I am not looking for a streaming server, sorry stig... I am looking for a streaming player, hardware, to interface with the old boob toob... I am looking to stream various web stream apps such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu etc... as well as streaming misc media streams from my DNLA server (DD-WRT router with MinDNLA).
The least important of the bunch is Amazon instant video... Netflix, Hulu, and local is most important... Heck I already have a Wii. Is there any software for the Wii aside from the Netflix app (I already have) that will let me do all that? I have PS3 also...
I use an XBox360 for my streaming - mainly because I have a Windows 7 Media Center PC. The downside to the XBox - you have to have XBox Gold membership if you want to stream Netflix and other applications (about $60 per year). It does the Media Center Extender job great - I can record, watch live tv and watch anything recorded on the HTPC.
The PS3 doesn't have the Extender application, but on copy-freely shows, it will work for DNLA (it works better than the XBox for DNLA media). They have beta applications for live TV, but nothing in full production.
The PS3 does have Netflix, Hulu/Hulu Plus, VUDU and Amazon Instant Video. Without spending money - the PS3 would be the way to go.
If you want the full featured HTPC for digital cable, with all the bells and whistles....That I can speak more in detail....but be prepared to invest some money to get it going.
From the responses I am getting, it looks like somehow I came across like I was asking about media servers. I am not looking for a media server. I have one already in the form of MinDLNA on my DD-WRT router. I am looking for a device to take that stream, as well as other common streams, and spew them out to an old TV screen. If a Roku would do DLNA it would fit the bill fine. Another option would be a microITX based PC running Linux with video card capable of TV output via S-Video or composite video. I was really hoping for more of a lower maintenance, lower cost appliance. Setting up a large media PC defeats my purpose of inching this old TV along until the remodel is done...
I do have a DirecTV Cinema Connector, but I somewhat suspect that it is more or less useless for my needs beyond the whole home DVR and on demand functions (which they should have built into the DirecTV DVR / Receiver...). I suspect I am just going to have to re-encode my files to H.264 so that the PS3 can play them back. That should get all the function I want in one place more or less.
Okay let's say RaspPI, or for that matter, a Pengpod / stick running Linux.... How to connect it to an old TV? I would have to assume some sort of usb to composite video output. As a reminder of the first post here, I am trying to nurse along old CRT TVs. If I had the cash to drop of nice HDTVs I would spring the extra and get a SmartTV that would support what I want. The closest I have come is transcode all my video files to H.264, use the PS3 in the living room for streaming there, and then something for the master bedroom. The living room has an old, but premium for its time Sony Wega 37" CRT, probably bought new in 2001 or so. The master bedroom has a 2002 Sharp 32" CRT, that was a medium / high end TV for its time. However not all of the ports are super happy on that tube. If cost goes above say tossing a PS3 in there, I am just going to buy a smaller TV to jam in the Armoire, or do what I have been doing, watching my streams on my tablet while my wife watches her Vampire diary / Twilight stuff... (still fuming at the fact they made Vampire soap operas!)
It is hard to be the compatibility of the PS3 orXBox360 for connecting to TVs - whether SD or HD, standard video (old one yellow video and two red/white audio cables), HD video composite/HDMI in almost any format. They just work....almost all of the newer streaming devices use HDMI only or HDMI/composite - neither of which is supported on SD TV's.