Well, to be exact it’s not my TV that does all the stuff I want, but the devices attached to it.
I don’t have one of those fancy SmartTV thingies, just a plain old 32″ Philips flat screen TV which doesn’t do much else than displaying the stuff coming from what’s connected to it. And that’s where the actual magic happens.

A while ago I took the first step by purchasing a Philips BluRay player with DLNA support. This enabled me to stream movies from my computer to the TV, through the BluRay player, but better than not at all. After all, when I buy DVDs the first thing I do is put them into my computer and rip the movies onto my hard drive, thus enabling me to watch my movies without having to use the DVD. As I watch like to watch movies more than once I hope this will help preserve the physical media. Yes, I know that by doing so I am circumventing the built in copy protection, but if you have a problem with that, well, fuck you! I neither offer my movies on the Internet, nor do I give copies to friends. I just want to preserve the disc as I prefer to buy movies just once. Also, I paid for it, so it’s mine. Again, if you have a problem with that I suggest you get yourself a rope and a chair.

The other HDMI connector of my TV, in Hong Kong that was used for my computer, as I wasn’t able to stream movies to the TV, now is used by the Entertain media receiver I have received from the Telekom. With this I can finally do what I have wanted to do for years, watch one channel and record another. Or record 2 channels and watch a third. From what I can tell right now the maximum is 4 channels running at the same time. So I could record 3 channels and watch a fourth, which rocks quite a lot, considering that a lot of the interesting stuff happens to run at about the same time, predominantly in the evening.

Many people, me included, often rant about the quality, or lack thereof, of the TV programming. But I have now found that, quite interestingly, most of the bullshit is concentrated on the popular channels, like RTL or Sat1. Especially the latter is prone to give you brain cancer during daytime. But there actually is interesting stuff on TV, you just gotta know where to find it. This is where I also like Entertain, because it supplies me with an Android application I can run on my phone to see what’s showing and, if I want to, set up recording of the shows I would like to record. All from my phone, whenever I like, wherever I am. Through this I found that the interesting stuff is shown on channels that aren’t that popular, like N-TV, N24 or Phoenix.

I am quite interested in history and science, the former being a bit of a surprise to myself, because in school I couldn’t have cared less for history lessons. But now I find myself recording stuff about ancient Egypt and other ancient civilizations, and even about Jesus, which I guess also is a bit surprising, considering I’m an atheist. But then again, I’m only interested in the historic aspect of the life of Jesus, and not in all the religious nonsense.

So, now that Entertain gives me all those channels, and easy access to them, I find that while there still is a lot of rubbish on TV there’s also lots of stuff worth watching.

On another note, while I never considered myself a graphics junkie, I find myself preferring HD channels over SD channels, wherever I have them available. This of course simply is because I have these channels both in HD and SD, and since I have the HD channels and my TV is HD capable I prefer those channels over their SD counterparts. I would, however, not pay extra to get channels in HD, as I am perfectly happy with the quality the SD channels have to offer.

So, overall I have to say that with my new setup, DLNA capable BluRay player, Entertain, my HD capable TV and the possibility to stream videos and other stuff, like music and pictures, from my computers, I can do pretty much all the stuff I always wanted to do, and that now watching TV is a lot more enjoyable.

Thank you!
Dennis Wronka