Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Television The Internet Entertainment

What's the Best Way To Get Web Content To My TV? 304

An anonymous reader writes "It seems like there are a lot of options for getting web content onto our TVs, but which one is the best way to go? Being able to stream videos (especially through sites like Hulu), check out social networking sites, and read news would be awesome to do from my couch. Currently, I hook up my laptop to the TV, which works, but it's annoying, especially if I want to use my laptop while I am watching some videos. Some things that are important to me are: connecting to my HDTV, allowing me view anything I could in a web browser as if I were on my computer, and being easily controlled from the couch. What setups do you guys use, or what would you like to use?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What's the Best Way To Get Web Content To My TV?

Comments Filter:
  • by adeelarshad82 ( 1482093 ) * on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:24PM (#31627774) Homepage
    The top three products at DEMO for surfing the web on your TV were GlideTV, Kylo & Nyoombl. Details here []
  • nVidia ION nettop (Score:5, Informative)

    by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:26PM (#31627808) Homepage Journal

    I've been testing these things for work, and I'm very impressed.

    Dual core atom w/ hyperthreading actually makes the system very responsive, so it's easier to forget that it's not a "real" CPU, unlike my single-core eeePC that does stutter occasionally.

    Also has a decent nVidia 9400 GPU with dedicated RAM, so it actually will give you decent 3D desktop effects (useful for monitoring multiple pieces of content simultaneously), decoding acceleration, etc. under both Windows and Linux.

    The price point is pretty good too... many are under $300 if you can provide your own storage... e.g. if you find a usb pendrive linux-based media center that streams everything.

    That takes care of pretty flexible hardware... I don't actually have a TV, though, so I haven't really bothered to find media software I liked. But going with a full nettop means it should be pretty straightforward to run all XBMC, Boxee, MythTV, Miro, etc. from one device. Though I guess you'd need to go with Windows to get crappy DRM'd content like Hulu and Netflix (which I've simply just been doing without).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ColdWetDog ( 752185 )
      Netflix runs quite well on the Mac through Silverlight. Haven't bothered with Hulu though.
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      Not enough oomph for Adobe Flash, unless you get lucky and the GPU-accelerated alpha of 10.1 actually accelerates for you.

      • Agreed, most sources for video fall short of 1080p playability on the ION platforms as well (more CPU bound). I'd go with an AMD 785G board, and a lowerish power X2, you can use bigger/quiter fans and get decent performance... or could get a better CPU and under-clock... though I always have trouble with determining which motherboards are under-clockable.
      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        If there's a flash movie I care about, I'll usually pause the browser player and run
        vlc /tmp/Flash* open it up fullscreen in VideoLAN with VPDAU hardware acceleration, post-processing, vertical-sync, etc. (stuff they can't even get working nicely on Flash for Windows)

        But yeah, intensive flash games like Fantastic Contraption wouldn't be so hot. If it wasn't for that and the hope from the somewhat decent [] blog, I wouldn't bother with flash at all. (I already use Fl

    • I am using an nVidia ION based system running Windows Server 2008 with a ton of storage. Boxee works quite well, but XBMC has trouble with DXVA content (aka hardware decoding). Linux has better decoding/playback software, but MUCH worse flash support for the anemic CPU. There are lots of apps for both Windows and Linux with "10 foot interfaces" for use in an HTPC environment. Additionally, there are several wireless keyboards and remotes out there suited for HTPC use.
    • by Mashdar ( 876825 )

      Were I to build an Atom box for the TV, I would personally go with a D510 board [] dual core model and a Broadcom PCIe 2d video decoder BCM70012 []found on Ebay for cheap. This will use very little power, be very quiet, and just as good and just as good at playing (non-3D) video as the super-hot (temperature-wise) nVidia ion systems. This is, of course, you are not using the mini PCIe slot for wireless networking. Ethernet or USB wireless ftw.

    • I use an Acer AspireRevo 3610 [] nettop running XBMC as my media PC. Has direct HDMI output, it's totally silent, and some of the newer nightly builds of XBMC support GPU video decoding. XBMC has plugins for watching youtube, Hulu, etc through it easily as well.

