Amazon has the Sony SMPU10 USB Media Player on sale for $29 with free shipping. The Sony SMP-U10 players allows you to take the files you download on the Internet and drop them on a USB drive and select hard drives and watch them on your television, in HD quality and sound.
This is a much better option than hooking on your laptop to the TV. You can also view photos on your TV screen and play MP3 songs too. The gadget comes with a easy to use remote control which will allow you to control the player just like any other DVR.