Our laptop allows us to do a lot of things. We can work, surf the Internet and also use it to stay in touch with friends and family. We can also use it as a multimedia center. To do this, we can connect the laptop to the TV. This way, we will be able to see on TV everything that is on the laptop. A good option to see tv-series, movies, videos or images.
Connecting our laptop to the TV is simple. Although many users do not know very well how to do it. There are several ways to do this. Next we are going to explain the different ways that we have for it. So you know how the laptop connects to the TV.
This way you will be able to use your laptop as a multimedia center in a simple way and give new uses to both devices.
The first option is probably the simplest and most comfortable of all the ways we can use. To connect our laptop to the TV we can use a cable. It’s as simple as that. In addition, we have several types of cables that make this process possible. Therefore, we explain below the various options within this category.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with this option. This is the easiest and most common way to connect your laptop to your TV. To do this we need a HDMI cable with double male connection to carry out this process. Although it is important to check first that both the TV and the computer have a connector for this type of cable.
Once we have bought this, and we have the right cable to carry out this process, the steps to carry out are as follows.
We have to turn on the TV and laptop. We look at the back or sides of our TV for an HDMI connection, usually indicated. So it will be easy for you to identify it. It is most likely located in the back, but it depends on each model. Once the cable port is located, we simply have to connect the HDMI cable to the television.
Next we repeat the same operation with our laptop. Therefore, we look for the location of the HDMI connector and connect the cable. When we have done this we will see how the laptop blinks for a few seconds. This is because it is identifying the HDMI connection. So there’s nothing to worry about.
The next thing we have to do is take the TV remote and look for the option to change the input. Usually there is a button that says “Source” or “Input” when clicking on it we get a menu where we have the ability to choose HDMI.
We also have to choose HDMI on our laptop. Normally the most usual thing is that we can press F5, and we have the possibility of choosing HDMI. Once this is done we can enjoy our TV to see the contents on the laptop.
Note: the HDMI connection transmits audio and video using the same cable. You won’t need any more cables.
Another option we have available to connect our laptop to the TV is to use the VGA cable. This is a possibility that is still in force, although it usually gives a somewhat lower quality than if we use the HDMI cable. But, we show you the steps to follow in this case if you want to use the VGA cable.
We have to use a VGA cable with two males, usually have blue connectors. Therefore, we have to look for where the connector for the VGA cable is in the television as well as in the laptop. Once we have located it, we simply have to connect the cable at both ends.
On the TV control click on “Source” or “Input” and select the option VGA or PC. It may vary depending on the model. So it depends on the TV you have, but it will be one of these two.
On our laptop we press the F5 key next to the Fn key. We wait a few moments and the TV and laptop have been synchronized correctly. We can now consume the contents of the laptop on our TV.
Note: The VGA connection only transmits the image. To listen to the audio on the TV you will need an audio cable of 3.5 mm or an optical cable if your laptop has optical output.
DVI Connector for Connecting Laptop to TV
Thirdly we have another possible cable that makes this connection possible. In this case this connection is used to transmit video. So it’s a good choice if we want to watch series or movies using TV. In addition, it stands out for its high quality of image and audio. That’s why it’s such a good choice for this purpose.
The process does not change with respect to HDMI. We simply have to locate on the TV if there is an input port for DVI. Also, look for the connector in our laptop. In this case you have to be careful, as in general many laptops do not have this port. So you may not be able to use the DVI.
But, going back to the process, you have to locate the connectors, connect both ends of the cable and go to the television control and click on “Source” or “Input”. In this way we have access and simply have to wait for the computer to recognize it. Press F5 on the laptop, and we should wait for it to work.
These three are the most common and work best to connect the TV to the laptop.
Connecting Without Cables
We can use cables to connect our laptop and TV. It is a good option that works very well, but if we want, we also have the possibility to carry out this process without using cables.
There are two possible options to connect your laptop to TV without cables. We can use Chromecast or Apple TV in case you have a Mac. Both options stand out because they work well and are very popular. Here’s how to use both.
Chromecast gives us a lot of possibilities. One of them is to be able to connect the screen of our laptop and television in a simple way. So we can use laptop to view online college content on TV whenever we want. Although not all users know how to do this. The steps we need to take are as follows:
First you have to open Chrome and click on the options icon (three dots) and choose the send option. We will open an option to connect to Chromecast directly. Next we have to click on the send option that appears in the blue bar in the Chromecast connection window. The options to share tab are displayed, and we select the one to send desktop.
By selecting this option we are sending the entire screen the same way we see it on the computer. But we have several options to choose from, so you can select the one that suits you best. Once chosen we return to the previous window and click on the name of the Chromecast of our house.
Before the broadcast begins we open a preview screen in which we can see a preview of what will be seen on the screen of our TV. The only thing left to do is to press share and after a few seconds the TV will begin to show what is on the screen of the laptop. Most likely there is a second delay in the broadcast. But it’s nothing to worry about.
You can see that it is very easy to connect the laptop and your TV using Chromecast. So if you have this device at home, it’s a good option to use in this process.
Apple TV is option for users who have a Mac and want to connect their Mac with the TV. So it fulfills a similar function to Chromecast, but for Apple. We explain below the steps you have to take in this case.
In this case we have to have the Apple TV on, and we can start the process on our computer. Go to the Mac and click on the AirPlay icon at the top of the screen. It’s shaped like a rectangle with a triangle inserted into it. You will recognize it right away.
Once you click on this icon, a drop-down menu opens. One of the options is Apple TV. So we have to click on it. In case they don’t go out, it’s important to check that both Mac and Apple TV are connected to the same network. This is the most common problem in this case.
Once you have clicked on Apple TV, the AirPlay menu opens. At the bottom you will see an option to duplicate the screen. Make sure that this option is pressed. By doing so we are making what comes out on the computer screen to be shown on TV. Therefore, check this option and exit. After a few seconds, and we will see in the Apple TV the same thing that appears on the computer screen.
Another option to make our TV a multimedia center is to use Plex. It’s a lesser-known option, but it was quite popular a couple of years ago. Although it has lost some strength to the advancement of options like Chromecast. But thanks to it we will see on TV what is on the laptop screen.
First we have to create a local network in which the devices in question are connected. Therefore, both the Smart TV and our laptop and others must be connected to it. You may have already created it. If this is not the case, we must go to the laptop and work groups within the system in the configuration. There we can create this local network that will allow us this.
When we have configured this network for our home, we have to create a user account in Plex. So we go to the company’s website and in it we have the possibility to create such an account. When we have finished, we send an email with the information, and we can access the account.
The next thing to do is download Plex Media Center on your computer. Once downloaded, we open it, and we can log in with our account to it. Next we create our own library with the contents that we want to have in it.
We have to download the Plex application also in our Smart TV. Thanks to this we will be able to synchronize the contents in the laptop and access the library we have created from our TV. So you can see these contents easily on TV whenever you want.
If none of the above convinces you, perhaps you should consider buying a mini computer or mini laptop and using it exclusively as HTPC to watch movies, listen to music or play games from your TV.