Have you ever wanted to stream a video or TV show from your PC to your TV? We’ve got you covered, as we’re going to show you five different ways you can setup your PC to stream content directly to your TV.
HDMI is a very simple way to connect your PC to your TV so you can watch movies, TV shows and other types of media. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface which is a software (and hardware) interface that allows you to stream video and audio over a single cord, usually known as an HDMI cord. This lets you connect your PC to your TV, which then transmits the video and audio from your PC to the TV. HDMI cords are relatively cheap, costing just a few bucks on Amazon. Make sure your PC and TV are equipped with HDMI technology before going out and purchasing a cord.
Chromecast is another option for streaming content from your PC to your TV. There’s actually two Chromecast models — one looks like a USB drive, but with an HDMI plug instead of the standard USB plug. The other Chromecast model has a circular base and a wire, which is supposed to give it better receptivity to decrease the chance of stuttering or buffering. Setting it up is really easy, all you have to do is plug it into your HDMI slot on your TV, and then through the Wi-Fi, you can connect your PC to the TV by “casting” media with the Chromecast.
There are lots of third-party programs that allow you to stream from your PC to your TV. Plex is just one of those programs.
Setting up Plex is easy, as all you have to do after downloading and installing Plex on your PC is entering in your login information. If you don’t have an account, Plex allows you to select a button to easily log-in with Google. It takes just a few seconds to register you. Alternatively, you can login with your Facebook account.
Once you log in, another window pops up, instructing you to setup a server to host your content on. But don’t worry. It sounds complex at first, so there’s no programming a server yourself here. In fact, they’ve made it nice and easy by showing you how to set it up step-by-step.
After that, if you’re wanting to stream to a Smart TV or a TV that allows you to download apps, you should be able to download Plex through the TV’s App Store. Once Plex is up on your PC now all you have to do is download the app on your phone or PC. Once you download it there, you can use it to stream content from your PC (or phone) directly to your TV.
Small Form Factor(SFF)
This Small Form Factor acts as a server which you can put data on, such as movies, music, and documents. It’s similar to a Plex server, but a little more permanent and easier to use in the long run.
Instead of having to re-initialize everything like Plex, you can set this up once and use it whenever you need. With Plex, you have to re-login on all of your devices, which can be very tedious, especially if you’re looking to stream often or are in a poor internet location.
This SFF also has the ability to put whatever your streaming onto multiple displays, as it has multiple display ports. Bear in mind you might need to do some research first, as there are very few SFF configurations. Depending on what your streaming, whether it be for multiple displays or high-res media, you might need one that’s a little more powerful.
This is one of the most simplest setups you can do. In fact, you don’t even have to move your PC. Simply plug in the transmitter and install any necessary drivers. Then, plug in the receiver into your TV. which just plugs into the HDMI slot (if you have one). If everything was done correctly, you should be able to stream TV shows, videos, movies and more on TV as you please.
There are plenty of different ways you can connect your PC to your TV. Most are pretty simple and easy to setup, such as Plex and wireless HDMI. Unfortunately, they may not suffice for people who live in rural areas, as you need fast a fast Internet connection. That’s where SFF and HDMI come in, an ideal solution for those that don’t have access to fast Internet speeds.
They’re also nice, since you don’t have to constantly relog into Plex or try to keep a stable, persistent connection through Chromecast.