How to: Video Streaming Between PC and Android
Today’s smartphones, particularly those based on the Android platform, are media powerhouses, so it’s very likely that you have tons of photos and video clips you’d like to share with friends and family. But it can get pretty painful showing them off on your handset’s tiny screen. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could watch it on your laptop monitor or your large screen TV without having to transfer the files onto your PC? Getting a USB cable and hooking up your phone to your PC is tedious and time consuming. And what if you happen to be at a friend’s place and don’t have you USB cable with you? Moreover, you wouldn’t want to transfer your personal media onto someone else’s PC.
In this workshop, we will show you how you can stream video, photo or music from your mobile phone directly on to a desktop PC or laptop. All you need is a simple free Android app called VLC Direct, a media playback application called VLC Media Player on your PC, and the two connected to the same network. Download VLC Direct for free from Google Play. Download and install VLC on your PC from ‘www.videolan.org’. Connect the PC and the Android phone to a wireless router and you are ready to stream.
Start VLC Direct on your Android handheld. A small wizard will guide you through the process of configuring the video streaming necessities. Be careful because if you accidentally quit the application or press the back button on your phone, VLC Direct will exit and not show you the wizard again. In this case, you can press the Menu button, go to ‘Settings’, and select the ‘Automatic Connection Wizard’ to re-initiate the wizard.
Start your PC, connect it to a large screen LCD TV if you want to enjoy videos on a big screen. Start VLC Media Player on your PC. Click on ‘View | Add interface | Web interface’ and leave VLC Media player as it is.
On the mobile phone screen, select the ‘Start’ button and the VLC Direct app will start scanning for the machine with VLC Media Player on your local network. Once that is done, you will receive a toast message stating that it has found the player and the configurations have been set.
You are now ready to stream your media files onto your PC instantly. Using the Android handset, you can sit back and scroll through your list of videos, photos, or music files and watch play them back on the big screen. You can control the playback (stop, play, pause, forward or rewind) and the volume controls too. What’s more, you can also pull up the list of media files stored on the PC (running the VLC Media Player) and play those.
The VLC Direct interface includes playback control buttons, icons for video and music on your phone, a monitor icon for listing files available on the remote PC and the VLC icon for playlist. Towards the top-left of the screen, you will find an Android logo icon (target), which is a toggle button that can be used to direct the video stream to your PC from your handheld or from the PC to the handheld. The screenshots here will explain these buttons in detail.
Streaming media from the PC to the Android is pretty simple using the target button. Using this mood is beneficial as you don’t need to transcode or convert your video into compatible format for your Android device. You can also save on storage space on your phone by treating the PC as a media server. Streaming from your PC to the Android device can also be convenient when someone else is using the laptop and you’d like to assess media content on it.
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