How to Connect a Wireless Laptop to a TV

By Gregory Hamel

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Appropriate interface cables (S-Video, VGA, DVI or HDMI)

  • Appropriate cable adapter

  • Video card that supports multiple displays

Wireless laptops can be a convenient way to access the Internet on the go but the small laptop screens are not ideal when performing certain tasks such as streaming video from the Internet. Connecting a wireless-enabled laptop to a TV screen is a way to watch videos and other applications from a laptop on a larger screen. Connecting a laptop to a TV is a relatively simple process, but it requires that you have the appropriate cables and possibly an adapter, depending on the connections available on your computer and TV.

Place your laptop next to your TV and inspect the laptop's available video ports. Almost all laptops will have a VGA port, while some may also have S-Video, DVI or HDMI.

Inspect the available video input ports on your TV set and determine whether your laptop and TV have any ports in common. Some newer HDTVs have VGA or PC In ports, while S-Video and HDMI are more common.

Connect your laptop to your TV using the cable type of any port that the two have in common. For example, if your laptop has a VGA port and your TV has VGA in, connect a VGA cable to your laptop and then connect the other end to your TV. If the TV and laptop both have HDMI ports, use an HDMI cable. If the devices have no ports in common, go on to step 4.

Connect a VGA cable to the VGA port of your laptop.

Connect a cable adapter to the other end of the VGA cable that converts the connection into a type accepted by your TV. For example, if your laptop only has a VGA out port, but your TV accepts DVI, use a VGA to DVI adapter at the end of the VGA cable.

Connect a second cable to the adapter, and then plug the other end of the second cable into the TV. In the example from step 5, you would connect a DVI cable to one end of the VGA to DVI adapter, and then connect the other end to your TV.


If your video card does not support multiple screens, you will not be able to use a TV as a secondary monitor.

A VGA, DVI or HDMI connection will give a higher quality picture than an S-Video connection.