How to Connect Your Laptop to Your Television

Tired of squinting over your laptop? There are several ways to turn a big-screen TV into your new computer monitor and enjoy video games, web content, and photos like never before.

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It doesn't matter if you're a Mac or PC, we've got laptop buying and maintenance tips for everyone in these Howcast videos, like how to fix a stuck laptop key, how to clean a laptop screen, and how to connect your laptop to your television.

You Will Need

  • A laptop
  • A digital television
  • A male-to-male video cable of one of the following types:
  • S-Video
  • VGA 15-pin
  • DVI
  • DVI-to-HDMI
  • A mini-to-RCA audio cable
  • A PC-to-TV converter box
  • A mini-DVI-to-VGA or mini-DVI-to-DVI adapter for Macs

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Connect with S-Video

    First, connect a video cable – you've got several choices. For PC users, an easy option is an S-Video cable. Most PCs and digital televisions are equipped with an S-Video port.

  2. The ends of S-Video cables usually feature either four or seven pins and pinholes. Check your TV and laptop ports to make sure they match.

  3. Step 2

    Connect with VGA

    If you have an older HDTV, try a VGA cable, which produces better picture quality and works with both Macs and PCs. To connect, turn off your laptop and your TV. Find the trapezoid-shaped VGA outlets on the TV and on your laptop. Once you're connected, power everything back on.

  4. Macs need a DVI- or mini-DVI-to-VGA adapter to connect the VGA cable.

  5. Step 3

    Connect with DVI

    You can also connect with a DVI video cable. A DVI connection is a step above VGA in picture quality, but only newer computers and HDTVs come with DVI ports. Connect as with a VGA cable.

  6. Some Macs require a mini-DVI-to-DVI adapter for DVI connections.

  7. Step 4

    Connect with HDMI

    If your HDTV doesn't have a DVI connector, use a cable that is HDMI on one end, and DVI on the other to connect to your laptop.

  8. Step 5

    Connect audio

    Hook up the audio. After you've connected your laptop to the TV via video cable, connect the mini-to-RCA cable from your computer’s headphone jack to your TV.

  9. Step 6

    Use a wireless converter

    A final PC option is to go wireless, using a converter box and the software that comes with it. Using a VGA cable, plug the box into your TV and install the software onto your computer. The box will then convert your computer's VGA signal to the TV, and transfer both video and audio.

  10. Step 7

    Adjust display settings

    If you have a PC, go to the Control Panel and adjust the display settings to accompany double display on both your monitor and TV set. Mac laptops should automatically adjust for double display. If yours doesn't, go to System Preferences, click on Display, and then Detect Displays.

  11. Step 8

    Find your laptop

    Click your TV's video source – usually a button called "input" or "TV/Video" on your remote – until your laptop comes up. You're set!

  12. According to one industry prediction, by 2015 the average European household TV will measure a whopping 60 inches.

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