Watching Hulu on TV (how to watch internet video on your TV)

This is a follow up post to my earlier post about watching internet video (Hulu and YouTube) on a TV. Since I still haven’t found a set top box that I can recommend, I thought it would be helpful to describe how to hook your PC or laptop up to your television.

  • If you have an older PC or laptop, and an older TV, most likely what you need is an S-video cable.
  • If you have a newer PC or laptop and an older TV, DVI to S-video is more likely what you need.
  • Lastly, if you have a new PC or laptop, and a new TV (like a flat screen LCD TV) – you probably need a DVI to HDMI cable.

Hooking up your PC to your TV can be a pain. Here is another article I found about internet set top boxes. One that looks promising that I didn’t mention before is the “vunow“. The vunow claims to offer NBC content, but I couldn’t figure out where to actually buy it – so it may not be released yet.

It seems like someone just needs to get this hardware done so we can make cable and broadcast TV obsolete.

Watching YouTube and Hulu on your TV

NEW YORK - MARCH 23:  Apple's new Apple TV advertisment is displayed  in an Apple store March 23, 2007 in New York City. Apple began shipping the Apple TV set-top device March 21, which wirelessly connects computers to televisions and retails for $299.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I got this question from a friend the other day:

do you know if you can transmit the internet signal in a wireless network to your tv?  now we attach our laptop directly to the tv with a VGA adapter.  I want to avoid doing this and maybe buy and attach  some type of transciever to the television to access  the internet while sitting on the couch in our living room.

I am looking for a good answer to this also  I used to use my Xbox to stream recorded TV from a PC upstairs, but the video was always choppy over the wireless connection, and now it just plain doesn’t work because of some setup issue.

I found a few questionable products. I really doubt the video quality – in home wifi doesn’t have enough bandwidth to transmit HD video in realtime, it has to be cached on the set top box.

The only established products that I know of are AppleTV and Roku Netflix. But both of those lock you in to either Netflix or iTunes. ZeeVee looks promising (but wired and expensive).

Anyone out there know of other alternatives?

UPDATE: looks like there are some new developments with a Google Media Server Desktop Gadget. I’m also interested in the DLNA stuff. Not sure how it all works, still sounds hard to set up.

XO Review

OLPC Children

Before Christmas, I participated in the One Laptop Per Child “buy-one get-one” promotion. My XO finally arrived today. Here are some of my first reactions.


  • Like the size – some have said it is too small, but it
  • Like the Python App, will be a good way for me to learn
  • Easy to record a video
  • Seems to have long range Wifi capability, found about 15 networks in my neighborhood
  • Cool real time audio wave-form sampling app


  • Slow to boot and apps slow to load
  • Can’t figure out how to play any games with the screen flipped around (or as an e-book reader).
  • Mozilla Web browser slow – also screen refreshes were often clunky.
  • No streaming audio yet (Jango didn’t work)

Battery seemed to drain fastSystem specs for reference:

  • CPU clock speed: 433 Mhz;
  • 1024KB SPI-interface flash ROM;
  • Mass storage: 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash,
  • Resolution: 1200 (H) × 900 (V) resolution (200 DPI);

Complete Specs

My Atari 800Unfortunately, the most telling point in this review is that this blog post was written on my adult laptop. The laptop has a lot of great features that would make it more impressive in a group setting. While I was concerned that the sluggishness of the computer might hamper its usability as a learning tool, I remember my Atari 800. I know I would’ve traded it for the XO in a second – even without Joust.