How to Connect a Dell Laptop to a Television

By Joe Fletcher

Whether you want to view your Dell laptop computer screen on your TV or watch videos from your collection, you need to get your laptop connected to the TV. Unfortunately, you're not much of an A/V whiz and don't know how to connect the two or what equipment you'll need. While there's no short answer because it really depends on the connections available on your specific Dell laptop and television, here's some basic ways to get connected.

Things You'll Need

  • S-Video cableY RCA cable ORComponent video adapter or adapter cableComponent video cables Y RCA cable ORHDMI cable ORS/Video-Composite video adapter or cableComposite video cable Y RCA Cable

S-Video

Step 1

Connect using an S-Video cable. This is probably the simplest, most widely available connection. Before you purchase a cable be sure that your laptop and TV use the same S-Video: it could be 4 or 7 pin holes. If not, you may need to purchase a 7 to 4 pin adapter or select another method below.

Step 2

Connect video. Use the S-Video cable to connect the S-Video output on your laptop, which is round with multiple pin holes, to the S-Video input on your television.

Step 3

Connect audio. If you intend to send audio as well as video to your TV, you'll need to hook audio up separately. Plug the single end of a Y RCA cable into the headphone jack on your laptop. Plug the left and right RCA ends into the audio inputs on your TV.

Component Video Adaptor

Step 1

Connect using component video connection. You'll need an S-Video/Component Video adapter.

Step 2

Plug S-Video end into laptop S-Video output.

Step 3

Use component cable to connect component adapter outputs to component video inputs on your TV. Make sure that the three component video cables/connections properly align: Pr (Red), Y (Green) and Pb (Blue).

Step 4

Connect audio. Connect audio using a Y RCA cable from your laptop's headphone jack to your television's left and right audio inputs.

HDMI

Step 1

Connect HDMI cable. HDMI is the easiest option for high definition programming. High definition televisions should have an HDMI input. This cable carries both video and audio.

Step 2

Connect one end of HDMI cable to the HDMI output on your Dell laptop.

Step 3

Connect the other end to the HDMI input on your TV.

Composite Video

Step 1

Connect using composite video (yellow cable); this may be your only option on older televisions.

Step 2

Connect an S-Video/Composite Video adapter or cable by hooking the S-Video end into the S-Video output of your computer.

Step 3

Connect the composite video output on the adapter to the composite video input on your TV with a composite video cable.

Step 4

Use Y RCA cable from headphone jack to left and right audio inputs to make audio connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the television and laptop OFF while making connections. You may need to change setting for your screen size and resolution. Depending upon the model and year of your Dell laptop, you may have different outputs. Follow the second link below to search for a user's manual for your specific model.

References & Resources