General Question

bonus's avatar

Stream from my laptop to my TV?

Asked by bonus (543points) June 17th, 2009

Does anybody know how I can connect my laptop to my TV and stream Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc? Is there a special piece of hardware I need? Will the resolution be decent?

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6 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

What kind of laptop do you have? Most fairly recent models can be connected. For example, for a Mac you can purchase a dongle that plugs into the video port, and then out to the TV.
the resolution depends on the video, your computer, etc.

also, check out boxee, a nice media center for your laptop.

RandomMrdan's avatar

There are two ideal choices when connecting to a TV, one may be a better choice depending on how large it is. HDMI (or DVI if your TV is a bit older), or VGA (standard monitor connection).

You would use either of those, depending on the connections your laptop has. Plug in your TV as if it were a monitor. Depending on the Operating System your running on your computer, enabling the monitor may be different. But what you want to do, is change the “input” or “source” of the TV to whatever connection you just made in the back of the TV (HDMI1, HDMI2, VGA, PC) whatever the TV has it labeled as.

Once you have the TV source switched to the new mode, you should be able to enable the monitor, and adjust the resolution accordingly. If the TV is 1080P, the resolution will be 1920×1080. If your TV is 720P, the resolution will be 1366×768.

You should now have the TV on the right mode, and it should show the desktop picture of whatever your computer had. Now simply bring up the browser for Hulu, or whatever, and you can click and drag that window into the TV (which is now being used as an extended desk space). Act as though you’re trying to drag the window out of the way of your laptop, and into the other screen.

You can change the positioning of the TV to match where it is physically in orientation to the laptop. So, if the laptop is directly in front of the TV and both screens are facing you. You should be able to click the second display under the adjustment menu, and drag it directly above the laptop screen.

I have experience setting up Linux, Mac, and Windows machines as a media box for a TV, so if you have any other questions about setting it up, or you get kinked up along the way, and don’t know which cables to use, send me a PM.

bonus's avatar

Thanks guys. I haven’t been feeling good or I would have responded sooner.

So, to add a little more detail (should have included in the first place), I am running a MacBook Pro. It’s the series that is a few years old. I run it mostly in pc mode through a boot camp partition. I picked it up because I was working in an all-Mac office and wanted to learn both platforms. I wound up leaving there shortly thereafter and, being a designer of buildings, have been reliant on PC software (autocad) and just simplified by sticking mostly to PC mode.

Still, the Mac OS is graphically nicer to look at and I have been playing with Boxee in the hopes of figuring out how to stream to the TV. I had read that it was possible through Apple TV + Wii and so forth. If I could set it up wirelessly, that would be great.

Anyhow, I will have to, when I am feeling a little better, update this once I can sort through which connections are available, the particulars of all the hardware involved, etc.

Odysseus's avatar

If your pc has a graphics output port, find out what type it is then find out which input connector your TV has, then googlesearch a lead.
eg “svid to scart cable”

RandomMrdan's avatar

please don’t use S-Video to connect to your PC, it’s terrible in comparison to VGA, or HDMI/DVI…it pains me every time I have a customer tell me they want to do that.

hq812's avatar

I use a poor man’s solution where I plug my pc to my HDTV and run VLC player in full screen. It actually works really great. I can control everything remotely with as well as stream all my mp4 files to VLC. Its really good for streaming music videos. I can also stream them to any other laptop. Since I have a cable box, I hooked it up via firewire and can watch and record TV right on my pc. There’s a how to on the site.

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