How to Connect Laptop to a Television Screen
Sesh wants to watch YouTube videos and web photos on his large TV screen and is wondering if there’s an easy way to connect the laptop computer to the TV.
Well, there are several ways to connect your computer to a Television depending on what ports are available on your PC and your TV (we used an HP Windows computer and a Sony Bravia HDTV for this example).
Step 1: Most computers have an S-Video port that can be connected to the S-Video input of your TV screen using a very cheap S-Video cable (this cable is round with 4 or 7 pins). If you have an older monitor, you can use the 15-pin VGA cable to connect the computer to the TV and it will offer better picture quality than the S-Video cable.
The newer HDTVs and laptop computers have DVI ports so a DVI Male to Male Cable or DVI to HDMI Adapter Cable can be used to hook the computer display and the TV. The DVI to HDMI cable can be used when your HDTV doesn’t have an DVI port but does have an HDMI port.
Step 2: Now that you have connected the computer to the TV using a physical cable, you need another cable to transmit the sound as all the above cables only transmit the video but not the audio part.
You need a 3.5mm Mini Plug to RCA Cable Stereo to connect the audio line out from a notebook to your TV. The red cable connector goes into the red socket of your TV, black connector into the black socket while the black connector goes into the 3.5mm headphone jack of your computer.
Step 3: Open the “display settings” on your Windows computer and activate the output to the TV screen. You can either mirror content of your computer on the TV or extend the display just like a dual monitor screen.
If you are using Windows 7, press the keyboard shortcut Windows + P to quickly access the display settings or search for “Connect to External Display” in the Windows Run box.
Step 4: Pick up your TV remote and switch to “External Inputs” from the menu. You will need to change the default “Video 1” to a different selection which may be “HDMI 1” or “Video 2” depending on how you have made the connection.
Important: Make sure that you connect the physical cable to the TV before turning on the computer as sometimes it may fail to recognize external display. You may also need to change the screen resolution of your TV using the Display settings in your Control Panel else the picture may sometimes appear distorted.
Related: How to Connect a TV to an iPod
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.