How to Connect a Laptop to a TV

Introduction

Laptop connected to TV.
Maybe you want to show someone a funny video that got you laughing, some photos from your latest vacation, watch a movie or a sports game from your laptop. You don't have to crunch over and huddle around your laptop, but you can instead enjoy all that on your big screen TV.

When it comes to connecting your laptop to your TV, you've got a number of options to pick from and this guide will present them to you.

 

? How do you want to connect your laptop to the TV?

  1. I want to connect using a cable
  2. I want to connect using a wireless adapter
  3. I want to cast my screen wirelessly

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Laptop connected to TV.
Maybe you want to show someone a funny video that got you laughing, some photos from your latest vacation, watch a movie or a sports game from your laptop. You don't have to crunch over and huddle around your laptop, but you can instead enjoy all that on your big screen TV.

When it comes to connecting your laptop to your TV, you've got a number of options to pick from and this guide will present them to you.

 

Display devices can be attached to a computer through a variety of connection types. The most commons are the ones shown below:
Diplay socket and plug types.

  1. Find the connection type on the back on your display device.
  2. Find a matching cable for it and plug one end into the back of the computer and the other end into the back of the display device.
  3. If necessary, connect the power cable into the display device and a power source.
  4. Once you power on the display device, make sure you select the input source that matches the connection type. Refer to your devices documentation for details on how to make that selection.

Only the newer HDMI or DisplayPort connection types pass audio as well. If your computer has one of the older video connection ports, you will need to connect an audio cable as well to pass sound to your display device:

  1. Acquire an audio cable with a 3.5mm jack on both ends.
    Audio cable with 3.5mm jacks.
  2. Connect one end of the audio cable into your computers audio output and the other end into your display device's audio input.
    Audio output port pointed out on side of laptop.

    Refer to your display device's documentation if you're unsure if it has such an audio input port or where it's located.

If your display device's video input port doesn't match the computers video output port or you just simply want an alternate way of connecting the two, you can always use video adapter that converts signals from one type of connector to another type.

Video adapter shapes and sizes vary greatly. You may need to have extra cables to be able to establish a connection.

If your computer doesn't have any of the standard video ports, you can also use a USB to video adapter:

  1. Find out what type of USB connector your computer has, Type A or Type C.
    Type A and Type C USB ports pointed out on MacBooks.
  2. Acquire an adapter that matches your computers USB port and display device's video input port then connect the two devices together.
    USB-C video adapter.

Wireless Video Adapter Kit.
If connecting your computer to a TV using a cable isn't practical or convenient, you can opt for a wireless video adapter kit. This will essentially connect the two devices using the same audio/video ports you would use when connecting a cable between them. The computer needs to be connected to the wireless transmitter, whereas the display device needs to be connected to the wireless receiver.

Wireless video adapter kits vary in shape, size and connectivity. Refer to the computer's and display device's documentation to ensure you match the audio/video output and input ports they have.

 

There are a few ways to cast a computer's screen to a display device wirelessly. The most common technologies used to accomplish this are the following:

  • Miracast, which is basically HDMI over Wi-Fi, is a technology intended to replace the cable between a device and it's display. It can be an included feature in many latest generation PCs and display devices or it can be attached to a display device in the form of an HDMI dongle.
  • Google Cast is a similar technology that is available in HDMI dongles that can be attached to display devices and are called Chromecast, or it's available in certain audio/video devices under the "Chromecast built-in" name.
  • AirPlay is yet another similar technology available in Apple products and a variety of audio devices. To cast a Mac computer's screen to a display device you will need to have an Apple TV attached to the display device.

Casting a computer's screen over AirPlay, requires the Mac computer and Apple TV to be connected to the same network. Miracast and Google Cast do not have this requirement.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave
To better assist you, please answer this question.

If your computer is running Windows 10 with all the latest updates installed, you can use the built-in Connect app to allow other devices to stream to it.

Please ensure that your computer is connected to the same network as your streaming device and that your computer is running Windows 10 with all available Windows Updates installed (Windows 10 Anniversary Update is required).

  1. Tap the Windows logo on the lower left-hand corner of your computer.
    Windows 10 start menu icon.
  2. Type "Connect" in the search box. Launch Connect.
    Windows 10 search box results.
  3. The app will be showing on your screen.
    Windows 10 connect app.

    If your Windows 10 device does not support this feature, you will be told so.

    Windows 10 connect app unsupported message.
  4. To connect your device, click on the Action Center icon.
    Windows 10 system tray action center icon.
  5. On the menu that pops up, click the Connect button.
    Windows 10 action center menu highlighting the connect icon.
  6. Your machine will begin searching for devices.
    Windows 10 connect app searching screen.
  7. Select your device from the list once it has been found.
    Windows 10 connect app available devices list.
  8. Windows will attempt to make the connection. Your device may require you to input a PIN code for the sake of security during the connection process. Follow any instructions you may get.
    Windows 10 connect app attempting to connect to a device.
  9. Your device should now be connected successfully.
    Windows 10 connect app connection status screen.
  1. Connect the computer and Chromecast device to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Launch the Chrome Browser.
    Google Chrome icon.
  3. Open the Chrome menu and select Cast.
    Cast option highlighted in Chrome menu.
  4. Under Cast to select the Google Cast device you want to stream to.
    Cast to drowndown menu in Chrome.
  5. After that select the cast source.
    Cast source dropdown in Chrome.
To better assist you, please answer this question.

In order to proceed, both of your devices need to be connected to the same network.

Make sure both of your devices can access the Internet, and neither is connected to any 'guest' Wi-Fi network created by your home router.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

The following steps will require that you move between your Apple TV and your Mac to establish screen mirroring.

To Establish Screen Mirroring

On Your Apple TV

  1. Ensure your Apple TV is powered on and your television is set to the correct input.
  2. Your Apple TV should be at its home screen.
    Apple TV home screen.

On your Mac Computer

  1. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar.
    macOS menu bar highlighting the AirPlay button.
  2. Beneath 'AirPlay To' select your Apple TV (this one is named Living Room).
  3. Beneath 'Airplay: Location' ensure that Mirror Built-in Retina Display is selected.

    Check marks will appear beside each item after they have been successfully selected.

    AirPlay menu highlighting AirPlay location.

On Your Apple TV

  • Your computer's display will now be mirrored onto the television your Apple TV is connected to.
    Screen mirroring from Mac to Apple TV.

To Stop Screen Mirroring

On your Mac Computer

  1. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar.
    macOS menu bar highlighting the AirPlay button.
  2. Select Turn AirPlay Off.
    Turning AirPlay off.
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

  1. Connect the computer and Chromecast device to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Launch the Chrome Browser.
    Google Chrome icon.
  3. Open the Chrome menu and select Cast.
    Cast option highlighted in Chrome menu.
  4. Under Cast to select the Google Cast device you want to stream to.
    Cast to drowndown menu in Chrome.
  5. After that select the cast source.
    Cast source dropdown in Chrome.
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