4 Ways to Stream Video Games from PC to Your TV
Want to play your favorite PC games on your TV? With this large library of games, using a Windows, macOS, or Linux computer as a quasi-games console makes sense. Especially since the controllers of your favorite game consoles are compatible with the desktop operating system.
But usually there is a problem: your PC is in one room, and your television in another. It’s inconvenient to run a long HDMI cable between two rooms. The solution is to stream games from your computer to your TV through your home network.
Here, we will guide you through different ways to stream PC games to TV.
Stream from PC to TV in any room
You currently have four options for streaming video games from a desktop or laptop to a TV:
- A Miracast and a wireless HDMI
- Cast Games to TV with Chromecast
- Build a Raspberry Pi Steam Link Box to stream PC Games to TV
- Stream your PC games to a smart TV or set-top box.
We have listed them in ascending order of effectiveness. So while using a Miracast dongle will allow you to stream PC gaming to your TV, it won’t be as responsive as Nvidia GameStream or Steam remote gaming.
1. Stream Games to TV using Miracast and Wireless HDMI
You will find several wireless HDMI systems available that are compatible with desktop operating systems. The wireless HDMI interface allows the transmission of audio and video signals between two devices, making the other technologies on this list possible.
Earlier wireless HDMI devices (such as those using Intel’s WiDi and AMD’s Wireless Display) have been replaced by Miracast. Miracast is the standard for wireless connections. With Windows support, you can stream games from your PC or laptop to your TV via a compatible dongle.
Some smart TV manufacturers also include Miracast support. So it’s possible that you can stream games to your TV without having to spend money on a Miracast dongle. If you need a dongle, it’s usually available for less than $100.
2. Cast PC Game to TV via Chromecast
If your PC and your Google Chromecast are connected to the same network, you can cast your desktop to your TV. Anything running on your computer, including games, can be streamed to the TV.
For this to work, you need to use Google Chrome on PC. You must sign in with the same account associated with the Chromecast device. To do this :
- Turn on your TV
- Select the HDMI input that the Chromecast is connected to.
- On your PC, load the Chrome browser and make sure you’re signed in.
- Now minimize the browser window
- Launch the game you want to stream on your TV.
- Return to the Chrome browser and open the window menu
- Choose Cast
- In the pop-up window, click the Sources drop-down menu and select table
- Click the Chromecast device name to start casting
- To finish, click the button Cast in the browser to log out.
The advantage of this method is that it works on any system using Google Chrome. However, it is not without flaws.
Although this method effortlessly streams games from a computer to your TV, the lag is horrendous. Even streaming a mouse-driven strategy game over 5GHz wireless to a Chromecast Ultra connected over Ethernet results in noticeable lag.
Also note that Chrome uses a lot of RAM on its own, so it’s not good to have it open while playing, especially if you have a subpar computer. In summary, Chromecast is great for viewers, but not so great for gamers.
3. Use Steam Link to Stream PC Games to TV
Steam Link is a product of the very popular game distribution platform Steam, and you can use it to stream PC games to a TV or other compatible devices.
Every game in the Steam library can be streamed using Steam Link, creating your own virtual game console. So follow these steps to start using Steam Link:
- Start by opening Steam on your PC.
- Tomorrow Steam > Settings
- Choose Remote Playthen check Enable Remote Play
At this point, you’re ready to pair a Steam Link-enabled device with the Steam desktop app. But what device will you use? This is where things get complicated.
If you’re lucky enough to have a compatible Samsung or Sony Smart TV, you can download the Steam Link app and use it to stream PC games to your TV. In addition, owners of an NVIDIA Shield TV can stream PC games via Steam Link. However, it’s their best option now that NVIDIA GameStream is gone.
But what if you don’t have these devices? Well, you can use an affordable Raspberry Pi to stream PC games. For less than $50 you can buy a board computer that can connect to your TV as a dedicated Steam Link box.
The alternative is a Steam Link box. However, since these are discontinued devices, they are rare and incredibly expensive.
Whichever device you’re using, once it’s set up and ready, you’ll need to pair the Steam Link device with your PC. To do this :
- In steam > Settings > remoteplay, click on Pair of Steam Links
- On the remote device, go to Settings > Computer
- Here, select your gaming PC (use Scan again if it does not appear)
- Return to the Steam Link screen and press start playing
- The remote device will display a PIN code. Enter it into Steam on your PC when prompted.
- The connection will be established, and you will be able to play Steam games on your TV.
Make sure a game controller is connected to your Steam Link. For best results, make sure your Steam Link box is connected to your network router using an Ethernet cable.
4. Use Steam Remote Play on your TV
Want to know how to play Steam games on TV without extra hardware?
On a PC running Steam, you can stream PC games to a Smart TV or any other device using Apple TV or Android TV.
Some smart TV manufacturers like Sony and Samsung offer Steam Link to apps. You can use Apple TV or Android TV boxes if your TV doesn’t natively support Steam Link. And if that’s out of your budget, you can build an Android TV box with a Raspberry Pi.
Whichever method you use, start by following the steps in the previous section to set up Steam for streaming. Once done, install Steam Link on your Smart TV or your Apple TV or Android TV box.
Now you know how to stream Steam games and play them on TV. With a gamepad paired to your PC via Bluetooth, it’s time to have fun.
Download : Steam Link for Apple TV | Android TV (Free)
What’s the best way to stream PC games to TV?
While you have several options for streaming PC games to your TV, we think Steam is the most convenient way. This method is best suited if you’re on a budget and have a Smart TV, Apple TV, or Android TV box.
However, if you prefer to have full control over your hardware, building a Steam Link box with a Raspberry Pi would be more suitable.
While Miracast and Chromecast dongles are great for viewers, they’re not great for actual gaming because of the lag they introduce. Also, you can’t reliably stream Steam games to your TV with these devices.