      Not really sure what else to say, highly recommended, it makes a great media PC. You should be able to find the 2GB RAM model for somewhere in the $300 range.
  • Home Theatre PC. (Score:4, Informative)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:26PM (#31627812) Homepage

    I use an HP "Media Center" PC, running Ubuntu with MythTV and accessed with a Microsoft Remote Keyboard. Two analog tuners for cable, and an HDHomerun hooked to a powered antenna for over the air HD content.

    MythTV runs on virtual desktop one, and a web browser on virtual desktop two.


    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by heckler95 ( 1140369 )
      Same here but with Windows Vista Media Center which includes a great Netflix implementation. The PC came with a remote control which can do anything you need to within the Media Center interface and I have installed Hulu Desktop which is also remote control-friendly. Unfortunately I only have a single tuner connected to the output of my cable box with an IR blaster for changing channels and recording.

      All in all, it was a completely painless setup, the only negative is that I don't have a way to get HD o
      • Re:Home Theatre PC. (Score:5, Informative)

        by futuresheep ( 531366 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:38PM (#31629230) Journal
        Contact your cable company and have them give you a cable box with enabled firewire ports. They're required by the FCC to have them available. You can use a firewire card to capture the streams. There's a good start on getting it set up here:
  • Acer Revo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:29PM (#31627868) Homepage

    I replaced my eeebox with an Acer Revo this year. For $200 US you get a small but fully fledged computer that runs Ubuntu just fine. It's a perfect box for xbmc. Firefox works just fine for web to your TV.

    Best thing about it is the Nvidia Ion chipset, so you can do full 1080p playback. Biggest disadvantage is the lack of wireless. I added a USB wireless adapter.

    For controls, you can use a wireless keyboard. For the XBMC you can use a Microsoft Media Center remote, or there's a decent remote for the iPhone/iPod touch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      Second this, my next media player (to supersede Xbox running XBMC) will be Aspire Revo running Debian and XBMC. 1GB RAM upgradeable to 4GB and 160GB disk for $199? Yes. And with VDPAU support, VGA, and HDMI outputs. Perfecto. Not to mention that the power consumption is super-low...

      • by b0bby ( 201198 )

        Third this, though I'm leaning towards the $320 one with dual core Atom, extra RAM & Win7, since it looks like Win7 is a better choice for recording OTA HD right now. Lots of people seem to be running Win7 on the $200 one too, but I'm not a student so I don't have a cheap copy on hand. Check out for basic setup info.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chihowa ( 366380 )

      There's a mini PCIe slot in it as well. In an effort to make it as clean looking as possible (it's in a somewhat exposed location and WAF must be taken into account), I added an internal wireless card and antennas. There is also a VESA mount available for it to allow it to be nicely mounted to a wall/ceiling/monitor.

      XBMC itself is extremely configurable and very easy to use. I have it set up to stream movies and TV shows from the home file server, and the whole system is very quiet and responsive. It's one

  • Does all that. Plays Blurays too. And games.

    • by flitty ( 981864 )
      As a PS3 owner, I would recommend against using one as a HTPC. I mean, you can find workarounds for almost everything (PlayOn for Hulu, Netflix Disc for Streaming Netflix, Tversity for serving to your PS3), but most of them are unweildy and the interface is garbage as a HTPC. There are cheaper ION nettops that have better interfaces and aren't as clumsy. The only thing that might change your
  • Boxee (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:30PM (#31627912) Homepage Journal

    I pulled out an out dated PC, stuck an ATI all-in-wonder card in it and plugged it into the TV. I've been running Boxee on it for a while now. I like that it has such a variety of "apps" that aggregate videos from Hulu, Netflix, the major networks, as well as plays my DVDs and ripped movies*.

    Honestly though, Boxee is still a little rough. The interface is excellent, but it feels a bit laggy at times (although this is an older PC), and their double buffering interface leaves a bit to be desired. I'm sure they'll continue to improve it, but some times I just drop out of Boxee and go to the source site directly.


    *Legally ripped movies that is. Teething toddlers will chew on anything, even your limited run collectors edition of the LoTR trilogy.

