How to Connect a Dell Laptop to HDTV With a VGA Port

Written by brenton shields
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How to Connect a Dell Laptop to HDTV With a VGA Port
The VGA output can be found either on the side of the keyboard or on the back of the laptop's casing. (vga image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from Fotolia.com)

The Dell laptop line typically includes the necessary port for any user wishing for a bigger picture than the one their monitor can offer. Using the VGA port and a male-to-male VGA cable, users can plug a laptop into their HDTVs for use either as an external monitor or an extended monitor. Users can then watch a movie in Windows Media Player on their TV while typing in a word processor on their laptop.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Dell laptop with VGA output
  • HDTV with VGA input
  • Male-to-male VGA cable

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Connect your laptop's VGA output to your HDTV's VGA input using the VGA male-to-male cable. The output and input should look identical on the laptop and HDTV. On the laptop the port can usually be found on the side of the keyboard or on the back underneath the monitor. On the HDTV it is almost always on the back with the other video inputs.

    How to Connect a Dell Laptop to HDTV With a VGA Port
    A male-to-male VGA cable should connect your laptop and HDTV. (connection cocnept - cables studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Turn on your laptop and right-click your desktop background, which should prompt a menu to pop up. Scroll down and highlight "Graphics Options," highlight "Output To" and highlight and left-click "Digital Television."

    How to Connect a Dell Laptop to HDTV With a VGA Port
    You need to instruct your laptop to export its video signal to the TV. (laptop image by martini from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Turn on the HDTV and select the VGA input by selecting "Video Source" or "Input" on your remote control. The proper video channel will probably be labelled "VGA," but in some cases it may be labelled "PC" or "Computer." Once you have selected the proper video channel, the images from your laptop screen should appear on your TV.

    How to Connect a Dell Laptop to HDTV With a VGA Port
    You have to select the proper video channel to see the laptop's images on your HDTV. (tv control and tv 16 image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • VGA does not transfer sound, so you should probably hook up some external speakers to your laptop or wear headphones if you're planning on playing music videos or any other application requiring sound.

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