Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have fibre broadband with speeds up to 38mbs, my Dell D600 has its max 2gb ram and has an ATI Mobility RADEON 9000 4xAGP 32mb card in it...Its TV support it says is NTSC or PAL in S-video and composite modes with a 7-pin mini-DIN connector (optional S-video to composite video adapter cable) and a vga port which i am using at the moment...

The laptop runs Windows XP, an 80g HD with only windows + necessary updates and anti virus software on it.....

There is HDMI on the TV, but not the laptop

Fairly slow moving and close up pictures arent too bad, but when the movment is fast(a shot on goal) or in the distance, I cant see the ball and the images go out of focus.

share|improve this question
That's pretty archaic hardware. It might be best to get or build an inexpensive HTPC instead. – bwDraco Oct 21 '12 at 18:27

The quick answer: Get a new laptop. The D600 is insanely old for this task, the GPU does not support the new encodings and the CPU is too weak for this job. Not to mention it lacks any modern display connectivity. It's an acceptable rig for light work, even software development, but for entertainment, this is not the choice.

You could go also for a set-top box, like the Android based cheap ones, most of them odffer a very nice bang for the buck, but you have to read the reviews thoroughly, it's not very difficult to choose one that will give you more troubles than entertainment.

@Dragonlord also suggested a HTPC: well, I'd vote against it. It costs more, and offers more than a set top box, but unless you don't need that 'more', it's just the costs. If you don't want to play modern games with that rig, don't go that route. Usually HTPC enthusiasts mention upgradeability. That is true, but from the price of a capable HTPC, you can get a whole bunch of cheap set-top boxes. So you can upgrade - the whole unit at once...

share|improve this answer

It looks like the video card or processor can't keep up with the action when the bit rate surges, as most videos are encoded at variable bit rates (the bit rate increases with more complex scenes).

The Dell Latitude D600 is a very old computer, and your only real choice is to buy or build a new computer. HTPCs are often equipped with entry-level video cards; even the cheapest video cards today will outperform the Mobility Radeon 9000 by a vast margin. For a less expensive option, you can look at set-top boxes as well.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answers. I dont know anything about set top boxes for will have to find out more. Are you able to use them as i would a laptop to find a live stream...or is it something i connect between the laptop and tv.... – Bob Oct 28 '12 at 22:56
I only want to watch live football streams, and the site i use is will a set top box handle this, is there provision to type in URL's......The ones ive just looked at seeme to have preprogrammed channels and services, none of which suit my needs... – Bob Oct 28 '12 at 23:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.