Best Way to Use Windows PC as Media Device for TV


The purpose of this topic is to discuss the best way to use a Windows PC connected to a TV in order to serve as if it were a box, with the proper tips/suggestions for best use, advantages/disadvantages, hardware comparison, etc...

windows powered tv.jpg

Pros & Cons of having Windows as a Media Device


1. No Limits (almost)

The computer is one of the most complete devices on the market, making it ideal for those who don't want an experience that might be compromised by a lack of features.

2. Complete Web Experience

When almost all services are available online, having access to all the features and customizations of Web access is a big plus.

3. Multitasking

The Windows interface makes it easy to have multiple programs/apps running simultaneously, and switch between them.

4. Gaming

Depending on the performance of your PC, this is always something you can enjoy.


1. Price

A computer is more expensive than other options on the market

2. User-Friendly

Dedicated options for Media devices, will be simpler and easier to use for users with less technical aptitude.




Configuration and Usage Tips

1. Use Windows 10

Currently, the Windows 10 interface is more intuitive to use on a TV.

2. A Windows installation, without an associated Microsoft account!

We are creating a "Media Device" and not a "Personal Computer", so the computer session should not be connected to any Microsoft account, just as it should not have an access password.

(You can then connect accounts for apps, such as Store, Xbox, etc.)

3. Use Tablet Mode (or full-screen Start Menu)

Tablet Mode basically makes the user use the Start Menu as a "home screen", thus avoiding the desktop. In addition, it adds a back button to the taskbar and allows a simple split screen interface.

If you don't like Windows Mode, use the Start Menu in full screen.

3.1 Customizing the Start Menu

Here is the "secret" of making the Windows interface very appealing to all kinds of users.

A good Start Menu will make navigation easy and appealing.

(there are some programs that help customize the Tiles, and thus improve their appearance)

3.2 Choosing the right resolution and scale

Taking into account the size of the television and the distance you are going to be from it, you should go to Settings > Screen and change the scale of the size of the text and applications... For example, 150% if you are close, 200% if you are further away. Choose the one you find most comfortable.

4. Suspend instead of Shutdown

This way Windows starts up very quickly. (I shut it down 1x a week maybe, to update)

5. Use (and abuse) Picture-in-Picture

Have you ever wanted to watch 2 soccer games at the same time?!
Enable Picture-in-Picture mode in Edge or Chrome and you can.

6. A wireless keyboard with trackpad

A wireless Keyboard with Trackpad will be a great command. I use the Microsoft All In One Media Keyboard, but there are more options...

There are also options like "Remote Control" that work in Windows, but I've never tried it.