You've used your wireless laptop to download that great song or movie, you listened or watched, and now you want to blast it over the house stereo or watch it on the big screen.
There are many ways to accomplish this.
It's possible to simply walk your mobile computer over to your stereo or television and make a connection using good, old-fashioned cabling.
A number of possible output connections on your mobile computer can be used to achieve this, including your USB connector. For a summary of the different possible ways to connect a mobile computer to a stereo, and the pluses and minuses of each, see http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/howto-pc-audio.html.
Connecting a mobile computer to a television or other home entertainment system via cabling is a little more complex than connecting to a sound system because video as well as audio signals are involved. This means that you probably will have to use the video output provided by your laptop, in addition to the cabling you'll need to connect the sound. For all the ins-and-outs involved in connecting a mobile computer to a television or home entertainment system, see http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/howto-pc-tv.html and http://www.cinemanow.com/PC-to-TV.aspx.
But who needs all those wires? The theme of Anywhere Computing with Laptops: Making Mobile Easier is that anything you can do with wires you can do better without them.
If you want to connect to the video portion of a home entertainment system as well as the audio portion, you should investigate a category of device called the media receiver, also sometimes called a media adapter.
Media receivers let you share music and video wirelessly with stereos and home entertainment systems. The media receiver has outputs for audio and video and sits near your stereo or home entertainment system. It connects wirelessly to the signal broadcasting from your access point (see Part IV, "Your Own Wireless Network," for more information about how this works).
The media receiver scans your network for computers running its software, such as your mobile computer. Once found, you can pick and choose what the media receiver is to play on the stereo or television. As an added bonus, these devices come with remote controls, so you can select your content without being near either your computer or the entertainment center.
One of the most popular media receivers is the EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver from SMC Networks, which uses both the 802.11a and 802.11g flavors of Wi-Fi, and costs between $150 and $200.