PC Gaming on a living room TV

Years ago I had a Media Center (RIP) rig set up on my TV, but mostly used it as an expensive-but-flexible DVR, server, and viewer for photos, videos, and web stuff.

I just finished recabling my living room TV and having sold my Switch, I have an extra HDMI input available, and a pretty decent mid-range gaming laptop. (Asus Zephryrus M16, Core i9 11th gen and RTX 3060) Thought it might be fun to set up the PC and see about playing some PC games on the big screen.

My thoughts on setup:

  1. Gaming laptop
  2. Logitech K530 Bluetooth keyboard (currently using for Steam Deck text input)
  3. A pair of Xbox controllers (I have an extra wireless dongle somewhere, or there’s always BT)
  4. Run Steam Big Picture mode

TV is a 65" 4K OLED, but I’d probably game at 1080p given the lowish-end GPU in my laptop.

Anyone else have this kind of setup running with a TV? Curious as to any tips for getting the most out of it, ease of use, etc.

I had my gaming PC hooked up to my living room TV for years and I loved it. I still did M+K, as I’m not big on controllers and it was just great for me.

That’s pretty much been my set up for well over a decade now and it’s been a learning curve, but I love the difference after sitting at my desk all day in the office.

My biggest recommendation is to adjust your Windows text size/DPI so that your OS is easier to see and use from a distance. That used to do all kinds of funky stuff to certain windows and applications but it’s got much better over the years. I think it affects Steam so you might not have to use Big Picture if you’re using a mouse (but obviously with a controller Big Picture is the way to go).

Also check if your TV has a PC mode. This may allow you to select the RGB colour output in your Nvidia control panel which avoids chroma subsampling resulting in a sharper picture:

I do this! But in the basement, not the living room. It’s so great.

If Editer doesn’t mind, this is a good place for me to ask a question I’ve been wondering about.

Whenever I switch outputs from my desktop monitor to my LG TV, it defaults to 29Hz refresh rate. I have to use NVIDIA Control Panel to manually select 60Hz. Anyone know if I can set it up to avoid this step and have it default to 60Hz?

Also, is there a way to get higher refresh rates? 120Hz isn’t available in the drop down menu even though it seems my TV (“LG OLED C1 Series 77" Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV, 120Hz Refresh Rate”) and video card (NVIDIA RTX 3080) should support higher refresh rates. Any ideas?

(I struggled with similar issues a while back… couldn’t get HDR working on my TV, perhaps due to the HDMI cable and/or the length of it. It runs about 30 ft across the room and under the carpet.)

Ah, that’s likely to do with the HDMI cable not having the bandwidth. I bought one that was allegedly sufficient (48Gbps) and was mightily confused when I couldn’t get 120Hz (same card and an LG CX). I decided the cheapest thing to eliminate was the cable so I bought another that was ‘certified’ and voila, all my problems were sorted. 120Hz, RGB/4:4:4, 10 bit colour and HDR. I hope this helps!

Welcome to the ‘why doesn’t this PC game have controller support?’ brigade! :)

Seconded! Windows auto-set my DPI to 300% on the couch, and it works well. I don’t use big picture, but do use a couch keyboard as well as controller.

As geggis said, it’ll be the cable. 30ft/9m is very long, you might need a fibre optic one for that distance (very expensive).

Good tip! Thanks. Looks like 5 meters is the longest certified cable they have. I wonder if I could make that work diagonally across the floor. Or check other vendors for a longer certified cable.

I really should buy a smaller case to stick my older system with the 2080 in, and hook that up to the tv. IIf I was going to do that I would probably want try something like a Couchmaster CYCON² to use keyboard and mouse.

I’ve thought about something like that (as you do really want a mouse option as well as controller on the couch). You probably only need it if you want to play mouse-driven FPS or competitive games.

But for just futzing about the OS, browsing QT3, etc I use a K830 ‘couch keyboard’, as it has a built-in trackpad. For playing actual mouse-driven games (mostly slower strategy games), I have a Keychron keyboard that I rest on my lap, and a QcK cloth mousepad on the couch next to me, they work great.

Okay, how expensive? I started researching prices and options and I’m overwhelmed.

(Sorry again to Editer for gunking up your thread! I’ll start a new one if my tangent keeps going.)

I’ve had both types, but only 5m. The fibre optic one was over 2x the price. Beautifully thin though, versus the chunky braided alternative!

Would this maybe work? 15 meters?

Theoretically, but hard to say definitively as ‘certified’ is no real guarantee. :)

There are 4 reviews on that page for the 15m variant saying it works, and 2 saying it doesn’t. But Amazon lets you return pretty easily hey.

I found an upgrade to the iBirdie cable I’m currently using. It seems to check all the boxes and it’s pretty cheap at $50.

Think I’ll go for it!

Reading the reviews, it sounds like the 32ft cable may need USB power support. Might need a USB hub too!

Yeah that’s why fibre optic is generally better option for longer distance. Thin, nothing else needed, simple. But good luck!

But I thought it was fiber optic!

Oh sorry, yes it is - I see now, if you select ‘32 ft’ it changes to the fibre optic one. :)

I’ll report back on my findings when it arrives this Saturday. Thanks y’all!

Oh wait, I’m not sure that one has the modern audio channel support. It says ‘Audio Return: ARC’ instead of eARC. Which if accurate means no Atmos or uncompressed surround sound, if you’re set up for that.

Here's a pic I found

Hmm, thanks for the info. I typically use wireless headphones or the LG TV speakers with this set up. So maybe ARC vs. eARC won’t be a problem for me?

I used to use Dolby Atmos for headphones but the bluetooth in my new PC doesn’t cooperate with my Sony WF-1000XM3 headphones. It won’t stay connected past about two feet of range for some reason that I couldn’t solve. All my other bluetooth devices work fine. My work-around is to just pair the headphones with the TV instead of the PC.