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WadeMonnig
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× Talk abut Movies & TV here. Just tell us what you have been watching. Have hyper-academic discussions on visual semiotics. Whatever, it's all good.

Is the best way to broadcast a signal to a TV still something like Chromecast?

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15 Mar 2020 12:06 #308071 by Jackwraith
Our TV can no longer take physical connections, so there's no way to hook a Blu-Ray player to it and watch the physical discs I still have. Apparently the only way to do that is to hook up a Chromecast to a laptop with a physical drive and use that Bluetooth signal to reach the TV. I've looked around for a while to see if there were any Blu-Ray players that were made with a broadcast capacity and haven't been able to find anything (not least because pretty much no one makes Blu-Ray players anymore.) Is there something that I'm overlooking?

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15 Mar 2020 12:23 #308072 by Msample
Maybe a dongle that plugs into the DVD player that emits a Bluetooth signal? Don’t know if they exist.

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15 Mar 2020 12:24 #308073 by Sagrilarus
My son (the smart one) says rip the disks to MP4 now to solve both your issues. Then use by Chromecast to play to the TV.

So you bought a new TV and it has no HDMI inputs?

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15 Mar 2020 12:50 #308076 by Jackwraith
No. We bought the TV about 3 years ago. It's a Samsung with one of those "master control" boxes. The idea was that you didn't have to have a dozen cords running up the wall to the TV or have to pull it away from the wall to switch cables. Everything plugs into the box and one fiber optic line carries everything to the TV.

We had a lightning strike nearby about six months after we bought it and gradually all of the ports on the box went dead. There are no backup ports on the TV itself. It hasn't been a huge problem, since we get most of our entertainment through streaming and the TV is on the home wi-fi network. But I have a bunch of physical disks from back in the day (a lot of favorite directors and other stuff I don't want to pay a streaming service for, since I already own them) and I'm just trying to figure out how to gain access to them again.

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15 Mar 2020 14:22 #308078 by Disgustipater
Not sure how much work you want to put in, but there's a free program called MakeMKV that will rip your DVD and Blu-Rays to .mkv files. After that you can just set up a free Plex server, download the Plex app on the TV and watch that way.
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16 Mar 2020 10:48 - 16 Mar 2020 10:56 #308114 by RobertB
If you're ripping DVDs, Handbrake is a little nicer than MakeMKV. Instructions at Lifehacker .

ETA: I second Plex as a possibility. However, you're going to need a Plex server and disk space to store the ripped images. You can do it with a Rapsberry Pi running Debian, but you're not going to be able to watch Blu-Ray in all of its 1080p glory using that.

A coworker also recommends Kodi. It doesn't let you stream remotely like Plex (at least I don't think it does), but he swears by it for in-home use.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2020 10:56 by RobertB.
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16 Mar 2020 10:50 #308115 by Jackwraith
Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm still just kind of mystified at why I can broadcast my phone's screen to my TV via Bluetooth, but can't do it with my much more powerful (and Bluetooth-enabled) laptop. Weird.

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16 Mar 2020 12:19 #308126 by Disgustipater

RobertB wrote: However, you're going to need a Plex server and disk space to store the ripped images.


I just run the server off of my desktop PC (which is always on anyway) and use a 2TB external drive to store the files.

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16 Mar 2020 14:25 - 16 Mar 2020 14:26 #308134 by RobertB

Disgustipater wrote: I just run the server off of my desktop PC (which is always on anyway) and use a 2TB external drive to store the files.

I set up my Raspberry Pi Plex just to see if I could. It sort of works - it'll do 720p but doesn't like 1080p.

Lately I blew too much money on a WD My Cloud Home, which has built-in Plex and a built-in transcoder. It'll do 1080p no sweat, but it's kind of flaky - its name is "Robert's My Cloud POS" now because I had to set it up again from scratch when it decided it didn't have media files anymore.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2020 14:26 by RobertB.

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