Displaying Your Computer Screen on Your TV

Posted by Justin Unton

December 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Displaying your computer screen on your TV shouldn’t be that difficult, but for advisors whose offices aren’t hardwired for this task, it can be tricky to find a solution.

If your office or conference room doesn’t have the wiring to physically connect your computer to your TV, you’ll need an adapter to send the feed wirelessly. We’ve seen a few solutions out in the field, but when we go to recommend those products to someone else, they seem to be off the market or unavailable. It’s frustrating, to say the least. (If you’ve looked to solve this problem, you know what I’m talking about.)

Here are a few products that are available—as of this week—and tips for using them:

Chromecast by Google. If you use Google’s Chrome browser or one of the many Chromecast-ready apps (iOS and Android), you can start “casting” today with a Chromecast streaming media player ($35). Chromecast will display on your TV whatever is in your browser window or in your Chromecast-enabled app.

The issue here for financial advisors is that you’ll likely want to display client data on your screen. You can show what’s in the browser window, but you won’t be able to display files from your computer (e.g., Excel or Adobe PDF documents). To do so, you have to upload the documents to Google Drive. If the document includes client data, you must “vet” Google Documents by asking Google to fill out a form and keep it on hand for compliance purposes. Be sure to understand any compliance requirements before using this method.

Apple TV (for Mac users). If you’re a Mac enthusiast, you can stream your desktop or iPad to your TV screen via Apple TV ($99). The Apple TV device must be on the same Wi-Fi network as the computer, but other than that, you should be able to display anything on your TV. You may have trouble running certain websites on the Safari browser, but you can use any other browser on your Mac (except for good ol’ Internet Explorer).

Wireless Display (WiDi). Intel has introduced WiDi as a built-in feature on its processors, allowing users to display whatever they choose on their TV screen or WiDi-enabled device, and vice versa. Most new Intel-based computers have WiDi already built in. Before you go this route, though, it’s important to be sure both your computer and peripheral/TV can talk to one another. If you have a fourth-generation Intel vPro processor, a tablet with an Intel Atom processor, or a device with the Intel WiDi label on it, you should be in good shape.

A list of WiDi-compatible computers, TVs, and peripherals is available here, along with tutorials to help you get it set up. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Commonwealth technology consultant if you have questions.

Third-party devices. A lot of devices out there claim to offer wireless display to your TV. Some of them work. Some even work well. But most of them work just “okay.” Here’s a list of the available devices, as of this week:

  • NETGEAR Push2TV: This device supports Miracast and WiDi only.
  • Warpia StreamHD: As long as the USB adapter is plugged into your computer or tablet, the Warpia will treat your TV as a second monitor.
  • Diamond V-Stream (WPCTV1080H): This device should work just like the Warpia. Plug it into the USB port and connect the other end to your TV. Voilà—second monitor!

Remember, before you buy, be sure to read the reviews and consider your purchase carefully. If you need help, please reach out to a technology consultant.

Have you found a good solution for displaying your computer screen to your TV or to a client’s TV? Do you see any benefits to plugging in over going wireless? Let us know in the comments section below.

Topics: Technology

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