Today s computers pack the processing power to produce crystal clear video on large displays and pump high resolution media onto the living room TV. A PC tower still tethered to a seventeen-inch monitor is an underutilized relic of the Windows 98 era. A PC equipped for HD, on the other hand, can create the immersive experience of the movie theater or wow clients with visually stunning presentations.

With a simple HDMI cable, an otherwise typical computer can be transformed into the HD media nerve center of the modern home or office. If there s not an HDMI cable connecting your box to an HDTV, the movies, games and media on your computer stand to gain a huge boost to sharpness and clarity.

PCs have been doubling as DVD players, DVRs and media storage devices for a few years. Even for tech savvy home users, however, connecting a PC to a TV or home theater has always been a laborious process involving software installation and tangles of wires. It was only with the introduction of HDTVs that the PC came into its own as a multimedia device. With a basic HDMI cable, HD video and 8 channel audio are transmitted on one cable, making connecting a PC to an HDTV easy enough for even the most hesitant of AV newbies.

With an HDMI cable linking your PC to your HDTV, you can watch video in all its 1080p glory. Given that Blu-ray drives are now very affordable, a PC s BD-ROM drive is a cost effective replacement for the bulky player sitting under the TV. For broadcast TV, PCs can be equipped with TV tuners that allow you to run and record your favorite sitcoms and serials. If you re a gamer, PC games on a 42-inch screen in full HD will be as immersive and visually stunning as anything on the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.

If you re worried that a multimedia computer at the center of your home theater means you re stuck using a mouse and keyboard, you ll be pleased to learn that PCs can be configured to work with remote controls and videogame controllers. The HD-enabled PC is most certainly couch potato friendly.

HD isn t just for bulky PC towers either, most laptops being manufactured feature high resolution displays and HDMI-out ports. Throw in a Blu-ray drive and a high-end laptop packs the same multimedia power as a traditional PC. There are even a handful of netbooks with HDMI hookups. When every projector or HDTV is a potential monitor, notebook computers become more than mere productivity tools.

With prices on Blu-ray devices, HDTVs, high res displays and HDMI cables reaching true affordability, there s no good reason to postpone replacing the old rabbit ear antenna with a PC. Whether you re looking to maximize the potential of your home theater or simply enjoy the contents of your hard drive on the big screen, HDMI cables are an easy and effective way to step into the HD era.

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