The aim of this blog is to provide a simple and easy guide on connecting a laptop to a TV. Despite the wide range of connectivity options available on laptops these days, the process of connecting the two is very simple and straightforward.
Firstly take a close look at the ports provided on the laptop and TV. The most common port standard on all HDTVs is the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). If your laptop doesn’t have this connection, then you can buy an adaptor to get over this hurdle.
If you are not yet the owner of an HDTV, then for a standard TV a VGA cable will be your best bet. It is unlikely that a good quality VGA cable will be supplied with a standard TV, so this may again need to be sourced from the local store. A standard TV will also require a separate audio connection.
Invariably, the easiest way to connect your laptop and TV is through an S-video cable. Cheap, easy to source and to use, check firstly to see if a 4-pin or 7-pin cable is required. Other possible cable choices could be Digital Video Interface [DVI], seen on all computer monitors for some time now or lastly a RCA/ Composite cable which has the three coloured connections.
Once the laptop and TV are connected, the next step is to select the required input; in the same way you would connect a gaming console. The inputs are usually called AV1 or AV2. There should be a button on your remote control which will take you through the different inputs which will resemble a rectangle with an arrow through it. Once these are selected, the resolution settings can be adjusted to obtain the best quality picture.
A common problem at this stage of proceedings is finding that no sound is forthcoming. Invariably, the solution here is to connect the headphones socket on the laptop to an RGB Audio In socket on the TV using a suitable cable.
Aside from playing games, showing photos, media clips and images, the laptop TV connection can of course be used for tasks such as writing documents and spreadsheets. Sitting on your favourite sofa while preparing a giant spreadsheet on a state of the art HDTV can be a strangely satisfying experience!