How to Connect a Computer to TV

By Dawn Gibbs

Connecting your computer to your television allows you to magnify the size of whatever you see on your computer screen. You can show a picture slideshow to a room full of family and friends, play videos, or play computer games. You have several options for connecting your television to your computer, depending on what kind of matching connection the two machines have. Whether you have an HDTV or a regular television may also influence the connection you pick.

Things You'll Need

  • Port-to-port cable, type dependent on devices

Step 1

Examine your television and computer connection options. The connection ports on a television are usually on the back, and the connection ports for the computer are either on the side of the laptop, or the back of the desktop computer tower. You are looking for connection ports that look exactly the same. For example, if your computer has a circular S-Video port, look for the same connection option on the back of the television. If your computer and television have no matching ports, you cannot connect them.

Step 2

Look for a VGA, DVI or HDMI connection port on your computer and television, if you have an HDTV. These cables and connections will give the best display quality on the television. Most computers have a VGA connection, and newer laptops may have a DVI or HDMI connection.

Step 3

Select the correct cable to connect the computer to the television, based on the matching ports of the two machines.

Step 4

Insert one end of the cable into the connection port of the computer, and insert the other end into the connection port of the television.

Step 5

Set the television to display input from the connection port. The steps to do this will vary with your model of television. When you set the television to the right setting, the screen of your computer should display on the television.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you discover that both devices have an S-Video connection, make sure they are both either four- or seven-pin connections. You can look at the port and count the pin holes to make sure they match.
  • If you need a diagram of the possible ports on the devices, consult windows.microsoft.com for a visual aid.