How to easily connect your laptop to your TV
Let’s face it. Sometimes your laptop screen just isn’t big enough for everything you want to do. Then you look over at your lonely 55-inch smart TV longing to be used and wonder if there’s a way to connect the two. Yes, there is!
Every day, Asurion Experts help our millions of customers get the most out of their tech, including their smart TVs. In this guide, we’re sharing all you need to know to help you connect your laptop to your TV, whether you want to swap your small screen for a big screen for viewing movies, use your TV as a monitor while working from home, or just want a bigger screen to see your friends’ faces over video chat.
How to connect your laptop to your TV via HDMI
One of the most reliable (and easiest) ways to connect your TV and laptop is with an HDMI cable. An HDMI cable transmits video and audio signals between two devices.
HDMI cables are the same on both ends, so it doesn’t matter which one goes into the TV or the laptop.
To connect your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable:
- Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI output on your laptop.
- Plug the other end of the cable into one of the HDMI inputs on your TV.
- Using the remote control, select the input that corresponds to where you plugged in the cable (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3, etc.).
A wired connection between your laptop and TV ensures better picture quality and a shorter lag time.
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How to connect your laptop to your smart TV wirelessly
Depending on the type of computer you have, you may be able to ditch the cables and connect wirelessly.
To connect your PC laptop to your smart TV:
- Make sure your laptop and TV are both connected to Wi-Fi.
- On your laptop, go to Settings > System > Display.
- Under the Multiple displays header, click Connect to a wireless display. You should see a list of available displays.
- When your TV appears in the list, click on it to connect your laptop.
If you don’t see your TV on the list, click Detect under the Multiple displays header. If it still doesn’t appear, your TV or laptop may not support Miracast®, the technology that enables the devices to connect wirelessly. However, you may be able to connect your laptop to a streaming device, such as a Roku® streaming device, which you could then use to project the display onto your TV.
To connect your Apple laptop to your smart TV:
If you have a compatible smart TV, you can easily connect your laptop to it through AirPlay®. Compatible devices include Apple TV® or AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs (i.e., TVs from 2019 or later from LG®, Samsung®, Sony®, or Vizio®). AirPlay allows you to stream videos or mirror the display on your device’s screen on your TV.
Here’s how to connect your laptop to your TV using AirPlay:
- Make sure your laptop and Apple TV or AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your Mac®, go to the Control Center (icon with two switches) in the top-right corner.
- Click on Screen Mirroring.
- Choose the device you want to share your display to.
To end your streaming session, click on Screen Mirroring, then choose Stop Mirroring.
To connect your Chromebook to your smart TV with Chromecast:
If you’d like to go wireless and connect your Chromebook® to your TV without an HDMI cable, you’ll need to buy a Google Chromecast® to plug into your smart TV. We show you how to easily set it up in the Hook It Up series from Asurion’s YouTube channel:
Here’s how to connect your Chromebook to your smart TV with Chromecast:
- Connect your Chromecast to the HDMI port on your smart TV.
- Using your remote control, select the HDMI input that corresponds to where you plugged it in.
- In the bottom-right corner of your computer screen, click the time.
- Make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® are turned on.
- Select Cast devices available.
- Choose what on your computer you’d like to cast.
- Click Share. Your Chromebook content should appear on your TV.
To stop sharing your screen, click on the time, then click Stop next to Casting screen.
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How to Connect a Laptop to Your TV
Are you trying to show off your vacation pictures to family members gathered around the living room? Is your laptop screen not big enough to watch a movie on a high-quality display? Maybe you just want to surf the web from the comfort of your couch using a wireless keyboard and mouse?
There are plenty of reasons you might want to connect a computer or laptop to your TV. It opens up a world of possibilities, so you can do everything from stream videos to play triple-A (AAA) games on a 60-inch 4K monitor.
Whether you want to use an HDMI cable or go wireless, here’s a guide for everything you need to know on how to connect a computer to a TV.
What’s an HDMI cable?
“HDMI” stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. An HDMI output on your laptop or computer feeds high-definition video and audio into a compatible display via an HDMI input on your TV.
You can use HDMI cables to mirror the display and sound on a computer to a TV, and you’ll also find these input/output ports on projectors, cable boxes, and AV receivers. These cables are the easiest, most convenient method to learn how to connect a computer to a TV. Essentially, all you’ll need to do is insert one end of the HDMI cable to a compatible computer and plug the opposite end into the receiving port behind your TV panel.
