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Is there such a thing as a tv / computer combo?

(18 Posts)
HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 08:35:36

Our laptop is dead. Our tv is boxy and from 1992. Both need replacing

We don't watch much tv, no sky etc but the kids have some cbeebies and we do watch it occassionally so don't want to do away with it all together

Is there something that is a tv, in that it sits there and can be turned on with one button, onto actual real time tv, but also works as a pc, and we can watch iplayer and you tube and downloaded movies on?

Does that even make sense? confused

AKissIsNotAContract Sat 13-Apr-13 08:40:39

I've got a Mac mini that's hooked up to my TV. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

SqueakyCleanNameChange Sat 13-Apr-13 08:40:39

I think you need a PC with a TV tuner card. There are other solutions, but that's probably cheapest and easiest unless you want a bigger screen.

tilder Sat 13-Apr-13 08:46:03

It makes sense to me. I wanted a flat screen tv with DVD slot and built in internet access. So bit like abig tablet I guess. I was looking about 3 years ago and got nothing.

A friend of ours works in the industry (knew about pausable tv ages before it was mainstream) reckons this type of tv is unlikely because different parts would become obsolete or broken at different rates. I thought he was missing a trick.

Let me know if you find one.

Oldandcobwebby Sat 13-Apr-13 08:55:35

I have one I bought three years ago in Also - made by Medion. 22 inch HD screen, touch screen, 1tb hard drive. all in one box, with wireless keyboard and mouse, and a remote control. Total cost £599. Love it!

HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 08:55:46

Yes, like a big tablet that is also a tv I think, but not necessarily touchscreen

I don't really want to hook the laptop up to a tv, too many wires and things and moving bits around.

I don't want just a laptop that also does tv, all the powering up / no remote control to change channel etc

HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 08:59:38

I've found this apple thing

So that's just ITunes stuff I think, so moves stuff from your iTunes onto your tv? I think?

Well that's sort of getting closer to the thing I want

HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 09:00:44

Oooo oldandcobwebby what is your thing called?

MTSgroupie Sat 13-Apr-13 09:02:05

Unlike old tube TVs, flat screens can be used as PC monitors. So you can hook up a box standard PC unit to a TV as you would a monitor and away you go.

If you just surf and do email and Word then.you can get a small barebones PC that is roughly the size of a hard cover book for about £300. Hook that up .to your sitting room tv, throw in a cordless mouse and keyword, and you can email/surf from your sofa.

Or simply get a PC tower with a 27 inch monitor and decent speakers plus an internal/external TV tuner card. With the right software you can even record tv programs onto your harddisk.

Madamecastafiore Sat 13-Apr-13 09:04:41

It's called a smart TV. Most new TVs are one. You just press a button on the remote and it switched to a pic screen that is hooked up to Internet.

HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 09:28:13

MTSgroupie that sounds just the ticket. In fact I'd quite like a tower co with loads of storage. I don't think we really need a laptop as it never moves more than 4 inches from where it is.

Madamecastafiore, is that the same thing as MTSgrupie is talking about?

So a normal pc, concealed in the cupboard beneath. Normal, modern tv on top with a lead going to the pc.

And where is best to buy this sort of stuff? It's been a while since I last did

I'm actually a bit excited. About technology! Whodathunkit

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 13-Apr-13 09:59:21

A good start would be to head to Currys and similar places to have a look at the TVs for real in a shop. You'd be surprised how two TVs with identical spec can differ in quality!

Then check what the shop prices are looking like. Head to the manufacturer's website for a direct price, then check Amazon to see if they have price also. Now you know the kind of prices you're dealing with, you can start deciding where to get it from. Sometimes just Googling the model number will be enough to find places which sell it.

If you buy online, only buy from a site you trust or which comes recommended by a person you trust who has used it.

MTSgroupie Sat 13-Apr-13 10:00:06

A smart TV is smarter than a bog standard TV but it isn't the same as a PC. I mean you can surf and stuff but you can't use Word, Excel and friends.

Amazon.co.uk is a good source. Even if you aren't comfortable with buying online you can at least get an idea of what's available and learn the geekspeak for when you go to Currys for eg.

One thing to bear in mind is boot up time.and fan noise.

Traditional PCs use hard disks with moving parts since they are relatively cheap. However, the moving parts slows down the boot up process. To get around this problem some people have a SDD (or is that SSD?) drive instead. Imagine a larger version of the SD card that is in your phone. It roughly cost £80 for 128gb. For the same money you can get a 1 terabyte 'traditional' drive.

As for fan noise, games PCs have powerful (and noisy) fans to keep the hardware cool. Some PCs are designed to be 'media' PCs so are quieter. The downside is that its not powerful enough to play the latest games. It's a trade off that you need to think about.

As a starting point I suggest that you search for 'media PC' and take it from there.

HeyYoniYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 10:11:03

That's brilliant! Thank you SO much, this is why I love mn thanks

Oldandcobwebby Sat 13-Apr-13 10:22:46

One like mine is a Median Akoya 2004 . Now with a 24 inch screen, on sale at Asda for £500.

tilder Sat 13-Apr-13 16:39:26

Thanks guys, this is really helpful.

Presumably if we had a computer permanently linked to the tv we could use the DVD drive from that to play films? Would make spotify easier too.

We currently have 4 boxes sat by the tv. Ideally I would like none, but this would mean I could lose 2 and just have Wii and computer. Sounds like TVs aren't advanced enough to get rid of the computer as well yet.

NetworkGuy Sat 13-Apr-13 23:55:02

A friend and his wife bought a smart TV and have been quite disappointed to find that while it has an iPlayer application on it, and a "web browser" the version of Flash on the TV isn't as up to date as some websites need.

I think it was indiemoviesonline.com - anyway, upshot of it was that they went back to the shop and were told that only one of the top end (high cost) Panasonics has a "full web browser" however the rest are described...

So the theory is fine but they cannot watch films directly on the TV from that site and had to plug in a computer... Think there's a long way to go before they can properly be described as "Smart" TVs.

I found an Android (v4) device on Ebay for about 30 quid that plugs into the HDMI port.

OK, it's not a touch screen, and you are limited to what Apps you can download, but it does mean I can run mail, web browser, calendar, etc, and it was a cheap addition to an existing cheapish (290 quid, in 2011) 42" flat screen TV!

There are some which have a wireless keyboard and mouse (mine has a USB socket for a mouse, but for now, I have to use the onscreen keyboard when entering text)...

nannynick Sun 14-Apr-13 20:20:48

PackardBell do an all in one, CNET: PackardBell OneTwo M review not the greatest computer, or greatest touch screen but it is a TV, touchscreen and PC all in one designed for the home market, so designed to be as easy as they can make it.

Building your own from components is certainly possible, though more messy.

SmartTV's vary a lot... I find iPlayer a pain on my SmartTV, hard to navigate. Prefer hooking it up to Apple TV and running iPlayer on my iPad, sending the output to the TV via AppleTV.
It is quite good for streaming content from a media server, though the SmartTV is fussy about what files it will play, whereas an APP I have on iPad will play most files (not MPG) and send them via AppleTV to the TV.

>Presumably if we had a computer permanently linked to the tv we could use the DVD drive from that to play films?

Yes, I do this using an old laptop and having a VGA cable (and audio cable) go from the laptop to the TV. Gives an OK picture. The problem is that there will be some loss of picture quality, though if you notice it or not will depend on the original video source.

Some laptops have an HDMI output, some laptops have a BlueRay player in them, thus better quality source material.

Your solution may well depend on your budget and how much stuff (including cables) you want lying around.

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