Gadgets

That Tired Old Computer Could Be a Neat Media Streamer

One antidote to escalating family budgets is to chop utility providers. Nonetheless, dropping trash pickup and dumping your rubbish in neighbors’ receptacles in the midst of the night time most likely would not go down too properly in the neighborhood.

That Tired Old Computer Could Be a Neat Media Streamer

Likewise, terminating your electrical energy provide will not play too properly with the household after the novelty wears off — presumably lower than an hour if there’s one thing good on TV, or it is chilly.

One value that may be minimize, although, is your media invoice — and it is potential to do it, with little sacrifice, by transferring to an a la carte, Web-delivered mannequin.

Step 1

Establish the latest-model redundant pc you’ve got mendacity round. The character of know-how evolution means this must be a comparatively straightforward step.

Join the PC to a TV with an HDMI cable, in case you can. In any other case, use a DVI to HDMI adapter on the PC finish, or use an previous VGA monitor cable and join the PC to the TV’s “VGA PC In” jack.

Join the inexperienced 3.5mm “Audio Out” jack on the PC to the three.5mm “PC Audio In” jack on the TV in case you’re utilizing something aside from HDMI to ship the video sign.

Join the PC to your Web router with an Ethernet cable. If the router is nowhere close to the TV, use a WiFi adapter. The only are the sort that insert into a USB port.

Step 2

Flip the pc and TV on, and press the “Enter” or “Supply” button on the TV’s distant management till the PC’s desktop shows on the TV.

Step 3

Join the mouse and keyboard, and clear the PC. It is possible that one purpose the PC was retired was as a result of an accumulation of junk, together with adware, orphaned DLL information, and so forth.

When you have the OEM discs that got here with the pc, carry out a reformat of the drive and reload the working system and drivers.

If you do not have the OEM discs, obtain a free cleansing program like
Advanced System Care, or related, and run all the deep cleansing instruments like “Registry Repair” and so forth. Observe any on-screen prompts to replace the working system and browser.

Step 4

Take a look at the PC’s performance in relation to the TV. Proper-click on the Desktop and select “Properties” after which the “Settings” tab. Regulate the “Display screen Decision” settings till the desktop picture shows correctly. Take a look at the audio connection.

Step 5

Obtain a PC-streaming software just like the free
Boxee, which is able to mixture media-streaming providers like TV-oriented Netflix and music-oriented
Pandora.

The Boxee PC software replicates a cable-like person expertise, with a sit-back kind of person interface with bigger labels and textual content than you’d get from a common browser. Observe the prompts to obtain and set up the Boxee software program, then select streaming providers. Many providers can be free.

Or, merely use the PC’s current Internet browser to browse to the person streaming service’s web site. Search for TV-streaming providers comparable to
Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu and Walmart’s
Vudu.

Search for music streaming from Pandora. Be conscious that Hulu’s browser-based service is free, however the service known as “Hulu Plus” that is included within the aggregators has a month-to-month price.

Step 6

Weigh the professionals and cons, based mostly on value and comfort. This answer may value you nothing monthly, versus a cable invoice of US$90 or extra a month.

Nonetheless, some Web programming, together with Fox’s, is embargoed for a few days after common broadcast. Additionally, take into account that the interface and hook-up might be extra fiddly than that equipped by a traditional cable field.

When you’re assured this a la carte mannequin will give you the results you want, name your service supplier to disconnect your TV service, thus slashing your month-to-month invoice. Remember to retain your Web service, although.

Wish to Ask a Tech Query?

Is there a piece of tech tools you’d wish to know to function correctly? Is there a gadget that is obtained you confounded?

Please send your tech questions to me, and I am going to attempt to reply as many as potential on this column.

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That Tired Old Computer Could Be a Neat Media Streamer


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