Questions re: graphics cards and network devices for multimedia streaming

By LookinAround
May 2, 2010
  1. Here’s my specs, some background info and questions:
    • Dell Optiplex 360 Desktop
    • Intel Core2 Duo CPU E7600 @ 3.06GHz
    • Dual boot: XP SP3 / Win 7 Professional
    • 4GB RAM
    • Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet
    • Speed test info

    I’m planning to buy a couple new TVs (one of which will also double as my computer monitor) so have some questions/soliciting advice about

    New Graphics Card
    Recommendation on a new graphics card for the Optiplex 360 Desktop?
    > I assume i want HDMI output?
    > I’m not really a “gamer” but do stream a lot of videos / movies / music etc off the net (e.g. Netflix)

    Picking network devices
    • Any practical experience or insights in choosing preferred method / equipment to connect to Netflix or other streaming supplier? For example: Comments on pros/cons of buying a Web app (e.g. Netflix) capable TV vs. buying a TV and getting a separate, external Web app capable device (e.g. a capable Roku or Wiii or blueray player)
    • I’m guessing I’ll get better video streaming quality (especially HD video) if I connect my Web app capable devices using a wired connection vs. a wireless signal. Anyone have any info or data on quality of streaming HD video over wireless vs. wired?
    • Any practical insight or considerations in choosing between using powerline ethernet adapters instead of running new wires?
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