UPDATE – Chrome has been updated to screen-cast without having to follow these steps below. Also, you may find that your settings don’t look like the settings below. Such is life with continuously updating software (it’s a GOOD thing).
If you have a smart TV hooked up to the internet, chances are there’s a YouTube app installed. It’s cool until you have to enter a keyword search or do any kind of browsing that is awkward and error-prone on a TV remote. The YouTube app on my Samsung TV addresses this problem beautifully by providing a screen that allows you to “Pair” your TV with a “Mobile Device” (See How-To video). I have an iPhone, and this worked OK, but more often than not I’ll be sitting on the couch with my laptop on my knee (you thought I was gonna say “lap” didn’t you), wishing it was ‘pair-able’ with my TV’s YouTube somehow. Problem is, if you try to go to youtube.com/pair on your laptop, they simply don’t allow you to pair up with your TV. Rats.
(Side note… ultimately, what I REALLY want is wireless screen sharing with my TV, or a seamless solution that makes my computer treat my smart TV like a second monitor, but so far, there does not appear to be such a thing without investing in additional hardware or using a direct HDMI cable connection. Side-side note: it’s fairly easy to share media files with your smart TV wirelessly by running a DLNA Media Server on your computer).
So back to pairing a laptop with YouTube on TV…
Open Chrome on your computer, then open the Developer tool bar.
When the Developer tools pane shows up, click on the little gear in the lower right hand corner:
The Settings pane will pop up, and you can click “Overrides” and check “User Agent”, setting the User Agent menu to something like “Android … Galaxy…” or some mobile device.
Now when you navigate your browser to YouTube.com/Pair, they will allow you to enter the code to pair your ‘device’ to your TV.
Once the laptop and TV are paired, click the TV icon (located in the upper right corner of the YouTube page in your laptop’s browser) to indicate that you want video to now play on the TV: