March 16, 2018 · streaming broadcast-to-air TV Web Browser

Using computer to watch TV (and web browse, play and share stuff) on a big screen

This article is a summarized extract from The Budgeteers' Guide to 21st Century TV.

A personal computer can be a streaming client, a media storage, a shared activity center, document viewer, etc. — all in one box. A computer attached to a TV is a great way to share entertainment and tasks with co-workers or family. Besides watching TV and internet streaming, we use ours for shared family activities like travel planning, games, investment planning, video calls, collaborative reviewing of photos and documents, playing and storing the music library, etc. It allows the biggest screen in the house, with the most comfortable seating, and maybe the best sound, to be used as a collaborative space for almost anything that can be done on a computer.

Many PCs (for example the Intel Compute Stick, the Intel NUC and the Apple Mac Mini), are suitable for use in a living room due to their size, quietness and looks. But most recent Windows, Linux desktops or Mac computers with reasonable graphics processing, a current web browser, HDMI port and network access can perform this task.

This diagram shows using a web browser to stream from the internet and a TV antenna.

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