How to share photos, play music & watch movies on your TV

Chances are you’ve got a lot of media on your computer - photos from your digital camera or smartphone, for example, favourite music tracks, video recordings and so on. You may also use your PC to catch up on TV or to stream the latest movies from an online content provider. All of which is great if you’re sat in front of your screen, but wouldn’t it be better if you could share those photos, play your music and watch movies on your shiny new HDTV?

Well you can, with a number of ways of putting your HDTV at the centre of your digital home.

You could plug your PC onto the HDTV directly. However, that’s not very easy or convenient, requiring ugly extra cables and a PC or laptop right next to the TV set. Plus you still have to control what you watch using the keyboard and mouse, rather than sitting back and relaxing with a remote.

Some newer TVs can connect to the home network and the Web using built-in Wi-Fi. However for most of us a new TV is a big expense plus the interfaces used on these “Smart” TVs tend to be basic and difficult to use.

No, for those with an existing HDTV a better solution is a dedicated device, like the Boxee Box by D-Link, designed to connect to the TV using HDMI, just like a set-top box.

The stylishly designed Boxee Box takes just minutes to setup, connecting to the digital home network using either cable or Wi-Fi. It also comes with a remote, complete with QWERTY keypad on the back, enabling you to sit back and stream music, photos and video from any computer or storage device on your digital home network to the attached HDTV.

Need to catch up on your TV viewing? No problem, using iPlayer and other on-demand TV apps available for the Boxee Box. There’s a Web browser too, plus apps for YouTube and Flickr, and you can stream the latest movies to your HDTV at full 1080p resolution complete with glorious Dolby Surround Sound.

It’s easy, there are no ugly wires involved, you don’t need a PC and you can do it all from the comfort of the couch.