I have attemped to set up a media system by ripping all of my dvds and blu rays to a hard drive (using aimersoft) and running them through a laptop with a hdmi cable to my tv. The quality is not as good as I expected, especially from the ripped blu rays - picture is fine but runs slower than audio and is out of sync straight away. If I was using a PC I would by a video card but I am using a laptop (lenovo with 6gb ram, windows 7 and 2.20 ghz intel core). Can Ido anything to boost video output -external graphis card or ometing?
Other options, buy a cheap used PS3 or Xbox and convert your movies into a compatible format for them (The 360 is pretty verstile now and can play them from a network device via windows media player)
There is also USB->Video cards for laptops, although you want USB 3.0 for good HD bandwidth. Even here in this review, they used an expresscard->USB 3.0->External video box and were able to play full HD no prob.