I'm going to start my initial foray into the world HTPC I guess by connecting my computer to my TV for the first time. I don't have an ideal TV for this, it's a Toshiba 51H94, which is a CRT rear projection unit that I'm very fond of.
The main purpose of this for me is to watch streaming content from a Hulu or Amazon or ESPN 360 something like that, as well as occasionally watching a show I might miss and download. It's a small and infrequent part of my viewing habits, so I don't really want to invest in a Popcorn Hour or something like that.
I currently have an XBMC-loaded XBOX to handle file playback, but it doesn't handle HD and of course (most) streaming content.
I have a decent if not great computer, an HP a6157c, which has a Core 2 Duo E4400 2.0 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM. It has integrated graphics. The only video out is the VGA port. My TV has one HDMI input and two component inputs. The HDMI port is currently occupied, so my preference would be if I could connect my computer to a component input. But if I have to use HDMI to save a significant amount of money, that's fine.
Since I only have a VGA output on the PC and no VGA input on my TV, I'm assuming I need to install a new graphics card. No gaming will be done. With graphics cards running $25 to hundreds of dollars, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be looking for.
What do I need to be looking for that I can dual connect to my monitor and my TV and output SD and HD video to the TV? Preferably to the component input.
What price range will I be in (I'd like to get the cheapest thing that will do the job)? Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks very much for your time reading this.