Keep in mind though, if you’re not connecting a portable laptop to a TV and would instead like to project the display of a stationary computer, you’ll need an HDMI cable that’s long enough to reach between both devices. Instead of purchasing a 6-foot cable, you might want to opt for a 10-foot HDMI cable to connect a PC to a TV and minimize your risk of trip hazards.
Pro tip: A longer cable can result in signal degradation and a possible loss in audio or visual quality. If you’re experiencing issues with your picture display, switch to a cord shorter than 16 feet in length or connect your laptop to a TV using an alternative method.
What kind of HDMI cable do I need?
When shopping for HDMI cables, you’ll probably notice that there are different monitor types. As display panels evolve from High Definition Resolution (HDR) to Full HD (FHD) and Ultra HD (UHD), manufacturers are eager to offer more powerful signal transmitters. Before spending unnecessary money on expensive cables, double check your system requirements to make sure you only pay for what you need.
Standard HDMI cables can handle 720p and 1080i signals. They may be able to support 1080p and 4K resolution, but it’s not guaranteed.
High-Speed HDMI cables will have no problem displaying 4K resolution, FHD, and UHD. This cable is especially recommended for users looking to connect a laptop to a TV with a 3D display.
You might also encounter Standard or High-Speed HDMI cables with Ethernet. These allow for data transmission and let you share an internet connection between your laptop or PC and an internet-ready Smart TV.
In most cases, you should be fine with a standard, entry-level HDMI cable, but if you’d like to play AAA video games with advanced graphics in immersive detail, or mirror your display onto a 3D HDTV, you should consider upgrading to an HDMI cable with a faster connection.
If you’re learning how to connect a laptop to a TV but can’t find an HDMI port on your device, it may be incompatible and require a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) adapter to set up a dual display system. You should be aware that a DVI-to-HDMI connection will not support audio signals; in this case, you must connect to a laptop to a TV using an Audio Line Out with the DVI Audio Line In to hear the sound.
If this is inconvenient, you can also use a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) adapter to establish an HDMI connection between your phone or tablet to your TV instead of your laptop or computer.
Steps for connecting your computer to the TV
Once you know the correct cable to use, follow these steps on how to connect a computer to a TV with HDMI:
- Safely shut down the computer and TV.
- Connect your HDMI cable to the computer and the TV display.
- Power on the TV and select “HDMI” as the input source.
- Power on your computer or laptop to connect to the TV.
- If your output does not automatically adjust, go to “Control Panel” —> “Display” —> “Adjust Resolution” —> and select “TV” in the “Display” drop-down menu.
Windows Vista OS adjustments
Users on a Windows® Vista™ operating system who are learning how to connect a PC to a TV will need to make additional adjustments to select the HDMI as the default audio device.
- Right-click the volume icon on the taskbar.
- Select “Playback Devices” and wait for the “Sound” window to open.
- On the “Playback” tab, select “Digital Output Device (HDMI)” or if that option is not present, “Realtek HDMI Output” will work.
- If you’re using the Realtek option, select the 48.0 Hz box in the “Supported Formats” tab and ensure that there is no check mark in any other boxes.
- Click “Apply” and “OK” to close the window and activate the HDMI sound.
Adjust the graphics
If you’re connecting a computer to a TV in order to play video games with advanced graphics on a better display, you might want to adjust your NVIDIA® or ATI® card settings for a better viewing experience. Open the software by right-clicking anywhere on your desktop window; there you’ll be able to make tweaks to 3D settings, display settings, high definition format, and more.
How to connect a computer to a TV wirelessly
Learning how to connect a computer to a TV with an HDMI is pretty easy, but not necessarily the most convenient method for creating a mirrored display. You might accidentally pick out a cable that’s too short or too slow to meet your demands. Clunky cables can also be unsightly, making your otherwise-streamlined entertainment unit appear messy or disorganized.
To solve this, you can learn how to connect a computer to a TV wirelessly and spare yourself the hassle of HDMI cords. Wireless connections are especially convenient for PC users who lack the mobility of a laptop and do not want to constantly relocate their computer to be within the TV’s reach.
If you’re curious about how to connect your computer to a TV wirelessly, there are a few different methods you can use:
- The new Intel Unite® technology allows for content sharing and collaboration across all major devices and operating systems (OS). You can use the open platform software across mixed technology environments, enabling you to not only connect a laptop to a TV, but also a document camera to a projector, digital whiteboard to a monitor, and much more using the plugins from the Intel Unite App Showcase.
- Prior to the Unite solution, Intel offered a WiDi (or Wireless Display-Distribution) system that enabled users to wirelessly stream videos, movies, photos, and music from a computer to a compatible HDTV monitor.
