How to Watch Any Streamed Contents on TV

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If you stream a lot of videos and music online by yourself, usually a good headset coupled with your mobile device/PC would make the experience quite enjoyable. If you want to share streaming videos with your family and friends, you would need to know how to “beam” or “cast” contents from your mobile device or PC to your TV.

 

#1 Display contents on TV from a mobile device or PC

It’s quite simple if your mobile device or PC has a HDMI output.  A compatible HDMI cable is all you need to connect your device to the TV.

For iPhones, iPad and Android or Windows devices without a HDMI output, you can use Streamind Media Players below to display contents on TV from your mobile device or PC.

  • Apple TV: works with iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC with iTune installed.
  • Chromecast: works with Android phone, tablet, iPhone®, iPad®, Mac® or Windows® laptop, or Chromebook.
  • Roku: works with compatible Android & Apple phone/tablet and Windows phone.

Displaying your mobile phone or PC contents is only one of many features these Streaming Media Players offer.  We will explain how they work below.

 

#2 Streaming Media Players

Streaming Media Players are designed to stream online TV shows, videos, movies, on your TV.  As mentioned above, they are also able to “push” or “beam” contents from your mobile devices or PC to your regular TV.  The biggest selling point of a Streaming Media Player is its ease of setup and operation. You require only two things for it to work: 1. High-speed Internet, 2. A TV with HDMI input (some players such as Roku has Composite Video Output so it is compatible with older TVs). All Streaming Media Players will automatically configure the Internet connection.

All of them include popular streaming Apps such as Netflix, YouTube and many others.  Please note you have to pay for Netflix subscription in order to use its service.  Some even let you do voice search and play games with a game controller (optional purchase). The only limitation with these devices is their show selection depends on Streaming Media Player maker’s agreements with different TV networks and online video services.  Plenty of contents offered by Streaming Media Players are free but many are also pay-per-view.  Below are some popular Streaming Media Player brands you can consider:

  • Chromecast
  • Apple TV
  • Roku 2/3 or Streaming Stick (see prices here)
  • Google Nexus Player

Note: streaming videos in High-Definition requires enormous amount of Internet bandwidth.  Find out what your Internet bandwidth limits are and monitor your usage while any streaming devices because you may be penalized for going over your bandwidth limit.

 

#3 Android TV Box

An Android TV Box is similar to Streaming Media Players but the key difference is an Android TV Box is preloaded with a media centre software called Kodi. The preloaded Kodi software comes with 3rd party add-ons which allow you to watch the latest movies, TV shows and even live sports for free! The cost is normally cheaper than most mainstream streaming media players so it is definitely worth taking a look. You can read about a detailed review of an Android TV Box by clicking here.

 

#4 Gaming Console

Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox are not just gaming consoles anymore. They are also streaming consoles. Both feature typical video streaming apps such as YouTube, Netflix (subscription required), Crackle and much more. With Xbox, you no longer require a paid membership to install apps (unless the app itself requires a subscription) so try installing different streaming apps and watch streaming videos on your regular TV.

 

#5 Smart TV

Basically, a Smart TV is a TV with built-in streaming media player. Therefore, its streaming capability is similar to streaming devices mentioned above.

 

#6 Dedicate a PC and connect it to your TV (a.k.a. HTPC)

With all the streaming options listed above, you might wonder why bother buying a PC which is more expensive and more troublesome to setup as your home media centre? This setup might not be for everyone. But if the PC is hooked up properly, you will be able to reap the benefits of performing everyday computer tasks on your regular TV plus enjoying the PC’s ability to be used as a full media centre.

What is the biggest difference between a PC and other devices listed above (if used as a media centre)? The biggest difference is the PC’s ability to handle OTA TV channels (a TV tuner is required). You could argue that a Smart TV can stream online contents and display OTA TV signal. However, a PC with a TV tuner is a level above because it could be used as a DVR for your OTA TV channels. You can also install a programming guide to schedule recordings of your favourite programs.

If your PC comes with a Windows Media Center, the PC can act as a media storage server for Xbox gaming console(s). This means wherever you have a Xbox at your place, that particular Xbox console could retrieve all media contents stored on your PC thus allowing you to access music and videos (including OTA TV sign) in a different room.

If you compliment this setup by installing a Kodi Media Center (which is also available for your mobile device), you would have full access to the latest movies, TV shows, live sports streams, etc (this setup is deemed to infringe copyrights so use it at your own risk). To top things off, you can set up a Slingbox remotely and install Slingplayer on the PC  in order to watch someone else’s cable TV (click here for how to set up a Slingbox for cheap or free cable TV). Below is a quick overview of what you can expect to watch using this dedicated PC.

 

Live Sports

  • Source #1. OTA signal captured by TV antenna. (in HD)
  • Source #2. Streaming paid TV from a remote location using Slingbox. (in HD if available)
  • Source #3. Website such as CBC that streams live sports
  • Source #4. Kodi Media Center

 

Live TV Channels

  • Source #1. OTA signal captured by TV antenna. (in HD)
  • Source #2. Streaming paid TV from a remote location using Slingbox. (in HD if available)

 

Free Movies Online

  • Source #1. Movie link from this webpage.
  • Source #2. Streaming paid TV with movie package from a remote location using Slingbox (if available)
  • Source #3. Kodi Media Center.

 

Free Online Videos/TV Shows

  • Source #1. YouTube or any streaming sites
  • Source #2. TV channels link from this webpage.
  • Source #3. Kodi Media Center.

 

You can get all of the above without paying a single penny to a cable TV company. Let’s assume you could save $100 per month by cutting the cord, after ten years, you will end up saving $12,000!  It may sound corny, but the savings would be “free videos to your eyes”!

If you would like to know how to get free Over-The-Air (OTA) HD TV channels click here.  If you would like to know how to watch paid TV subscription for cheap or free, click here. If you would like to get a good collection of Free Movies and Free TV Shows, click here.

 

Photo credit: marcoderksen / Foter / CC BY-NC

 

 

 

 

 

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