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How To Video: Connect your laptop to your TV
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How To Video: Connect your laptop to your TV

3:17 /

Thanks to HDMI and Intel Wireless Display, it's easier than ever to get the streaming videos and movies you watch on your laptop onto your big-screen HDTV, even without wires. We'll show you how.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> Scott Stein: Hi. I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and you probably already have a laptop, and in fact, you may already have some TV shows, streaming videos that you want to share, and other great entertainment stuff built into that package, but how do you get it onto your TV? Well, it's pretty easy, in fact, with most laptops nowadays, and we'll show you how. First, wouldn't it be great to connect your laptop wirelessly and not have to connect it at all to the TV and still have it play audio and video? Well, sure, that sounds fantastic. In fact, there are some laptops that already have that technology built in. It's called Intel Wireless Display. There's $99 you have to pay for a little box that plugs into your TV that facilitates the wireless connection. Sometimes it's bundled in with the laptop, and in addition, while it works, and, and shows audio and video, it operates at a bit of a delay, and it will not play DVD or Blu-Ray content. It will only play streaming-video content. Now, one thing that all these laptops do have increasingly is HDMI, and it's really simple to use. All HDTV's have HDMI, and when you plug it in, it's generally as simple as plug in the HDMI cable here, plug it into the TV, turning both on, and the image gets carried over onto this TV. Now, certain laptops are not automatically set up to activate that connection to the TV. You have to turn off mirroring, which is in your control panel settings. And once you do that, you select the display, which is your HDTV. It'll be labeled by your manufacturer name like Samsung so you'll know that that's the display, and then you'll be able to pull down the settings and select 1920 by 1080, your full resolution, provided it is 1080p. What's great is that audio gets seamlessly transferred over to the TV. Another way to connect to a TV that every single laptop has is VGA. Now, not every single television has a VGA port, but there are a lot of HDTV's that do. If you connect VGA to VGA, you'll get the video signal, but you won't get the audio. So what you're going to have to do is connect through your headphone jack, which will transmit the audio out. You can connect it through a splitter, which you can pick up at Radio Shack, or you can actually hook it up to speakers if you don't want to hook it up directly to the TV for Macbooks, and Macbooks and all Apple laptops do not have HDMI, and that's often complained about for Apple users. The good news is that mini display port [laughs] while it is not a direct connection, can work exactly like HDMI with the purchase of one little accessory, a Griffin mini display port HDMI connector. This costs about 30 to 40 bucks. When you plug it into the mini display port on all current Macbook and Macbook Pro models, it will not only transmit the video but audio, and we tested it out here. It works great. It even works in a 5.1 surround. Of course, there are a lot of other solutions, too, including how do you get real audiophile surround sound hooked up to your receiver, how do you take advantage of certain refresh rates. [Music] That's more complicated stuff. Maybe we'll cover it in a future edition, but for now, that's how you hook up your laptop to your TV depending on which one you have. Hopefully, it's simple and, and easy enough to understand. I'm Scott Stein with CNET.com. [ Music ]

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