How to Hook Up a Netbook to a TV


A netbook is a miniature laptop; some are nearly as powerful as their larger counterparts, while others are underpowered and scarcely able to perform basic functions. Higher-end laptops with an adequate video card can play videos seamlessly from either a local hard drive or online. You can connect a netbook to your TV and use it as a media center computer, which allows you to access online content on your TV, play music and movies through your entertainment system speakers or TV and avoid a monthly cable bill.

  • Determine your netbook's cable connection type. Many low-end netbooks are equipped with a VGA port only, while some of the higher-end, more expensive models also have an HDMI port. Determine whether your television has any compatible video-in ports. For example, if your netbook has a VGA-out port, verify that your television has a VGA-in port. Look at the ports on the back of the TV, or consult its manual if you're uncertain.

  • Buy a converter box if your netbook and television don't have compatible video-in and video-out ports. A converter box is a device that converts one type of video connection to a different type, such as VGA to component. Attach one end of the video cable to your netbook, and attach the other end to the corresponding "video-in" port on the converter box. Connect an appropriate video cable to the "video-in" port on your TV, and then connect the opposite end to the corresponding port on the converter box. The video should go from the netbook to the box and then from the box to your TV.

  • Turn on both the netbook and television. Flip through the TV's mode options until you see the netbook's screen displayed on your TV. You might have to press a monitor output button on your keyboard; look at the "F" keys for a picture of a monitor. Press the "Fn" (Function) key and the monitor output key at the same time to output the video to the TV.

  • Adjust the netbook's screen resolution until you're satisfied with its display on the TV. Click "Start," type "Display" into the search field, and then press "Enter." The left-side of the "Display" window lists several display options, including resolution. Click the resolution option, and then slide the resolution slider. Click "Apply" when finished. Lowering the netbook's resolution enlarges the image on the television, while increasing the resolution decreases the output display's size. You should choose the highest possible resolution for best image quality.

  • Connect your entertainment system speakers to the netbook by plugging its stereo cable into the headphone port on the netbook. If you don't have external TV speakers, connect a component audio cable with a stereo adapter from the netbook's headphone port to the TV "audio-in" port.

  • Turn the netbook's speakers up to maximum volume for best audio quality, and then adjust your TV's volume level until it's where you want it. Low volume on the netbook might force you to turn up your TV or entertainment speakers to a high volume, which might cause a humming or static sound.

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