Monitors that are not WiDi-equipped could pair with a computer using the HP Wireless TV Connect, eliminating the use of an HDMI cable to connect a laptop to a TV. If both your monitor and PC are WiDi-enabled, this could be an effective way to connect wirelessly.
- WiFi CERTIFIED Miracast™ has become standard on Microsoft Windows® 10 and beyond, which allows users to seamlessly beam the display of multimedia content between Miracast devices without the need of any third-party hardware.
It wirelessly mirrors whatever is displayed on the screen of your laptop or computer to a TV, including high-resolution presentations, pictures, videos, and apps – even when no WiFi connection is available.
Older Windows devices can use an adapter or download software to use Miracast, or purchase external hardware such as a Roku TV™ or Amazon Fire TV™ which use the same wireless display technology.
Computer content displayed on your TV
Now the whole family can watch a movie without squeezing around a small screen. Connect your PC to a TV and put a slideshow of pictures on display, or connect your laptop to a TV to play AAA video games with jaw-dropping graphics on a large 4K display.
You can use it for business or entertainment, collaboration or convenience, but learning how to connect your computer to a TV can prevent you from investing in a brand-new monitor, saving you money along the way.
Assess your needs and ask yourself whether you’re okay with using an HDMI cable to connect a laptop to a TV or if you’d prefer a wireless connection. If you go the former route, make sure you give yourself adequate cable length and speed to seamlessly sync your device. Those who’d prefer to do without unsightly cables should check their OS compatibility to see which software or hardware can satisfy their needs.
Once you learn the best method to connect your laptop or computer to your TV, everyone will be able to view your PC content easily from the comfort of your couch.
How to connect a laptop to a TV via HDMI: step-by-step instructions for connecting a laptop to a TV with an HDMI cable
Types of HDMI cables
- Which cable to choose
Step-by-step instructions for connecting a laptop to a TV via HDMI
- TV setup for HDMI connection
- Laptop setup
- Audio debugging
- Setting the display of the image from the laptop to the TV screen
- What to do if there is no sound?
- How to connect a laptop to an old TV?
- How to connect a laptop if there is no corresponding connector
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface in English, which means “high definition multimedia interface”. The name speaks for itself: this cable will transmit high-quality multimedia content, that is, both sound and image.
By the way, through such a cord you can connect not only a laptop to your TV, but also a game console, computer or other device with a suitable connector. How to choose an HDMI cable for TV, we told earlier.
HDMI cables come in many varieties. Let’s see how they differ and why it is important for us to bring a laptop to a TV via HDMI.
- HDMI Standard This cable is capable of transmitting 720p or 1080i at 60Hz at up to 2.25Gbps.
- HDMI High Speed This label indicates high speed cables. Their resolution allows you to transmit 4K content: an image with a width of 4096 pixels, but only at a frequency of 30 Hz, as well as 3D material in Full HD resolution. The transfer rate can be from 8 Gbps or higher. You can connect Blu-ray players through these cords.
- HDMI Premium High Speed Cables with even more awesome features: 4K content up to 60Hz and 3D picture in 4K quality. There is support for HDR, and the speed has been increased to 18 Gbps.
- HDMI Ultra High Speed These are the coolest cables that play 8K content up to 60Hz or 4K content at 120Hz at 48Gbps.
Which cable to choose
- If you don’t have a brand new 720p TV and your goal is to watch video, HDMI Standard is fine.
- If your TV has a Full HD function, then HDMI High speed is suitable for it.
- When your TV’s capabilities include HDR, 4K, and 3D in 4K, you can buy HDMI Premium High Speed.
- And if you can watch content in 8K resolution, then it makes sense to buy the best Ultra High Speed cable and enjoy the effect.
Setting up your TV for HDMI connection
- Connect the cable to your TV at one end and to your laptop at the other.
- Usually on the TV remote control there is a special button called Source or Input, which opens a list of signal sources.
- Click on it and select from the available options the HDMI output to which you connected the cable on the TV. Sometimes there are several: HDMI-1, HDMI-2, etc.
- If there is no separate button on the remote control, then go to the main menu and find the “Signal Source” parameter. You can connect not only TV to a laptop, but also several displays at once.
Setting up a laptop
- To connect and configure an external monitor (in our case, a TV screen) to the laptop, there is a special function key (F10) on the laptop keyboard. However, on some models, this is done using the FN+F8 or FN key combination and another key that displays a screen. Press the desired key or key combination.
- A window will appear on the laptop screen, in which you can select several projection options:
- computer screen only – the image will only be displayed on your laptop screen;
- repeated – both screens will have the same image;
- expand – the desktop is stretched over two screens and you can drag windows from one to the other;
- second screen only – you can switch your laptop to a TV via HDMI and the image will remain only on the TV.
