Today it is much easier to watch movies or connect to video sites like Youtube from your television.
For example, without having to buy a decoder, you can, with modern TVs, connect a USB drive to which there are movies to see.
Who does not have a TV with USB plug can always connect the XBox 360 using it as a multimedia station or buy a multimedia hard drive, the ones with the buttons on top and a management software inside (as were the older VCRs).
Instead of spending money on expensive hard disk or multimedia stations well packaged and avoiding burning the Xbox more useful and fun for video games, there are solutions incredible, also absolutely free and available to everyone to create a home-cinema system at home.
Today, just a computer to create a complete multimedia station to be connected to the screen to watch movies and videos, also streamed from the internet at sites such as Youtube.
The solutions can be of three types, without disbursements particularly high.
1) Raspberry Pi
It is a revolutionary device, a real computer at a very low price, which is sold without a casing, no keyboard, no hard drive, no mouse and no screen.
It is therefore a form of transistor in which you can install Linux, you can connect a monitor and keyboard and you can insert an SD card.
The unit is small and you can connect to a TV on the back with an HDMI cable.
The Raspberry you can install multimedia software Raspbmc, attach an external hard drive to the USB port or SD card, connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable or with the Wifi, attaccargli keyboard and mouse for initial setup and see it all on TV.
Raspbmc using the excellent open source XBMC media center.
How to remote control you can simply use an Android smartphone or iPhone connected to the same wifi.
The Raspberry PI you can order online with no problems.
2) Apple TV
The Apple TV could be the perfect device to have the movies home without subscribing to premium services or anything like that unless it is unlocked.
Unfortunately only a jailbreak (which is not too easy for everyone) you can release the device from the limitations imposed by Apple (check if there is a way to unlock the version currently on sale).
The Jailbreak on Apple TV will installarci above XBMC, maintaining the functionality of AirPlay and integration of iTunes.
Alternatively you can also use XBMC to Plex, another of the best media center software.
3) An old laptop
You can connect a computer to your TV in several ways.
To make a high-level multimedia station to keep in the cabinet of the TV, you can also use an old laptop but it should be equipped with HDMI or DVI outputs and supports the viewing of HD video.
The ideal is a netbook of the small ones, not space, costs little and is equipped with Wifi, USB ports and HDMI / DVI port.
On the netbook you can also let Windows again and set on one of the programs like XBMC Media Center, MythTV or Plex.
A better solution, however, can be had with a Linux Live distribution to be started via USB stick (so no installation instead of Windows).
The choice is OpenELEC, an optimized version of XBMC, an operating system that comes on in 10 seconds, lightweight and perfect.
With OpenELEC on USB stick, as you turn on your computer, you immediately enter in the media console where you can browse on the websites of streaming or scroll through the titles of the movies stored in PC.
Similar to OpenELEC is also XBMCBUntu
These are just a few ideas to build yourself a home cinema multimedia station customizable, portable and extremely flexible and upgradeable.
Translated via software
Italian version of ReteArchitetti.it