How to Connect Your Laptop to your TV

A decade ago, most people received their television shows over their television. Today, things have changed, and many people download TV shows (legally and illegally) onto their computers.

Just because your TV shows are on your PC doesn’t mean you can’t watch them on your big screen TV and comfy couch. Today, we’re going to show you some of the easiest ways to connect a laptop to your TV and watch your favorite TV shows.

HDMI cord (easiest method)

If you bought a TV within the last five years, it probably has an HDMI connector. The same goes for laptops. Simply connect one end of the HDMI cord to your laptop and the other to your TV, then use your remote to choose the TV input source. Voila! The images from your laptop will appear on your TV screen. Start your TV show and you are good to go.

What you need:

-A TV with an HDMI input port

-A laptop with an HDMI output port

-An HDMI cord

hdmi-port-arrow-490

Connecting an Apple laptop to a TV

Apple doesn’t like adding HDMI ports to its laptops because they lose money on their overpriced adapter sales. If you own an Apple laptop and watch to watch TV shows on your TV, then you will need to buy the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, which allows your Thunderbolt port to function as an HDMI port.

Alternatively, if you have a device like Apple TV, you can stream your movies wirelessly over your home’s network to your TV. Unfortunately, this method requires you to add your video files to iTunes, and iTunes doesn’t support most popular video file formats.

In some cases, iTunes will try to convert those video files to a format it likes (.mp4), although I always get major audio sync issues with this method. Thanks Apple!

Connecting older laptops to your TV

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If your TV and laptop do not have HDMI ports, then it’s not necessarily impossible to connect your laptop to your TV. You’ll just need to be more creative.

If you’re using an old CRT TV, then you’ll want to use an S-Video port. This won’t give you HD quality, but it’s a good last resort option. Unlike an HDMI port, which transmits video and audio data, the S-Video port only transmits video data, so you’ll need a separate audio cable.

Only really old laptops have S-Video ports. If your laptop is 5 to 10 years old, you are more likely to find a VGA port. VGA ports can be found on some TVs, although in many cases, you’ll need to buy a VGA adapter for your TV.

Wirelessly connecting your laptop to your TV

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Depending on the type of TV you own, you may be able to wirelessly connect to your TV over your laptop. As mentioned above, devices like Apple TV make this easy – especially if you buy your TV shows over iTunes. But if you don’t, then Apple TV can be more frustrating than it’s worth.

One of the best ways to take advantage of your Smart TV is to stream media wirelessly over your network. Most modern Smart TVs can do this, and all you need to do is turn your laptop into a media server. Just make sure your TV has DLNA capabilities and you’re good to go. You can search for DLNA supported devices here.

Once you’ve verified your TV has DLNA capabilities, you’ll need to download one of a handful of popular media servers for Windows, including:

Plex

TVersity

Twonky

-AllShare for Windows (recommended for Samsung TVs).

After installing that software, you’re ready to wirelessly stream media from any PC to your TV.

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