How to Connect a Laptop to a TV

Cables & Leads

Cables & Leads

The increase in popularity of people using Laptop and notebook computers rather than the larger traditional PC has lead to more people using there TV’s instead of a computer monitor. Although the quality of the image displayed will be dependant on your TV. Whether you want to watch movies from your Laptop or use it for surfing the web, with the right know how it is a very easy and can be very worthwhile to connect your laptop to a TV.

In this guide on how to connect a laptop to a TV we will help give you the knowledge you need to be able to get the task done as easily as possible.

Getting your laptop connected up is basically as easy as getting a cable and connecting the two together, then changing the display settings on the laptop to allow the best image possible for the particular TV you are using.

Choosing the right cable for your equipment is where the problems start, there are so many available with different types of connectors to suit a full range of equipment that has been made over the years. Particularly in the last few years there have been so many changes in the types of cable used. To help make sure that you get your laptop connected to your TV as easily as possible it is necessary to identify what type of ports you have available on both your laptop and on your TV. We’ll go over the most common here and describe them as best we can to allow you to make the right choices, no matter if you have the latest equipment or it is a little older.

The majority of TV sets and Laptops will use one of the following Composite or RCA, S-Video, Scart, VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort don’t worry if your laptop and TV don’t have the same type of connections available as there are a number of converters / adapters available to take care of this.

So what are they all and how do I tell the difference?

Flat Screen TV

Flat Screen TV

Composite Cables or sometimes known as phono leads were very common a few years ago using three round coloured connectors and used to transmit analogue data. The three connectors are yellow for video, white for the left channel audio and red for right channel audio.

S-Video cables or Super Video is still popular and consists of a round connector with between 4 and 7 pins for the video signal and two audio cables for the left and right audio channels the same as RCA.

Scart Cables are rectangular in shape and have 21 pins in two horizontal rows. Commonly used on European TV’s and are capable of transferring both audio and video signals in standard definition. Now of course they are outdated and if your equipment is modern it is unlikely to use them.

VGA cables commonly used on older laptops and desktop computers and are a 15 pin connector and have a rounded rectangle shape. The VGA cable is only capable of transferring video information for audio you will normally have to use RCA cables.

DVI cables are rectangular in shape and have three horizontal rows of 8 pins giving a total of 24 pins. These were the standard connector for digital video until recently with the advent of newer and faster technologies.

The HDMI Cable is now the standard for digital connections and used for watching HD TV etc… They are rectangular in shape and about half the size of a DVI connector having only 19 pins in the connection. One of the advantages of these is that they can transfer both digital audio and video.

DisplayPort Cables have been specifically developed for connecting computers to there displays and to home entertainment systems and allowing the transfer of High definition data both audio and video.

Once you know what connection types you have on your equipment from the list above it is then time to start looking for a laptop to TV cable that will suit your equipment.

Can’t find the right cable? Click Here For Help Finding A Cable

Related Articles:
How to Connect a Computer to your TV
How to Mount a Flat Screen TV

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