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  1. Shuja Ahmad's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  

    Exclamation Playbook HD video streaming to HDTV

    Hi guys,

    I'm a newbie to the forum & to the playbook tablet.
    I've been looking to buy the playbook 64Gb as it has been discounted to 124 at PC world. I've looked into the features & specs of the playbook & been quite impressed BUT my main use for the playbook would be general web browsing, games, watching movies and (mostly) straeming movies to a HD TV in my living room. I dont want to have to copy large HD movie files onto the playbook to watch them in my living (otherwise i could simply use my USB stick to do this) and i don't want to splash out on a dedicated wifi media player (a good one would cost you 100+ anyway so i'm hoping a tablet could do this plus all the extras).

    I have read up on playbook video streaming & the issues that is has. I just want some clarity - is the playbook able to stream HD movies from my PC to a HDTV to a high quality without stuttering or dropping connection?
    I guess this question breaks up into multiple questions:

    1) How good is the wifi on the playbook and does it lose/drop connection regularly?
    2) Can the playbook stream HD movies (4gb-10gb size) from my Windows 7 PC on a wifi connection?
    3) How good will the playback qaulity appear on the TV?
    4) What file formats can the playbaook run?
    5) My broadband gives around 30Mbps (DL) and 1.9Mbps (UL) so with this in mind, how well will the wifi connection work with the playbook when straeming HD files & will it still cause stuttering & buffering?
    6) Is it worth buying the playbook if its main use is for streaming along with light web browsing & a few apps being used?

    Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

    Shuja
  2. bay1902's Avatar
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    I've been experimenting with samba use connecting my mac's media library to the PB through ES File Explorer this afternoon. I have to say this was so easy and the streaming was awesome. Not tried with any HD movies yet but see no reason why it won't work - plus I know Kalemsoft Media Player has this same function. I did all this as an experiment as i'm moving towards picking up a NAS adapter for an old hard-drive to connect this to my router & have a dedicated streaming server for the house.

    In terms of HDTV connectivity of this to the PC I see no reason why it won't be at the full HD quality through a micro hdmi-hdmi lead. I've done this with files on my PB loads of times & the quality is great, plus also with watching streams through the net. I picked up my PB back in August when they first dropped - absolutely love it & finding more & more uses. For the money it is the best you can buy! IMO it tops Androids & the iPad variants - and having used both what you can do with the PB - across media, office, entertainment, the works, is just fab. You will not be disappointed!

    Hope this helps in some way
    I own a Playbook - who says men can't multitask!
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    Shuja Ahmad (01-02-2013) 
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  3. thecsman's Avatar
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    See below,
    1) How good is the wifi on the playbook and does it lose/drop connection regularly?

    Max transfer rate is about 20mbps or 2.5MB/s. This is enough for all 720p content and some 1080p content, depending on the bitrate peaks a media file might have.
    To achieve optimal bandwidth, you will need to have a router or repeater in the same room as the TV. Your signal should be about -34 to -40dB.

    2) Can the playbook stream HD movies (4gb-10gb size) from my Windows 7 PC on a wifi connection?

    At 2.5MB/s max, you should be able to stream comfortably 4GB movies.

    3) How good will the playback quality appear on the TV?

    Quality is fairly good, and if you have a BB phone, you can use it as a remote control.

    4) What file formats can the playbaook run?

    You can Google for this one, but the PlayBook will not play conventional mkv movies, because they usually come with AC3 or DTS audio. The PlayBook can directly stream files with H264 and AAC audio.

    5) My broadband gives around 30Mbps (DL) and 1.9Mbps (UL) so with this in mind, how well will the wifi connection work with the playbook when straeming HD files & will it still cause stuttering & buffering?

    Broadband is irrelevant if you are going to stream movies from your PC. If you want to access movies from outside, you will need a media server (see below). With 1.9mbps you can stream videos with DVD quality more or less. You can watch comfortably on your PlayBook display or small screen external display.

    6) Is it worth buying the playbook if its main use is for streaming along with light web browsing & a few apps being used?
    I use it everyday, almost. It does pretty good with online HD streams (BBC, for instance).

