[mythtv-users] Slightly OT: Simplest way of playing HD .mkv's/.avi's on a TV?? (Out of the loop about FEs, help!)

Bobby Gill bobbygill at rogers.com
Tue Nov 24 19:32:12 UTC 2009

A friend of mine just bought an HD TV and I do all his computer tech support
as it is, so I'm looking for a way by which he can play video files directly
on the TV (no DVD/disc preferentially). I know there are DVD players that
are "DiVX compatible" but most of my stuff is HD .mkv content, and we'll
both be using the TV, but when I'm not around I need the /simplest/ way for
him to watch what he wants.

The way I see it:

a) He has a laptop (brand new, we bought it about a week ago), and of course
they only have the VGA input so would this make sense to pop files onto the
laptop and do a TV OUT to watch? Wouldn't a VGA->HDMI connection cut
quality? I am just guessing this isn't the /optimal/ method, but I could be

b) Preferred solution: A simple device I can purchase that will store video
files and allow for him to directly plug his TV in via HDMI, select the
video file desired and watch it, bada boom bada bang?

I admit I have barely glanced at threads on the list pertaining to ION,
atom, etc. frontends and if any of these are reasonably priced ($100-$250
range?) and can do what I'm asking here, then great, appreciate any

P.S. It's fine if the device runs via linux, I can surely set up everything
and maintain it if need be, but of course the MAIN thing here is that the
interface and viewing experience is pretty simple. I don't know if this is
getting into "build a myth BE/FE" territory or not, though I'd rather avoid
that as again, this guy needs coaching on how to select the right disc with
his multi-disc receiver, heh...

Thanks fellas
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