Modern technology has made it easier than ever to stream from a PC to a TV. Still, many of us are clueless about how to actually do that.
Today, we’re teaching you how to stream anything from your PC to your TV – even if you’re clueless about technology.
Best Option: HDMI Cable
Virtually all PCs and TVs sold within the last 5 to 10 years will have an HDMI port. This port lets you transfer data over a cable from your PC to your TV.
All you need to do is buy an HDMI cord (they’re like $15 or less) and then connect one end to your PC and the other to your TV.
Then, choose how you want your PC data to be displayed on your TV. You may want to duplicate the display on your laptop and TV, which lets you use your laptop normally while still displaying the screen on your TV. Or, you can extend your display, in which case you get two different displays. Or, you may just want to keep your laptop screen blank and put everything on your TV.
To change these settings, just open the Start menu and type in Display Settings, then click on the first result that pops up. You can choose your primary screen and choose your secondary screen and setup your multi-monitor system however you like.
Use Other Video Ports
If you don’t have HDMI, then your next best option is to look at other video input/output ports shared by your computer and your TV. VGA is one popular option – especially on older computers – but it’s rare to find on TVs.
Otherwise, consider buying an adapter that lets you convert your VGA to HDMI – or convert other popular standards like DVI.
The problem with a standard HDMI connection is that it leaves a big wire lying around your house.
That’s why many people have switched to a wireless HDMI system. These systems consist of two main components: a transmitter and a receiver.
You connect the transmitter to your PC and the receiver to your TV (using the HDMI slots). You get to use your PC on your TV just like you would with an HDMI cord – just without the mess of cables.
The main downside of wireless HDMI is that it doesn’t always work well when you have to go a long distance, or pass through objects. It’s good if you’re just going across the living room, but less ideal if you’re going across your entire house.
Chromecast is one of the most popular and affordable options for PC users who want to transmit data onto their TV.
A Chromecast is primarily designed to pair with Android and it lets you easily access Android devices on your TV – including smartphones and tablets.
However, there’s one popular feature on Chromecast that lets you transmit data from your PC to your Chromecast. All you need to do is install the Google Cast extension for Chrome. This lets you stream any content through your browser to your Chromecast (assuming that Chromecast is installed in your TV’s HDMI port).
The main downside with this approach is that you need good Wi-Fi. Even with fast speeds, you might run into performance problems.
Steam Link is Valve’s version of Chromecast. It’s a physical box that connects to your TV’s HDMI port. The box also has several USB ports and an Ethernet port.
You connect a mouse and keyboard to the box via USB and then open Steam on your computer. Once the Link and Steam for your PC are powered up, it will scan your home’s wireless network for any PCs running Steam. You get a code, enter the code into your PC, and be able to access your Steam library over your PC. Your PC does all the processing work while Steam’s Big Picture mode displays everything beautifully on your TV.
A wired connection is recommended for this, as wireless speeds are not always fast enough.
The methods listed above are what I would use. They’re the easiest and most accessible methods for the average PC user.
However, other available methods include using Windows Media Player, the Windows Network and Sharing Center, or third party platforms like Nvidia Shield TV (which works in a similar way to Steam Link).