How to Play a DVD on a TV From a Laptop

Written by chris moore
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How to Play a DVD on a TV From a Laptop
HD TV sets can connect to computers. (tv control and tv 16 image by chrisharvey from

If your laptop computer has a DVD player and you don't have a separate player for the TV (or if it is broken), you can use the laptop's DVD player with the computer. You just need to connect the computer to the TV set. Hooking up an HD TV set to a laptop depends on the type of video outupt connection the laptop has compared to the input port the TV set has, be they VGA or DVI.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • VGA, DVI or S-video cable
  • Stereo miniplug to RCA audio cables

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  1. 1

    Connect a VGA, DVI or S-video cable to the laptop computer. If using DVI, your laptop may require a mini-DVI to regular-DVI cable.

  2. 2

    Add a DVI to VGA adaptor cable if the TV set doesn't have the same connection as the computer. For an HD TV, an HDMI connector will give you better picture quality.

  3. 3

    Plug the other end of the cable into the TV set's input connection.

  4. 4

    Connect the laptop's sound card to the TV's audio input. Plug the miniplug on the miniplug-to-RCA cable into the headphone jack. Plug the red and white RCA plugs into the respective TV audio input jacks.

  5. 5

    Turn on the TV set and tune it to the correct channel. If you used the VGA or DVI connection, tune it to the "Computer" channel. If you used HDMI, tune it to the HDMI channel. If you used S-video, tune to "Aux."

  6. 6

    Right-click the desktop on a Windows computer, select "Settings," click on the "Display Settings" tab and select the external display option to have the computer screen appear on the TV. On a Mac, go to "System Preferences," select "Displays" and click the "Detect Displays" button.

  7. 7

    Insert the DVD into the laptop's disc drive and open the computer's DVD player application. On some computers, this opens up automatically once you load the disc.

Tips and warnings

  • A DVI connection uses several flat pins, while VGA uses numerous round pins that fit into small ports.

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