Lazy way to play games on TV?
December 16, 2010 2:46 PM   Subscribe

A bunch of us nerds like to play PC games together on the living room television, but I'm getting tired of lugging my computer from the office to hook it up in the living room! What would be the easiest/cheapest way achieve the same results while leaving the PC in its place?

So we like playing pretty graphics-intensive games on the living room HDTV. I really dislike dismantling my heavy computer, hauling it next to the TV, plugging in the HDMI, and setting up the wired keyboard and mouse on the coffee table. I KNOW I'm doing this the hard way, but for the life of me I can't figure out any alternatives!

I have a laptop that's pretty decent, but of course it doesn't have the graphics-processing chops to play anything good. I was thinking there would be some sort of streaming application I could use to run the actual game on the beefy PC and display it on the laptop (hooked up the the tv) over my home network? I've seen a product called StreamMyGame, but the computer viewing the stream has to be running linux. This tells me that it's at least possible, just not without installing a different operating system!

So what would you suggest, Hive Mind?
posted by Willie0248 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Wireless HDMI with a wireless keyboard + mouse.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:49 PM on December 16, 2010

How far is the computer away from the TV? Is it too far to string video and USB cables? Monoprice usually has good prices.
posted by ODiV at 2:50 PM on December 16, 2010

Are you sure StreamMyGame isn't Windows compatible? "Our Player is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 and also with Linux including Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Debian and Xandros."

But this wouldn't be much different than VNC, and all the VNC problems apply...
posted by pwnguin at 2:55 PM on December 16, 2010

Onlive might work for you here, or as mentioned above wireless hdmi...
posted by iamabot at 2:57 PM on December 16, 2010

The cheapest and easiest way is for you guys to go to the computer and do your gaming there. (Assuming what you're talking about is a home-office.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:07 PM on December 16, 2010

Anything more than a hundred bucks or so and you're probably better off picking up a used Xbox 360 and going that route, frankly.
posted by Oktober at 3:27 PM on December 16, 2010

How far is your office? You could probably run HDMI up to 40-50ft, maybe more.

I know some engineers who use the following Teradici solution and swear by it. Basically you buy a card from them that hooks into your graphics card. It then streams out to a little paperback sized thin client that outputs video and gives you inputs for your keyboard / mouse. The setup is expensive, but you won't have any latency issues you'd have with VNC/RDP. You can run your games at full resolution and everything.
posted by geoff. at 3:27 PM on December 16, 2010

Where is the office compared to the living room? Next room over? Above the living room? Across the house? Second: how much do you want to spend or not spend?

If you have a short enough distance by wire, you could go through a wall or floor/ceiling and drop HDMI cables easily. HDMI cables don't have a specified maximum length, but 30-45 feet is commonly considered the limit before problems start occurring. You would want a wireless keyboard and mouse. Again, typical range is going to limit to around 30 feet for the strongest keyboards and mice.

If you are using the computer on the TV quite often... leave the TV in the living room and do office work on the laptop?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:34 PM on December 16, 2010

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