Connecting your laptop to your TV wirelessly provides a whole new level of functionality and viewing pleasure.
There are a number of ways to connect your laptop wirelessly but some of them work a lot better than others.
In this article, we reveal the best methods with easy to follow step by step instructions. We also answer the most important laptop / TV questions.
In order to get your TV to show what is on your laptop screen without the assistance of a cable, you will need some sort of device that will send signals to your TV and some other device on your TV that will accept and interpret those signals.
This popular device simply slips into your USB port and connects at the other end to your TV.
It isn’t just for your laptop, either. You can also use it with your tablet and your mobile phone.
For Chromecast to work on your laptop, it must be online capable. Here are the minimum requirements:
- MAC Operating system 10.9 or higher.
- Windows operating system 7 or higher.
For your TV to work with Chromecast, you need a TV with internet connectivity. To stream 4K quality content, your TV will need to be able to:
- Run 4K content
- Have high sped internet connectivity
- Play High Dynamic Range (HDR) content
To connect your laptop to your TV using Chromecast follow these steps:
- Plug your Chromecast into your TV.
- Insert the Chromecast power plug into the USB port on your laptop.
- Connect the TV to your laptop wifi network.
- Download the Google home app.
- Follow the steps provided to set up Chromecst on your laptop.
- Sit back and enjoy your content on the big screen.
If you have a new Windows laptop, it will come with inbuilt WiDi.
WiDi was developed by Intel and stands for Intel Wireless Display. With it, you can stream all sorts of content wirelessly.
However, both the TV and the computer must be compatible for it to work.
To use WiDi your laptop must be running Windows 7 or above. It also needs to be operating Intel dual-band wireless or Tri-band wireless and has higher than a 4th generation Intel processor.
Follow these steps to set up your system for streaming wirelessly with WiDi:
- Update your Intel wireless display
- Open WiDi and turn it on
- Turn on your TV and switch it to monitoring mode
- Scan your laptop for wireless display to search for the wireless network of your TV
- Click to connect and select the TV model and device types
- A PIN code will now display on your TV. Enter this on your laptop.
- Click the next button
- Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
Miracast is a function that is part of the Windows 10 suite.
So long as your TV supports Miracast you will be ready to go. Check your TV’s user manual to see whether it is compatible with Miracast. Follow these steps to wirelessly connect your laptop to your TV with Miracast:
Step 1: Turn on your TV and make sure that its Wi-Fi is turned on. You can navigate to your TV’s settings to check if the Wi-Fi is turned on.
Step 2: On your Windows 10 laptop or tablet, navigate to Settings app > System > Display.
Step 3: In the Multiple displays section, click Connect to a wirelessly display link. Windows 10 will now start searching for all wireless devices available and list them in the newly opened Connect pane.
Step 4: Once your TV’s entry appears in the list, click on it to wirelessly connect your Windows 10 laptop to your TV.
How to Change the Projection Mode
When you connect your laptop to your TV via Miracast, the last used projection mode will be displayed. Follow these steps to change the projection mode:
Step 1: Navigate to Settings > System > Display, and click Connect to wireless display link to see the Connect pane.
Step 2: Click on Change projection mode to select a projection type from Duplicate, Extend and Second screen only modes.
You can also depress the Windows Logo + P keys to open the Project pane and select a mode.
Follow these steps to disconnect Miracast from your TV:
Step 1: Navigate to Settings app > System > Display.
Step 2: Click Connect to a Wireless display link to reveal the Connect pane. Click Disconnect to disconnect your laptop from the TV or display.
People who have created a sizable library of movies on their laptop can very easily stream them directly to their TV with Plex.
This platform will catalog all your audio or video files and then permit you to stream them to any other device that has the Plex app.
Many of the newer Smart TVs support the Plex platform.
The basic form of Plex is free of charge while more advanced features will cost you a monthly fee of $4.99.
Q & A
What do I need to physically connect my laptop to my TV?
To physically connect your laptop to your TV you will need an HDMI cable.
You will also need a TV which has at least one HDMI port. All Smart TVs will provide you with HDMI ports.
Your laptop will also need to have a port to take your HDMI cable.
All laptops manufactured in the last eight years will provide you with an HDMI port (except for Macs they use USB-C).
You can buy all sorts of HDMI cables at a range of prices. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality cable.
You should be able to pick up a very decent gold plated cable for about $10.
How do I connect a Macbook Pro to my TV?
If you have a new version of the Macbook Pro, it will have come with a USB Type C Adapter that will enable you to connect to your TV.
You can then purchase a USB-C Adapter to HDMI Adapter. Options available are the Anker Adapter and the more expensive Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
Your MacBook Pro will come with a Thunderbolt Port that is able to also serve as a Mini Display Port.
Does TV inherit the laptop’s resolution?
No, the TV will not automatically inherit the resolution settings from the laptop.
To get the best picture you can lower the settings on your laptop to something like 1280 x 720.
Alternatively, simply switch off your laptop’s resolution settings and just go with the ones on your TV.
Can you play movies via your laptop on your TV?
Yes, you can play movies via your laptop on your TV.
You can set up your connections between the laptop and the TV either wirelessly as shown in this article or with the aid of an HDMI cable.
Keep in mind, however, that many Smart TVs now come with built-in NetFlix and YouTube so you may not have to stream from your laptop at all.
What if I don’t have an HDMI port on my laptop or my TV?
If you have got an older TV or laptop, you will not be able to use a cable with HDMI to HDMI ports.
But there are other options.
Check both your TV and your laptop ports.
If one has an HDMI and the other has a VGA port, then you will simply have to purchase an HDMI to VGA cable.
You can also purchase a VGA to VGA cable.
Should I get a mobile streaming device or buy a cable to stream my laptop on my TV?
If your TV does not have HDMI ports then using a mobile streaming device will allow you to stream your internet screen on your TV.
The most popular mobile streaming devices are Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick. These devices will cost you between $35-$55.
A mobile streaming device will also require that your TV is internet capable.
Buying a cable is a cheaper option but it means that you will be physically bound at the TV. In the end, it is a matter of personal preference.
Connecting your laptop to your TV wirelessly will provide you with the freedom to move your laptop around while also giving you the big screen TV experience. We provided you with a range of options to allow you to easily set up your wireless TV viewing. So, stop reading and get watching!