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How to Connect a Laptop or PC to your TV

First you should look at what connections you have on the laptop and the TV. Hopefully you will find one or more of the following, in order of quality (highest first):

1. HDMI
High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI is the highest quality connection. Most recent TVs will have this, but at present not many laptops or PCs. It is something to look for when upgrading.

2. DVI
Digital Visual Interface. If your laptop has a DVI connection you can connect to your TV, with a standard DVI to DVI cable if your TV also has this connection or (more likely) with a DVI to HDMI cable to connect to the HDMI socket on the TV.

3. VGA
A Video Graphics Array connection is the most common video connection found on laptops and PC's. High Def TVs usually have a VGA connection so you can easily connect the two with a VGA to VGA cable. Older TVs might not have a VGA socket.

4. S-Video
Super-Video, is an analog video connector and has been around for some years. Older TVs (and many newer ones) will have this, and a lot of PCs and laptops. It is not the highest quality connection, nor is it the worst. A simple S-video to S-video cable is all that is needed.

5. Composite/RCA phono
You will probably be very familiar with this 3 cable analog connection. Red for right audio, white for left audio and yellow for the video. Standard on older TVs and laptops and still often included even on the latest gear. Not great quality, only use if nothing else available. A composite to S Video cable is available for connecting a laptop to a TV with S Video.

You may also need phono leads for the audio, depending on what connection you use. This would come from the soundcard on your laptop to right and left Audio Line In on your TV, or external sound system.

If your laptop does not have of the above video connections then you will have to consider getting a new video card that has one or more of them.

Here are images to help you identify the connections:

HDMI cable DVI Cable DVI to HDMI Cable

HDMI DVI DVI to HDMI

VGA cable S Video Cable Composite Cable

VGA S VideoComposite/RCA