We’ve abandoned cable TV, dumped Netflix and its associated "discs," and turned to other sources for our entertainment. Now in our fourth episode of Video Rebel, I’ll show you the easiest way to enjoy a huge variety of video from right there in your living room. And yes, it involves your PC.
Now don't be scared. I'm sure you're already downloading a variety of free HD video. But do you really want to watch all that stuff at your desk?
Heck, no! Sure, you could just hook up a Media Extender to access your PC content from your home theater, which I’ll cover in a future episode, but this week I’m bringing the whole computer into the living room. An Internet-connected PC gives you the best and easiest way to view online video from your easy chair. Do you have an older, reasonably modern PC lying around the house gathering dust? Click Continue to see how to turn it into a gateway from your TV to the Web.
The top-quality HD is 1080p video, which you’ll need at least a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor to watch. Don't worry too much about 1080p, though — 1080p files aren't that common on the Internet … yet. If you’re playing 720p files, less processor power will suffice. Your results may vary, so test your PC's video playback prowess before committing it to home theater duty.
Lastly, I wired the home theater here with Cat5e network cables, running Ethernet to the PC and other home theater sources, but you could use Wi-Fi if wiring is out of the question. Worst case, you could use a USB drive to store your movies and then bring that drive to your home theater when you’re ready to watch.
Video Rebel, Part 1: Cable TV, you’re fired! Netflix, you too
Video Rebel, Part 2: Free HD download guide
Video Rebel, Part 3: Kill your cable, get HD for free over the air
Video Rebel, Part 4: How to turn an old PC into a home theater monster
Video Rebel, Part 5: Download mania! Netflix, Apple TV, Xbox, Amazon Unbox and Vudu compared
Video Rebel, Part 6: BitTorrent and the dark side of downloading