How to Connect a Laptop to a TV

By Catherine Hewson

If you have ever wanted to watch a video from your laptop on a bigger screen, or you simply want to extend your screen for other reasons, connecting your laptop to a TV can be a good way of accomplishing this. All laptops come with at least one or more options for connecting the laptop to the TV. By selecting the correct cable, you can connect your laptop to your TV.

Things You'll Need

  • Correct cable for your laptop -- HDMI, DVI or VGA

Step 1

Check your laptop's user manual to determine what type of output ports your laptop has. Your laptop will either have a VGA, DVI or HDMI port. If your laptop has all three, it is best to purchase an HDMI cable, as HDMI offers the best sound and video quality.

Step 2

Purchase the appropriate cable for your laptop. Regardless of the type of cable your laptop needs, you should purchase a cable long enough to go from your laptop to the TV. Usually a cable that is at least 6 feet long is sufficient.

Step 3

Connect one end of the cable to the laptop's port.

Step 4

Turn off your HDTV and then connect the other end of the cable to the appropriate port on the TV.

Step 5

Turn the TV on and switch to the correct input channel on the TV. This will be either DVI, RGB/PC/VGA or HDMI, depending on the type of cable used. The screen displays automatically on the TV, which signals the laptop is successfully connected to the TV. If it does not, proceed to the next step to manually display the screen on the TV.

Step 6

Click "Start," and then click the "Control Panel" icon.

Step 7

Click "Display." Click "Change display settings."

Step 8

Select the display for your TV. Click "OK" to complete the process of connecting a laptop to a TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • When selecting a lead, only use a leading, well known, band, to buy from.
  • Make sure that both your laptop, and TV are S-video compatable.