Most TVs can’t do a fraction of what even relatively modest PCs can, including online video streaming and internet access. Fortunately, there are several ways how to easily connect a PC to a TV. Some require a cable, while others are completely wireless. But no matter which method you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy your TV to its fullest potential and have endless hours of entertainment at your fingertips.
Connect PC to TV
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Connect PC to TV Wirelessly via Chromecast
If you use the Chrome web browser, you can cast a Chrome tab or even your entire desktop with just a few clicks. That is, if you own a TV with Chromecast built-in or spend a few dollars on a Chromecast device. Both your PC and your TV must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and you should check the Minimum System Requirements to make sure that your computer is up to the task.
With all the requirements met, you should be able to cast content simply by clicking on the Cast button. This button is located in the settings menu, but you can also pin it to your toolbar, or find it on Chromecast-enabled websites, such as YouTube or Netflix. After clicking on the button, you’ll be presented with a list of Chromecast devices, including your TV.
While Mac OS X, Windows, and Chrome OS users can all cast desktop content, only Windows users can also cast audio. Plugins such as Silverlight or QuickTime are not supported, but that shouldn’t be an issue in the era of HTML5.
Use Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter is like a smart HDMI cable, one that allows you to connect your tablet, laptop, smartphone, or Surface device wirelessly with up to a 23-foot range. It relies on the Miracast standard for wireless connections from devices to displays, which works with all Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 devices. The adapter connects the USB and HDMI ports on your TV and uses your local Wi-Fi network to stream videos, photos, games, websites, and even office documents directly from Windows.
You can snap together the ends of the adapter to make it more suitable for traveling. Microsoft wants you to take the adapter with you anywhere you go, and we can see why. The display lag is so minimal that you can rely on the adapter even when giving an important presentation in front of a large crowd of people. Included in the box is a handy USB extender cable as well as installation instructions.
Establish a wired Connection Using an HDMI Cable
An HDMI cable is by far the most affordable, fastest way how to connect a PC or laptop to a modern TV. In most cases, you just plug one end of the cable to your computer and the other to the corresponding port on your TV, and Windows will take care of the rest.
If you want to, you can configure your dual-monitor setup by pressing Windows Key + P on your keyboard. This will display a list of options, including the option to use the second screen only or extend the primary screen on the second monitor. If you want to adjust the resolution, right-click anywhere on the desktop on select Display settings from the context menu. There, you can make individual adjustments for each monitor.
In case you happen to own a particularly old PC or laptop that doesn’t come with an HDMI output, you can buy an HDMI converter for less than $10. A converter like this allows you to turn analog video signal into digital. Just don’t forget that you’ll also need to figure out a way how to transmit audio to your TV, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Buy a PC Stick to Quickly Transform TV into a PC
While all the above-described methods how to connect PC to TV wirelessly are reliable and affordable, you may be reluctant to turn your only PC or laptop into a Netflix-machine. By spending just a few more dollars compared to a quality wireless adapter, you can purchase a PC stick—a full-blown Windows PC that’s not much larger than a USB flash drive.
Modern PC sticks are optimized for smooth high-definition multimedia playback, and there are many different models to choose from. We have previously selected out top 5 favorite fanless PC sticks with the Windows operating system, and we advise you to check out the article for more information.