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USB to HDMI Adapter?

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
What is the best way to get streaming video content from a laptop to a TV?

It's been 3 weeks since I dropped Directv. We are currently using the Netflix and Hulu apps on the TVs to suit out needs, but I am interested in streaming other content onto the TV with my laptop. The laptop is a couple years old, and up to the job resource wise the only issue is it does not have an HDMI port, only USB 2.0. A lot of the adapters I find are USB 3.0 which is obviously backwards compatible with the previous standard, but will that affect the streaming quality?

Another option I see is VGA/3.5mm audio to HDMI adapter. Would this be a better choice for what I need it for?
 
I as well don't think USB to HDMI will stream anything, unless you have a very peculiar device.
Go with VGA -> HDMI.
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
No the VGA adapters have a 3.5mm plug that goes into the audio out, but then merges with the HDMI.
 
Will VGA to HDMI also carry audio?
It's not an adapter per se, it's a converter. It gets the analog signal (dvi) and converts it to digital (hdmi). Most of them have a 3,5 mm audio jack for that purpose.
Forgot to mention, the conversion takes its toll on the signal. Probably though you won't even notice it.
 
It's not an adapter per se, it's a converter. It gets the analog signal (dvi) and converts it to digital (hdmi). Most of them have a 3,5 mm audio jack for that purpose.
Forgot to mention, the conversion takes its toll on the signal. Probably though you won't even notice it.

Thanks.
 
Have you considered Google Chromecast? That's what I use, it streams video and audio from certain apps on smart phones and from the PC with a browser plug-in wirelessly.
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
What I want to do is stream from Kodi media player. I've been playing with it or a couple of days on my laptop, and if this turns out to be something that we use often I will build a small PC that will live in the entertainment center with HDMI output.
 
What I want to do is stream from Kodi media player. I've been playing with it or a couple of days on my laptop, and if this turns out to be something that we use often I will build a small PC that will live in the entertainment center with HDMI output.

You might check to make sure your TV doesn't have VGA adapter on it already..many do. Since you're asking, you've probably already checked, but I thought I'd still mention as sometimes the VGA input will be on a different spot on the TV than the regular inputs (check front panels as well). As said, that is only analog video, no audio. You'll need to wire up audio via 3.5mm-> RCA connection, or some such. Make sure you turn the volume down a fair bit when first connecting. The 3.5mm output on a laptop is generally an amplified headphone output, and thus at a higher voltage than line-level when turned up. It can work fine, you'll just have to keep the volume down in the middle of the range( maybe lower).

Since you mention Kodi, and I just happen to be researching Kodi and associated compatible platforms right now, I'll mention that there are a couple of kodi-based turn-key solutions available if you're interested, or might be looking for something that's ready to roll. The most popular one is http://openelec.tv/ . It's a complete image built from kodi + linux or android. They also have a hardware device (built by WeTek) that comes pre-installed with it ( http://openelec.tv/openelec-box ). It seems to be a very good price (~$100). I'll probably build my own mini-x86 box , but I am taking a look at the Openelec device as well. The Openelec box, being ARM based, is not likely to perform as well as a x86 based mini-pc, but it's probably fine. Another option is to just use the OpenElec x86 image on a mini-pc. From what I understand it's a great image - very fast boot. Avoids the need to "appliance-ize" your mini-pc.
 
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Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
I actually just saw the Openelec box last night, and if we decide Kodi is a viable option for us it's definitely something to consider.

Kodi is an interesting program, I think right now it is a good second option to fill in the gaps after the mainstream services, but it is a lot of work trying to find actual content between the poor quality streams, and dead links. Once I get it configured it will probably be easier, but right now it's a lot of work between the poor quality feeds and the dead links, but I am just happy that I will finally be able to watch Jeopardy again.
 
I actually just saw the Openelec box last night, and if we decide Kodi is a viable option for us it's definitely something to consider.

Kodi is an interesting program, I think right now it is a good second option to fill in the gaps after the mainstream services, but it is a lot of work trying to find actual content between the poor quality streams, and dead links. Once I get it configured it will probably be easier, but right now it's a lot of work between the poor quality feeds and the dead links, but I am just happy that I will finally be able to watch Jeopardy again.

Yeah, it looks pretty nice. My use case is only for playing content I have stored on local NAS (mostly TVshows and movies from DVD). My net connection isn't fast enough to stream anything over the Internet. I noted that the WeTek Openelec box also has a DVR function w/ATSC tuner (as well as a couple that appear to have satellite interfaces). Over the Air is the only live TV I use, so that would work out well for me, and give me a bit of DVR function.

I've been playing around with Kodi on my main PC just to get a feel for it, and I like the interface. The hooks into TVshowdb and Moviedb (and others) are pretty slick for pulling in metadata on local stored content (as long as you have your file names set up right). I'm currently using a Micca media player, and its pretty decent, but I'm really attracted to the better UI of Kodi, and the obvious infinite upgradability of the solution.

I saw some mention that they've got old video game emulation (via MAME) available as a plug-in (Atari 2600, Genesis, Nintendo, etc). That'd be a fun addition as well.
 
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I use VGA to HDMI adapters at work (video only, no audio) that work pretty well. Still don't know about USB to HDMI.
 
As someone already mentioned, almost every TV I have seen already has a VGA input on them, along with a 3.5mm for audio. Are you sure your TV does not have these?
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
I pulled the TV out and looked it does. Before I had, I looked up the specs online. It is listed as RGB In (D-Sub 15 Pin)
 
I pulled the TV out and looked it does. Before I had, I looked up the specs online. It is listed as RGB In (D-Sub 15 Pin)

Ah, good deal. Yeah, it's sometimes listed as RGB. It's sort of correct, sort of not. The proper term for VGA signaling would actually be RGBHV (RGB generally refers to a standard where the horizontal and vertical sync signals are added to the G (Green) channel). But, I digress :). So, that should solve it for you for your test. Good luck with Kodi. I'm definitively liking it so far.
 
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