Ways to watch movies on TV... stupid title, I know

Wonderclam

Honorable
Jul 24, 2012
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So, I have a 50" LED TV downstairs in the living room. I have movies on my PC that I want to watch on that TV. I want to transfer the file to something and play it on the TV.

The TV has video playback, but very limited to jsut one type of file. I don't wan to keep converting movies to that type to watch movies. I don't want to stream, either, because I want to keep this PC freed up.

I'm thinking of building a very small, VERY cheap PC with windows 7, that I can plug into the HDMI input..

Or how about a laptop that has HDMI out? Does that work?

What are my choices here?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
provided you have driver support, you could always make the jump to windows 10 once all the fuss and problems die down. i'm primarily a 7 user (i despise 8... and 8.1 i dont care for too much). i've used 10 and while i dont like it as much as 7 its still an improvement upon 8.

perhaps the best way would be a NAS so you can have your pc off and still have access to content downstairs. how you have it setup would work though.
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
I'm thinking of building a very small, VERY cheap PC with windows 7, that I can plug into the HDMI input..

Or how about a laptop that has HDMI out? Does that work?
Yes. That works quite well, and is exactly what I have.
Inexpensive PC, HDMI out to the TV.

CPU - Pentium G840
RAM - 4GB
No GPU, runs directly off the CPU integrated graphics
multiple hard drives to hold everything (it's also the house backup location)

VLC as the movie player
PC controlled either with TeamViewer, or a Lenovo mini wireless kbd/mouse
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
either a small HTPC or laptop both work. another option would be one of the various streaming players available if they support the file format you are using although windows would give you more options and allow you to use it as a second pc.

laptop connectivity is generally fine, however if you run at a different resolution than the tv you may need to set your projection mode to extend rather than duplicate otherwise things may look funky or not appear right. its an easy fix.

while not a htpc, i connect to a tv and receiver based sound system with my pc and i also have a laptop which connects up to televisions as well. my parents liked the idea so use their laptop for netflix and streaming.

be aware: some people have noted issues when connecting to avr's when using VLC.
 

Wonderclam

Honorable
Jul 24, 2012
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I went to Fry's Electronics to start building it... then the cost moved upward of over $350... I put everything back

..then I went to Office Depot to check out their computer desks, but I found this small Dell desktop for $219... bought it, took it home and set up a HomeGroup. Is this the best way to access files from my main PC? I shared my "Movies" folder with the new PC downstairs.

Came with Windows 8.1, though... very hard to navigage. I'm used to XP/Windows 7.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
provided you have driver support, you could always make the jump to windows 10 once all the fuss and problems die down. i'm primarily a 7 user (i despise 8... and 8.1 i dont care for too much). i've used 10 and while i dont like it as much as 7 its still an improvement upon 8.

perhaps the best way would be a NAS so you can have your pc off and still have access to content downstairs. how you have it setup would work though.
 
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