on it ? If NOT there is other inputs on our tv if needed..

That is all the questions i have for now and thank all for any input.
This is getting very overwhelming and want to get orders in ASAP and get this stress gone.

Last edited by onlyonmonday; 03-07-14 at 10:10 PM.
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