The Acer Aspire One Netbook boasts a 1.6-GHz Atom processor, 1GB of ram and an 8.9-inch, 1024-by-600-pixel display. Despite these somewhat low specs compared to today's Media Center PC's, it is possible to play high resolution 720p WMV-HD or x264 MKV files, and output the display through it's VGA connector to a bigscreen TV.

Things You Will Need

CoreAVC codec You can download a 30-Day trial version here, or purchase it for 8 dollars.
Media Player Classic: Home Cinema Edition (the home cinema edition adds the feature to remove tearing issues with VGA output)
Combined Community Codec Pack (For all other movie formats)

A VGA cable
A TV with a VGA input
A cable to connect your Headphone Jack to your home theater audio system.

Step 1

Install CoreAVC codec and AC3 Filter (optionally the combined community codec pack). Extract mplayerc.exe from the Media Player Classic: Home Cinema Edition.

Step 2

Start > Programs > CoreCodec > Configure CoreAVC

Step 3

Deblocking - Select Skip Always

Step 4

Check Preferred Decoder, click OK.

Step 5

Start > Programs > AC3Filter > AC3Filter Config

Step 6

Output Format > Select either 2/0 Stereo or Dolby ProLogic II depending on your stereo config. (The soundcard can't do dolby digital, you would need to buy an external soundcard for that) Click OK.

Step 7

Launch mplayerc.exe

Step 8

View > Options > External Filters > Add Filter... Select CoreAVC Video Decoder and click OK. Now select it in the list of External Filters and make sure that "Prefer" is selected.

Step 9

Playback > Output Select VMR9 (renderless) ** and make sure Direct3D Fullscreen (remove tearing) is selected. Click OK. With this setup, it is possible to connect to an LCD TV with a resolution of 1900x1080 and play 720p movies with no skipping.

Tips & Warnings

Note that because we are using Direct3D to render the display to stop tearing, we lose any context menus when playing a video, so you have to learn to use the keyboard to navigate through a movie. Ctrl+C closes the movie file so you can get back to the menus. One option in particular that helps is View > Options Miscellaneous > Remember File position so I don't have to navigate through movies so often.

Also, you may want to turn off subtitles, Start > Programs Combined Community Codec Pack > Filters > VSFilter Configuration > General > Loading > Do not load > OK.