    • Another vote for Boxee. I'm running an old P4 dual core 2.1Ghz box with an NVidia 5200 on Ubuntu. Instead of a standard IR remote though, I use cWiid and an old Wiimote. Since it's bluetooth, I don't have to worry about setting up finicky IR receivers or line of sight. 8^)
  • Boxee (Score:2, Informative)

    by madmaxjr57 ( 1585829 ) [] has been a pretty decent means of getting various web series onto my TV. Seems to have some issues pulling hulu content though. Does a wonderful job of playing local content too.
  • The subject pretty much says it all.

  • Boxee or Plex (Score:5, Informative)

    by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:32PM (#31627942)

    I've been using XBMC since.... well, since it first came out for the original XBox. It didn't stream web content though, and to this day it's still a PITA to stream through the modern XBMC, even in Windows.

    If you've got a spare Mac (which would be pretty rare), I would highly recommend Plex. Using the Apple remote works beautifully, and it handles Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and anything else you could throw at it. It also does Pandora, which is awesome, since the system is already hooked up to the stereo.

    If you're using Linux or Windows, I would go with Boxee. It does all of the Hulu/Netflix/Pandora/ESPN360/etc. content, and has finally become genuinely stable enough for everyday use, even for my mildly non-technical wife, who has to keep TV rolling for 2 kids on demand.

    I keep the actual box that does the streaming in the basement to avoid any sort of fan noise, and just run an HDMI cable and a digital audio cable(I use SPDIF, simply because it was the simplest to run and I had stacks of long RCA cables) coming up through the floor and hooked to the flat screen in the living room.

    If you also run a long USB cable, you can hook up all kinds of stuff, especially joysticks for emulation :]

    Let's see any of the hardware HTPC options out there run ColecoVision :]

    • If you also run a long USB cable, you can hook up all kinds of stuff, especially joysticks for emulation

      An emulator on an HTPC with an optical drive works fine for PlayStation game discs. But emulating classic cartridge-based consoles has one drawback: figuring out how to copy your game cartridges into the PC. Easily available dumpers like the Retrode [] don't support the ColecoVision yet.

    • If you're using Linux or Windows, I would go with Boxee. It does all of the Hulu/Netflix/Pandora/ESPN360/etc. content, and has finally become genuinely stable enough for everyday use, even for my mildly non-technical wife, who has to keep TV rolling for 2 kids on demand.

      Actually, Netflix does not work at all under linux, including via Boxee. That's a function of Netflix's choice of Sliverlight as its DRM lock-in. Moonlight still isn't there....

      Hulu has been a major cat-and-mouse game with Boxee, and on L

    • by slim ( 1652 )

      I've been using XBMC since.... well, since it first came out for the original XBox. It didn't stream web content though, and to this day it's still a PITA to stream through the modern XBMC, even in Windows.

      There are XBMC scripts for various kinds of streaming. I've not bothered with them very much, but in my brief attempts, it seemed to do a decent job of YouTube and BBC 'listen again' streaming (can't remember whether it did iPlayer video).

      I use XBMC on the original Xbox a lot, streaming AVI files etc. from my Mac over SMB. It works beautifully. It's not got the grunt for 720p, but I'm not particularly bothered by that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dmiller1984 ( 705720 )
      I have to second the recommendation of Plex. I bought a Mac Mini and set it up with a RAID array that I already had. I'm still in the process of ripping all my DVDs using HandBrake for the Mac, but those that I have ripped play in Plex beautifully. It's also nice to have easy access to Hulu as well as other web video through the program. It still has a few quirks, but nothing deal-breaking. Since it is based off of XBMC there are already a number of skins available for it as well as add-ons. The Apple Remot
  • XBMC on Ubuntu (Score:5, Informative)

    by Heywood J. Blaume ( 858386 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:33PM (#31627962) [] turns a linux box into a full-screen media player with good usability. Mine has an old NVidia 6200 card, works great. Add a home theater keyboard [] and you're set.
  • by GlobalEcho ( 26240 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:34PM (#31627988)

    I use Plex and MythTV (+HDHomeRun tuner) on a Mac Mini. It's been very reliable, and I'm happy with everything I can do, including videoconferencing. My only wish is that I could play MythTV recordings from within Plex, but really the latest version of Myth is pretty nice to use. Oh, and that Myth on OSX would do AC3 sound passthrough.

