This guide will help you find the best way to connect your computer to a TV. We’ve listed five options.

Are you a presenter who needs to be shared on big-screen TVs? You might enjoy being able show family vacation footage on TV. There are many reasons you might want to project your laptop onto your TV.

To be able see your laptop’s output on your screen, you would have to buy a separate unit, such as a PC to TV converter. These units were $50-$100, and required a basic VGA cable.

These units were of poor quality and did not offer the same level of quality as more modern models. There are many ways to send your laptop’s display directly to a TV today.

Modern displays may require a hard-wired connection. Others can be projected wirelessly through Bluetooth or infrared.

Five ways to connect your laptop to a television

Here are five options to connect your laptop and TV. Each one is described in detail. Choose the one that suits you best.

PC-to TV Converter (Mostly Obsolete).

This setup requires a VGA cable that connects from your computer’s VGA output and your TV’s VGA input. This setup has a problem because many TVs today do not have a VGA input. Although you can buy an adapter to convert your TV to a VGA input, this format is very outdated and not recommended. If you are looking to hardwire your setup, you might consider HDMI Out.


An HDMI cable is the most common and easiest way to output your laptop from your TV. To get your computer to recognize the TV as a monitor, you may need to change your Display Settings. Next, connect your laptop to the TV using the appropriate “input” via your remote. This is usually “input 1, 2, 3, or another similar setting. You will need to determine which one matches your HDMI input.

Wireless connections

Modern TVs can output your laptop or computer via Bluetooth or infrared. You can use an app to locate your TV on your laptop. This feature is available on some TVs, while others require you to use a third-party app.

Below are some examples of apps that allow you to connect to your TV.

  • Chromecast (use Google Chrome browser to stream content to your wireless TV)
  • Amazon Firestick (requires HDMI stick)
  • Roku (requires Roku HD Stick)
  • AllCast is a great app that lets you stream from almost all wireless devices

AllCast allows you to stream from your cell phone or tablet. The AllCast App can be used to output signal from a tablet-equipped laptop. Chromecast works from any device with wireless capabilities and the Chrome browser. You can also find many other apps for iPhones, tablets and laptops on the Apple Store, or the Google Play Store Android. These apps will show you how to use the app to send the signal to your phone from your laptop.


Cable technology has the advantage of being able to send video signals in many different ways. You can project your content on your TV as long as the cable you use carries the signal from your front end and interprets it on the backend (your television).

A DVI-to HDMI cable, or DVI-to DVI cable, can be used to output your signal from your laptop to your TV if it has a DVI Out connector. An HDMI cable can be used to connect your laptop and TV using a DVI to HDMI adapter.

DisplayPort to HDMI

An HDMI to DisplayPort connector is required to output your computer’s signal to the TV via an HDMI output. Remember that digital HD quality requires that you remove all analog cables and cords.

You are not getting the digital quality if you use VGA, Svideo, or RCA Composite cords. It is that easy. For best results, project the image as high as possible on the new TVs.

These requirements are not necessary if you’re just playing at home and just need to be able see the output.

You will need to upgrade to an HDMI connection or wireless connection if you plan to present to others.

How to improve the quality of your output

The more connections you have, the better. Your signal will be only as good as the components of your “mix”, which includes:

  • The input signal source (laptop, computer, etc.
  • Type of cord and type of output
  • Cable quality
  • Type of input (HDMI is the best)
  • Technology and TV quality

If you have a UHD TV (ultra-high definition TV), and use an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV, you will see the projection clearly better than if you use either a VGA/VGA or DVI to HDMI connection. Each link is crucial.

You may not even be able see the image in certain cases if your cords or devices are out of date. VGA is fast becoming obsolete, and DVI will likely be in the future. RCA cables, and S-video (another analog method), will soon be tossed with their father components, VHS and VCR.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be the most up-to-date with all technology changes. To get the best quality output, you’ll need to use the HDMI out-and-in capability between your computer and your TV.

Audiences are becoming more demanding, and they may not be able to tolerate a dull screen while you use your VGA device. To project a better image, you might consider using your computer tablet with an app like AllCast (paid edition) instead.


These days, there are many ways to project your computer or other device onto your TV. There are likely multiple options available for smart TVs. You can download apps from the App Store and Google Play Store to project your device onto your TV screen. To output your signal via HDMI, get an HDMI cable with either standard or micro HDMI depending on your equipment.

You may need to purchase adapters or other cables if you are a frequent user of your TV monitor for presentations and gaming.

Every link in the chain matters. Clearer signals will come through if cables and equipment are of higher quality.

You can find the adapters that you require online or at your local electronics store if you don’t have them.

It’s still nice to know there are many ways to project your screen onto your TV or other devices, so you can experience whatever you do in full-screen colors and sound.


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