Internet streaming specifications

We would like to dispense with our satellite TV service and stream video from the internet to our 32 inch LCD TV, but our computer (Pentium 4, 3 GHz, 1.5 gig memory, video card GeForce FX5200 with 128 meg) can’t stream images at full screen without breaking up. We have a DSL connection (100 Mbps)and a wireless network running at 36 Mbps.

If we upgrade to a computer with a dual core pentium and a video card with 256 meg RAM, could we stream smooth full screen video at 100 mbps and/or 36 Mbps? I don’t know where the bottleneck is, help!

You will have to upgrade your system as the 128Mb video card and Pentium IV CPU are going to struggle with the resolution required for a 32″ screen and you’ll need the faster CPU, chipset and hard drive to deal with the amount of data you want to move around.

The new system should have at least a 1Gb video card and compatible outputs to the TV, preferably an HDMI connection if your TV supports it. The fact you’ve been able to connect a Pentium IV to the TV indicates the display has a VGA or DVI input.

Keep in mind that it’s not just your PC or screen that matters. If you are streaming off the net, you need to check your ADSL connection is reliable. You may want to visit to check you are getting the speeds advertised by your ISP as sometimes problems with your phone line or equipment can stop you getting the best performance.

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