How to connect your computer to your TV

Having a computer that's connected to your TV is possibly the easiest and most efficient way to get your TV online.

The entire process is extremely simple and user-friendly, and in just a couple of moments, you will be able to harass everyone in the house with cat videos from YouTube!

What I like best about connecting my laptop to my TV is connecting my wireless keyboard/mouse. That way I can lie on my couch, with the keyboard/mouse in my lap and watch my favourite shows on the big screen.

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So how do I go about connecting the two? All you need to do is have the proper cable. If your computer and TV are not six years (or more) old, both devices should have an HDMI port.

The HDMI port is unique in its shape, making it quite easy to spot on the back of your TV or laptop/computer.

All you need to do is connect both devices via this cable, and select the proper HDMI channel, and voila! The best part about connecting two devices with HDMI is that it transfers both video and audio, meaning you don’t need any additional cables or setup.

Connect via HDMI cable, step by step:

  1. Turn on both your computer and the TV
  2. Connect the two devices in any order you wish
  3. Select the HDMI input on your TV (press the AV button)
  4. If your computer doesn’t automatically output its screen to the TV, go to Control Panel > Display > Adjust Resolution and select the TV in the Display dropdown menu.

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Going VGA

If you have an older computer (or one on a budget) and don’t have the HDMI port, don’t despair, there are other solutions. You can also connect the two devices using VGA output. VGA (Video Graphics Array) is a video lead only, meaning you’ll need an additional 3.5mm audio cable to get any sound from your TV speakers.

  1. For some strange reason, some TV sets don’t have a 3.5mm audio output (usually labelled as ‘headphones’), so make sure you have one of those before going down to the store.
  2. vgaAs with HDMI, your computer should automatically configure video settings as soon as you connect the two devices, but in case that doesn’t happen, the procedure is same as above.
  3. Turn on both your computer and the TV
  4. Connect the two devices in any order you wish
  5. Connect the 3.5mm audio jack (use the headphone out port on both devices, or use the Audio in on your TV if available)
  6. If your computer doesn’t automatically output its screen to the TV, go to Control Panel > Display > Adjust Resolution and select the TV in the Display dropdown menu.

The USB Solution

When all else fails, you can go down to the store and get a USB cable with a HDMI converter. If both devices have USB slots (and I’m guessing they should), you can get one of those cables to ease your troubles. They’re usually very cheap.

However, you will need additional software for your computer to turn the USB port into a Video out port, so make sure you double-check that you can use the software required.

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If indeed you can use the adapter, then all you need to do is install its software and follow the instructions there.

As you can see, connecting a computer and a TV is no big deal, and only requires the proper cables. HDMI is the best and the easiest solution as the technology offers the best video (it sis HD after all), and requires no additional audio cables, software setup or any other intervention. Not having a HDMI port is not the end of the world though, as you can use both VGA and USB ports to get connected. VGA however, requires an additional 3.5mm audio cable, and it can only transfer SD signal, while USB to USB can be somewhat tricky as it requires additional software.