How many times have you forgotten to set the DVR while on vacation, been stuck in a late meeting with no escape, or been invited to dinner with a long-lost friend — only to discover that you missed a crucial episode of your favorite show? The stranglehold that television has on our lives is a topic for another article — but missing a results show on “American Idol” or a pivotal hour of “Lost” can be frustrating. Technology, as usual, comes to the rescue.
Using your computer for multimedia viewing is a great way to solve your entertainment headaches. But who wants to see everything on a 15-20 inch monitor in their office? Wouldn’t you rather sit on your couch or bed and enjoy that big screen you spent so much time justifying to your significant other? It’s time your TV and computer became friends. Here are a few things you will need to know to turn your television set into computer monitor with unlimited capabilities:
Computers can be connected to televisions using S-video, VGA, DVI, HDMI, or a converter box. Obviously, the newer (and more digital) your television, the easier the hookup will be. Specialty cords can be on the pricey side — they are an investment into multimedia technology that will make your life easier.
In order to take full advantage of your computer’s multimedia capabilities, you may need to upgrade or clean up your existing system. Video cards, hard drive space, memory, and power supplies are common upgrades that will significantly add to your viewing pleasure. By completing a few upgrades, your system will be able to handle plenty of downloads, high volumes of concurrent streaming applications, and still maintain the highest digital quality. It is also vital that your Internet is running at peak performance. Security features must be updated and your system should be scanned for viruses or spyware that could cause a slow-down.
Once you are connected, the possibilities are endless.
Television shows can be found in a variety of Internet locations. Sites like Hulu.com, Sling.com, TidalTV.com and TVchannelsfree.com have a wide selection of current and classic television programs. Popular shows like “The Office,” “The Tonight Show” and “The Colbert Report” can be found next to classic favorites like “Wonder Woman,” “Growing Pains” and “The A-Team.”
Sports and news fans can stay up to date with sites like MyP2P.com and Livestation.com, respectively. Worldwide programming is available with the click of the mouse.
Never before have so many entertainment options been available to the home viewer. By connecting your computer to your television, a whole new world of multimedia is opened. You watch what you want, when you want.
Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists in Payson.