Wireless Monitor
June 15, 2014 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Is there an adapter that would let Mac and PC laptops connect wirelessly to an external monitor? I don't own a TV, but I watch a lot of Netflix/Xfinity on my laptop. I have a large flatscreen monitor that sits unused on my desk. I'm thinking of positioning this monitor like a tv in my living room, but I don't want to haggle with cords every time I watch a show.

I've found a couple of adapters that seem to be made just for PCs. I use a Mac laptop most of the time, though occasionally I use a PC.

Ideally I'm hoping to find an adapter that would work for both. Does something like this exist?
posted by helloimjohnnycash to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does your mac/pc laptop have an HDMI port? If so, you could get a wireless HDMI extender. I've used these at work (to extend 1080p video + audio) from computers to remote devices and they've worked fine for me over about a 40ft range, line-of-sight.

If no HDMI port, not sure how challenging it is to find something that'll carry audio + video.
posted by Alterscape at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2014

The monitor is VGA. Sound isn't an issue. I'd either keep the laptop close by, or use external speakers. I'm just hoping to find a way to stream the video.
posted by helloimjohnnycash at 7:22 PM on June 15, 2014

If your external monitor has an HDMI port, you should try Chromecast from Google.

Its very cheap and very useful and you can use netflix with it.

Or else get an adapter from whatever port you have to HDMI and then get chromecast.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 7:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

there is a VGA to chromecast adapter for $10 ...
posted by TheLittlePrince at 7:23 PM on June 15, 2014

the chromecast+adapter setup is going to be the cheapest thing here. anything else specifically for general wireless video streaming as a general use monitor is going to cost at least double that.

with the "experimental" thing in chrome that lets you cast anything, you can play comcast video too.

The only real downside with that plan is that now you can't leave your headphones plugged into your laptop, but play video on the screen. you'll have to have speakers near the monitor, or come up with some other solution to get audio back out of that adapter and over to you.
posted by emptythought at 7:36 PM on June 15, 2014

If you use a mac laptop you should get an apple tv which you can use to put your desktop onto your TV. As a bonus it will also do netflix on its own.
posted by TimeDoctor at 8:51 PM on June 15, 2014

An AppleTv or Chromecast will do this. (On a PC you might need AirParrot)
posted by blue_beetle at 9:34 PM on June 15, 2014

Use an AppleTV and AirParrot for the PC; connect via built-in AirPlay for the Mac.

Don't use Chromecast; the screen broadcasting "feature" is in beta ("experimental") because the immense frame lag makes it unusable for even beaming static web browser images over, let alone streaming video and audio. I'm not even sure why they are allowed to advertise it as a feature when it simply doesn't work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Confirming Blazecock. Only use a Chromecast for streaming with apps that support it. Netflix does but I'm not sure about the Xfinity app.

Note I've never seen a device (including Apple TV's AirPlay or Chromecast's tab casting) that renders video on your laptop but plays wirelessly on your TV that does so in a performant manner. These tend to be "okay" for doing some sort of screen presentation but shitty for video.

I've not tried the wireless HDMI solution.
posted by bitdamaged at 6:20 AM on June 16, 2014

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