How To Connect Your Computer/PC Or Laptop To Your TV

Have you ever wondered If you could watch your flickr photos and youtube videos on your TV screen through you PC, if yes then this is the right place for you to find out how to connect your PC or laptop to your TV, so that you could do whole lot of things other than watching videos, your word documents, excel spreadsheets on you TV screen.

It is very easy to set up the connection between your PC to your TV and can be done very cheaply, and in some cases free. The cost only comes in with cables and adapters which are cheap. It should be possible for everyone to achieve for well under $100. This post will cover the procedures of connecting your computer to your television. We will cover lots of different scenarios so I hope by the end of this article, you’ll able to achieve this goal.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A Computer, desktops and laptops will both work. You will require a spare output from your video card(in some PC there are build-in outputs).
  • A Television with some type of AUX input.
  • A Stereo with some type of AUX input.

AUX stands for Auxiliary, which means an input from an external source. Most televisions have these as they are what you would use to connect your DVD to it.

CHECK WHAT IS THE INPUT TYPE OF YOUR TV

1. HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface: In ideal situation we have an HDMI connection on both our television and video card, but most likely we don’t. Many new LCD screen and Plasma displays offer this type of connections. They are also becoming a little more popular on Video cards. This will give you the highest quality signal. It offers better quality as compared to a DVI.

2. DVI: Digital Visual Interface: Many current computers will offer this connection out of the video card. You may well find that if you have a plasma or LCD television, this will be the best connection to use.

3. VGA/XGA: Video Graphics Array: This is the standard video output from your video card in your computer. Not many televisions support these inputs. It offers a good quality picture but is limited on TV to 640×480 resolution. Text is readable and movies look great. This VGA resolution is higher than most CRT screens can show.

4. S-Video: This is the most common type of input on Video cards and televisions. This format won’t give you good experience in reading text on the screen, but films and games will be fine. This is the same output many DVD, Gaming consoles offer so you can expect some good quality.


How to decide which connection to use?

  • If computer has HDMI and TV has HDMI – Use HDMI
  • If computer has DVI and TV has DVI – Use DVI
  • If computer has DVI and TV has VGA – Use VGA + Adaptor
  • If computer has VGA and TV has VGA – Use VGA
  • If computer has S-Video and TV has S-Video – Use S-Video
  • If computer has RCA and TV has RCA – Use RCA
  • If computer has S-Video and TV has RCA – Use RCA with adaptor
  • If computer has RCA and TV has S-Video – Use RCA with adaptor

How To Configure Your Video Drivers:

If you have connected through HDMI, DVI or VGA your computer will recognize your TV as a standard monitor. Once you have plugged in, you can press the “Fn” key with the respective Function key. i.e. Fn+F5. The function key depends on the laptop but the key will generally resemble a picture of two monitors. With these keys you can cycle through various modes i.e external monitor only, laptop only,or both.

Configure Your Vista Or Xp:

  • Go into your “Control Panel” and load up your “Display” properties
  • Click the “Settings” tab and you will probably still see one monitor depending on what type of connection you used.
  • Click “Advanced” and then select the tab that corresponds to your “Video Card” in my case it was Geforce 6600 GT.
  • Here you have all the options for your card. If you are using a Nvidia card, click on n-View Display Settings, otherwise, whichever option shows you multiple display types.

  • Here you can select Dual-view and Clone, enable and disable displays. Also in the Nvidia control panel, in the tools section is an option to “Force TV detection”.

After these steps you’ll surely be having videos both on your computer and your TV set. Now its the time for audio configuration.

How To Configure Your Audio:

The easy way to connect your computer to your stereo is to purchase a 3.5mm stereo plug to RCA pair cable. This will plug in both ends without a problem.

This procedure can also be applied when connecting PC to a Projector.

Now it’s all done, we hope that you wont find any difficulties connecting, but if you are, do leave your queries in comments.

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  • http://www.GettingBetterTelevision.com Jeff Atkinson

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  • http://creative2299@yahoo.com Brian

    Hello, how do you connect a imac 9.0 OS computer to a flat-screen television, please email me steps on how to do this, if there is a way, thankyou….!

    Brian-

    • Noah kabeya

      thats all

  • http://www.addicitivetips.com Nakodari

    @ Brain

    It is very simple, Just buy a DVI to HDMI cable to connect your apple computer to Television (obviously with HDMI imports). And you are done !

