If you have
downloaded or are streaming video files from the web, from the many legal sources
providing content such as Blinkbox or LOVEFiLM, and you are getting fed up with watching it on
your small PC monitor on your own, then you can use some of the following methods to watch these
files on your big screen Television in comfort with your family and friends.
If you have
a laptop, then the simplest method is to directly connect it to your
Television. Most new LCD and Plasma HD Televisions have VGA inputs,
so that you can use your laptop's VGA output (usually press fn-F5 on
your laptop to use the external display). If you have a CRT
Television then if your laptop has an S-Video output, then you can
connect this to your TVs composite or S-video input, you can purchase
cables for this from most electronics stores.
If you have the files on a desktop PC, then you can use one of the
following methods to watch the files on your TV:
Convert files to normal DVD for playback on a DVD player
There are many commercially available programs that will convert your media files to standard DVD format, but for a free and easy solution you can use DVD Flick. DVD Flick supports over 45 file formats and 60 video codecs. This useful program also allows you to add subtitles and menus to your discs and
will even burn them for you once they are encoded. This is a simple solution to watching your files, but it is also time consuming depending on the speed of your PC, as the files have
to be re-encoded by the program to standard DVD format. But at least once the files are converted you can play the files on any standard DVD player anywhere, this is extremely useful if
you want to convert your own videos that you have recorded on your home video camera and show to friends and relatives.
Use home network to stream media files to TV
If your PC is setup on a home network, either hardwired or wireless, then there are many Digital Media Streamers available now that will take all the media files stored on your PC network and allow you to watch them on your HDTV. Many use very
intuitive interfaces and will catalogue your content into easy to find categories. You can even watch content from the web via the media streamer as well. Many also have USB and memory
card support, so you can plug say a USB hard drive in and watch all the media files stored on it.
Use USB hard drive or memory card to play media files on your TV
If you don't have a home network setup or a DVD burner on your PC, and you still want to watch your media files on your TV, then there are several Media Players available that can read media files directly from USB removable storage devices. This means you can simply copy your files to your USB storage
device and plug it in the media player and watch it back on your TV. This is a simple solution and the devices are now very affordable as they don't have the networking support built
DiVX or MP4 Compatible DVD player
Many of the latest DVD players and recorders now have DiVX and MP4 support to playback your media files. With these devices you can simply burn your media files to a DVD
without converting them and then place the disc in the player and it will then play the files just like a normal DVD. Some have USB ports for connecting a USB device for playing back
photographs and audio files. These are probably the cheapest option for playing your media files on your TV as you can pickup a DiVX DVD player for around £30.00.
Upgrade existing TV to new wireless model
Many of the latest models of TV's being released such as the
Samsung UE40B7020 40" LED " Ultra Slim" Full HD TV are now being built with wireless networking capabilities and USB support built in. This means you can
connect your TV wirelessly to the internet without having to boot up your PC, and surf the web in the comfort of your living room. You can connect wirelessly via your network to media
files stored on your PC and play them back on the TV. With the USB support you can simply plug in your USB storage device and watch the media files straight on the TV without a network
connection or PC. These new generation of TV's are really changing the way you watch your media content, and free you up from the mass of cables that connect all your devices to the TV.
All we need now is wireless power transmission to the TV and you will be able to hang your TV anywhere without worrying about hiding those nasty power cords etc.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and find the information useful to you. I welcome any comments etc.
This information is copyrighted to TV Timewarp July 2009 and may not be reproduced without my consent or recognition to this website.