When connecting the computer to the television there are different methods that we can use. The quality and comfort of the different routes depends entirely on the type of connection, which can be through a cable or through the WiFi connection in our home. The good news is that Windows 10 has different options that allow us to duplicate the computer screen on the TV wirelessly and without resorting to third-party applications. But what is really the best method to connect the computer to the TV? We have tested all the options on a computer with Windows 10 and a Samsung TV and we will tell you below which is the best.
HDMI cable, no signal delays but limited by the cable itself
Probably the simplest and most direct connection is based on HDMI cables. Today, practically all computers and televisions have this connection and it will only require an HDMI cable to make it effective.
Once we have connected the computer to the television, Windows will allow us to configure the image of the latter so that it is duplicated with respect to the image shown on the computer. We can also use the TV as a secondary monitor. The advantage of using a television as a support monitor is that we can use the extended Windows desktop , allowing us to drag program windows between the two screens.
Outside of these options, the biggest advantage of the HDMI connection lies in the picture and sound quality. To give us an idea, version 2.1 of the HDMI standard allows us to enjoy 4K resolution at 120 FPS with a 5.1 sound channel . Older versions of this standard allow us to reach 4K resolutions with 30 and 60 FPS and a smaller number of channels.
Windows 10 Projector function, the most comfortable option if we don't want cables
Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has included a function called Projector that allows us to duplicate the computer image on any compatible device. The requirement to make this connection effective is that both devices must be connected to the same WiFi network. Likewise, the television must be compatible with the DLNA standard, information that we can consult in the equipment specifications. It should be noted that some TV models require manual activation of this feature through the system settings . It has not been our case on a Samsung television.
On this basis, activating the Projector function is as simple as pressing the Windows and P keys at the same time . We can also access the side notifications panel and click on the homonymous option. Next, a window similar to the one shown below will be displayed:
Before selecting the type of projection (PC screen only, Duplicate, Enlarge…) we will have to click on the option Connect to a wireless projection to synchronize the PC with the television . Finally we will select the desired projection. The image will automatically be broadcast on the screen to which we have connected.
The limitations that we find with this type of connection start from the image quality and the delay time. Although the television resizes the resolution of the monitor, the final quality will not correspond to the native resolution of the television . As for the signal delay, although it has not been very high in our tests, it does not allow us to use this method to play wirelessly.
Chromecast, Fire TV or Apple TV, same dog (and same problems) with different collar
Another option that we can use to connect the computer to the television is to use external devices. The best known today are Chromecast, Fire TV and Apple TV. The difference between all these in terms of quality is practically negligible.
To connect the equipment to any of these devices we will have to proceed in different ways. In the case of Chromecast, just go to Google Chrome and then click on the Cast icon that we can see in the top bar . We can also right click on any part of a web page and then select the Send content option.
Connection via this method is even easier than the Windows Projector function. Being compatible with practically any device, we can duplicate the image of phones, tablets and computers regardless of the operating system .
Again, the limitations of connecting through WiFi are born from the quality of the content and the signal delay. Our tests have shown us that the latency is much higher than the latency obtained with the previous method . The quality, however, is similar. Unfortunately we cannot convert the TV screen into a secondary monitor, with all the advantages that this entails.
So what is the best method?
The conclusions we draw after trying to connect through three ways are clear. If our use is limited to watching movies and series and browsing web pages and platforms such as YouTube, Netflix or HBO, the most comfortable option is to use the Windows Projector function . The most comfortable and the most economical, since we will not have to resort to cables or external devices.
If we are going to make the television a secondary monitor, either to play online games or to reproduce content in its maximum image and audio quality, the most feasible option is to use an HDMI cable or any connection compatible with the output image and sound . DisplayPort, USB 3.1… Not only will we obtain the highest quality, they will also allow us to configure the projection of the image to our liking. To this is added the possibility of exploiting the quality of the sound systems connected to the television. The most advanced standards are compatible even with 7.1 systems.