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Connect your Windows
Laptop to Your TV

Ever wanted to watch your favorite Internet videos on your TV? Or show a PowerPoint presentation on a large screen? This guide from CableTV.com will show you how to connect your Windows-based laptop to a larger TV.

Types of Connections

Video

The first step in connecting your laptop to your TV is determining which cables you need. For video, look at your laptop and the back of the TV, and see if there is a connector that matches. Here are the video connections you should be looking for:

VGA

A VGA connector is the most common type of video connector, and is found on most modern laptops. Many HDTVs will have a VGA connector as well.

This connection is great for showing presentations or photos. You can also show videos with a VGA connection, but video quality will suffer.

DVI

DVI is a digital video connection. Though it's not a high-def connection, it is a step up from a VGA connection.

You should be able to show decent quality video with a DVI connection, but it won't be hi-definition.

S-Video

S-Video connections are found on most TVs. Because of this, many computer manufacturers have added S-Video ports to their laptops.

S-Video is not a digital connection, but it does handle video very well.

HDMI

The best of them all is an HDMI connection. With an HDMI connection, you are able to send high-definition digital video and audio to your TV from your laptop.

If your TV and laptop both have HDMI connections, you should definitely choose this option to connect your laptop to your TV.

Remember...

You may find that there is a mismatch in connections. For example, your laptop may have a VGA connector but your TV has a DVI connector. Don't worry...there is most likely a converter available. If you have a mismatch, just go to your local electronics store for assistance.

Audio

With VGA, DVI and S-Video connections, you will need a separate audio cable to send sound to your TV. If you are connecting your laptop to your TV via HDMI, you will not need a separate cable, as this connection can stream both video and audio. Here's what you need to know to send audio from your laptop to your TV.

Headphone Jack

Your laptop should have a headphone jack attached to it. You will use this connection to send sound to your TV.

RCA to Mini

To connect your headphone jack to your TV, you will need to get an "RCA to Mini" cable. This cable will connect your laptop's headphone jack to the red and white audio connectors on the back of your TV.

Connecting Your Laptop to your TV

1

Connect the appropriate audio & video cables to your laptop & TV

Double check your connections and make sure they are plugged in tight.

2

Turn on your TV
& Laptop

If necessary, go turn on your laptop and your TV.

3

Switch your TV source
to the appropriate input

Most TV remote controls have a button called "input." Use this button to switch to the appropriate source. For example, if you are using an HDMI cable, select "HDMI" as the source on your TV.

4

If necessary, press the appropriate keystrokes to toggle the display

Many laptops require you to press FN + another key (F4, F5, F6, etc.) to send video to your TV. Check your laptop's user guide for more info.

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