How to Connect Laptop to TV
Enjoy the benefit of watching enlarged images on your TV screen from your laptop or PC. As well, there may be many times when you would like to share pictures, video, or games from your laptop or PC with friends and family. How to connect laptop to TV set is detailed below:
Essentially there are three methods by which you can connect your laptop or PC to your TV set (1) Using cables only from PC/laptop to TV set if your PC/laptop and TV set connectors are compatible.
(2) Using a scan converter with cables from PC/laptop to your TV set – if your PC/laptop and TV set connectors are not compatible.
(3) Using a wireless device from PC/laptop to your TV set – which usually requires that your TV and computer be located in the same room with the wireless converter and is a more expensive method.
Which method to use depends on what type of connection plugins your laptop/PC has and what type of connection ports your television has.
So the first step is to inspect both your laptop and TV set to identify the connection plugin types which are easily located on the back of either component.
To help you with the task of determining whether you need a connection by only cables or cables with a converter device we refer you to this web page diagram wherein the pictorial images of combinations of computer and TV set plugins will identify your connection method. Plugin types
This web page is from pctvcables.com which is an excellent website for a detailed and pictorial instructions on how to connect your PC/laptop to your Tv set as well as providing high quality cables and converters which you can buy directly from them online via credit card or Paypal.
Shipping charges are extra. They are located in Maryland, USA and ship throughout the states, Canada and possibly other countries if you check with them.
(1a) Cables-only-Connectors from laptop/PC to HDTV set
HDMI certified laptop/PC to TV Cables – “High-Definition Multimedia Interface” (HDMI) connection for HDTV sets – connect your laptop/PC’s HDMI output jack to your HDTV’s HDMI input jack. This male to male connector cable transmits uncompressed, fully digital video and audio between your laptop/PC and HDTV and supports the highest quality HD video and stereo audio.
HDMI cable is available in various lengths (PCTVcables.com offers this cable in 15′ and 25′ lengths plus an extension of up to 100 ft). It costs a little more than the other cable options, but its superior picture quality might make the cost worthwhile. (See images of these connectors below) Their premium quality HDMI certified PC to TV cables features COPARTNER brand UL certified cable bodies, triple-shielding and gold-plated connectors @ $24.95 US for 15 ft HDMI cable or $34.95 for 25 ft lengths. Shipping charges are extra.
Note that if your laptop/PC does not have the HDMI plug in socket you will need to buy an adapter to convert the HDMI cable to the “digital visual interface” (DVI) 24 pins plug, which is a more typical type of computer connection. DVI adapters cost approx $ 3 US and are available at most electronic suppliers. See below.
(1b) VGA with Stereo Audio laptop/PC to TV set cables for HDTV sets – connect plugin jack from one end of the cable to your laptop/PC’s VGA output jack and plug in the other end jack to your HDTV set’s “PC Input” jack. Also plug in the separate audio cable end jacks into their respective ports on your laptop/PC and TV set. These cables support high-definition video and stereo audio. NOTE: A small percentage of HDTVs do not have a 3.5 mm stereo audio input jack. If your HDTV set does not have this standard jack you will also need an audio adapter that converts the 3.5 mm stereo audio plug to RCA (red and white) plugs. PCTVcables.com offers their specialty VGA with Stereo Audio cables in lengths of 15 ft @ $ 24.95 US and 25 ft @ $ 29.95 US. Their Audio Adapter sells at $3.95 US. Shipping charges are extra. VGA with Audio cables info
(1c) S-Video with Stereo Audio to RCA Composite Laptop/PC to TV Cables for standard-definition TV sets – connect S-Video cable end jack to your laptop/PC’s S-Video output jack along with the audio jack into the respective laptop/PC port and plug the other cable end RCA Composite (yellow, red and white) 3 jacks into your TV set ports . These cables supports standard-definition video and stereo audio. PCTVcables.com offer this 4 pin plugin s-video cable in one length at 15 ft but other lengths are available at other suppliers. This 4 pin cable works with both 4-pin and 7-pin S-Video jack plugins on your laptop/PC. Their premium quality S-Video PC to TV set cables features sturdy PVC jackets and gold-plated connectors. These cables carry both your audio and video signal selling at $ 19.95 US. Shipping charges are extra.
S-Video with Stereo Audio cables info
(2a) Laptop/PC to TV set Converter – VGA to HDMI 720p with Scaler Function This connection is only for HDTV sets – this converter is only supplied from PCTVcables.com. It is an affordable VGA to HDMI Converter which connects your laptop/PC to your HDTV set using your laptop/PC’s VGA and stereo audio output jacks and your HDTV’s HDMI input jack. VGA output jacks are found on almost all PCs and HDMI input jacks are found on all new HDTVs. This converter provides high-definition video and stereo audio and features a built-in “scaler function.” (converting video signals from one size or resolution to another). This unit automatically converts many common laptop/PC resolutions to a fixed 720p output which is compatible with almost all HDTV sets.
This converter comes as a complete kit including everything you need to connect your laptop/PC to your HDTV set @ $94.95 US with one year warranty or extended for 2 years for $10 more. Shipping charges are extra.
VGA to HDMI converter Kit Info See how to set up this system at Installation guide
(2b) Laptop/PC to TV set Converter – VGA to COMPONENT Video 480p, 720p, 1080i – This connection is for a standard television set or HDTV set –
supplied from PCTVcables.com. It is an affordable VGA to COMPONENT Converter which connects your laptop/PC to your TV set using your laptop/PC’s VGA output jacks and your TV set’s COMPONENT input jacks. VGA output jacks are found on almost all laptop/PCs and COMPONENT input jacks are found on many old and all new HDTV sets. This converter provides standard and high-definition video depending on the type of your TV set. Included is their 15 ft VGA with stereo audio cable providing both video and audio to your TV set.
This converter comes as a complete kit and include everything you need to connect your laptop/PC to your TV set @ $84.95 US including 15 ft cable and one year warranty or extended for 2 years for $10 more. Choosing the longer 25 ft cable costs $5 more. Shipping charges are extra.
VGA to Component Video Kit Info See how to set up this system at Installation guide
(2c) Laptop/PC to TV set Converter – VGA to RCA/Composite or S-Video – This connection is for standard television sets – not intended for use on HDTV sets – supplied from PCTVcables.com is an affordable VGA to RCA/Composite or S-Video Converter which connects your laptop/PC to your TV set using your PC’s VGA output jack and your TV set’s RCA/Composite (yellow) or S-Video input jack. VGA output jacks are found on almost all PCs and RCA/Composite and S-Video input jacks are found on many tube-style televisions. This converter provides standard definition video viewing suitable for watching movies, TV shows, etc. but not for reading text. An example of the image quality comparison on a tube-type TV set is shown by clicking Here This converter kit comes with their exclusive 15 ft S-Video with Stereo Audio laptop/PC to TV set cable providing you with both video and audio to your TV set @ $59.95 US with a one year warranty or extended for 2 year free replacement warranty for $10 more. Shipping charges are extra.
VGA to RCA/Composite or S-video Kit Info See how to set up this system at Installation guide
Alternative Inexpensive Suppliers of Converter devices – are available from electronic brick & mortar stores plus online retailers. There are numerous brands of converters on the market from which we have listed 4 models from Amazon.com below, all of which have above average positive customer ratings from Amazon. These products are available elsewhere but Amazon provides both new and used items at competitive prices along with valuable customer feedback.
Sewell PC to TV (VGA to RCA) Converter with All-in-One Cable approx $ 35 at Amazon which has 140 customer reviews averaging 4 stars rating overall with 80% users reporting above average results. Sewell PC to TV (VGA to RCA) Converter w/ All-in-One CableVideo Converters)
Videosecu PC to TV Converter VGA to RCA S-Video Mac Computer Laptop to Composite Video Switcher VGA2TV 1L7 approx $19 at Amazon – Windows and Mac compatible which has 284 customer reviews averaging 4 stars rating overall with 85% users reporting above average results. Videosecu PC to TV Converter VGA to RCA S-Video Mac Computer Laptop to Composite Video Switcher VGA2TV 1L7Video Converters)
Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog TV Converter Box (for Antenna Use) approx $40 at Amazon which has over 500 customer reviews averaging 4 stars rating overall with 83% users reporting above average results. Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog TV Converter Box (for Antenna Use)DTV Converters)
Component video (YPbPr) / VGA To HDMI Converter With Auto Up-scale approx $ 42.50 at Amazon which has over 151 customer reviews averaging 3.5 stars rating overall with 75% users reporting above average results. Component video (YPbPr) / VGA To HDMI Converter With Auto Up-scaleVideo Converters)
(3) Laptop/PC to HDTV wireless device connectors and buying resources
The obvious advantage of a wireless connection between your laptop/PC and your high HDTV set is simply the avoidance of cables but the disadvantages of both higher costs and the need generally to locate both your tv set and computer within the same room (usually within 30 feet and a clear line of sight of each component) may offset selecting the wireless route.