    It's worth noting that I almost never browse the web using this setup any more, because most of the websites with interesting content (Hulu, YouTube, Comedy Central) have already been integrated with Plex.

    You can see my setup log here: []

  • Easy. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:40PM (#31628126) Homepage Journal

    Mac mini, Apple remote, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. A bit pricey but it pretty much does everything, out of the box, with very little fiddling needed. Just need a few things, like Perian, HandBrake and/or RipIt, Hulu Desktop, Plex if you want, etc.

    • Mac mini, Apple remote, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

      Maybe after a Mac mini gets HDMI output. It sucks the way Apple is dragging their feet on getting this standard onto the mini. It's as if there is some ego driven "visionary" in charge.

      • Eh? Just get a DVI to HDMI cable. Or DisplayPort to HDMI. DVI and HDMI are just different connectors for the same signals.
        • Just get a DVI to HDMI cable.

          DVI does not carry the audio signals of HDMI. Using a separate optical audio cable is still not as good because then you have two cables and much lower audio bandwidth than HDMI.

          • by sootman ( 158191 )

            Maybe it's just me, but I don't get why people get so hung up on the number of cables. One? Two? What's the big deal? Besides, for many setups, the signal isn't going to the same place anyway--video goes to the TV (up on the wall), sound goes to the amp (under the Mac.) And I'm not aware of anything audio-related that HDMI can do that optical digital audio (which the Mac mini has) can't. If you have references or specifics, please reply.

    • Mac mini, Apple remote, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

      I use exactly this setup, it works great. I also have DVDPedia [] with the plug-in for Front Row so I can pull up all my ripped DVD's with the Apple remote, very handy.

      I have a box that takes DVI and Toslink and converts it into HDMI, but I've never gotten around to hooking it up - the Mac Mini works fine through the VGA port.

  • I use an Apple TV. While it's limited in a number of ways (for example, I can't watch Hulu), I can watch a ton of podcasts with a smooth and sensible UI (which is what the simplistic "TV" viewing experience is all about). I watch TED shows, Hak5, and a number of other podcasts too... so that's an option. Plus I know there are Apple TV hacks out there (which might allow Hulu viewing), but I haven't bothered into looking into them.
    • It's actually very easy to softhack the Apple TV. Doing so will still retain all of the original functionality, it just adds additional content.

      I hacked mine and now I have all of my DVD's on an external HD and can pull them all up at any time through XBMC. XBMC also plays a variety of movie formats that are not Apple Standard. One thing the ATV does not do is 1080p video. Nor does it have any browsing or streaming video. However, as you mentioned, the podcasts are great, it has dozens of streaming radio
  • isn't the type of PC you connect to the TV, it's your pointing devices. Connect the computer to the PC by wire (HDMI/VGA/DVI...), but you need a wireless pointing device and keyboard whose signal reaches from your couch to the PC. This can be:
    - a standard or bluetooth RF keyboard and mouse.
    - a bluetooth receiver coupled with a Wiimote, using appropriate software available online.
    - a presentation-style pointing device like those used at conferences and so on.

    The last two would have the advantage that you wou

  • If you have any of the current generation console gaming systems (xbox 360, PS3, or Wii) you can use those as a frontend to a Playon server and can stream a vast variety of web content including Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central (the latest Playon build pulls Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes from Comedy Central since these shows were dropped from Hulu on March 9), and much much more through the use of scripts and plugins.
  • by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:43PM (#31628194) Homepage

    and I'm looking forward to the Netflix streaming disk for the Wii: []


    • by slim ( 1652 )

      The WiFi on my Wii is terrible - not good enough for basic SD YouTube streaming. I gather that's not unusual.

      It's not the internet connection or the access point -- other devices connecting the same way do just fine.

