There are times when you might have the need to stream media from your TV to your laptop or smartphone and vice versa. When you have a laptop with a 1TB hard disk, you inadvertently fill it up with a little personalized media such as movies and songs. When you are home, you might as well watch the videos and movies on your big HD capable screen, than your small laptop screen.
Similarly, if you are travelling, you will be missing out on some of your favorite TV shows. Internet TV is available, but not all channels can be accessed through it. The best bet is to be able to stream your TV to your laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you think that is not possible, think again. There are devices which allow you to do just that.
There are devices which allow you to stream TV directly to your smartphone/laptop. These devices receive the media signal and stream it over the internet. If your PC or smartphone has the right software, you can watch them by connecting to the streaming channel of that device. This technique is called as place shifting.
Vulkano from Monsoon Multimedia and Slingbox PRO-HD from Sling Media are probably the best gadgets to do this. The advantage of these gadgets is that you can watch videos when they are playing without having to wait till you get home and catch the action on your DVR.
You also have a feature where you can change channels on the go. These gadgets employ IR blasters to implement this particular feature. You can pair your Sling Adapter to your satellite box and you are ready to watch TV on the go.
Streaming Content from PC/Laptop to TV
There are several services which allow you to stream the media on your computer to your TV. Some services like Orb TV and the Apple TV use the Wi-Fi network of your home. The set-top boxes access your PC and use it like a media server. You can stream the media on the hard drive of your computer to your TV, once the computer is configured to the set-top box.
Wireless Streaming from Computer to TV (Screen Mirroring)
There are gadgets like Veebeam HD and the WiCast from Asus that allow you to stream data wirelessly from your computer to your TV. So, you won’t have to worry about the data charges if you are using any one of these gadgets.
The Veebeam has a USB based antenna that should be connected to the USB port of your computer. This antenna will act as a graphics and media adapter and stream media to the base station, which will be connected to your HDTV via composite port or a HDMI port. The only disadvantage in this gadget is the lag.
The WiCast from Asus on the other hand can stream any data from your PC or any other device with an HDMI output port to your TV. The only disadvantage is that your TV should have an HDMI input port, but most TVs today have that. The major advantage is that you don’t have to put up with a lag in the screen mirroring.