Computers & Electronics

Convert a CRT TV to a Smart TV

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2012 2:10 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 1, 2011
164 posts
53 upvotes
DARTMOUTH

Convert a CRT TV to a Smart TV

First I want to say thanks for your time in reading this post and that I don't expect to get more information out of this thread than what I have but it's worth the shot.

My parents always rented movies when Blockbuster was around here (Canada, Nova Scotia), I'm talking about 2-3 a week at it's high points. Since they left my parents have been without content to watch new movies that they could rent. Netflix was the first thought but all the content for Canada and the US isn't really new on a daily basis, it's a no go. Finally the holy grail of choices called CinemaNow came around and it provides individual rental fees and has some of the newest blockbuster titles as well as two-bit straight-to-dvd releases (which they like). This is where we run into our issue.

My parent's mainly watch these movies on a CRT TV. Although they do have one smaller LCD flatscreen on the other end of the house they rarely used it for movies. The issue a CRT TV poses is that the connections have to be component or composite or the conversion process to access CinemaNow.

We were hoping to get something around the $100 price point. Currently my only option is a smart blu ray player but it sort of seems like a waste if they only want the one feature and they would have to unplug all the wires to move it to a different TV (in the event they wanted to use it somewhere else).

We tried and researched and found WD Live TV to be the only one with component/composite connections but came to find out CinemaNow on it is US only. Changed DNS to show we are in the US and it gave us access to a buggy app that closed when videos played and you can't stream from the app, only play downloaded content on the PC (defeats the entire purpose).

So I guess what I'm looking for help with is if there are any possibilities I haven't explored yet. Are there smart boxes I'm unware of that possess these qualities and hold the same price point? Can you get HDMI-to-RCA converter boxes for cheaper than $40?

Thanks guys, I appreciate any input.
26 replies
Member
Jun 17, 2004
205 posts
23 upvotes
Burlington
Try a classic Xbox with XBMC.
I think also the Xbox360s are getting pretty cheap around the holidays.
RFD - You gotta spend money to make money :)
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3289 posts
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RICHMOND HILL
valen wrote: Try a classic Xbox with XBMC.
I think also the Xbox360s are getting pretty cheap around the holidays.
OP wants a paid subscription service. Not sure how XBMC could provide that.
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Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
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Vancouver
My 2-year-old Samsung Blu-Ray player offers CinemaNow (Canada) as well as Netflix, and it has composite and component output. It cost me $60 new, and it has been on sale since for as little as $35. Unfortunately in 2012 all new Blu-Ray players were required to get rid of analog outputs in the continuing attempt to close the analog hole. But you might still be lucky enough to find a 2011 model somewhere.
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Feb 14, 2009
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right on... forgot about that... then spend the extra on a mini USB keyboard mouse combo, and SD card to install your OS ;)
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Nov 21, 2002
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Winnipeg
loserga wrote: OP will have to teach parents to use Linux.
you don't need to know linux with raspbmc. all you need to is download the installer and install it to sd card.It has auto update and nightlies and more in the raspbmc app available in the gui. Updating nightlies keeps all your settings except of course when a new rc is pushed. 2 sd cards make it nice and friendly to go try out latest while always having a working version.
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Feb 14, 2009
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You can still use gnome or some other UI and just install whatever browser you want... done.
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mcplar wrote: You can still use gnome or some other UI and just install whatever browser you want... done.
no adobe flash i believe has support. but ics is coming.
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Mar 21, 2010
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How do you access cinema now? Is it just accessed through browser like netflix? If that is the case you could get a old laptop with a S-Video connector for under $100.

Alternatively you could also get a laptop with VGA and use a VGA to component cable.
Be a nice person and enjoy life

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Mar 20, 2009
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CinemaNow (Canada): http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/category/ci ... manow.aspx

If you're ok with paying $4.99 for a single viewing of a current movie.

Alternative: Shaw's in-house Video-on-demand for customers of Shaw cable or Shaw Direct satellite. Similar pricing.

Vudu and Amazon VOD are probably better, but not available in Canada.
Member
Dec 14, 2006
262 posts
69 upvotes
Windsor, ON
If your TV has a component input, don't use composite. Component will offer much better quality.

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