Old laptop on HDTV - resolution issues
sorry for not visiting this site in ages. I used to be on here fairly regularly a while back, but then got kinda distracted by moving from Ohio to NZ, which has turned out to be great.
Anyhow, I have some computer issues, and I am hoping to find the good advice here that put this site on the map! Still the cheapo I always was, I have a crappy old laptop (Acer 4330) that I wanted to use as HTPC. It's original 160GB HD was chock full and Windows Vista wasn't helping it, slowing the thing down to an unusable pace. I replaced the HD with a 240GB Crucial SSD, and installed the latest version of Ubuntu - my first experience with Linux! Everything went smoothly, and after some playing around with the display options, I got the laptop output nicely on the HDTV. The laptop has no HDMI out, but thankfully the TV (Vizio 47" LCD 1080p) has a VGA input.
So far so good. Now the problem is that when streaming video to the TV, the picture stutters a little and seems poorly synchronized with the audio (which does fine). I am fairly forgiving regarding image quality, but this is just bad enough to make watching a movie more annoying than pleasant. When streaming video to the laptop's built-in screen, the problem does not exist, which excludes a lack in network/download speed. I am assuming that the laptop simply can't upscale the image to the 1920 x 1080 native resolution of the TV in time. It probably does not help that the laptop has a 4:3 format screen, while the TV is 16:9.
Is there anything I can do to get rid of this problem short of using a faster laptop? I have a newer Acer 5742 that does just fine, but I need that machine elsewhere. Is there such a thing as an external video card that I could use with the old laptop to speed up video processing?
Greetings and many thanks