How to connect AV cables to a laptop

Updated February 21, 2017

Certain models of laptop computers will come with high-quality internal video and sound cards that contain more audio and video inputs that normal. These inputs are designed to allow you to easily connect your laptop computer to external devices like television sets, digital camcorders and some video game systems. If you're trying to connect A/V cables to your laptop computer, make sure that your laptop computer supports the type of cable you're trying to use.

Look in your laptop computer's instruction manual for a complete list of the various A/V inputs that are present. Inside the manual will be a diagram of the back panel of your laptop computer. This diagram will point out what each input on the unit does, including the A/V inputs. Keep this list handy as you'll need to refer to it to find out what devices you can connect to your machine.

Look at the manual that came with your external device to see what type of A/V cables it uses. Inside the manual for your device will be a list of everything that came packaged in the box. This will include the name of the A/V cable that came with it. Look at this name and then compare it with the list for your laptop to see if your computer supports that type of connection.

Plug in your A/V cables into your laptop, paying close attention to the colour on the cable. Most audio/video cables are colour coded, making it easier to use them. The red cable, for example, will always plug into the red input on your laptop computer.

Pay attention to the shape of an input. Certain types of A/V cables, like HDMI cables for example, are uniformly black in colour. If there is no distinguishing colour to the cable, pay attention to the shape of the plug on its end. Match it up with the same input on your laptop computer and then connect the A/V cable to that particular input.

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About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.