Any way to surf websites on my tv without a desktop/laptop pc?
February 11, 2017 2:33 PM   Subscribe

I would like to know is there a way to surf websites (not Netflix or Hulu) on my tv without a my bulky desktop/laptop computer? I got a bigger screen HDTV in living room and I would like to be able to browse news website, weather, and watch videos on my tv screen, just like on a computer. Is there a "box" that can do it?
posted by lanhan to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can get small HDMI general purpose low power computers now, like the computestick. If you don't care about having Windows, a Raspberry Pi is another good option.
posted by jzed at 2:46 PM on February 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh and you'd want a bluetooth keyboard / trackpad to go with that.
posted by jzed at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

With an HDMI cable, any computer could hook up to your tv. Until we got a Roku, we used to do this with my wife's laptop all the time. My mom used to have a $99 Asus netbook, and there are cheaper options than that even.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:04 PM on February 11, 2017

I use a Mac Mini, which is technically a desktop, but its size (7.7" x 7.7" x 1.4") is "box" like. You say you're trying to avoid bulkiness, and it's certainly not that. Do you specifically want something with an appliance-like interface? Something below a certain price point?
posted by mumkin at 3:09 PM on February 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can also recommend the Mac mini with a wireless keyboard and trackpad. It fits quite well under the TV with all the other boxes.
posted by panic at 3:57 PM on February 11, 2017

If you have an Android phone Chromecast lets you "project" your phone's screen to the TV. It works with all apps. It's easy to setup and only costs $30ish
posted by askmehow at 4:14 PM on February 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

Do you have internet otherwise? Is it wireless, or cabled?
How do you propose to control the screen?
Is this TV "smart"; that is, does it have built-in apps? Does it support screensharing?
posted by cyclicker at 4:46 PM on February 11, 2017

You can sideload Chrome on an Android TV box like the Xiaomi Mi Box or the NVidia Shield TV and use it just like you would on a phone, just using one of the controller sticks as a mouse instead of having a touchscreen. You can also plug in a wireless keyboard/mouse if you prefer to have one.

Either will also run Kodi and any app that works on Android TV to play Netflix, Hulu, etc. And they, like all things that run Android TV, work as a Chromecast, so you can screen share touchscreen games or whatever from your phone.
posted by wierdo at 7:21 PM on February 11, 2017

If you want a full-fledged computer, just without the form factor of a desktop or laptop, there are "home theater PCs" (HTPCs) that are designed to fit in with the receiver/cable box/disc player you might already have underneath the TV.
posted by lozierj at 10:05 PM on February 13, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you guys, seems a mini computer with wireless keyboard/mouse is the most flexible way.
posted by lanhan at 6:02 PM on February 24, 2017

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