Key Takeaways:

  • Not all video port types also transmit audio, meaning you may need an additional audio cable depending on the specs of your PC
  • Be mindful of eye strain when using large-format televisions up close over long periods of time
  • Most adapter types are widely available and inexpensive a

For many people, especially those working from home, working with one display can hinder your workflow considerably. However not everybody wants to invest in or has a regular need for a second display– and many of them also have a television. Happily, the method for setting up your modern television as a second (or even primary) monitor display or screen for Windows or Mac computers is fairly easy and often won’t require any extra adapters or cables or for you to purchase a new computer monitor. Here’s how to do it.

How to Use a TV as a Second Monitor

Here are steps on how to use a television as a second monitor.

Time to Complete: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Tools needed: Hands

Total Steps to Complete: 7

  1. Identify your computer’s video output port(s)- nearly all PC and Mac desktop computers should have at least two, laptops may vary.In Windows, HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI are the most common. Use HDMI or DisplayPort if possible, since they transmit both video and audio. On Mac desktops and laptops, HDMI, and Thunderbolt (also called USB-C) connections are most common, though, in older Mac desktops, DVI is more common.

    Warning: On Mac desktops and laptops, HDMI, and Thunderbolt (also called USB-C) connections are most common, though, in older Mac desktops, DVI is more common.
  2. Determine whether you’ll need an adapter or not. If your computer/laptop and television have the same port type (HDMI, DVI, etc), you won’t be needing an adapter. Otherwise, you should be able to find the correct adapter at any major online vendor. Be sure if you’re buying a DVI-HDMI adapter to purchase one with the correct male/female connection for the DVI side.Warning: Be sure if you’re buying a DVI-HDMI adapter to purchase one with the correct male/female connection for the DVI side
  3. Connect your computer via the correct video output port to your television’s video input port. Keep in mind that if you’re using your computer’s DVI port, audio will not transmit into the HDMI port on your television, and you’ll need separate audio cables to do the job.Tip: Keep in mind that if you’re using your computer’s DVI port, audio will not transmit into the HDMI port on your television, and you’ll need separate audio cables to do the job
  4. Turn on your tv (you don’t need to restart your computer) and using your remote, go to the “input” menu on your tv to make sure it’s set to whichever input your computer is plugged into- these are usually labeled things like “HDMI 1.”
  5. In Windows 10, click the Windows logo in the bottom left corner, then click on the gear-shape icon at the bottom of the menu, then click “Settings.” From there, click System>Display and check under “Display resolution.” If you’re using the television as your sole screen, simply confirm that your computer is set to the “recommended” resolution and you’re done. If using it as a second screen, scroll down to the “Multiple Displays” section and select “extend these displays” if it’s not already selected.
  6. In macOS, click on the Apple logo in the top-left of the desktop screen, then click “system preferences” from the drop-down menu. Click “Displays” (the monitor-shaped icon in this window) and be sure “mirror these displays” is unchecked to extend the display onto your television. If the image on your television is warped, too small, or too big, you can select “scaled” and move the “underscan” slider until the image is to your liking.
  7. And that’s it! Keep in mind that you may need to make some adjustments as far as display positions, resolutions, and scaling since your television is likely to have different resolution specs and limits than your primary monitor, but this is easy to do in both Windows and macOS.

Related Posts:

STAT:

Using a large (60” for example) format TV screen as your primary computer display can lead to significantly more eye strain if set directly on your desktop as you would with a normal computer monitor.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2924203/use-your-tv-as-a-computer-monitor-everything-you-need-to-know.html

If your PC uses a DVI port for video, you’ll need an additional audio cable for your tv, unlike HDMI, DVI transmits video only.

https://wccftech.com/how-to/how-to-use-your-tv-as-a-second-display-on-windows-10/

Sources:

https://www.wikihow.com/Use-Your-TV-as-a-Second-Monitor-for-Your-Computer

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2924203/use-your-tv-as-a-computer-monitor-everything-you-need-to-know.html

https://www.reviewed.com/televisions/features/how-to-turn-your-ipad-or-tv-into-a-second-monitor

https://appletoolbox.com/how-to-connect-a-tv-or-external-monitor-to-a-macbook/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n4hYLfxTIU&ab_channel=I.T.CareerQuestions

How To Use TV As Second Monitor FAQ

Is it possible to watch regular tv and do computer work on my television at the same time?

You can if your television supports or has a built-in picture-in-a-picture feature, as many modern flatscreen televisions do. If such a feature is supported, you can find instructions on setting it up in your owner's manual or the manufacturer's site. Otherwise, your best bet is to find something to watch in a web browser, since neither macOS nor Windows can configure this for your television.

What do I do if I have my HDMI cable properly connected between my PC and my TV but I'm not getting an image on my TV screen?

In Windows, press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard and press "P." Press P repeatedly until your screen is either extended or duplicated on your television. If this doesn't work, there may be a problem with either your HDMI cables, the HDMI input port on your television, or the video output port on your computer.

Can I use the USB ports on my television like I would on my computer?

Most newer televisions will allow you to insert a flash or external hard drive via built-in USB ports and view pictures and videos directly on the screen from them. But if you're using your television as a second (or primary) display for your computer, this USB functionality will be overridden and your connected flash or external drives won't be read by the computer unless you connect them to the USB ports on your computer.

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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