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:46PM (#31628240)
    I use a $40 Philips DVD player that has a USB port on the front. It works with flash keys and external hard drives. I simply drop the shows I want to watch onto a USB key and watch - takes only seconds to set up. The factory on-screen UI is fairly limited, but there's a brilliant hacked version that supports long file names. Similar USB-equipped DVD and Blu-Ray players are made by Samsung and are equally inexpensive. My player will be outdated in a year, and I'll just replace it with an updated equivalent. Makes far more sense than fiddling around with a nettop, PVR software, and dozens of almost-ok atom-tweaked linux variants.
    • what's this hacked version you mentioned - will it update the codecs? if so i'd like to hear more. i burn avis to disc and watch them on the philips (the one w/out a usb input) but it doesn't play some of the newer content.

      - js.

    • Which model of Phillips are you using? (I'm looking to replace my 642, since it doesn't have any usb ports)
  • Slingcatcher (Score:3, Informative)

    by kriston ( 7886 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:46PM (#31628262) Homepage Journal

    The Slingcatcher from [] is pretty good at doing this.

  • WebTV [] *grin*
  • I'm fairly happy with my Sony Bravia — hooked up to my home network (both Ethernet and WiFi are there), it can go to things YouTube or Netflix directly.

    It can also play contents off of your computer, although it is, unfortunately, rather picky... The server must comply with DLNA []-standard (not merely UPnP MediaServer []). The set of supported formats is rather disappointing too, both for movies, and even for JPEG-pictures. For example, Sony's own software (also found in their digital picture frames) rej

  • The latest release of MythTV [] (.23RC1) contains a new plugin called MythNetVision [] which specifically enables browsing of online videos.

    It's still a little rough yet, but is under active development.

    • by bucky0 ( 229117 )

      It's still a little rough yet, but is under active development.

      Hah, like everything about Myth...

  • I use my wii (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mmmmbeer ( 107215 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:56PM (#31628436)

    Put the homebrew channel and a media player on a wii. You can watch media files from your network or off a usb drive; you can view web pages, including flash video, using the available web browser; and of course, you can also play games. The price is pretty good, too. The down side is that it's only 480p at best.

  • Simple solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:56PM (#31628446) Journal
    What's wrong with a simple box like the WDTV Live []?
  • by Pontiac ( 135778 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:57PM (#31628466) Homepage

    I did it the easy way..

    I got a $99 lease return PC from Tiger and stuffed it in the stereo cabinet.
    I already have a wireless router in the cabinet for the PVR so network access was easy..
    Toss in a HDMI capable video card (Nvidia 210 for $40) and it's almost done..
    Wireless keyboard and mouse sit on the TV cabinet..
    PC runs UltraVNC so I can remote control it from my laptop..

    We mostly stream Netflx movies on it.. Sometimes the Kids play games on the big TV from the keyboard/mouse..

  • I bought a mac mini just to run Plex, it's just that nice.

  • I built a portable MAME box to connect to my TV, finally figured out it's also great for watching videos and DVDs from as well.

    It's here [] if you want to see it.

    For networking, I got some of those PowerLine network adapters, that communicate using your home's AC wiring. I couldn't use wireless because it was too far away from my access point, and there was a bathroom in the way (lots of pipes I suppose).

    Then I installed VNC on the thing, and now I can just load videos to it, start the video and by the time I

  • []

    Great content, diagramming, etc...

    It is the definitive source for all things related to home theater and home automation.

  • Mac Mini (with dvi to hdmi cable) + Logitech DiNovo keyboard is the combo I use. Even if you don't like Mac OS X the hardware is fantastic for this role, nice, compact, quiet and plenty powerful for all your TV computing needs.
  • The best route for maximum flexiability is a Media PC. Any PC will work, and any flavor of OS. I've used Windows and Mac PC's extensively. I haven't tried a Linux box yet, but I see no reason why those wouldn't serve just as well.

