With the rise of internet streaming. video downloads, MP3 playing and DVD ripping. more of us can enjoy all of our media files on a personal computer. But some of us are not so keen on the tiny PC screen that can be found on a laptop and some desktops. So how do you connect your computer to the TV set and enjoy some big screen action?
Connect your computer to the big screen TV
Although a PC is convenient for music, pictures and video. Video and sound is not always so great on the computer. With new video websites coming at you everywhere you look and the rise of digital content, it seems that the only downside of streaming is being restricted to a small PC or laptop screen to watch stuff on.
From streaming video sites like Hulu. Netflix. Youtube. Amazon. ABC and the BBC amongst literally hundreds more from the web (Read our internet TV and movie site reviews here .), plus digital files and downloads, the computer offers tons of both free and paid streaming content to watch conveniently and on-demand.
The only possible downside (apart from possible dodgy buffering and slow downloads depending on your broadband connection), is that you have to watch your favorite TV show or movie on a dinky 12-14 inch laptop screen. Well fear not dear readers, you can connect your computer to your big screen TV set or projector very easily.
Many computers especially modern ones, now come with Wi-Fi streaming, home network options built in, HDMI cable connections and many other ways to hook up to your 50-inch home TV.
Ports and Connections
So firstly you should look at the ports on your computer and television. You will find any of the following:- Composite, S-Video, VGA, DVI, or HDMI port for connecting your PC to your TV set. Any modern PC will have a HDMI connection. If so just get a lead and plug into both the computer and TV set.
IF you have a windows PC then from your Start menu find and open the Control Panel Appearance and Personalization menu. Then select an connect an external display from the Display menu. Doing this should make the display from your computer be replicated on your TV. You may have to play around with resolution settings to get it just so.
Wireless Streaming Options
Devices and computers that are WiFi enabled can also stream across the home network if your TV is DLNA enabled. Many other options are available to mirror or cast a video or show from your device straight to the TV. Check out our streaming wirelessly to TV article for more information.
Instead of having a bunch of folders that you need to open up and navigate, there are now some kick-ass media centers that take care of all of your media files Video, streaming, music and pictures, then present them to you with DVD artwork, movie posters, synopsis, cast details, reviews etc. and make the computer the best option to use for movies and shows. Most media players have the option to rip your CD s straight to the computer but DVD ripping is generally unsupported due to copyright laws, although many believe if you own a DVD then you can watch it on your PC as long as you keep the disc version.
Many people love the idea of streaming from a computer but would rather just switch a set-top box on and off and get the same functionality. This is where a HTPC or home theater personal computer comes in. A HTPC offers a super quick loading Windows or Linux based OS and boots straight into a media player such as XBMC. Then you can play your movies, shows and streaming straight from the TV using a wireless keyboard or media remote for operation. For more HTPC information check out our guide here .
Controlling your PC using a remote
Once connected, you don t want to be scrambling to find the mouse to pause, rewind etc. so we need a device that will wirelessly control your TV PC setup. So what s the best way to control your computer from the other side of the room? You can purchase a PC remote control cheaply on Amazon or Ebay. Or a real cheap option is to pickup a wireless mouse. Just plugin the USB dongle to your PC and you can control all the action from your armchair.
If you have a large collection of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, you will want to get them transferred to your computer. For this you will need a DVD ripper. then encode or convert to a computer and tablet friendly format such as MP4 or TS etc.
So if you have a modern PC (check if you have a hdmi port), although many TV s now accept a vga or composite video cable, download a media center product (we recommend the free and open source XBMC ) and start enjoying your media 21st Century style.
Older PC s may need a few older cables and wires to help you hook up your PC to your TV set,and setting up a Wi-Fi connection to the home network is a feature many smart TV s have these days.
For more help with older computers, watch the video below and start watching Internet TV on the big screen.
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Veronica October 2, 2012 at 8:53 am
If you want to connect your PC to the television then take a look at the back of your computer and see what video outputs are there. Older desktop computers usually have a VGA, S-Video or DVI output.
VGA-Video Graphics Array. Most computers have these outputs.
S-Video-Separated Video or Super Video. S-Video will not provide the the high quality image that VGA, DVI or HDMI can provide on a HD TV.
DVI Digital Visual Interface. More modern PC s have a DVI connection.
So, just find out what you have then get a corresponding lead to connect the two. If you have a half-way decent computer then you may have a HDMI output.HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface.
Easiest option is to just grab a HDMI lead you have floating around and connect the PC to TV, select the HDMI as input and voila. A better option is to go wireless, but thats another story
Anyone with a modern-ish computer doesnt need a guide. Just plug a HDMI cable into PC and TV. You will need to play around with the settings on some PC s though to get it looking right.
fred August 17, 2013 at 7:52 am