How to Use a HDMI Port in a Computer

By James Clark

An HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cable transmits digital video and audio signals between electronic components such as a computer and HDTV. The HDMI port on the back of these components is the connection point for the cable, which features a distinctive six-sided plug on each end. Each plug contains 19 steel connector pins that correspond to the 19 holes in an HDMI port. The pins transmit high-definition video and up to eight channels of digital audio.

Things You'll Need

  • HDMI cable

Step 1

Insert the plug on one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI Output port on the back of the computer's central processing unit (CPU) or the back edge of a laptop. The wider end of the plug must be turned upward to fit the port.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the cable to another audio/video device with an HDMI Input port, such as an HDTV.

Step 3

Turn on the computer and wait for the "New Hardware Detected" message to display on the monitor or laptop screen.

Step 4

Double-click "Display Settings" in the computer's control panel to switch the display output over to the HDTV. Clicking the "Advanced" tab under display settings allows the user to adjust the resolution from the computer to a resolution supported by the HDTV. Check the HDTV owner's manual to determine the resolution for that particular model.

Step 5

Click "Save Settings."

Step 6

Use the computer, with an Internet connection, to transmit Web content to the HDTV. Discs can be played back from the computer's DVD or Blu-ray player for enjoying movies with digital sound on the HDTV.

Tips & Warnings

  • Connect the computer via HDMI to a digital AV receiver, which is then connected to the HDTV, to enjoy multichannel Surround Sound through the AV receiver and attached speakers.
  • Turn off the equipment while connecting the HDMI cable.