It's no secret we're inching ever closer toward ditching our cable or satellite television services in favor of Internet-only content consumption. With services such as Hulu and YouTube, the computer has become the video entertainment hub of the home. Getting that computer's desktop screen onto your television seems like the next natural evolution.
There are products out there that will download and display content on your television such as Apple TV and the Vudu BX100, but having the freedom of using your TV as your ultimate display is ideal. IOGear offers this solution in the form of the Wireless Audio/Video Kit for your PC. It may be expensive, but once set up, it's one of the easiest ways to get your TV to work as your computer's monitor.
Out of the box, the IOGear kit is a bit intimidating. Literally, more than a dozen wires, power adapters, and dongles need to be set in place for the system to work properly. Most of these accessories disappear after the initial process, and you should be able to hide most of them in your entertainment center. All this aside, IOGear provides you with everything you need (assuming you have an open VGA port on your TV).
First off, you'll want to install the IOGear software that will tell your computer to extend its desktop to another display. The process is painless and should complete within just a minute or two. A USB dongle with an antenna needs to be attached to your desktop or laptop to stream a signal to the display.
Somewhere near the back of your TV you'll have to place the video receiver--it's a small box with an antenna that requires power. It's only out-port is VGA (the kit also ships with a VGA to DVI adapter), so if your TV does not support those two interfaces, things get a bit fuzzy. You'll either need to purchase an expensive VGA-to-HDMI converter or another third-party device that will make the transition for you. Since VGA is an analog connection, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter won't work here. Luckily for us, our Samsung LCD TV had an open VGA port.
Once the rear video receiver is powered and connected to your TV (and you've attached your USB dongle to your computer), you should receive a video signal. The software in your Windows' system tray will offer various resolutions that can be displayed (up to 1,600x1,200 pixels). The quicker your machine, the easier time it'll have displaying larger resolutions. From that icon you'll also be able to choose the screen's orientation and whether you'd like it to mirror your computer's display.
Getting audio to work properly is an entirely separate process. First, you must connect the audio receiver to your computer via an included USB. This connection will install an audio driver onto the machine that will instruct the computer's audio to stream whenever that original USB dongle is attached. Confused yet? Fortunately, this is a one-time setup.