I've been vaguely considering setting up a computer in our home entertainment system as an Internet console. Namely, to watch video from Globaltv.ca, which is remarkably Hulu-like, just with one channel instead of all of them. Our TV is in fact a monitor (a 48" plasma monitor, but a monitor just the same), with a VGA in port and without a TV tuner. This simplifies the task a bit.
The problem is with the system requirements for displaying Flash video full-screen. My home desktop system is capable of doing this without too much trouble, but my desktop at work is a fair bit slow and choppy. The trick is that the desktop at work has a 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 CPU and 1 GB of RAM! There's also a GeForce 6200 in it, and yes, the Nvidia driver is installed and working properly.
At work I'm running Ubuntu, but even when nothing but Galeon (or Firefox, or Opera, which had the best performance, relatively speaking) was running, it was still choppy. I still had around 200 MB of RAM free, and the CPU was running at around 70%.
By comparison, my home desktop is an Athlon X2 4200+ with 1 GB of RAM and an Nvidia 7900 GS, and everything runs smoothly. Is this level of hardware really required for watching Flash video? I honestly consider this to be insanely high for such a minor application, even though the system is almost 3 years old now.