How to Set up a Laptop to Watch on a TV

By James Clark

Many laptop computers are equipped with a video output port so you can connect an external monitor for more comfortable viewing on a larger screen. A TV can also be connected to the laptop for watching online content, streaming movies on a big screen, or using the laptop's built-in DVD player for viewing discs. The S-video jack on a TV is a common connection point, although not all laptops have an S-video socket. If your laptop has a 15-pin video socket, buy an adapter cable with an S-video plug on the other end.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video or VGA to S-video cable

Step 1

Turn off the television and the laptop.

Step 2

Plug one end of an S-video cable into the S-video socket on the back edge of the laptop or push the 15-pin plug into an adapter cable if the laptop does not have S-video. The metal connectors in a 15-pin plug must match up with the rows of holes on the laptop socket.

Step 3

Push the S-video plug on the other end of the cable or the adapter cable into the S-video socket on the television.

Step 4

Turn on the TV and the laptop.

Step 5

At the same time, press the Fn key and the F key on the laptop that controls the video output. For example, the F8 key is pressed on a Dell laptop, along with the Fn key, to change the video from the laptop to the device connected to it, a television in this case. The F key may be printed with a small screen icon. Pressing both keys a second time turns off the video output so the laptop screen is displayed.