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Streaming via Internet vs. DVD Playback

So I am a little new to the details of computer hardware and processing. I recently dusted off an old PC (I'm a Mac these days) and am interested in making it a media center. Mainly I want to stream video from the internet via Hulu and the like.

My ultimate question is what differences are there, if any, between streaming video from the internet vs. playing video from DVD?

The reason I ask is when I watch a DVD in full screen mode (42-inch LCD) the picture is fantastic. Very good quality and not choppy at all. However, when I stream video via the internet, the quality goes down and is very choppy. Now, I know there are more variables like how good my internet connect is and what site I am on and such. So to compare I'll do the same thing with my Mac. Let's say for argument sake and all else equal, the quality from my Mac is much better than my PC. I recently upgraded the RAM to 4GB and the video card to a Radeon HD 4650 with no improvement. So, the only thing left is my CPU (which I know is terrible.)

So, does streaming via internet us more CPU resources than watching from a DVD?

- Jason

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Comments
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Not an answer.

My HDTV uses a simple laptop with 4GB RAM, Core 2 Duo at 2GHz and wifi 802.11g for the hulu playback. Seems fine here.
Bob

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Yeah, I have a MacBook with the same stats. I suppose the processor is the only other variable left. Thanks.

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This laptop has...

Windows 7 and the usual Intel 4500MHD with HDMI output. For playback I think it's the firefox browser and whatever HULU asked to install. The laptop was a 500 buck Lenovo y530.
Bob

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