Sharing the Laptop’s Screen With the TV

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Laptop models have come with different video ports over the years, but HDMI or the 15-pin VGA connections are common.

Q. I don’t have a tablet or internet television and I want to stream video from my laptop to my TV. How do I do that?

A. Using a video cable to link the two screens and display the laptop’s monitor on the TV is a common solution. You just need to get the right video cable for the hardware involved. Start by checking the side or back of your laptop for the type of video-output port it has, and then check the back of the TV as well. (The manuals for both devices can tell you what ports are available if you cannot tell by looking.)

If you have a fairly recent television set and laptop — manufactured within the last five years or so — you may have HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) ports on both devices. If this is the case, you can use one HDMI cable to connect the computer to the television and play both the video and the audio signals from the laptop through the TV.

HDMI cables can be found for less than $10; the price varies based on the manufacturer and the length of the cable. Once you connect the two screens, use the TV’s remote to switch the video input to the HDMI port used by the laptop.

If your laptop and television are not as new or not particularly high-end, you may find a mix of older video ports on your gear, including VGA, S-video, DVI (digital video interface), component or even composite jacks. In these cases, you need to find a cable or adapter that fits each end of the connection, like a DVI to VGA cable. As most older video output systems carry only the picture, you need to get separate audio cables to bring the sound from the laptop to the television.

Wireless streaming is also a possibility if you have equipment that supports it, like a Mac laptop model that can use Apple’s AirPlay technology to stream video through an Apple TV to a connected television set. Intel’s WiDi technology for Windows and Android devices, Miracast and Google’s Chromecast dongle are among the other potential wireless streaming solutions from PC to TV.

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