View Full Version : Bravia TV renderer - how I got Play To working in Windows 7

24-07-2010, 06:44 PM
This is for reference purposes (my own as much as anyone else's).

1. Set up pulling of content from the internet: This was straightforward except I got the wrong USB wireless dongle. You must use the Sony part.

2. Set up pulling of content from a PC running Windows 7:
- I used Home Network (Homegroup might work, I don't know)
- the TV will connect to a dlna server only, not SMB
- right clicking "share this folder" does not activate the dlna server
- must use Windows Media Player 12
- the key tab is Stream, which might have to be visited more than once
- the media must be in the Library. I let Media Centre loose on an eSATA drive
- on the TV, a Windows icon appears under each of the Music, Videos, Photos categories. Next to the icon is i5-750: BBCmicro:, being the name of my PC and my username
- although Windows library is unstructured, the TV has a folder view (Thank you Sony). You can also have views like Title, Artist, Genre, Playlist, Rating, etc

3. Set up pushing of content from a PC running Windows 7 (W7pro64):
- turn on and set up the TV's Renderer function (extreme left of the menu) (Note: it doesn't have to be off to pull content in 2 above)
- it seems that WMP12 does not automatically load the renderer control module (the DMC?) even though it has detected the TV and is displaying the TV's name. You need to double click the TV's name. I think I did this in one of the network screens - but it might also work in a WMP12 screen. Then you have to wait while it loads the device driver. (Presumably Microsoft didn't make it automatic because they wanted to speed up WMP12 load time for the vast majority of users who are not going to push content)
- in WMP12, drag some media files to the list pane on the right hand side. This was not intuitive to me, not having used Windows' media player
- click Play To. Everything should be obvious after that.
- however, I got the message "contacting media server..." This timed out after 6 minutes with the message "Failed to retrieve media information from media server". This was caused by a "surf shield" setting in AVG Free 9.0.851. It came right when I turned this setting off.
- one question nagging me was What should the TV be tuned to to receive the content pushed from the PC?
- the answer seems to be Anything at all! Hitting Play on the PC caused the media immediately to take over the TV's display. Hitting Stop made the TV revert to its previous input.
- so the reason for the TV having a Renderer on/off switch (another question that had been nagging me) is to allow the TV viewer to regain local control. I can imagine a kid in the bedroom frightening the wits out of his parents ("We interrupt this broadcast for a special announcement. Aliens have invaded ...")
- the TV also has a menu on/off switch for something called "Send from PC to TV" (on the extreme right). I mistakenly thought this was for sending media. No, it's for sending URLs. Apparently you install a browser plug-in on your PC, rightclick a link and send it to the TV for the TV to access and display. I haven't tried this yet
- it seems the TV's internet content is not a Walled Garden except in the sense that there's no keyboard to enter addresses and Sony could only pre-store a couple of hundred guesses that they thought viewers might be interested in. When accessing YouTube, you can go anywhere that search (using the onscreen keyboard) will take you - which is a long way if you scroll a lot and use the 'related content' tab. The inclusion of a facility to send URLs to the TV is Sony trying to be helpful.

[the above refers to Sony Bravia TV, model KDL-32EX700 purchased in New Zealand 2010 June. Firmware 0107. Some of the documentation is dated 2010 Jan 01]