So as you duders may or may not know I have been posting on this forum about upgrading my PC and asking specific PC games I should buy. Now I need to know is hooking up the PC a good idea and what are some advantages? If you need some of my background I am a console gamer and probably always will be I love being able to play from my bed. (My place does not have a living room). Right now I have my PC hooked up to my monitor on a computer desk and about 10 feet away I have my consoles hooked up to my Samsung TV. I do not own any laptop or tablet only the desktop and with my budget I do not plan on getting any of those devices anytime soon. I do have a smartphone Droid Bionic which is a bit dated but for watching youtube and browsing the internet is "okay". I watch Netflix & Amazon on my PS3 and I do not have cable TV I just watch what ever episodes streamed the day after they come out. My girlfriend who currently does not live with me likes movies and does watch network TV. I do not plan on playing any shooting games I do not like them at all besides Metal Gear and Uncharted which even Uncharted is meh. Do not know if that is too much or not enough info.
PC Gaming on TV
I really enjoy gaming on my tv, that being said my couch is about the same distance away and I find the print a little small on my 42" from that distance so quite often I'll push my couch up to about 3 feet away and play laying sideways.
I only use it for controller based games as the wireless mouse and key board don't work to well, but my monitor is still hooked up on my desk in the bedroom(computer is directly against the wall behind the tv so I ran an hdmi cable through the wall.
Modern HDTVs are "plug and play" and graphics cards can handle all of these TVs as a graphics display so the question of "Does it work?" is moot. I have a PC on one of the inputs of my TV so I can watch Dota 2 where as far as the PC and game are concerned there isn't anything special or unusual about what it is displaying through.
I'm not sure I'd play a keyboard + mouse game on a living room TV but I would play something like Transistor with wireless controller a TV and for sure it is a stellar way to watch streaming stuff off of Twitch but your TV may have that already.
Think one of the biggest advantages will be able to play on a TV at 1080 res at 60 frames a sec. Its a fairly straight forward affair all you need is perhaps a longer-than-usual HDMI cable to hook it up with. the image quality in comparison to the consoles will probably be quite surprising to you at first, it was for me when I hooked up mine to my TV. I think for situations you are expressing in your post like "playing from your bed" a wireless 360 might be best for your PC and just load up Steam Big Picture then you don't need to use mouse and keyboard again really unless you just happen to run into a game that doesn't have controller support which is rare now.
If you have a modern TV and graphics card you can hook up an HDMI cable to your TV and it will have both sound and video from your computer. If you have an XBOX or Playstation 3/4 controller (XBOX is plug and Play but the Playstation controller will require some work. You can still get it to work with a computer, though) you can play PC games on a TV much like a console. Steams big picture mode is made for these kinds of setups.
The thing you will run into is a lot of games on PC are not designed to be played this way. If you have a decent HD tv then text should be fine, but a lot of input will require a keyboard and mouse (such as getting to steam or operating your OS) which big picture mode often cannot account for. I actually think this will be an upside to Steam OS whenever that gets officially released.
It can be a little bit of a hassle, but with some finagling once you're in a game it should be fine assuming the game is fine with your controller (most modern games are but older games are going to be a crap shoot).
My PC desk is close to my TV so I invested in a long HDMI cable so I can switch between TV and monitor. That way you can still have the lean back experience on the couch with a gamepad and the lean forward experience with a Keyboard + Mouse. Most games that are designed around a controler has pretty good support on PC in the last couple of years.
I would not recommend trying to use a keyboard on a couch, it never feels controllable to me. For gamepads, I would recommend the 360 Wireless controller for Windows. It comes with the wireless receiver that plugs into the PC and it's the easiest way to use a wireless controller on PC, especially multiple xbox controllers if you are playing a local multiplayer.
I've used Steam Big Picture mode recently and it's much more stable than last year.
So yes, I think hooking up a PC to a TV for gaming is awesome and you should totally do it.
I've got my gaming PC hooked up in my front room to a 50" plasma after ditching consoles and I love it.
Initially I thought I'd only use Big Picture Mode and a controller but I use the standard Steam client and use a wireless keyboard and mouse comfortably.
I've found a few strategy games don't cater for this scenario with the UI but I feel it's getting better and these are now in the minority. So I say go for it, you won't regret it.
I used to be able to run an HDMI from my desktop computer to my living room 50" HDTV and it was pretty awesome. I used to love sitting in there with Steam Big Picture just playing games and still being able to chat with my friends (albet in a slower manner).
Now my desktop is upstairs though, so the only way I'll ever be able to do that again is when I can get my hands on a cheap Steam Stream Machine for the livingroom. That, or when I get a new GPU I can limelight to my Raspberry Pi.
Ugh. I went down this road. And as a result my pc has been a mainstay in my living room since about 2011 (girlfriend included).
What I did was just start using XBMC with an xbox360 controller to use it. This worked pretty well. HBO Go didn't work. Netflix was wonky because I had to write a script that would Windows Media Center and run Netflix there - in addition to having to map certain controls to Joy2Key because Media Center doesn't like xbox controllers. However, I was able to load all my local media from my NAS and play all files FLAWLESSLY! Which is something that I wasn't able to do without my Boxee Box. Steam also was able to be loaded up from XBMC and using Big Picture mode I was able to play ALL my steam games with no problems. Just had to enable vsync and make sure there were options to use a controller.
However, I got tired of having my PC on to do ANYTHING. That included watching Netflix, HBO Go and just regular local files that I've obtained one way or another. It was at this time that I decided to use my PC only for games and find another solution for my media. I ended up going with AppleTV, which lets me use my iPhone, or my girlfriend iPad to shoot video to the TV using Airplay. It's pretty amazing. However, if you are an Android guy, or just want something cheaper, you can go with ChromeCast - which will allow you to do the same thing.
All in all I realized that the "all in one" model is not for me. I rather have my PC just boot straight into Steam Big Picture and let me play games from there. It's also much much easier to teach the girlfriend to use a simple remote to watch Netflix or HBO Go rather than having to navigate through XBMC and hope my script doesn't fail for one reason or another...
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