There are many ways in which you can connect your laptop/ computer to a television. However, the overall video quality will be different for different methods. You can choose which one to use based on the quality or the availability of hardware. The first step is to know what type of ports and connections your TV and computer have. If you already know the type of ports and connections available on your hardware, you can directly jump to Step 2. If not, then the different types of ports are explained in detail below:-
|Different types of PC to TV connection ports|
1) RCA/Composite: The oldest and the lowest quality connection available. They are the Yellow, Red and White connections most of us are familiar with. Yellow is used for composite video, white for left analog audio and red for right analog audio.
2) S-Video: S-Video or Super Video offers slightly better quality than Composite connections. As it is one of the oldest type of connections available, most televisions and computers have it. There are two types of S-Video ports, one containing 4 pins and the other containing 7 pins. This type of connection is used only for video. So you will need to connect an audio cable from your computer’s headphone jack to the red and white audio inputs on your TV if you want audio to work.
3) VGA(Video Graphics Array): Most computers and televisions have a VGA port. It offers much better quality than S-Video and should be preferred if you have a HDTV. Older CRT TVs however, will not have a VGA port and will require a PC to Television converter. Just like S-Video, VGA also does not support audio and will require an additional audio cable.
|Different types of connecting cables to connect computers to TVs|
4) DVI: Digital Video Interface offers much better quality than VGA connections. Most laptop computers and HD TVs will have these connections. Just as the name suggest, this type of connection can be used only with digital TVs. Also like the previous two, DVI connections also require the use of an audio cable for audio to work.
5) HDMI: The highest quality connections available. Most HD TVs will have this connection, however, chances are that your computer would not. If your computer happens to have a HDMI connection port, this should be preferably used. If your computer doesn’t, you can use an HDMI to DVI adapter to convert HDMI to DVI.
Step 2: Once a common type of port between the two devices is recognized, you will need the right connector cable to physically connect them. The different types of connector cables are pictured above. If you do not find two matching types of connection ports, you will need an adapter to make the connections type match.
Step 3: After connecting the two devices, on your TV, select the external input with which your TV is connected to the computer. It may be HDMI1 or AV1 depending on how you have made the connection. This is much similar to how you select input from your DVD player.
If you have followed the steps correctly, your TV should now be displaying your computer’s screen.
Important: If your computer is not recognizing the external display, you must connect the TV before starting your computer. If the picture appears distorted, you will need to change the screen resolution of your TV by altering the display settings from your computer. Most older TVs will support only one display resolution while newer TVs will support plenty of them.