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Connect your Laptop to your Television

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There are many reasons why you might want to connect your laptop computer to your television.  Some popular ones include:

  1. You may have downloaded some movies/videos and want to watch them on the “big screen”.
  2. Your  friends are over to see your vacation photos and you don’t want them to crowd around a little laptop screen.
  3. You missed your favourite t.v. show and want to stream the video from the television channel’s interet site (i.e. cbc.ca, ctv.ca, citytv.com).

The first thing you need to know is if your laptop and television have the necessary ports to connect to each other. As far as your televison is concerned, if you have a new HDTV (Plasma, LCD or LED) they will have all the ports to choose from. If your tv is older, if you can connect a DVD player to it, you may be able to connect your computer (depending on your computer ports).

The most popular methods are:
Remeber not every option will work with every type of television set or laptop so you’ll want to look at the options and check the ports on both your TV and your laptop.

S-Video – Probably the most common method. S-Video cable is very inexpensive and just about every television has an S-Video port. You will have to make sure your laptop is equipped with this port.

VGA – If you have a HDTV, then you will be better off connecting using a VGA cable. It gives much better quality than S-Video and is also an inexpensive cable.

DVI – Digital is the key word here. The digital signal will give a higher quality picture than S-Video or VGA. You will need to make sure you computer has a DVI port and your TV will need to be an HDTV. This cord is more expensive but the qualilty is worth it.

HDMI – HDMI will give you the best quality by far. Computers do not seem to have HDMI ports (yet), but if your computer has a DVI port you can get a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to your HDTV.

Once you have connected your video cables, you will need to tell your computer to send the video signal to your television, as well you will need to choose the correct video source on your tv.

Mini Audio to RCA

Now that you have the video connected, you will need to connect the audio. This is a lot easier. Connect your audio-out from your laptop to your audio-in on your televison
using a mini-audio to RCA cable.