    • Brian

      I have hooked my apple laptop up to my tv and when I do so my desktop shows up on the tv but when I start the dvd it doesn't start playing on the tv. can you help?

  • ajitpal singh

    i am not able to hear any thing from my t.v when i connect my laptop to my lcd using hdmi cable although i can see the video .are there any settings i need to do in my laptop,,plz tell

    • Noahkab

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      • Noah

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  • Leo

    I am able to get the video when I connect via HDMI from my Sony Vaio laptop to Plasma TV but no sign of audio. Am I missing any config on laptop??? Any help would be appreciated

    • Noah kabeya

      yes i would like to help

  • JudyV

    Thanks for the info! I’ve been wanting to do this for some time. I enjoy your site.

  • http://thephotoshopper.blogspot.com Abhinav

    hey there.. nice guide.
    my tv has 3-pin rca input, while my laptop has a 7-pin s-video output. i got a cable which connects to both, but all i see on the tv screen is a lot of flicker and some windows components (like the start button etc.) flying by… any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sanjay

    Hi,
    I have an Acer Laptop with S-Video output and an television with RCA and DVD COMPONENT in (i.e the 3 coloured cables)input. Is there any way to connect the laptop to the TV??? If so how? please help.

    Machine Configuration is
    Acer Aspire 5052AWXMi, ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 chipset

  • tiff

    I have an Acer Extensa 4420 and I wanted to connect it too my HDTV. I have a 7 port s-video that are for both tv and laptop. Can you help me with the step by step directions of how to connect the two. Thank you.

    • Noahkab

      really

      • Noah kabeya

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  • http://www.televisions.me http://www.televisions.me

    Amazing site! love the easy layout

  • jacob

    also, try looking at this website. its awesome!

    http://diamondcase.com/Knowledge/Knowledge_HTML/PC_On_TV.HTML

  • anonnymouse

    hello…how do you connect a Compaq presario c714nr that has I believe an “Intel 965 Express Chipset” video card to a tv/over-head and so on incase of a presentation?

    Hope it is possible and that I don’t need to upgrade anything.
    Please let me know…

  • Yvonnne

    My laptop has VGA and my television has DVI Input and S-video. Is there a way to hook my laptop to my television to watch movies through the DVI Input on the television?

    Thank you so much for your help

  • Yvonnne

    Update: My television ALSO has component connectors (in addition to DVI-D & S-video)
    My laptop has VGA and my television has DVI Input and S-video. Is there a way to hook my laptop to my television to watch movies through the DVI Input on the television?

    Thank you so much for your help

  • cosmin

    my laptop has hdmi output and the tv has s video. how is posible to put them connected. thenk you.

  • peyton

    my video card settings dos not have a multi screan tab and i dont no how to forc it to detect my tv pleaz help

    my computer is a 2006 hp with xp and the video card is a
    ATI MOBILITY RADEON Xpress 200 Series

  • peyton

    my video card settings dos not have a multi screan tab and i dont no how to forc it to detect my tv pleaz help

    my computer is a 2006 hp with xp and the video card is a
    ATI MOBILITY RADEON Xpress 200 Series

    also i am using a s-video to aux cord it has s-video and sound jak on one side and the three collor red whit and yellow on the other

    and it will let me hook the computer to my other tv but it has a s-video to s-video

    so pleaz help if you can

  • Cesar

    Pudiera conectar mi pc al dvd y hacer la conexion del dvd al tv, la pc tiene salida hdmi mas no el tv por eso intento hacerlo utilizando el dvd ya ke este tiene tanto el hdmi como el rca que es la entrada que tiene el tv, es posible hacer la conexion

  • Tom

    I have a VGA on my laptop and a HDMI on my tv, can i connect with a VGA/HDMI cable and will that send audio? Or do i need an addtional 3.5mm Y connector to send audio from the headphone jaack on the laptop to the audio inputs on the TV?

  • rockjohn

    i have a laptop with hdmi port and want to connect it to a tv with only rca port(3 coloured red,white,yellow)
    how do i do it

  • http://www.vgatorcaadapter.com/ vga to rca adapter

    Hi, Thanks for a nice post and good knowledge, sometimes I am really confused when I have to work with many types of adapters, this guide is terrific.

  • Matt

    I got a acer desktop computer Windows Vista Home Premium and my tower has a HDMI output to plug in hdmi into my computer.When I go to sounds it obviously says not plugged in Nvida HDmi Output cause obviously I don't got the cable yet.I am wondering if my video card is already built into my computer which it looks like it is but can't tell.So my question to you is if I got a HDMI cable and plugged it into my pc tower and then plugged it into the back of my tv do you think it would work?