- If you did not find such keys on the keyboard, then in Windows 10 and 11 you can open this menu through the settings: right-click anywhere on the desktop and select “Display settings” in the context menu.
- There are two important things you can do in this menu: adjust the zoom to fit your monitor and your eyesight. The “Multiple Displays” option will allow you to choose how you want to project to a different screen.
To check your audio settings, you need to follow these steps:
- Make sure your cable is properly connected to both your TV and laptop. Also see if you succeeded in selecting the TV as the main screen according to the instructions above.
- Check if the sound is turned off on the TV itself or on the laptop.
- On a laptop, go to “Settings” → “Sound”. Select “Playback Devices”. In a new window, in the list of available devices, you will see your TV or “Digital Audio (HDMI)”. Right-click on it and select “Set as Default”. Everything should be fine with the sound.
Adjusting the image output from a laptop to a TV screen
Normally, the image is adjusted automatically. But if suddenly something did not work out, then you can see what is happening in the settings of your laptop.
- Right-click on the desktop and select “Display Options” or “Screen Resolution”.
- In the “Screen” line, select your TV. If it doesn’t show up automatically, click the “Find” or “Detect” button and click on your TV screen.
If you seem to have set up the sound and everything should be in order, but for some reason it does not work, check these points.
- There may be a problem with the HDMI connector: for example, it is an HDMI (DVI) v1.3 port through which no sound is transmitted. Try plugging the cable into a different port.
- It is possible to run troubleshooting on a laptop, although this does not always help. To do this, go to the toolbar in the lower right part of the screen and right-click on the sound icon.
- Select the Troubleshoot option. The computer will prompt you to select the device you want to troubleshoot and fix. Select your TV screen and run diagnostics.
- If all settings are correct, try playing the sound on your laptop and see if you can hear it on your TV. If the sound is still not working, try restarting both devices and try again.
- If the problem persists, you may need to contact the TV or laptop manufacturer for further support or have the devices taken to a repair technician.
Your old TV may not have the appropriate ports, and you won’t be able to connect your laptop to your TV via HDMI. See if the TV has a VGA port (analog video port). It may be called RGB IN (PC).
Accordingly, your laptop must have a VGA output, and instead of HDMI, you can use a VGA-VGA cable to connect devices. If your TV only has AV inputs, you can use a VGA-to-AV adapter.
Pay attention to the main drawback of this connection – it allows you to transfer only the image without sound. You will need a separate RCA cable or VGA-RCA adapter for audio. So, if you buy a cable in a store, don’t forget to take care of the sound as well.
On the RCA cable, on one side there will be a 3.5 mm mini-Jack plug – you connect it to the laptop in the headphone jack, and on the other side – three multi-colored plugs, which are popularly called “tulips”. They must be connected to the TV in the appropriate sockets: the red plug – into the red socket, yellow – into yellow, white – into white.
And yes, it should be noted that the image will not be of great quality and the colors may be dull. But if the TV screen is larger than the laptop screen, it makes sense.
Devices may not have suitable connectors for cable connection. Or, for some other reason, it’s difficult to set up HDMI on a laptop and TV – you don’t want to mess around with wires, for example. If your TV model has Smart TV, then you can connect gadgets wirelessly – via Wi-Fi. This is certainly much more convenient, but the connection speed will be slightly lower than via a cable.
The connection methods vary by model. But the smart TV itself will tell you how to proceed – just follow the instructions on the screen.
View all HDMI cables and choose your own
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Why is there no image on the TV from a computer (laptop) via HDMI cable
In some cases, after connecting the TV to a computer or laptop via an HDMI cable, the image simply does not appear on the TV. Rarely, but it also happens that there is sound via HDMI, but there is no image on the TV. Although, it seems to me that most often they encounter the opposite problem when there is an image, but there is no sound via HDMI.
In this article, we will try to deal exclusively with the problem of outputting an image via an HDMI cable. It seems that everything is simple there, we connected the TV to the computer, selected the desired input on the TV, and if necessary, then on the computer we also select the desired image output mode. And in theory, everything should already work. Instead, we see the inscription “No signal” on the TV.
Before moving on to some tips, see the instructions for connecting a TV to a computer via HDMI:
- Very detailed instructions for connecting an LG TV to a computer using an HDMI cable.
- And one more article on connecting a TV to a laptop via HDMI. On the example of a Philips TV and Windows 10.
If you do everything according to the instructions, but there is no result, and the image on the TV did not appear, then we will understand now.
