How to Watch Movies From a Laptop on the TV

Hooking up a TV to a laptop makes it possible to watch movies and other content off the computer, either through an Internet connection or by playing DVDs or Blu-ray disks in the laptop's media drive. Many laptops are equipped with a port for connecting an external monitor or TV. The connector cable is typically S-video or VGA (video graphics array). VGA can be converted to an S-video connection for the TV with an adapter available at electronics and computer stores. A Y-adapter and standard stereo cables complete the audio connection.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video or VGA cables
  • VGA to S-video adapter, if necessary
  • Y-adapter with mini-plug and two RCA-type jacks
  • Stereo cables with 1/4-inch RCA-type plugs


    • 1

      Connect the S-video cable from the TV to the laptop by aligning the pins in the lug with the holes in the ports and pushing the plugs straight in. If the computer is equipped only with a VGA jack, connect the S-video cable to the S-video plug on the adapter, then attach the VGA plug on the other end to the port on the laptop. The plug has 15 pins that match three rows of holes in the VGA port.

    • 2

      Insert the mini-plug on the Y-adapter into the headphones jack on the laptop, then connect the two audio plugs on one end of the stereo cables to the Y-adapter jacks.

    • 3

      Connect the other end of the stereo cables to the audio input jacks on the back panel of the TV.

    • 4

      Click the "Display" icon on the laptop screen and select "Settings" to choose "External Monitor" or "Connect to a Projector." Choose from the available options, such as viewing only on the external monitor (the TV in this example), or viewing on both the laptop screen and TV, which is sometimes labeled the "Clone" option.

    • 5

      Play back a DVD or Blu-ray disk in the laptop's media tray, or view Web content with an Internet browser such as Windows Explorer or Firefox. The audio and video content will be transmitted to the TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shut down the laptop and disconnect the TV from the power while connecting the AV cables.
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  • Photo Credit tv control and tv 3 image by chrisharvey from

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