  • stephensingz

    I have video when I take the cable that connects my monitor to my hard drive and connect to my TV. However, there is no sound. What should I do?

  • http://www.best-flat-screen-tv.co.uk/ best-flat-screen-tv

    I’m connected – thank you!!

    Great display medium for my Seychelles honeymoon pictures!

  • Mike

    I connected my computer to my LCD TV and everything worked fine on its own without changing any settings. A few hours later the screen on the TV started going funny and now my TV doesn’t work with my HDMI connected to my computer or PS3. The TV a Sharp 42″ Aquios still works for cable and the computer a Dell laptop still works. Is it my HDMI cable that went bad or something more? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • http://newtechnologyera.com New Technology

    Hi, this is Daniel North.Wow! This post is really very appreciable. your post is very advantageous for me and very good. It is very easy to set up the connection between your PC to your TV and can be done very cheaply, and in some cases free. The cost only comes in with cables and adapters which are cheap. It should be possible for everyone to achieve for well under $100. This post will cover the procedures of connecting your computer to your television. We will cover lots of different scenarios so I hope by the end of this article, you’ll able to achieve this goal.
    =====================================
    Daniel North

  • zaigham

    i have dell tower computer and i want to connect with tv… how i can get display of computer on tv…i have samsang 29″ tv.. having much pins behind tv.. plz anyone help me and mail me
    zaibutt115@yahoo.com

    Thanks
    zaigham

    • http://AMAZON GLEN. JACKSON

      i HAVE JUST HAD THE SAME PROBLEM YOU NEED TO GET A DVI TO VGA LEAD YOU CAN GET IT FROM AMAZON VERY CHEAP THIS WILL WORK

  • Nela

    hey, What if you connect the DVI and HDMI-DVI cord but all that shows up on the T.V. screen is the purple background the apple has what do i do??? very confused!!!

    • Noah kabeya

      yes

  • cassie

    i m not been able to connect to my laptop computer to my sharp tv. I bought HDMI cord, but still no picture help me

  • Manon

    Hello !
    I have a problem to connect my laptop (acer aspire 6930) to my new flat-television (philips serie 5000 LCD)… The HDMI cables are ok and I have done all the things you’ve said on the panel control but there’s still nothing on my tv screen… Can you help me please ?

  • evelyn

    Hey .. I brought a HDMI to DVI cable, and connected it.. I was told that if I get this cable.. I will be able to connect my laptop to my tv and I will get both audio and video. However I only get video no audio? Please help thank you.

  • Alee

    @evelyn – DVI only has video. You will need a separate cable to connect the headphone port to your tv or have a tv with HDMI

  • christina crowder

    Hello, so I followed the directiong for hooking up myacer laptop with hdmi to my lg lcd, but when I plugged the hdmi to my acer it flickered and flashed, and went crazy. So am I correct in asuming that it will not work? I only have hdmi and vga hook ups on my acer no s video. any advice?

  • Mario

    My Sony Vaio VGN-S260P is connected and displaying on a Samsung 46″ wide screen flat TV via VGA cable. I select PC as the video source on the Samsung, and then reboot the laptop so the connection is made. My O/S is WinXP and the Vaio has 1GIG RAM, and a Mobility Radeon 9200 video card. However, the TV screen flickers every 8 secs or so. The Vaio only has 60mhz refresh rate, and I set it to the highest setting of 1280×800 (32-bit color). If there are Samsung settings to modify, I haven’t found them yet. Any suggestions to remove the flickering?

  • ify

    HOW DO I CONNECT MY VISTA LAPTOP TO MY SAMSUNG LED TV? I HAVE A VGA CABLE.WHAT DO I DO?THANKS

  • J. Andrews

    I have connected tv and the display is fine. I have used the stereo plug to connect audio but there is no sound. I have checked all of the common problems like mute etc. Please help

  • Jason

    I have compaq presario cq61laptop with gforce 103m graphic card I bought marai 32″ LCD hdmi capable tv I try to connect my laptop with LCD tv but no display and sound come on LCD tv please help me thanks

    • Noah kabeya

      i will help

  • raul

    i have a sony viao and i connected the hdmi in to my tv but i cant see the movie on the tv. its playing on the laptop but not on the tv can anybody help?

