First, I don't expect DisplayPort to become commonplace, seeing that as it's only on Apple notebooks, and because generally only Apple displays carry them. HDMI is a much better option at the time being, and I think DisplayPort will be ousted by it.
On another note, I don't recommend anyone tying a cable around another cable. That's an excellent way to get the connector to break or the leads inside of it to stop functioning due to a cable "memory". (you've all been victim of it at some point...for example, your headphones don't output the left/right side anymore, but if you jiggle the wire near the connector they work)
Your signal loss numbers are way too conservative because I constantly run longer lengths without any real loss. Unless your entertainment room is over 50 ft (which would mean you're lame for not spending as much on your equipment as you did on the room) you're fine with most cables.
The same people who say a VGA cable can't be 100 ft also say that a $120 3' HDMI Monster cable will make a noticeable difference over a $10 one. It's almost all marketing... surprise... your 24k gold plated connectors are seated in the same steel ports that almost every component you own uses. I just want to kick people in the nuts when they go off about gold connectors.
Say you are running a laptop with a pentium 4m processor and a vid card not capable of running 720p or 1080p content. Is there an easy solution to this? Is there a hardware accelerator for mpeg4 content that can be added to a laptop via usb or pcmcia? Thanks
Have tried like heck to get the audio out of my laptop to talk to my reciever using the shared headphone-SP/DIF port of my Toshiba M305D-S4830 (mono 1/8) in to Dgital coax (RCA) of my Sony STR-G500. Thought doing it that way would keep the signal digital all the way to he reciever. Really frustrating as I have gone into "Sound and enabled and unenabled devices. No Go. I can't really get much info on the whole SP/DIF thing anywhere.
For media center software, check out http/xbmc.org. While originally developed for the xbox, it now supports windows, linux, mac, and atv. Also there is a live CD version if you just want to check it out without installing.
One of the real nice advantages of xbmc is it's support for getting your media from where ever it resides (NAS, CIFS, uPNP,...).
Are there any suggestions on Living Room Remotes for the laptop? I recently purchured a Zapstream remote but have been having tons of problems. i even tried to use it with XBMC. only works halp the time. my modded XBOX still works the best.