A lot of us have nice big HDTVs or home theater systems at our homes, which are a great joy to watch movies, tv shows on. The problem lies that a lot of us download a lot of content (music videos, movies, tv shows) from the Internet and store them in our laptop hard drives or an external/portable hard drive and we are unable to bring all that content to our TV. The end result is that we end up watching content on our small laptop screens or desktop monitors.
If your HDTV is DLNA certified, then you have a possible solution which doesn’t involve spending money on set top boxes or expensive devices.
All you need to is hook up your TV to your home network (via Ethernet wire or WiFi, if your TV supports it via an external USB adapter). Once you’ve managed to connect your TV to your home network, all you need to do is setup a DLNA server on the machine(s) where you have all your content.
In my case, this was my MacBook, and I used a freeware tool called TVMOBiLi to setup the DLNA server. Note that TVMOBiLi is not a Mac OS X application, it runs as a service in the background and can be accessed via its web interface.
The background service automatically detects and adds most of the music, movies and pictures on your hard drive to the DLNA server. If it does not add some specific content, you can manually add directories or manage the ones currently present using the settings panel in the web interface.
If you correctly managed to connect your TV to your home network, you should now see the DLNA server that you setup in your TV menu. Note that all the DLNA server does is interface your content to your TV. It does not take part in decoding, and thus any formats not supported on your TV will still not work.