First of all, you need to check the cable connection , and remember the HDMI input number on the TV to which the cable is connected. Check if the cable is well inserted into the output on the laptop or desktop computer. Then, check the cable connection on the TV, and be sure to look at which HDMI input you connected the cable to. They are signed. It looks like this:
For example, I connected a cable to HDMI input number 3. The fact is that there are most likely several inputs on the TV. And in the settings we will need to select the one to which we connected the cable.
Checking the settings on the TV. Select the appropriate HDMI input in the settings. Not always after connecting the cable, the image from the computer immediately appears on the TV. Most likely, you will see the inscription “No signal”, or “Cable not connected”. There should be a button on your TV remote control that opens a menu with a choice of signal source. On Philips TVs, for example, this button is labeled SOURCES . Click on it, and select the HDMI input with the desired number from the list.
On LG TVs – button INPUT . Click on it and select the desired source. On the new LG TVs on Web OS, they may have already done it somehow differently. But the scheme is always the same, on any TV (Samsung, SONY, LG): open the menu with the choice of signal source and select the HDMI input with the desired number (to which the cable is connected).
We check the settings on the computer. It is possible that the image output to the projector (TV, monitor) is disabled on the computer, so the picture does not appear on the TV and there is no signal. It’s very easy to check. In Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 10, just press the keyboard shortcut Win+P , and select one of the three display options: Duplicate, Extend, Projector only.
If you have “Disable projector” selected, no HDMI image will be output. In Windows 10, everything is about the same, only there the menu appears on the side of the screen.
If it was not possible to make friends with a computer with a TV, then it would be good to find out what is the reason: in the TV, in the computer, or in the cable. It is not difficult to do this. Especially if you have another PC, TV, monitor with HDMI input, or another cable.
Try connecting your laptop to, for example, another TV or monitor. If everything works, then the problem is in your TV (which is unlikely). This way we will eliminate problems with the cable. Also, you can just take another laptop (even borrow it from a neighbor) and connect it to a TV that does not display an image. If everything works, then the problem is in your laptop (computer). Which is what happens most often.
One more piece of advice. Try updating the video card driver with the TV connected via HDMI. Simply download the driver from the laptop/video card manufacturer’s website and install it.
Update: Andrey shared an interesting solution in the comments. After connecting the TV to the laptop, the TV had a “No Signal” error. But the laptop saw two monitors (built-in and TV). The frequency change for the second screen (TV) helped. I decided to add this solution to the article, and show in more detail how to do it.
Open the display options and see if there are two displays.
Scroll through the settings page and open “Advanced Display Options”.
We look carefully. There will be “Display 1” and “Display 2”. Near one of them may be the name of your TV. I currently have one display not active, since the image is displayed only on the second display. Click on “Display video adapter properties…” . You need to open the properties of the TV.
In the new window, on the “Monitor” tab in the “Screen refresh rate” menu, set 60 Hz. Click “Apply”.
After that, the “No signal” error on the TV should disappear. The image from the computer connected via HDMI appears. For some reason, Andrey’s system set the frequency of 25 Hz for the TV.
Right-click on an empty area of the desktop and open “Screen Resolution”. The TV must be selected in the Screen menu. Let me remind you that this method can only be applied when Windows sees a TV connected via HDMI, but does not display an image.
Go to “Advanced Settings” and on the “Monitor” tab, select a frequency of 60 Hz. Apply settings.
If this method worked, write about it in the comments.
Update: Disconnect everything unnecessary from the TV. For example, AV cable (tulip). Another device that can also be connected via HDMI. There is information in the comments that disconnecting the hard drive from the USB port helped!
Update: If you have an LG TV (perhaps this applies to other TVs), then turn off the “Quick Start” and the “SIMPLINK” function in the settings.
There are reviews that it helped.
Update: in the comments, Roman suggested that turning off the HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color feature in the LG TV settings helped him.
Later, Oleg confirmed that HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color really solves the problem with HDMI output to LG TV, but it is not advisable to disable this function, as this spoils the image and distorts it. And shared his decision. You need to change some options for the second display (TV) in the settings of the “Nvidia Control Panel” application, the icon of which is usually displayed in the tray.
If you have AMD graphics, the application is called AMD Catalyst Control Center. There should also be similar settings.
Update: unplug the TV from the outlet for a few minutes. The comments suggested that in this way they managed to solve the problem with the lack of an image via HDMI (there was just a blue screen on the TV).
What should I do if my computer does not output an HDMI image to my TV?
When we have determined that the problem is with the computer or laptop.