  • connect pc to tv

    Its a great article and would be very significant for us before connecting our computer to TV. The methods described above will definitely help us for connection between PC to TV.

  • swagatam kundu

    can i connect creative inspire t6160 5.1 connect to laptops?how can i connect it ?do i need it sound card?

  • nadirah

    I wuznt able 2 hook laptop up 2 my flat screen! can somebody plz help me?

  • Trudy

    I have tried the simple HDMI from HP Presario Laptop to tv hdmi and cannot get any signal from my laptop to my tv??? any suggestions – what am I doing wrong???

  • D Steckel

    I have a Dell Inspiron Desk top with windows Vista, I hooked it up to my Samsung LCD tv HDMI to tv & DVI in computer, get very clear picture. having problem with sound, have RCA cable & hooked the r &w to tv and the other end to computer and no sound. Itried everything still no sound from TV, also had a bar speaker tried that & worked fine.

  • Gauravkhalsa

    i have hdmi to 3rca cable to connect laptop to tv but i cand do this plz help me what can i do ?

  • Danny

    I have an HP laptop with HDMI port and I want to connect it to my tv having only RCA ports, (3 colors- red, white, yellow).
    How do I do it. Please help me.

  • Checkdisinit

    how do i connect my tv to my laptop to get sound with a vga cable? do i get a jack 3.5mm cable into my laptop microphone and then the RCA into my tv?

  • Kim

    Hi How do I connect a Sony Vaio Desktop into a flat screen tv?

  • Gary Boulet

    pluged in my hdm1 to my lab top and tv was working fine till i turned my computer off when i restarted it my computer keeps flashing on and off .
                                   thank you very much .
                                   GARY!

  • Argvelinc

    how to connect my satellite box to my HP Desktop computer

  • Brando_0999

    i just bought a vga to hdmi cord because my tv only has the hdmi connection and my computer only the vga but when i hook it up nothing comes up on the tv????    can you help me

  • Noah kabeya

    what are u writing

  • Saravanan SMKKB

    From Saravanan SMKKB, 

    Thanks Guys.

  • Anonymous

    I have a laptop with VGA output and HDTV with PC-DVI input  —  How can I manage?

  • basit

    my pc has vga and tv has hdmi what should i use?

  • Denton9thn12

    I have laptop with dvi and tv with hdmi can’t get it to worl  what do i need to do

  • Denton

    Denton 9th here I was wrong on my last post.   I have one cable with vga end and hdmi end {on my laptop vga plugs in and on my tv hdmi plugs in} I don’t have the same plugin of any kind on them both. Please can you help me? running windows 7 on pc  an email would be fine if you can if not I will just check posts.

  • http://twitter.com/DMarZ45 Danny MarZ

    Ok I dont know if Im the only one with this problem but I have my Gateway desktop computer hooked up to my Samsung LCD TV via HDMI so I can watch movies stored on my PC on my TV. However, if I switch HDMI inputs on my TV to use my cable box or Xbox and then try to go back to my computer input, the screen just goes black; and it stays that way until I disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable from the back of the TV. I have to do this every single time I switch back to my PC’s HDMI input in order for it to work. Is there any way around this??

  • Abraam Georgiadis

    I can’t get my acer aspire 6930g to recognize my second monitor hooked via hdmi to VGA cable any solution?

  • Rick

    how do i find video card to change settings on computer to transfer over to TV? when i follow these steps, once i go into advanced, how do i find the tab that corresponds with the video card? i can’t find this. any help?? Thx

    Go into your “Control Panel” and load up your “Display” propertiesClick the “Settings” tab and you will probably still see one monitor depending on what type of connection you used.Click “Advanced” and then select the tab that corresponds to your “Video Card” in my case it was Geforce 6600 GT.
    Here you have all the options for your card. If you are using a Nvidia card, click on n-View Display Settings, otherwise, whichever option shows you multiple display types.

  • adrian

    i have connected my s-cable to both my laptop and tv and yet theres still nothing on the screen

  • Norbert D’souza

    Very good and very helpful article

  • Melissa

    This has helped me understand what cables I need. But plugging them will be a another story. You have given me the guts to try. Thanks from all of us who just don’t know all this textie stuff. So envious.

  • Francis Agusta

    im looking for a cable to conect my laptop to tv with sound and picture in one cable mt tv is hd and has hdmi conections tryed a hdmi cable but no sound and the picture isnt the size of yo screen its bigger than the screen aneyoune know wat the proper cable is

  • Billy

    Would USB to USB work?