How to Connect a Windows Laptop to a TV over HDMI

Introduction

Connecting your computer directly to your Television is a fast, simple way to show what's on your computer directly on your TV, or even use it as a second display.
Tools You'll Need:
  • An HDMI Cable
  • Adapters as required by your computer
Before You Begin:
  • Make sure your computer is close enough to your Television for the HDMI cable to reach between them safely.
HDMI

What is HDMI?

HDMI provides a near-universal standard for sending video and audio from one device to another. It's a single, relatively thin cable that doesn't get tangled as easily as previous standards, and has full support for high-definition images. As well, it has been designed to be bi-directional, meaning the display will talk to your device or computer, and tell it what resolutions it can support, what color depth is provided, and a myriad of other features your device can use.

Unlike previous standards, HDMI provides a way for both audio and video to be sent by one cable, greatly simplifying setup of home theater equipment, or, when you want to connect your computer to your Television to watch a streaming movie, show family snapshots, or show a presentation at work.

 

1 Connector Types and Computer Compatibility

For the most part, HDMI "Just Works", meaning it's a simple cable from one device to your display or television, and that's all there is to do!

However, some device manufacturers, especially smaller devices and computers, use a different size HDMI connector, or a different type of connection that, while compatible, requires special cables.

HDMI Connector Types

There are three main types of HDMI connectors available, and they are purely based on size of the devices.

Standard
This is the connector you will see most often. This is the type of connector on the back of modern television sets. It's about 1/2 an inch wide.HDMI Type A connector and cable
Mini
This connection is intended for small, portable devices. Some smaller laptops have chosen this style of connector. You will need a special cable to connect to a standard HDMI port.HDMI C connector and cable
Micro
This connection is intended for portable devices. It's most frequently found on digital cameras and camcorders, but a few smaller laptops and single-board computers have chosen this connector type. You will need a special cable to connect to a Standard HDMI port.HDMI D connector and cable

Other Connection Types

Along with HDMI, there are a large number of other types of connections available and in use by computers right now. Many are compatible with a simple cable or adapter, while others require converters.

DisplayPort
DisplayPortIn most cases, DisplayPort is easily adaptable to HDMI. Cables are simple, and sold online and in larger computer-related stores.
DVI
DVIOne of the first digital formats available to computers to talk to monitors. Rare on laptops, but somewhat prevalent on desktops. Easily adapted to HDMI either through an adapter or a cable.
VGA
VGAWhile encountered regularly, VGA is not a digital format; it's analog. You will need special converter box.
RCA
Component videoRarely encountered on computers, but found commonly on many other components. Again, this is an analog format, and will require a special converter box.
Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2Used mostly by Apple Mac, the Thunderbolt port requires an adapter or dongle to use an HDMI cable.
Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt 3Again, used by Apple Mac, and requires an adapter or dongle to connect to HDMI.

2 Connect Device to TV Via HDMI

HDMI Type A connector and cable
  1. Acquire an HDMI cable.
  2. Take one end of the cable and plug it into your TV's HDMI port.
  3. Plug the other end of the cable into your device's HDMI out port, or the appropriate adapter.
    1. If you are using an adapter, connect the adapter to your device.
  4. Turn on both the TV and connected device.
  5. Ensure that your TV is set to use HDMI as the input source.

We're here to help!

Connect to a Tech Pro

Call or chat with a Tech Pro 24/7.

Connecting your computer directly to your Television is a fast, simple way to show what's on your computer directly on your TV, or even use it as a second display.
Tools You'll Need:
  • An HDMI Cable
  • Adapters as required by your computer
Before You Begin:
  • Make sure your computer is close enough to your Television for the HDMI cable to reach between them safely.
HDMI

What is HDMI?

HDMI provides a near-universal standard for sending video and audio from one device to another. It's a single, relatively thin cable that doesn't get tangled as easily as previous standards, and has full support for high-definition images. As well, it has been designed to be bi-directional, meaning the display will talk to your device or computer, and tell it what resolutions it can support, what color depth is provided, and a myriad of other features your device can use.

Unlike previous standards, HDMI provides a way for both audio and video to be sent by one cable, greatly simplifying setup of home theater equipment, or, when you want to connect your computer to your Television to watch a streaming movie, show family snapshots, or show a presentation at work.

 

For the most part, HDMI "Just Works", meaning it's a simple cable from one device to your display or television, and that's all there is to do!

However, some device manufacturers, especially smaller devices and computers, use a different size HDMI connector, or a different type of connection that, while compatible, requires special cables.

HDMI Connector Types

There are three main types of HDMI connectors available, and they are purely based on size of the devices.

Standard
This is the connector you will see most often. This is the type of connector on the back of modern television sets. It's about 1/2 an inch wide.HDMI Type A connector and cable
Mini
This connection is intended for small, portable devices. Some smaller laptops have chosen this style of connector. You will need a special cable to connect to a standard HDMI port.HDMI C connector and cable
Micro
This connection is intended for portable devices. It's most frequently found on digital cameras and camcorders, but a few smaller laptops and single-board computers have chosen this connector type. You will need a special cable to connect to a Standard HDMI port.HDMI D connector and cable

Other Connection Types

Along with HDMI, there are a large number of other types of connections available and in use by computers right now. Many are compatible with a simple cable or adapter, while others require converters.

DisplayPort
DisplayPortIn most cases, DisplayPort is easily adaptable to HDMI. Cables are simple, and sold online and in larger computer-related stores.
DVI
DVIOne of the first digital formats available to computers to talk to monitors. Rare on laptops, but somewhat prevalent on desktops. Easily adapted to HDMI either through an adapter or a cable.
VGA
VGAWhile encountered regularly, VGA is not a digital format; it's analog. You will need special converter box.
RCA
Component videoRarely encountered on computers, but found commonly on many other components. Again, this is an analog format, and will require a special converter box.
Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2Used mostly by Apple Mac, the Thunderbolt port requires an adapter or dongle to use an HDMI cable.
Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt 3Again, used by Apple Mac, and requires an adapter or dongle to connect to HDMI.
HDMI Type A connector and cable
  1. Acquire an HDMI cable.
  2. Take one end of the cable and plug it into your TV's HDMI port.
  3. Plug the other end of the cable into your device's HDMI out port, or the appropriate adapter.
    1. If you are using an adapter, connect the adapter to your device.
  4. Turn on both the TV and connected device.
  5. Ensure that your TV is set to use HDMI as the input source.
We use cookies on our website to enhance your experience, analyze site usage and support our marketing efforts. To learn more, visit our Privacy Policy. By clicking “Accept”, you agree to our use of cookies and similar technologies.
Accept