How to Pair YouTube to a TV
By David Weedmark
If your smart TV or game console is connected to the same network as your computer, tablet or smartphone, you can pair YouTube on your device to your TV screen. Once connected, any videos you select on your device will stream directly to your TV. For the first several seconds, the video quality won't be very good but YouTube will quickly adjust its feed to accommodate the larger screen rather than the small screen of a mobile device.
Getting Your TV Pairing Code
Before you can pair a mobile device or computer to your TV, you need to get a pairing code from YouTube on the TV. To get this code, launch the YouTube app on any smart TV that supports Google Play, an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. If your TV has a Web browser you can also go to YouTube's TV site (link in Resources). After you select "Settings" and then select the "Pair Device" option, the pairing code is displayed on the TV screen.
Pairing from a Mobile Device
To pair YouTube on a mobile device with your TV, the device must first be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your TV. Once it's connected, you can launch the YouTube app on your tablet or smartphone or navigate to YouTube's mobile site in a Web browser (link in Resources). Tap the "Menu" button, which looks like three vertical lines, and then tap "Settings," where you will find a "Connect to TV" or "Connected TVs" button. Tap this button and then enter the pairing code displayed on the TV.
Pairing From a Computer
Normally the YouTube mobile website won't work on a computer because YouTube rejects it as a mobile device. However, if you have the Chrome Web browser you can make it behave as if it was running on a tablet or smartphone. To do this, you need need to enable Chrome's Developer Tools ("Ctrl-Shift-I") and then change the "User Agent" in the "Overrides" section to any mobile device like an Android or Galaxy phone. This makes Chrome behave as if it were a mobile browser, allowing you access the YouTube mobile site. You can now pair YouTube in Chrome to your TV.
Once your computer, smartphone or tablet is paired to YouTube on your TV, you will see a blue "TV" icon at the top of the device's YouTube screen. If you tap the "Play" button the video will automatically stream to the TV. If you want to stop streaming, tap the "TV" icon, which changes its color to gray. If you want to watch several videos in a row, tap the "Add to Queue" option before playing the videos. They will be played in the order you added them to the queue when you press the "Play" button. Pressing "Pause" will pause the video on the TV but you can use other apps or accept phone calls on the device without affecting the stream.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.