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Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Thu May 09, 2013 11:07 pm

Yeah, I know, since you explained this very well previously, but this sentence does not make sense: "Via a Gigabit Ethernet wired connection, I got only around 3MBps for both writing and reading." See, he mentions USB, then in the next sentence it seems as though he's rating the Ethernet connection. A sloppy error on the reviewer's part? I guess I should simply ignore that part of the review, but putting out confusing, contradictory info doesn't do anyone a service; very irksome. I trust these guys.

I'll order my items this weekend, maybe tomorrow night. My gut feeling, despite some questions generated by this review, is that I would be best off (or at least as well off) ordering the Trendnet; I can't find any reason why I shouldn't. In fact, in this review article, the Trendnet was the only router that did not receive a negative comment regarding 2.4GHz throughput. Probably going to order the router via Amazon, as apparently you can return anything for any reason, postage-free.

My "network" may need to be expanded, as my wife is now hinting that she should have a smart phone; everyone she knows has one. For a few years, we've had simple "Pay-as-You-Go" phones that served our needs well enough. (I keep mine in my car for emergencies and occasional calls. I can't imagine who the heck I would call all the time. $25 + tax every 90 days, and we easily accumulate/carry over a lot of unused dollars/minutes.) You can see why I'm a Techno-Neanderthal! Now I have to figure out the break even point(s) of an inexpensively priced phone with a two-year contract vs. paying full price for the same phone and using a pay-as-you-go option. The thought of me paying $100+ per month kills me. But a guy at work says once you learn how to use it and learn all that a smart phone can offer, it will be well worth it. :-?

Thanks, Ian.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Ian on Fri May 10, 2013 1:07 am

NuGuy wrote:Yeah, I know, since you explained this very well previously, but this sentence does not make sense: "Via a Gigabit Ethernet wired connection, I got only around 3MBps for both writing and reading." See, he mentions USB, then in the next sentence it seems as though he's rating the Ethernet connection. A sloppy error on the reviewer's part? I guess I should simply ignore that part of the review, but putting out confusing, contradictory info doesn't do anyone a service; very irksome. I trust these guys.


The slow speed makes me think he was commenting on the USB performance. Maybe he said gigabit ethernet so people wouldn't think he was using wireless? Either way, I wouldn't focus to much on that. Between the gigabit ethernet and 802.11ac wireless, you'll have plenty of bandwidth.

You can get pay as you go smartphones. Heck, I think you can even get iPhones like that now too.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri May 10, 2013 10:06 pm

Yeah, the guy at work has a "smart phone family" and he/they are gravitating towards the iPhone5 with Verizon service. I probably should try the pay-as-you-go first to see how much use the phone gets, and if it's a lot, perhaps a plan. The problem is that there's about $400-$500 difference in the purchase price of the iPhone5 phones: opt for a contract, cheap phone vs. no contract, expensive phone. That's why I have to figure out a realistic use cost, and find the break even point of the two options.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Thu May 23, 2013 10:38 pm

I ordered my Roku and Trendnet AC1750 wireless router a few days ago, and I received them today. I got the Roku HD, the next-to-the-lowest model. It has this "pause" feature that I'm taking a $10 bet on that it might somehow be useful. Roku's FAQ description of it did not include or give examples of exactly what video feeds this would work with/be applicable for. I gave negative feedback when my "did not answer my question" response triggered their "why" survey. I still don't know when/where the "pause" feature/button can be used, but I ordered it anyway.

The Trendnet router looks good (LOL -- What do I know!). I'll have to read the user manual that's on the accompanying CD. I'm betting establishing security will be tricky.

I hope to install these this weekend, and then sign up for Netflix's 30-day free trial. I've got to buy a set of new tires for my car and then have the wheels aligned. Not as easy as it used to be, after finding out that your tires died a premature death due to the alignment being off, and your dealer, who you take your car to regularly for service, incl. tire rotations, never said a word about needing an alignment. Gonna try NTB... I don't know. Anyway, I'll be back!
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Thu May 23, 2013 11:33 pm

Well for mine I just picked the highest security protocol it allowed and picked a password and it works fine with my tablet when I entered the password. As far as your car goes always check out how your tires are wearing every so often and you'll notice before it gets too bad and get it fixed. I'm a gear head so I tend to notice when my car sounds weird or doesn't drive right so I can decide if it needs attention right now or can wait till I feel like dealing with it.
Sounds like you have a plan and some toys so good luck with it and I love my media players and my HD HomeRun Prime all on my network and wish I had them a long time ago but I was a bit worried about setting up a network too at first.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:34 pm

No, I haven't got my little Netflix network up and running yet. Just checking in with the latest snafu I've encountered....

I'm reading the Trendnet setup manual (printed off the CD). After reading through the basic connections and basic configurations, there is a section on "Wireless Networking and Security," which Trendnet stresses that I read. OK, I'm reading about choosing the type of security for my network. I see that WPA supports 802.11g (at best; limited to 54Mbps and not really secure!); they seem to go hand-in-hand. WPA2 supports 802.11n, which is what I thought I'd probably use; did not expect to use "ac" yet. So, I'm wondering what my Roku HD unit has in the way of hardware support. I did not see anything about this in Roku's web site product descriptions. I check the user's manual that came with it. Nope, not there. Searched the Internet for an answer, and found one on Roku's forum, a Q&A from 2011. My model does not have "n" capability. Well, rats! I'm remembering that the Roku stays on all the time and as I'm reading this from the Trendnet manual, I'm getting really fumed: Re: "WPA-Auto: This setting provides the router with the ability to detect wireless wireless devices using either WPA or WPA2 encryption. Your wireless network [the ENTIRE network] will automatically change the encryption setting based on the first wireless client that connects to your wireless device connected. For example, if the first wireless client that connects to our wireless network uses WPA encryption your wireless network will use WPA encryption. Only when all wireless clients disconnect to the network and a wireless client with WPA2 encryption connects your wireless network will then change to WPA2 encryption." Once again I'm invited to participate in a Roku survey, and I give them hell for not posting this info where it can be readily found by the prospective buyer, and that I would never have bought the model I did (HD) if I knew of this limitation from the start. Well, as I typed this, from the burned ashes of my expectations I see a slight flame of hope, in that maybe I'll be able to prioritize the order of the wireless devices connected to my router, being able to have that Roku in last place.... I don't want to settle for this less secure level of security (WPA) for my entire network! Here's the Roku info in case some poor soul researching Roku untis stumbles onto my post:
http://support.roku.com/entries/2065041 ... e-internet

Well, so it goes. (Don't forget that I plan to get a high-speed tablet and NAS unit.) (BTW, no more Smart Phone planned.)
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:21 am

That should probably work OK as a work around I'd think. Check the forums for routers and I bet somebody already has figured out the best setup for it. my tablet is connected at 150kbs according to the wifi setup page for it here, haven't messed with anything to see if it can go any faster. everything else is wired into the gig network.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:12 pm

I dug a little deeper into Roku's disjointed web site and found that all current models support WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security protocols. I would have to move up one model (from Roku HD to Roku 2 XD) to get 802.11n network speed, and that's what I'm going to do. Since I bought this directly from Roku, I have a 30-day "no questions asked" window to return this for a refund. I'll turn around and buy the Roku 2 XD which should support both WPA2 and 802.11n. Oh, well, I'll have more time to read the Trendnet user manual....
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:57 pm

Well good enough then, it'll take a bit longer but you'll end up with what you needed by sending it back and spending a bit more for the model that does what you want. Sounds like pretty good customer service anyways, even if the support forum/website is a bit hard and confusing to navigate.
I had a gift card from one of the websites I do surveys for so I bought my Aios for practically free and was hoping the network fully supported gigabyte speeds and full menus in Blu ray ISO's and it didn't do either fully, though it is truly gigabit and at least supports chapters in the BD ISO's which is way better then the WDTV Live can do plus most times it actually plays the proper movie file rather then just the largest one it finds. Everything is a game of compromises unless you want to spend some big money so I use both players for what they are best at and might upgrade to something even better someday if funding allows or a new one comes along that does EVERYTHING without being stupid expensive. Someday I'll have to get back under the house and run proper cat 6 cables to all the rooms that have something that can use it in them rather then just loose cables ran against the walls while I figure out how and where I want things in here, which seems to be a ongoing process :-k
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Ian on Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:03 am

Stepping up to the Roku 2 XD was a smart move, especially if you plan to watch movies in HD.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:07 pm

