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How to Connect your TV to a Computer: A Step-by-step Guide

‍Today, most televisions come with an input for a computer. This is an ideal setup for accessing streaming video services and playing videos or music stored on your computer. You can also use this connection to play games or view websites, assuming the TV has that capability built in.

If you’re looking to connect your computer to your TV, there are several ways to do so. Which one you choose depends on what devices you have available and what you plan on using them for. Understanding the different methods of connecting your computer to a TV will help you select the right one for your needs.

Let’s take a closer look at three common ways of connecting a computer to a television and see which one might be ideal for your home entertainment system.

What You’ll Need

There are a few items you’ll need to connect your computer to your TV. You’ll need a computer with a video output, a TV that has an input for a computer, and some connecting equipment. Below you’ll find a list of common connecting devices, along with their pros and cons.

Computer – First, you’ll need a computer. Any modern computer can be used to connect your TV. While you don’t need a high-end computer, you’ll get the best experience with a modern computer.

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HDMI cable – To connect your computer to your TV with an HDMI cable, you’ll need both a computer with an HDMI output and a TV with an HDMI input. An HDMI cable will run from the computer to the TV, sending both audio and video from the computer to the TV.

Chromecast – The Chromecast device plugs into your TV’s HDMI input and streams video and audio directly from your computer. You can use your computer to select what you want to watch and send the audio and video over the Internet to the Chromecast device.

Router and Internet connection – You’ll need a router to connect your computer to your TV. An Internet connection is also required.

HDMI Cable

An HDMI cable is the simplest way to connect your computer to your TV. An HDMI cable is necessary if you want to send both audio and video from your computer to your TV.

Pros – An HDMI cable is the best way to send both audio and video from your computer to your TV. You won’t have to worry about audio settings or lip-syncing issues.

Cons – An HDMI cable is an expensive option and may not be necessary for your needs. If you only want to send video from your computer to your TV, you can use an S-Video cable or RCA cable, which are cheaper options.

Chromecast

The Chromecast device plugs into your TV’s HDMI input and streams video and audio directly from your computer.

The Chromecast can also be controlled from your computer. You can use your computer to select what you want to watch and send the audio and video to the Chromecast device. This is an ideal solution if you want to stream content from apps such as Netflix or Hulu.

Pros – The Chromecast device is an affordable solution, coming in at only $35. The Chromecast is easy to set up and you can use it to stream a variety of content to your TV.

Cons – The Chromecast is only compatible with computers running on Windows and Android operating systems. The device is also not able to run more complex programs, such as a full version of Microsoft Word.

Windows Computer Using an HDMI to HDMI Cable

If you have an HDMI cable, you can connect your computer to your TV by plugging one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI output on your computer and plugging the other end into the HDMI input on your TV.

Windows 10 has a built-in screen streaming feature that allows you to view your computer screen and send audio and video to your TV. You can use the Windows Media Player app to send audio or video from your computer to your TV. You can also use the Xbox app to screen share from your computer to your TV.

Pros – If you have an HDMI cable, you can use it to both send audio and video from your computer to your TV. If you use the Windows 10 screen streaming feature, you can also use your TV remote to control your computer, making it ideal for gaming.

Cons – The HDMI cable is an expensive solution and, unless you use the Windows 10 screen streaming feature, you’ll need to use a mouse and keyboard to control your computer.

Microsoft Edge or Windows Computer Using an Adapter

Many modern TVs have an input that’s compatible with older computers. If you have an older computer without an HDMI output, you can use an HDMI adapter to plug your computer into your TV. Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 have built-in screen sharing features that allow you to send audio and video from your computer to your TV.

If you have an older computer, you may need to install a remote desktop app or purchase an app like Splashtop 2 or VNC.

Pros – An HDMI adapter is a cheaper solution than an HDMI cable and can be used with older computers that don’t have an HDMI output. If you use Microsoft Edge or Windows 10, you can also control your computer with a TV remote.

Cons – The Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 screen-sharing features aren’t compatible with all apps. You may also need to install a remote desktop app to use this method.

Xbox One and Xbox 360 Controller

If you have an Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller, you can use it to control your computer from your TV. You will first need to install an app, such as Teamviewer or Splashtop 2, on your computer and connect your computer to your home network.

Next, plug your controller into your TV’s USB input and use the app on your television to connect to your computer. You can use your Xbox controller to control your computer and play games or use it to screen share and control your computer.

Pros – If you have an Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller, it’s free to connect your computer to your TV. You can also use your TV remote to control your computer.

Cons – It may be difficult to set up a wired connection between your computer and TV. You may also need to buy a USB extension cable if your controller is not close to your TV.

Wrapping up

Connecting your computer to your TV is a great way to watch streaming videos, play games, or view websites on a larger screen. There are several ways you can connect your computer to your TV.

The type of connection you use will depend on what devices you have available and what you plan on using them for. An HDMI cable is the best way to send both audio and video from your computer to your TV.

The Chromecast device plugs into your TV and streams from your computer. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers can be used to screen share from your computer to your TV.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.

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