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How to Connect a Wireless Laptop to a TV

Updated February 21, 2017

Wireless laptops can be a convenient way to access the Internet on the go but the small laptop screens are not ideal when performing certain tasks such as streaming video from the Internet. Connecting a wireless-enabled laptop to a TV screen is a way to watch videos and other applications from a laptop on a larger screen. Connecting a laptop to a TV is a relatively simple process, but it requires that you have the appropriate cables and possibly an adaptor, depending on the connections available on your computer and TV.

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  1. Place your laptop next to your TV and inspect the laptop's available video ports. Almost all laptops will have a VGA port, while some may also have S-video, DVI or HDMI.

  2. Inspect the available video input ports on your TV set and determine whether your laptop and TV have any ports in common. Some newer HDTVs have VGA or PC In ports, while S-video and HDMI are more common.

  3. Connect your laptop to your TV using the cable type of any port that the two have in common. For example, if your laptop has a VGA port and your TV has VGA in, connect a VGA cable to your laptop and then connect the other end to your TV. If the TV and laptop both have HDMI ports, use an HDMI cable. If the devices have no ports in common, go on to step 4.

  4. Connect a VGA cable to the VGA port of your laptop.

  5. Connect a cable adaptor to the other end of the VGA cable that converts the connection into a type accepted by your TV. For example, if your laptop only has a VGA out port, but your TV accepts DVI, use a VGA to DVI adaptor at the end of the VGA cable.

  6. Connect a second cable to the adaptor, and then plug the other end of the second cable into the TV. In the example from step 5, you would connect a DVI cable to one end of the VGA to DVI adaptor, and then connect the other end to your TV.

  7. Tip

    If your video card does not support multiple screens, you will not be able to use a TV as a secondary monitor. A VGA, DVI or HDMI connection will give a higher quality picture than an S-video connection.

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Things You'll Need

  • Appropriate interface cables (S-video, VGA, DVI or HDMI)
  • Appropriate cable adaptor
  • Video card that supports multiple displays

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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