Integrate HDTV/Desktop/Laptop?

Ok guys, I'm new here so you'll have to forgive my noobness.

I have quite the dilemma; I just recently bought a pretty sweet TV (Vizio 42'' and I have sick desktop I built a little while ago. I also do most of my work on my laptop. Recently I had a dream of being able to watch media on my TV through my computer without having to go through the hassle of burning DVDs and such. Is there any router like device or anything else I could use to do this?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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  1. Not exactly sure what you're trying to do here - you want to use the HDTV as a 2nd monitor for both the PC and laptop? If so not a problem as most new HDTVs include multiple HDMI inputs - as long as both your PC and laptop include HDMI outputs. Just make sure you set up each HDMI output for the correct resolution (1920 x 1080 for 1080P) and that you set up each HDMI input on the TV for 1080P and dot-by-dot (or whatever Vizio calls it) to disable any scaling, so that the PC or laptop image exactly fills up the HDTV screen.

    Now as for the media part of your question - I assume you mean streaming media and that both the PC and laptop are connected to the Internet already? If not, then yes you need a router for either wired or wifi connection. Once you are able to view streaming media on either computer, you'll be able to view it on the HDTV using it as a 2nd monitor.

    BTW, you don't need to burn DVDs for movies. I have an external USB harddrive that I offload music & videos on, connected to a Netgear WNR3500L router that has a USB input. So using Windows media player as a cheap out-of-the-box solution, I can access whatever content is on the external HD without clogging up my computer hard drive. I can even access the content through my PS3 console, but I have to access it through a laptop or PC connected on the network and set up to share media, since the PS3 needs a media server and cannot access content right off the external drive.
  2. You could hook your laptop up to your TV and, using Windows Media Center (if both your laptop and desktop have vista or 7) stream from the desktop to the laptop which plays on the TV.

    To enable Media Center:
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