Connect your laptop or tablet with Windows to TV or monitor. Can there be difficulties?
Yes, but not always. Due to the compact nature of mobile computers, their manufacturers often compromise, sacrificing certain interface options to reduce weight or to achieve a thinner profile. Therefore, the implementation of these relationships can sometimes prove to be unexpectedly difficult.
This is actually the key to solving the problem. Most modern TVs have a huge variety of video inputs, but with laptops and tablets not the case. Let’s start with the simplest way:
In addition to providing a fast and easy connection between laptop (tablet) and all modern TVs with high resolution, the HDMI standard is a guarantee of maximum quality of the transmitted signal. Its big advantage is the fact that it provides simultaneous transmission of video and audio, and HDMI cables are light, reliable and have good shielding.
If your laptop was purchased in the last few years, chances are that it is equipped with HDMI output – the de facto standard became popular after 2005 and is currently the most widely used method for digital connections. At the same time, tablets are usually equipped with reduced options HDMI ports (microHDMI and miniHDMI), so they need to use the appropriate cable or adapter (microHDMI to HDMI or miniHDMI to HDMI).
In some older models of laptops may be the so-called DVI-video output, although it is more typical for desktop computers. In any case, the DVI can also be used to connect the notebook to a monitor or TV. The easiest way to create such a link is to use the DVI-DVI cable, but when such entrance has only one device, a good solution is cable DVI-HDMI or adapter DVI-HDMI. They are easy to find and they are inexpensive.
Since DVI is a digital standard, the quality of the video being streamed is high, but the lack of DVI is no audio support, so if you are going to use this connection method, you will have to find alternative way to play the audio signal.
In some of the latest models of tablets and laptops, you can stumble on two other standard – Thunderbolt and (mini)Display Port. They can be considered as the evolutionary development of HDMI technology. And both of these digital standards are able to simultaneously transmit video and audio with excellent quality on the TV screen or monitor. And since they are backward-compatible with HDMI, to connect both devices you can use adapters, which are cheap and often even come along with laptops and/or displays.
VGA (analog connection)
That way you can meet mostly in older laptops. VGA delivers a decent quality video signal, but this technology is inferior to the class of more modern digital standards such as HDMI and DVI.
Two problems here – first of all, VGA does not transmit sound, so for sound you will need additional connection. Worse, to maintain backward compatibility with some of the more modern alternatives are difficult and expensive because, as mentioned, VGA is an analog standard while HDMI and DVI digital. For this purpose, you will need a special Converter/cable, which is not cheap.
Connecting an audio
If you need to use VGA or DVI, then you need to find a way to play audio from your laptop. Usually, you have two options: either to connect your laptop to external speakers (or use the built in) or use a cable that provides audio output from laptop to TV. Fortunately, the second option is simple and inexpensive – every TV and every laptop comes with a standard 3.5 mm Jack for audio, and an appropriate cable to connect you can get without money.
Undoubtedly, this is the most modern and comfortable method for transmitting audio-video signal from laptop/tablet to external display or TV. On the market today, you will find fairly inexpensive devices (a good example is the Wireless Display Adapter from Microsoft) who can provide such a connection. They connect to a TV or monitor via HDMI output, and then allow you to wirelessly connect to any laptop (or tablet), if, of course, has Wi-Fi module.
However, please note that some of these devices have relatively limited capacity, and if you want to wirelessly transmit video with high resolution or play video games, you may have problems with breakage signal. They can be solved, if you will provide a stable Wi-Fi connection (for example, using high-quality and fast router) – in this case, even Full HD will be transmitted without problems.
There is a connection, what’s next?
In the ideal case, when you connect your notebook (tablet) to an external monitor or TV, it will be recognized automatically and the display will prompt you to switch to the new video output.
However, if this happens, press + P to display a menu «Pass the screen» (in Windows 8) and set the output mode: duplicate, extend, second screen only.