    Now, to play almost all content you have in your Desktop PC, you have some options:

    a) KalemSoft player can play mostly everything locally and remotely, although they have limited the bitrate to 3000kbps, which doesn't look as sharp in a large display. It's probably intended for watching in the PlayBook display only. It works pretty well. They even have added DLNA support which is compatible with the below option.
    b) Plex for PlayBook is an Android ported app, which is not as smooth, but it's a fair deal for the PlayBook. You can stream at different bitrates to increase quality as desired, and it does look pretty good at 10+mbps. I use this more often as it is better featured than the other options, and the server side is pretty solid.
    c) Other options like StreamingNow, FileHub, or SonicAir do pretty much the same the others above, but not as well featured. StreamingNow has a nice option to quickly transcode your mkv files audio to AAC and place them ready to stream, so there is no need to transcode the h264 video on them, and it also has some support for subtitles.

    All in all, the PlayBook does fairly at streaming, but it's not perfect.
    Thanked by:
    Shuja Ahmad (01-02-2013) 
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  4. Shuja Ahmad's Avatar
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    @bay1902 & @thecsman: Thanks to both of you for your replies. It was very useful & informative.

    "PlayBook will not play conventional mkv movies, because they usually come with AC3 or DTS audio" - is there any way around this with a 3rd party app? VLC player or something similar?
    Also, has anyone tested streaming to a HDTV with a large 720p or 1080p hd file (6gb+)?

    Thanks again,

    Shuja
  5. daglesj's Avatar
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    The Playbook has come a long way streaming wise since the guys at Kalemsoft added the DLNA support a couple of months ago. Till then it was such a fudge!

    Best advice I would give is to get a Playbook and start playing around with it. I bought one as soon as I saw the price drop in September. I haven't regretted it. My girlfriend was angry that I had bought it but now she's okay as I use it all the time. Other halfs hate us boys buying gadgets we don't use!

    At the end of the day, if nothing else, you get a high quality web, movie and music player for a real cheap price.

    Oh and that's such a teeny-tiny baby! What a cutie!
    Thanked by:
    Shuja Ahmad (01-02-2013) 
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  6. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daglesj View Post
    My girlfriend was angry that I had bought it but now she's okay as I use it all the time. Other halfs hate us boys buying gadgets we don't use!
    She is your girlfriend, not your wife or your mother. Stand-up for yourself man. < sarcasm > She can get back into the kitchen and fix you a sandwich while she's complaining. This will prove whether she can really multi-task. < /sarcasm >
    Shuja Ahmad likes this.
  7. Shuja Ahmad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daglesj View Post
    Oh and that's such a teeny-tiny baby! What a cutie!
    Thanks! That's my daughter who was born 2 months premature & weighed 2lbs 3oz. Very tiny! But she is now 5 & a fully grown little madam! Still a daddy's girl, though!

    Thanks for all your help guys. I've just slapped myself in the face as PC world had the playbook 64gb on for 124 but they have stopped the discount today & the price is up to 149 - damn it! Waited too long!

    Shuja
  8. kill_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuja Ahmad View Post
    Thanks! That's my daughter who was born 2 months premature & weighed 2lbs 3oz. Very tiny! But she is now 5 & a fully grown little madam! Still a daddy's girl, though!

    Thanks for all your help guys. I've just slapped myself in the face as PC world had the playbook 64gb on for 124 but they have stopped the discount today & the price is up to 149 - damn it! Waited too long!

    Shuja
    Your daughter should be holding a BlackBerry Z-10.
  9. zorecati's Avatar
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    I have played video that I converted to my 55inch plasma and they look fine to me. I'm fairly certain you can do what you want using a DLNA player/server. If you give me a day or 2 I can tell you how I set it up. I know I purchased one of the cheap dlna apps for the pb but haven't had time to really play with. My tv and blue ray player both use DLNA to play video's/music from my Western Digital Due drive and i'm certain it can be done in windows 7.

    null - Support at Panasonic. Shoot me a message to remind me.
    Bold 9900 PB 16/32/64

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