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Laptops cannot compare to the best TVs in recreating a cinematic experience. But the convenience of forgoing the larger screen and flipping open your computer to watch a film is absolutely relatable. Unfortunately, many people don’t connect their laptops to their TV because they assume it’ll be a whole project when, in reality, it’s relatively straightforward. Another benefit aside from streaming content from the laptop to a bigger screen is that you can use the bigger screen as a monitor or desktop.
The simplest way to achieve this is to use an HDMI cable from your laptop to your TV. This will obviously depend on if those devices have the ports necessary. Thankfully, most modern TV and laptops will have these ports. However, if your TV has smart features and you are out of HDMI ports, you can still connect your laptop to it. Below, we’ll show you how to connect a laptop to a TV, both with and without wires.
Whether your TV is an analog fossil or the latest device modernity has to offer, you can find a way to hook up your computer to stream content. The process takes just a few simple steps for both wired and wireless options and is done in a few minutes.
Many of the most recent computer models have cast aside the HDMI port and gone with the minor USB-C port. If you have a TV that only has HDMI and a computer with only USB-C, you can purchase an adapter to create the correct input.
The most common wired type of connection for hooking up a TV with a wire is through an HDMI cord. But if you have a smart TV (or connected smart device) and an internet connection, chances are you can cast your laptop screen right to your TV.
Also, for those looking for other guides on connecting devices, we have an article that outlines how to connect a DVD player to a television. You should also learn what CEC is on TV and how you can use it with your connected devices.
To do this, check to ensure that both your TV and computer come with an HDMI port.
If so, plug either end of the cord into the computer and TV port.
Then, with the remote control, enter the display settings to choose the HDMI channel that you plugged into your TV.
If your TV is old and doesn’t have an HDMI port, you can purchase an adapter kit that converts an HDMI connection into one for an analog TV.
STAT: If you’re looking for superior picture quality and reduced lag time, go with an HDMI cable instead of a wireless connection. A direct connection is always more reliable. (source)
This process will be slightly different depending on whether you use Apple, PC, or a Google Chromebook, but each has its way of screen mirroring and extending wirelessly.
The main thing is to remember to make sure that your computer and streaming device is connected to Wi-Fi before going to the menu bar and searching for how to connect your computer.
Some smart TVs are only built to connect to compatible devices wirelessly. Make sure to research this if you want to buy a TV to connect your laptop display.
And for another similar read, we have an article that explains how to connect your phone to your TV.
What kind of HDMI cable do I need?
If you want the best and most reliable 4k connection, you should consider purchasing a high-speed HDMI cable. If this isn’t important, then just buy a standard HDMI.
What if my laptop and TV have different ports?
Because technology evolves so rapidly, differing ports are a common issue. However, this problem is easily solved by researching and purchasing an adapter kit.
What’s an HDMI cable?
The acronym stands for “High Definition Multimedia Interface.” An HDMI cord connects both audio and video from one display to another.