How to Hook a Laptop to a Television

By Pamela Gardapee

If you want to make your laptop screen larger or watch a DVD on a bigger screen, you can hook up a laptop to a TV and have the full picture. Hooking up a laptop to a TV is easy to do if you have the right connection cable and if your laptop and television set are compatible.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video cable
  • TV with S-video input
  • Laptop with S-video output
  • 3.5 mm cable--male to male
  • 3.5 mm RCA cable (optional)

Step 1

Plug the S-video cable into the output of the laptop. Plug one male end of the 3.5 mm cable into the headphone jack on the laptop. If you have an older TV with the three RCA connection ports, use an RCA plug with the S-video plug on one end and plug the S-video connector into the laptop output. Note: Do not turn on the TV or the laptop until instructed to do so.

Step 2

Plug the other end of the cable into the TV. If you are using the S-video cable, plug it into the S-video input. Plug the 3.5 mm audio cord into the audio input on the TV.You may also use a 3.5 mm to two RCA jacks cable for the audio input. Plug the 3.5 mm jack into the laptop and plug the RCA jacks into the TV. Make sure the RCA audio jacks on the TV are the corresponding audio input that correlates with the S-video input.

Step 3

Turn on the laptop and the TV. The laptop will recognize the TV.

Step 4

Use your TV remote to select the correct input. This could be video 1, video 2, or L1 or L2 depending on how your TV labels the input devices. Put the TV on the right channel, select the input and find the input channel that sees the laptop.

Step 5

Adjust the laptop screen resolution if the picture doesn't look right. Right click on the laptop desktop screen. When the box opens, click "Properties." In the next box, click "Settings" to change the resolution until it appears crisp and clear on the TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • This method can be used to hook up a desktop to a TV.