If you’ve ever wanted to share a funny cat video with friends or family, then you already know what a hassle it can be to gather everyone around a single tiny PC monitor. You think to yourself, “There has got to be an easier way to share hilarious internet cat antics with my kin.” As it turns out, you’re absolutely right. There are many ways to stream content from your PC or Mac computer to your TV set.
Note that the methods mentioned below require, at the very least, an HDTV or 3D TV, a PC (which usually needs to be running Windows 7 or XP), and, in most cases, a broadband connection. If you can muster that much, here’s how to stream video from your desktop or laptop to your television.
Use Windows Media Player – The Windows Media Player application, bundled with Windows 7, lets you stream videos, pictures, music, and more from your PC to your HDTV. If you’re interested in learning how to set up Windows Media Player for your television, visit Microsoft’s website for specific instructions.
Consider using Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other paid streaming services – Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus are simple to use, and are a great way to keep up with television shows, movies, and more. You typically need to pay a monthly fee to use them, but their ease of use and picture quality are unsurpassed as far as streaming technology goes.
Plug your computer into your HDTV – Most HDTVs have connectors specifically for a computer. Of course, it’s much easier to plug in a laptop, if you have one! Once your computer is hooked up, watching PC-based videos on your TV is a breeze. This YouTube video has easy-to-follow instructions for hooking up your PC directly to your TV.
Wi-Fi connections are an option – If you’re not big into the idea of wires criss-crossing your living room, keep in mind that there are ways to stream the contents of your PC to your television wirelessly. This can be a little tricky, though, so PC World has a write-up explaining how to engineer a wireless connection for your video streams.
Use your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 – Your Xbox 360 is more than a game console: it’s a veritable media hub. You can use the system to play content from your PC on your television. Microsoft’s Xbox website has detailed setup instructions if you need them. Note that Sony’s PlayStation 3 offers similar solutions as well.
Looking for more advice on how to stream content from your PC onto your TV? Visit:
From PC to TV at Microsoft
Although computers and smart phones play an integral role in family life, the individual nature of their use is very personal and solitary. High-Definition Televisions (HDTVs), on the other hand, continue to be a central focus for families as the entertainment hub for television and movies, and the latest models are working to integrate music, web browsing and more.
We’re also seeing the arrival of 3D as more than just a gimmick, and the latest HDTVs are incorporating 3D either via glasses, or in some cases without: LG’s Cinema 3D TVs being just one highly-recommended example. These days, the ability to produce crystal clear widescreen HD images is no longer a selling point; you must look even deeper at what else the HDTV has to offer.
Here’s a closer look at five of today’s best HDTVs and 3DTVs and a buying guide you should consider when contemplating purchasing them. Keep in mind that specific models may vary depending on the screen size you are looking for.
Panasonic TC ST50 Series
Panasonic provides a number of features in addition to HD signals and a reasonable price, making the TC ST50 series a great choice for families who don’t need to buy the top-of-the-line models. If you’re looking for 3D features, the TC ST50 series uses 3D eyewear and also has the ability to convert 2D images into a simulated 3D. We also love the super-slim built-in subwoofer which helps make the audio experience feel more theater-like. And one of the coolest things about nearly any Panasonic Viera-branded HDTV you’ll buy is the ability to download an app to your smartphone or tablet and use that device as your TV’s remote control or even as a control for specific games designed to be played on Panasonic TVs.
Sharp Quattron Smart 3D TV
The Quattron Smart 3D TV from Sharp delivers a number of features that may someday be standard on all TVs, but for now are tough to get all in one place. It’s got built-in apps to quickly allow you to stream videos and programs over services like Netflix, Vudu and CinemaNow, as well as social network integration with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. There’s also built-in wife so you don’t need to worry about hooking the Sharp Quattron Smart 3D TV up to an Ethernet or other cable to enjoy this streaming content. And the Quattron branding is indicative of Sharp’s patented use of adding a yellow pixel to the traditional red, green and blue ones that make up standard HDTV displays, which (according to Sharp) creates deeper and more vivid colors. One other cool feature of this HDTV: the ability to switch glasses into 2D mode, so that family and friends can all make their own choice as to whether to view content simultaneously in 2D or 3D.
Vizio Theater 3D Edge Lit LED with Vizio Internet Apps
With four battery-free 3D glasses included, Vizio’s Razor LED technology allows for the screen to get brighter and darker than many standard HDTVs, producing more detailed colors in full 1080P HD. The Vizio Theater 3D Edge Lit LED also has built-in Wi-Fi features and apps to allow for on-demand streaming of TVs and movies, as well as access to web browsing, music and more. To make all of this easier, there’s a Bluetooth remote with a full QWERTY keyboard. It’s one of the best HDTVs and 3D TVs out there.
Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV
Samsung is bringing HDTVs and 3DTVs to the cloud with what it calls the AllShare DLNA technology. Essentially, with a little work in connecting them all to the AllShare network you can access content straight from your PC, camera or other mobile devices, and view them on your Samsung HDTV. The other Smart TV features on the Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV include apps from Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, YouTube, ESPN, Pandora, Facebook and Twitter, as well as an integrated search function which lets you easily seek out content across all these platforms as well as your own personal AllShare network. The Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV also comes equipped with 4 HDMI inputs as well as 3D glasses and the ability to convert 2D content to 3D.
Sony XBR Internet TV
Sony’s Bravia XBR Internet TV is made of gorilla glass, the same lightweight and durable material most smartphone screens are made of. By combining this with the OptiContrast panel, Sony promises that the XBR Internet TV can minimize light reflections while enhancing picture clarity. If the sleek design doesn’t grab your eye, a full suite of Internet features to allow on-demand streaming and social networking make the Sony XBR Internet TV an easy choice to quickly connect and mount to the wall to become the entertainment hub of your home right out of the box.
At the 2012 Electronic Electronic Expo (E3), a games industry-only event which wrapped in June of this year, Sony president Jack Tretton equated the tradeshow to the Super Bowl, and there’s no doubt that anyone who considers themselves a gamer is paying close attention to what companies announced at the confab. Its most important revelation: That there’s a continued and growing trend towards blockbuster games that are designed for the core gamer, and our list of the following 10 best new video games clearly reflects this – as well as a few choices that are also appropriate for all ages. Looking to get a head start on your holiday wish list? Here’s what gaming fans will want to keep top of mind going forward.
(in alphabetical order)
Assassin’s Creed III – Ubisoft – The popular series set in history travels to the time of the American Revolution, as a templar named Connor battles the British. In addition to familiar stealth/adventure gameplay, the game will also feature intense nautical battles on the high seas. October 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii-U and PC
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision – With a narrative that skips between two time-periods, Call of Duty: Black Ops II puts players in the position of having their actions in the past affect the future. Players can see firsthand the consequences of their actions as they battle terrorists in 2025 Los Angeles. November 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
God of War Ascension – SCEA – Kratos is back, and this time he has a new weapon to battle his mythological enemies with: the ability to reverse time. This sure-fire hit will feature large and impressive bosses, such as an elephant-headed monster or the dreaded kraken. Spring 2013 for PlayStation 3.
Halo 4 – Microsoft – Master Chief and Cortana are back, and they must once again battle the alien scourge. Featuring an immersive single-player game and an equally as impressive multiplayer-focus, Halo 4’s gorgeous graphics and perfectly-tuned shooter mechanics make this one of the top must-have titles of 2012 for any game system. November 2012 for Xbox 360.
Hawken – Adhesive – This larger-than-life free-to-play multiplayer game features impressively scaled mechs battling each other in a variety of modes, with strategy playing just an important part in victory as the size and scale of your weapons and movements. December 2012 for PC.
Injustice – Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment – This all-new fighting game franchise from the makers of Mortal Kombat features DC Comics Icons like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more. Each character has unique abilities and interact with the environment in their own special way. – 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360.
NintendoLand – Nintendo – Touted as the game that will give Wii-U gamers the same “a-ha” experience that Tennis did for the Wii, NintendoLand features a dozen different games based on familiar Nintendo characters and locations, while utilizing the Wii-U’s tablet-like GamePads to create new ways for gamers to interact with the action – separate from the TV. Holiday 2012 for Wii-U.
Skylanders Giants – Activision – 2011’s smash hit Skylanders is back in 2012 with Skylanders Giants, featuring 16 more collectible action figures and an all-new adventure. Skylanders Giants features even more of the great co-operative gameplay as the original, and again lets gamers take their Skylanders with them for play on any of their friend’s game systems. October 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and PC.
Sleeping Dogs – Square Enix – Set in the streets of Hong Kong, this open-world crime game is perfect for gamers who can’t wait for the next Grand Theft Auto game. Sleeping Dogs follows the story of an undercover cop dealing with the explosive and bloody consequences of his cover being blown. August 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Watch Dogs – Ubisoft – Goodbye Zombies, hello hackers. With impressive graphics and an intriguing story about the power of hackers to wreak havoc on the world, Watch Dogs promises to be an open-world blockbuster when it’s released next year. 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.