How to watch YouTube on your TV (for free or cheap)

This has come up a few times, so I thought I’d write this down:

There are interesting, longer videos to watch on YouTube, but you don’t want to sit in front of your computer or on your phone for an hour. What do you do?

Get some hardware:
The good news is that you have some really great, easy, and mostly inexpensive options for hardware:

  • Xbox/Xbox One – if you already have one, then install the YouTube app
  • Roku – $49 plugs into an HDMI port on your TV, runs off Wi-Fi, and just install the YouTube app
  • Amazon Fire TV – $39 plugs into an HDMI port on your TV, runs off Ethernet, and install the YouTube app

At this point, you have some sort of internet-connected device connected to your TV – if you don’t have an Xbox, then the cheapest answer is the FireStick at $39 (no subscriptions or anything – just a one time cost).


Browsing for content:
This is a good start! You can search or browse for content, however there are gazillions of videos on YouTube. Besides, you set this up because you wanted to watch something from an e-mail that your friend sent you. What do you do then? How do you get video links from your computer to these TV-connected devices?

“Pair” your device with your computer (without logging in):
All of the YouTube device apps have the ability to “pair” with a computer. That is, you can link the YouTube viewer in your browser with the device that is hooked to your TV. That means that you can “send” a video to stream on your TV with one of your streaming devices.

If you are like me, you think: “Ugh. I don’t want to have to log in, and have creepy-stalker YouTube tracking everything I watch!”

Well, I don’t know if they still do that, but you do NOT have to log in!

You do NOT have to log into YouTube on your TV nor in your browser.

When you “pair” a device with your browser, that code is the only thing that links it. To start, go to: 


As you can see from the directions on the screen, go into the app on your Roku, Fire TV, or XBox and go get the code. Put it in here to register it. From now on, in that browser – when you play a video, you have the option to watch it on your other device:


If you want to queue up things to watch, in your browser on the computer, navigate to another video and you’ll see this:


So, you can queue up multiple things to watch.

With YouTube increasingly becoming a VERY useful source of information, documentaries, webcasts, and even high-quality entertainment shows – it’s necessary for it’s success that you can watch YouTube on your TV somehow. As you can see above, you can do that likely with the hardware you have – or with a small purchase for a Fire TV or Roku.

(Shameless Plug) Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here:

Enjoy watching YouTube on your TV!

Posted in Computers and Internet, General, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers

%d bloggers like this: