I want the same functionality one gets when connecting a TV and a laptop using a HDMI cable, but wirelessly. I have a Samsung Series 6, Smart TV and want to mirror my Windows 7 PC's video and audio output to the TV without an HDMI cable. If I play a movie in VLC, I should see and hear it on the TV as well. Can anyone help me?
You have a number of options for doing this, but I think the cheapest may be to use a $35 Chromecast. According to this site full desktop sharing is a beta feature of Chromecast:
How to setup desktop screen sharing to Chromecast?
The setup of desktop screen sharing is very simple and straightforward. You do not need any additional software or hardware.
In Chrome browser, click the Google Cast button, you will see the available Chormecasr devices in your network as shown below.
You can click the arrow icon in the right. The options will be shown as:
Cast current tab. This is the default. The Chromecast tab will be cast to Chromecast.
Cast entire screen (experimental). This will share the desktop screen, not just a Chromecast tab, to Chromecast.
Audio mode. This will only send audio output to Chromecast. The screen or Chrome tab will not be shared.
You can click “Cast entire screen (experimental)” to start the desktop screen sharing.
Of course, before sharing the desktop screen with the Chromecast device, there is a warning message letting you know that Google cast wants to share the screen and audio output (with Chromecast). You must click “Yes” to approve the screen sharing.
Once the desktop screen is shared to Chromecast, Google cast will indicate the screen is being captured and played on the Chromecast device.
At the same time, a notification of “Google cast is sharing your screen” will be shown on your desktop.
Now, the the desktop screen and audio is shared to Chromecast. You should be able to enjoy the video or music on your TV.
There are other options specifically designed for wireless screen sharing, like Intel WiDi. However, your computer must support it and the TV may need an adapter. This page has a good list of other alternatives.
What you describe is only offered by Miracast. Miracast allows you to mirror or extend the screen, just like using a HDMI cable would. DLNA and Chromecast do not offer what you are asking for, and they are described in detail by other answers.
The huge disadvantage of Miracast is that it requires hardware support. It's supported by probably all Windows devices released in 2014, and many devices released earlier. The only reasonable way to get it to Work on a Windows 7 computer is to go through Intel WiDi, which supports Miracast. If your hardware allows you to install the free Intel WiDi software* on your PC, you can use it to connect to a Miracast Receiver. Miracast receivers are built into modern TVs (I think series 6 doesn't have them yet), or they can be bought as separate devices. Common Miracast Receivers are the P2TV3000, Microsoft Miracast Receiver, and the Roku.
EDIT [22 Apr 2017]: Intel has made the decision to discontinue marketing and development of Intel® WiDi and Intel® Pro WiDi applications and related receiver certification program effective immediately. Now that the Miracast* standard is natively supported in the Microsoft Windows* 8.1 and 10 operating system for wireless display capabilities with strong user experience, Intel is redirecting its resources and focus to future areas of growth.
If your computer does not have the hardware to support Miracast, go with DLNA or Chromecast.
*Notice that there is a link to an older version of the software, for older chipsets, on that site.
If you are only interested in playing media files (video/music/pictures) through your TV, there are a few ways of doing this:
USB Hard Drive
You can copy/move your media files to a USB hard drive, and plug the USB HDD into your TV. It should simply appear under your TV's 'Input' or 'Source' menus.
All you have to do is browse to the file you want to play, and select it.
Using Windows Media Player as a DLNA/UPnP host
Windows 7 allows you to quickly set up your PC as a Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) server, which can be seen up by Smart TVs and other DLNA-capable devices on the network.
- Launch Windows Media Player (switch to Libraries view if necessary),
- Click the Stream drop-down menu at the top,
- Select the option Automatically allow devices to play my media.
Enabling this option essentially turns the PC into a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-compatible Digital Media Server.
Just be sure that you've either already organized your files into your My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders, or imported different locations of files into WMP.
To do so:
- Open WMP and switch to Libraries view if necessary.
- Click the Organize drop-down menu,
- Select Manage Libraries,
- choose Music, Pictures, or Videos.
A Library Locations window will open, in which you can add other folders simply by clicking the Add button and browsing to the folders.
If you're only interested in media you can set-up a media server on your PC. Then you could use your smart TV's browser to play media or an application.
You can use Samsung's software called Samsung Link.