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I have a collection of .mkv files stored on my PC's hard drive that I'd like to watch on my laptop (without having to transfer any files) so I can keep working on my PC while watching them. Both are connected to my home network via wifi. Is there some kind of software that can do this?

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Download and Install VLC Media Player

Computer

  • Open VLC Player, Click the Media menu in VLC and select Stream.
  • In the Open Media dialog, select the media you want to stream. You can choose single or multiple files to stream.
  • Once added, click the Stream button.
  • The Stream Output window will appear, click next to continue.
  • From destination setup windows, choose the destination for your stream.
  • After selecting a destination, click on the add button.
  • You will hear or watch the media being streamed on your computer, so it's playing correctly.
  • After that specify a custom path in HTTP or leave it for the default and click next.
  • Now Option Setup will appear, leave rest of the setting and click on the stream. (If you select Display locally option, then the media will start playing locally on your computer).

Laptop:

  • Now open the VLC on your laptop, Click Media then Open Network Stream.
  • Enter address, i.e., http://IP-Address:8080. If you specified the custom path in the previous step on PC then http://IP-Address:8080/path
  • Now Click on Play Button, the stream should start playing.

If VLC doesn't stream and you encounter an error, consider following;

  • Make sure you are connected with the same network.
  • Make sure that VLC is not blocked by the Firewall.
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A similar, but simpler way to use VLC.

  • Open the playlist window [should do this by default]
  • Navigate to the remote folder where your movie is.
  • Drag it to the playlist window on your local machine.
  • Play.

You may need to tweak the amount of buffering VLC does in order to play smoothly. On Mac that's in Prefs > Input/codecs > Default Caching Level.

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