Well, I have egg on my face... I spent about an hour last night and this noon time researching the Internet for Roku HD specs, and found a lot of confusing info. Most of it was incorrect, even old reviews, as some referred to models with similar, recycled model identification codes from years ago. Roku has been around for over a decade. I'm sure now that some of Roku's own FAQs are outdated. This is what threw me off, inspite of the current product comparison page: http://www.roku.com/roku-products The left column lists "Built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n compatible)" and all models have that affirmative check mark. Unfortunately I found their old information (FAQs, Forum Q&As, etc.) before I found this. There are spec links at the bottom of each model, which corroborates this.... So, with some embarasement, I will cancel my return authorization and use the HD model that I have. I do not own a high res flatscreen TV--just old CRTs--so this will work out OK for now. However, I could see myself wanting to have two of my TVs Netflix-capable (I'm assuming you can have two Rokus at the same time...?). I have four TVs in my house, scattered about. They are selling the Roku 2 XD at a discounted price with free shipping as a Father's Day special thru the 15th. If you're interested, just check the product page; link above. I'll have a "Chat" tonight and confirm this stuff, including the ability to have two Rokus going at the same time.

I'll likely buy a moderately large flat screen TV next year. We have a small "guest room" that hasn't seen any guests in the longest while, so my wife wants to get rid of the bedroom furnature and put up a flat screen TV, and get a couch; I think a couple of (his & hers) lounge chairs sound good. The Samsung "Smart TV" seems like a winner, and may obviate the need for any Roku-type device/external wireless receiver.

(...weary sigh....) Stay tuned.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Ian on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:15 pm

Yeah, looks like the only thing the Roku 2 XD gets you over the Roku HD is support for 1080p video. Given, you're not going to need that now, but if you buy a second one, you may want to keep that in mind, especially if you're buying an HD TV in the future.

Either way, I'm curious to hear what you have to say about the Roku. I've been tempted to pick one up and use it for Amazon Instant Video on the TV upstairs.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:26 pm

Unfortunately, there are other things going on that make this project take a back seat. However, looking through the Trendnet manual, I have run across a couple of things that I'm unclear about:

1. In selecting the security protocol (WPA, WPA2, or WPA2Mixed or EAP) it mentions and mentions "Extnesible Authentication Protocol" in regards to EAP and goes on to say that this is also known as "Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service or RADIUS." Says that this is used with an external server. I assume I need not worry about this? Would a NAS require this sort of setup?

2. There's a menu setup item, "Radio On/Off" (wireless radio). A radio? Is this for something piping internet radio broadcasts through your wireless network? There is no explanation for this item.

Please post some clarification if you can. Thanks.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Ian on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:50 pm

RADIUS is typically used for authentication. I'm not sure how the Trendnet works, but at my work we use RADIUS to authenticate users who want to use our wireless. No account? No network access for you. You're not going to need this for your house.

The Radio option is used to turn the wireless on and off. If you turn it off, it would function as a wired router.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:22 pm

Thanks for the answers! I am pleased to see on your home page QNAP and Seagate working together, providing compatable NAS components. When it comes time to get a NAS, I'll look to those companies first. (I'm not expecting any 4T SSDs anytime soon.) My next purchase is going to be a tablet. I was zeroing on an Apple iPad 4, but reading the reviews, it apparently has some significant wireless connectivity issues. Maybe Android? Samsung seems to be leading the way on a few different fronts of wireless technology. I may just wait for the iPad Mini; I am expecting a new model sometime this year...? Man, it's a jungle out there.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:30 pm

If you really want a nice tablet without breaking the bank many of the upper end China tabs have just as nice a screen as the apple and other high end tablets now with quad core CPU's and all that for 200 or less depending on size and extra features. I have a Ainol Nova 7 aurora with 8 gig and a 1024x600 screen now and it looks and works great, plays angry birds and all that with a nice capacitive screen. I like 7" tablets as it's just big enough to be abler to see easily but still small enough to cart around. I'm planing on eventually upgrading to their new Novo 7 Venus quad core with 16 gig and a 1280x800 ips screen when money and a good deal comes up. Android 4.0 or higher and there are a lot of forums working on upgrades and things for them and other good ones like Onda and others. I use it to check my mail and surf a bit and fire up this bad boy when I really need to do heavy typing or work and big games :D
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:35 pm

Thanks, I'll check further into those. I did a search for the Nove 7 Venus (mainly to find the company and a place to buy from) and came up with these results:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Novo+7+Venus+tablet
Which of these sites should I be looking to buy from?
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Ian on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:18 pm

My son and wife have Kindle HD's. Personally, I can't stand the customized version of Android Amazon uses, but they use them all the time.

