thanks in advance...
i just purchased a panasonic st30 3d plasma, and i'm wanting the freedom to watch mkv's in hd. it has dlna, but wmc won't stream mkv, so i have to use a 3rd party program like ps3 media server to stream the mkv's, which transcodes it first. when it transcodes them, the quality doesn't seem to be hd anymore. at first i used wireless, but then read that wired was faster, so now i'm on 100mbps ethernet (the tv doesn't have gigabit ethernet).
1. is 100mbps ethernet fast enough for hd, or do i have to buy/build an htpc with gigabit ethernet?
2. the transcoding seems to be downgrading the quality, how can i preserve hd? another program? or htpc?
3. when i stream from an external hard drive through my computer to the tv, the playback is there a bottleneck because my hdd is usb 2.0? (i'm thinking there shouldn't be b/c usb 2.0 is faster than 100mbps ethernet).

overall, i just want a pure, cheap way to watch HD mkv's on my nice new tv!...without buying an htpc if i can help it, but i will if that's the only way. i'm getting a macbook pro with thunderbolt this summer if that changes anything (i'm stuck with the tv though).