Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Two Ways to Watch Movies From Laptop to TV

If you've been successful from downloading movies from sources that do not show the download links( read previous post...../how-to-download-movies-without-download...), you might want to play this in a bigger screen like your television. Here's how you can do it, the equipments you will need and  free softwares to install.

Play your contents to TV.


Wired.


1. The easiest way to do this is with wires. If both your computer (3) and TV(1) has HDMI(1&3) ports then all you need is HDMI connector(5). With this, both video and audio signals are carried by the connector.

If you have an older laptop with VGA(4) connection, make sure your TV has this input(2) port as well and purchase a male make VGA or SVGA(6) connector. And if this is the case, you also need a 3.5mm male male (7)connector for the audio.


Adverts:



Wireless.


2. The easiest may not be the most convenient solution. If your TV has HDMI input, then you can use wireless connection to view your laptop's content,  even if your laptop doesn't have one, as long as it can connect to a router. This is by means of a streaming device, the chromecast. You also need a router, and a video converter, in this case I used Freemake Video Converter. You also need to download and install from your computer chrome browser, and chromecast extension. 

If you do not have chrome browser yet, you need to download and install it first before chromecast.

Steps:

Ready
1. Download and install chrome browser then chromecast application.
Connect
2. Connect your chromecast device to your TV's HDMI port.
3. Power chromecast device by connecting the accompanying USB cable to chromecast device and the other end to the TV's USB port if it has one, or you can just use the supplied power adaptor.
4. Switch the TV's input to the HDMI port where the chromecast is connected.
5. Make sure your router is on.
Set up.
6. from your laptop, open up chromecast application and set up your chromecast by following the onscreen procedure, which is similar to the screenshoots below.


8. Once it is set up, open up chrome browser and you will see the screencast icon (8) at the upper right corner of the browser. Click it and click the name of the chromecast (9) to connect . The icon turns blue(10) when it is connected and the screen casted chrome tab will have the icon(11) at the right most part. The content of that tab will be shown to your TV.


Cast your movies.

9. Whilst at the active tab, press simultaneously ctrl + o(letter) and a navigation window will open. Go to the movies you have downloaded and select the one with mp4 extension.


10. The selected movie will appear at the active tab window(12) and this content will be shown on your TV. You will also notice that the address bar is replaced with the file path(13) of the selected movie.



11. Other file extensions like flv, avi and so on doesn't stream with chromecast. But if you would like to play movies with extensions other than mp4, you need to convert them into mp4 first. Freemake is very good at this. See similar post on how to do the conversion at

http://prakticality.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/how-can-i-stream-downloaded-movies.html


Last Words.


Either way, you can enjoy your movies on a bigger screen. Although wireless is more complicated, it is more convenient as you do not need to access the back of you tv to connect it. You can also control the movie from where you are seated as the laptop is doubled as the remote as well. In this mode, you can multitask, meaning whilst the movie is streaming on TV, you can work or access the internet using other tab of the chrome. As only the active tab is screen casted at the one time. Although there is a BETA version of full screen casting(mirroring), meaning what you can see in your computer screen is what you see in your TV, I personally prefer one tab casting.

The downside is the wireless traffic, when many devices are connected to the router, which might affect the streaming speed and hence, wired connection is more suitable.  And if you require to output your movies in an instant and do not have the time to convert it to a suitable format(mp4), then wired solution has the advantage.

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