    For Windows, nVidia drivers will give you overscan options out of the box. ATI isn't quite as user friendly (or it wasn't the last time I used their drivers, but that may have changed. The ones that do are excellent for clipping off the overscan so you get a nice edge to edge pictu

    • Forgot to mention. On a mac, the remote software is built in and enabled on the HTPC in the preferences under Sharing. For windows, you can use MSTSC.EXE which used to be built in, but if I recall the 'server' functionality was stripped out of some home versions starting with Vista.

      For keyboards and mice, be sure to go Bluetooth or RF. Make sure the range is acceptable for the room size. Most are VERY short range, where bluetooth and RF tend to be in the 20-50 foot range. Far more suitable for an HTPC.

  • Popcorn Hour (Score:3, Informative)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:24PM (#31628980)
    Nothing beats a: Popcorn Hour [] device. It integrates into your home network and is great for getting media off of your PCs to your TV - wherever your network is it is. It doesn't handle DRM well but hey if your files are DRM'd your doing it wrong ;) It is a Linux device that integrates fine with Windows stuff that is what it is meant for but being Linux it also handles all your Linux systems, it supports NFS and even has Linux versions of the media servers to run on your Linux box.
  • I have a cheap HP triple core AMD system running Windows 7.0 64 with an Nvidia 9500 card outputting 1080p to my TV and digital audio to the receiver. I used to use my 360 with media center streaming from the PC but having an actual computer hooked up to the TV is much better. Wireless keyboard and mouse, couch, and a beer. I'm set.
  • I have a Dell Zino attached to my television. It's an AMD / ATI system with 3GB of memory. I have zero problems with it, though it did cost a fair amount, and it's a small form factor. Normally I would be interested in something with a slot loading drive but my dogs are often in the same room and their regular filth would be bad news for a slot loading optical drive. I like the tray even though I rarely use it.

    It also has lots of USB (front and back) HDMI, eSATA, card reader on the front ... fairly nice lit

  • Mmmmm XBMC on ARM...... No fans and almost no power. But might have to wait for something with a little more kick then the beagleboard though.... Currently use XBMC on the desktop's TV out as the desktop is in the living room anyway.
  • I just bought a new gaming PC. I took my old PC and hooked it up to my TV.

    The TV is a giant projection TV I got from my father-in-law when he upgraded to LCD TVs. It has an HDMI port on it.

    I got a cable to convert DVI to HDMI and used that to go from the PC to the TV, and another cable that takes stereo out from my PC and coverts it into left and right RCA for the sound input on the TV.

    For Christmas, at the company party, I won a Microsoft wireless keyboard/mouse, and VX3000 Life Cam kit. Unfortunately t

  • I built a fairly simple computer with a low-wattage Athlon X2 on a Micro-ATX motherboard. I put a fanless Radeon HD 3450 in as well as a BD drive and put OEM Windows 7 Home Premium on it. I control it with a wireless media keyboard w/ trackball []
    • I agree with the above completely. This is the simple way to get PC stuff on a TV.... have a media-center compatible remote and/or wireless input (like keyboard/trackball combo suggested above).
  • My Tested Solution: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kenwoodism ( 1086661 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:58PM (#31633192)
    Although I can't speak as to setting yourself up with a laptop (as I only have a desktop), I was looking for a setup exactly as described - using the TV as a monitor on which I can watch media, browse, play games, and whatnot - while still maintaining a secondary monitor on which to perform more meticulous tasks that I can't see on the TV. My desktop is setup with a dual DVI-out graphics card (Nvidia GTS 250 to be exact), with one DVI to HDMI running to the television, and a second 15' DVI to DVI running to a monitor which I have on a station next to my sofa. I'm a little obsessive, and as such have a Logitech Revolution wireless keyboard/mouse combo which works fantastically for controlling things from around my apartment, and a wired keyboard/mouse for when I'm stationary. Since DVI to HDMI doesn't support sound, I routed sound to my stereo receiver via R/L audio cables and an adapter - this could support up to as many speakers as your sound card/receiver can support. On the software/OS end of things I'm running Win7, with the secondary monitor as primary. Furthermore, you can support as many monitors as you have ports on your graphics card(s). 2 graphics cards = 4 monitors :O Hope this helps a bit - I've used this setup for over 8 months now and it is FANTASTIC!

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.