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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!