My Android tablet is currently collecting dust. I still prefer my laptop. :)

I may try a tablet again once the new Haswell based Windows 8 tablets start to ship.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:36 pm

I bought my latest one on eBay but I'm on MP4 Nations forum and they seem like a good company and have a US warehouse for SOME of their stuff, the rest comes out of china but they support their forum and customers very well it seems and their price on a Venus is really good provided they don't charge too much for shipping as many eBay sellers ship free or very cheaply.
There are other forums and sellers about that are good too but I've been somewhat active on their site and most folks seem happy and they answer questions even if you didn't buy anything from them.
I do surveys online when not busy and save up my pay/points till I have enough in Pay Pal or get a good check and that's how I bought this tablet I'm typing on.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:45 pm

Well, I checked the first hit -- the manufacturer's sales store (Ainol Novo Online Store). I think I'd like to have Bluetooth capability, but I see only one, the Novo 10 Hero, and when I review the specs, I cannot find any confirmation that it has Bluetooth. The Novo9 FireWire looks real good, except as many of the reviewers lament, no Bluetooth. (A few people I know have one of those small Bose Bluetooth speaker units, about the size of a big hard cover book.) Still, they look like good deals. If I had a NAS, I guess I could broadcast music via my wireless router, assuming I could get my Apple iTunes library listing on the tablet. I'm completely baffled how I could do this; I believe it can be done, as if the tablet were a wireless monitor and wirelessly connected to the CPU (intelligent NAS).

PS - Dartman, I was still typing this when you posted your reply....

PPS - How's that memory extension work, OK? SD or micro SD cards?
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:11 pm

After reading Trendnet's setup info regarding placement of the router, I find I'm going to have to place it along another wall, further away from my computer/cable modem -- up on top of a tall bookcase, I guess. FYI (I know you guys have bought lots of network cable in the past) -- I'll be buying a couple from this company: Monoprice.com

Cat 5e: http://www.monoprice.com/products/subde ... p_id=10208

Cat 6: http://www.monoprice.com/products/subde ... p_id=10232

There's not a great price difference between the two types, al least for the small quantity I'm buying, so I'll go for Cat 6. Anyway, I just wanted to post this in case you guys have not visited this retailer before.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:09 pm

Most of them don't directly support bluetooth but some will use some kind of adapter/dongle that can be added so you'll have to check and see if it has the option and what you need to make it work. I think all of them use micro sd cards and mine does and it works fine and I can transfer apps to the card to save space on the built in memory.
I have a 16gb in here and it might support bigger, most of the newer ones do.
I don't really care about bluetooth with mine but I did add a mini USB keyboard and case and pretty sure a USB mouse will work too but not sure it it would take some kind of Y adapter or some kind of port epander thing on the mini usb port.
Mine works with the play store and all that and you can load apps downloaded directly o get them on a card and load em later. It also has a mini HDMI port and will play 1080p video smoothlyb to my TV and plays almost any format, all the china tabs seem to incude a hdmi port so can be handy for playing HD videos for friends if you have the storage. I also think it can recognize USB drives with the OTG cable depending on the format.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:42 pm

Something's come up, and I will have to get a tablet soon. I want to be able to view PDF documents. Would I be able to do this on one of these tablets? I want to have the documents on a micro SD card that I can simply plug into the tablet and access. I guess there is an app available to do this...?

I've looked around at other Android tablets, and the features & price of these is very appealing. If I can read PDFs, get Internet in WiFi areas (like Starbucks), play games on it, and listen to music with ear buds--and do at least two of these things at the same time (multi-task), then I'll likely buy one ASAP. Let me know. Thanks.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby Dartman on Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:04 pm

I can read PDF stuff with mine as soon as I installed a free PDF reader. It does do bluetooth if you buy a optional dongle adapter according to the specs I was looking at for the venus and with a quad core it should be able to do a few things at once. Mine plays angry birds nicely and it's MAYBE a dual core, not absolutley positive about that but the Aroura II is definetlty a dual core and the Venus is even faster with a even better res screen. You might want to search out the tablet forums around like the one on MP4 nation and see what everyone is saying about the ones you might like to see which one fits your needs best but I'll get a Venus eventually unless a even better and cheaper one comes up when I have the cash.
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Re: Building a Home Entertainment Wireless Network

Postby NuGuy on Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:01 pm

Thanks. I'll go to MP4 nation and check these out. I noticed a 3G Unlocked Dongle for sale. Is this for people with cell phone service/accounts?

I also noticed a leather cover with micro keyboard (for the Venus 7) for $12. Looks good.
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