What Should I Build?

I am at the point where I need a new desktop computer, as the one I currently use is pretty old and slow. I also need a Blue-Ray player to watch movies on, so I was thinking of trying to combine them and thus save money over buying two separate devices. The problem I have is my computer is upstairs in a room I use for an office and my TV is downstairs and I also only have one cable modem, unless I want to pay for another, which would be pretty expensive. Most stand alone Blue-Ray players out there today have the ability to connect to the internet to stream movies from places such as NetFlix, but unless one pays a bunch more, they do not have wireless. I was thinking of placing a new computer I build downstairs near the TV and using it as a monitor. I have a 720P HDTV with an HDMI imput. How do these look with a computer hooked up to them? Hardly any stores have a HDTV hooked up to a computer, so it is hard to judge how they will look. Will it appear as good as a monitor? I can never seem to get an answer on this. I also like to sit right in front of the monitor sometimes which would be pretty impractical with the 40" TV I have and I also want to be able to use the computer in my office. Is there a way to make a remote wireless terminal I can put there? I don't suppose there's any way I could convert the video out of my computer to send it wirelessly upstairs? Also, if I put a Blue-Ray player in a computer, what kind of issues am I going to run into with HDCP? Does the video card and mother board have to be compliant?
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  1. Blu Ray players are around $120 nowadays. Blu Ray drives for a computer are still around $80. Since your tv is downstairs and your office is upstairs, it's just best to have 2 different devices. The resolution isn't that good for a 720P HDTV if you hook up a computer to it. Everything's gonna look all big. If you set it on 1080i, it looks even worse.

    To run Blu Ray off your computer all you need is a recent video card. HD 3450 or GT 220 will do just fine. Your processor can be any process that is not an Atom or any other slow processor. Most new motherboards and CPUs are more than capable of HD content.

    Your biggest decision is deciding if you want 2 devices or not.
    How often are you going to be using your computer to do work?
    How often are you going to be using your computer to watch Blu Rays?

    If you're gonna do work, then I would get 2 devices because a big monitor with low resolution like that is not good for the eyes and neck.
  2. I do up mATX/SFFs/HTPCs all the time and for an all in one mobility/form factor and at times style i.e not looking like a donkey's a@@ in the living room counts a lot hehe
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