Connect a PC to Your TV

Reader Kyle wants to know if there's "a cord that will play video from my computer to my TV." He wants to watch YouTube, camcorder videos, and the like, so "obviously I need one that will get me video and audio."

Excellent question, Kyle. For a direct PC-to-TV connection, your best bet is an HDMI cable. (Tip: Any $5 cheapie will do. Spend more than that and you're overpaying.) That's assuming, of course, that both your PC and your TV have HDMI ports.

If they don't, or you're looking for a solution that doesn't involve parking your PC right next to your TV, there are countless other ways to stream video from one to the other.

For example, if you have a game console (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, etc.), check out PlayOn. This nifty service streams not only your own media library, but also YouTube videos and over a dozen well-known sources: Hulu, Comedy Central, CBS, Nick, and so on.

The PlayOn software runs on your PC, streaming video over your home network to the game console (or one of a handful of other devices) connected to your TV. You can try it free for 14 days; a one-year subscription costs $39.99 (for the first year--after that it's $19.99 per year).

No game console? Try the new Apple TV, which for $99 streams YouTube, Netflix, and any videos stored on your PC (provided they can play in iTunes--that's the one catch).

These are just a couple of the options out there. My advice: unless you're planning to use your PC as a standalone media center (an awesome solution, by the way), skip the potential hassles of connecting it to your TV and opt for a newfangled streaming solution instead.

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