I just got the newly released Steam Link and it seems to work extremely well for games, but what I also wanted to use it for was more broadly streaming anything on my PC to my living room. And though it's not entirely obvious, it works great for that as well!
So here is how you do it:
- Connect the TV via Steam Link as normal
- Hit Alt-Esc (or less preferred Alt-Tab) on your TV-connected keyboard (I can't find any way to do it via mouse alone)
- Voila*, you should now be at the desktop!
*Seeing a super short, super wide desktop? You are running multiple desktops aren't you? No problem. Press Windows-P (on your Link-connected keyboard, or your desktop one) to invoke the projector friendly config, and select "PC Screen Only" (it's the top item, in case you can't read the screen). Done!
The performance is excellent for desktop as well, though it "feels" less amazing than games, which is either my imagination or something to do with the kind of compression.
Fantastic deal for ~$50.