Let’s face it. Sometimes your laptop screen just isn’t big enough for everything you want to do. Then, you look over at your lonely 55 inch Smart TV longing to be used and wonder if there’s a way to connect the two. Yes, there is!
So, whether you want to swap your small screen for a big screen for viewing movies, or to use your TV as an extra monitor while working from home, or you just want a bigger screen to see your friends’ faces over video chat — we’ll take you step-by-step through several options.
How to connect your laptop to your TV
One of the most reliable (and one of the easiest) ways to connect your TV and laptop is with an HDMI cable. An HDMI cable transmits video and audio signals between two devices.
HDMI cables are the same on both ends, so it doesn’t matter which one goes into the TV or the laptop.
- Plug one end of the HDMI cable into your HDMI input on your laptop.
- Plug the other end of the cable into one of the HDMI inputs on your TV.
- Using the remote control, select the input that corresponds to where you plugged in the cable (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3, etc.).
A wired connection between your laptop and TV ensures better picture quality and shorter lag time.
How to wirelessly connect your laptop to your Smart TV
Depending on the type of computer you have, you may be able to ditch the cables and connect wirelessly.
To connect your Windows PC to your Smart TV:
- Open the action center in the lower right corner of the screen. (It looks like a chat bubble.)
- From the dashboard, select Connect.
- At the bottom right, click Projecting to the PC.
- From the Settings page, select either Available everywhere on secure networks or Available everywhere.
- Under “Ask to project this PC” choose either First time only or every time, based on your personal preference. You can also decide if you want to require a PIN.
- Your PC will alert you that your TV wants to connect, click Yes.
- Once it connects, your PC will launch the Windows connect app.
To connect your Apple laptop to your Smart TV:
If you have a compatible Smart TV, you can easily connect your laptop to it through AirPlay. Compatible devices include Apple TV or AirPlay 2-enabled Smart TVs (i.e. TV’s from 2019 or later from Samsung, LG or Vizio). AirPlay allows you to stream videos or mirror the display on your device’s screen on your TV. Here’s how:
- Make sure your laptop and Apple TV or AirPlay 2-enabled Smart TV are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your laptop, open the app or pull up the website that you want to stream video from.
- In the video playback controls, select the Screen Mirroring icon.
- Choose either your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-enabled Smart TV.
To end your streaming session, tap the Screen Mirroring icon in the video playback controls, then choose Turn Off AirPlay.
To connect your Chromebook to your Smart TV with Chromecast:
If you’d like to go wireless and connect your Chromebook to your TV without an HDMI cable, you’ll need to buy a Google Chromecast to plug into your Smart TV.
- Connect your Chromecast to the HDMI port on your Smart TV.
- Using your remote control, select the HDMI input that corresponds to where you plugged it in.
- Open the Chrome browser on your computer and select Cast.
- If this is your first time setting it up, follow the directions on screen to complete the device setup.
- In the lower right corner you should see “Cast devices available,” select it to see all the casting options you have available:
- Internal Display > Share allows you to mirror everything on your screen.
- Pull up Netflix in your browser and the TV show or movie you want to watch, select the Cast icon.
- For YouTube, pull up the video you’d like to watch and select Play on TV from the menu bar.
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