Regarding the different brands, note that they all have the same “brain”. For example the company, Wisair, makes these products for the different brand names, eg. Warpia, Cables Unlimited and Atlona which are brands sold in USA. So shop for the best deal but make sure that you get one with both HDMI video and audio. Also check on the manufacturer’s warranty which can vary to as long as 3 years for the Altona brand. And be sure to check the specific requirements of these products before purchasing to ensure that your systems conform to them.
We have reviewed numerous wireless devices available on the market and suggest choosing one of the following models based primarily on CNET and Amazon’s customer ratings.
Atlona Wireless Video Console/Extender AT-AIR3 approx $128 at Amazon – has only 2 customer reviews averaging 4 stars rating overall since it is a new upgraded model to its predecessor which ranked well. This all new AT-AiR3 is designed to connect any Windows or Mac based laptop/PC to your HDTV set, projector or computer monitor wirelessly through HDMI or VGA Connections. Note that this new model has a 3 year manufaturer’s warranty. Atlona AT-AIR3 Wireless VGA and HDMI Extender
Warpia Wireless USB laptop/PC to TV Audio / Video Display Adapter set approx $116 at Amazon – has 98 customer reviews averaging 4 stars rating overall with 70% users reporting above average results. It enables users to display audio and video content from their laptop or PC wirelessly to a TV set or projector. Content such as streaming video, pictures, movies, presentations, web content and other types of data can be shown on a larger remote display without the hassle and clutter of wires and without any cable limitations. This Warpia set provides streaming audio & video up to 30 ft.(10 meters) within the same room with line of site coverage.
This set includes wireless USB laptop/PC adapter, wireless USB device adapter (plugs into the video base), video base with HDMI, VGA and 3.5mm audio connectors and table/wall mounting options, power supply unit, quick start guide, CD with software, drivers and user manual. Note that HDMI, VGA and audio cables must be purchased separately. Warpia provides one year warranty. Atlona AT-AIR3 Wireless VGA and HDMI Extender
Veebeam HD Wireless PC to TV link 1080p set – approx $90 at Amazon and has 135 customer reviews averaging 3.5 stars rating overall with 80% users reporting above average results. Veebeam is an affordable way to wirelessly stream video & audio content from your laptop to your HDTV set. It’s compatible with Mac OS X (10.5, 10.6), Windows 7, Vista and XP. Note that your TV set and laptop/PC should be in the same room in order for the system to operate. Veebeam provides free player software program that you need to install to operate the system.
There are two ways to use Veebeam – “Screencasting Mode” (default) to display your desktop and/or view websites. This is the mode you will see when you first insert the USB antenna into your laptop. You’ll experience 2 seconds connection lag between your laptop/PC and TV set which defeats using Veebeam for video gaming applications where timing is important but still is suitable for watching internet tv programs, tv shows and movies from popular sites like Hulu and Netflix
Use the alternative “Video Play-To Mode” when playing downloaded media files (not applicable to websites). The other advantage of using this mode is for multi-tasking wherein you can stream to your TV set while writing emails or surfing the web.
Veebeam provides a one year warranty on its products. They also sell a model for standard definition video for approx $10 less. Veebeam HD | Wireless PC to TV link | 1080pPortable Audio & Video)
Laptop/PC to TV set connector cable models (at Amazon.com)
HDMI cables lengths of 6 ft, 15 ft and 25 ft
Mediabridge Ultra Series – High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet – Category 2 Certified – Supports 3D & Audio Return Channel [Latest HDMI Version Available] – (6 Feet)HDMI Video Cables)
HDMI Extension Cable Male to Female (Gold Plated ends) 25ft
Cmple – HDMI Extension Cable Male to Female (Gold Plated Connectors) -25ft
DVI-D Male to HDMI Female Adapter Cables Unlimited ADP-3780 DVI-D Male to HDMI Female Adapter
VGA to 3-RCA component video 12 ft cable
12FT VGA to 3 RCA component video cable (HD15 – 3-RCA)
S-Video male 4 pin with 3.5mm Audio to 3 RCA Composite AV 6 ft cable S-Video to 3-RCA Composite AV Cable for Laptop PC TVAudio Video Cable Kits)