How to Connect a Dell Laptop to an Emerson HDTV

By Tyson Cliffton

Connect your laptop to your HDTV to work on the larger monitor.
i Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Connecting your Dell laptop to an Emerson HDTV gives you some flexibility with regard to how you view your computer's display. For example, you can just view your laptop on the TV and take advantage of working on the larger screen or you can set up the screens so the TV screen acts as a complementary workspace to your laptop screen. Connecting the devices takes only a few minutes and very little additional hardware is required.

Step 1

Connect either an HDMI or VGA cable to the matching output port on your Dell laptop. While almost all Dell laptops have one of these types of video output ports, some may only have an available DVI output port. If this is the case, because Emerson HDTVs have video inputs for VGA and HDMI devices, you'll need to connect either a DVI-to-VGA or DVI-to-HDMI adapter to the DVI output port on the laptop and then connect the appropriate cable to the other end of the adapter.

Step 2

Connect a 3.5mm audio cable to the speaker output port on the Dell laptop if you're connecting the laptop to the Emerson HDTV using a VGA cable or a DVI-to-HDMI or DVI-to-VGA adapter. Connect the other end of the audio cable to the audio input port on the TV. If you are connecting via an HDMI cable, which carries both audio and video, an audio cable will not be necessary.

Step 3

Plug the other end of the video cable into the matching video input port on the Emerson HDTV. For example, if you're using a VGA cable, connect it to the VGA input.

Step 4

Turn on the Emerson HDTV and change the display input to correspond with the connected Dell laptop.

Step 5

Turn on the Dell laptop.

Step 6

Press the "Windows-P" keys after the laptop boots up and the operating system loads. A dialog box appears with options for how to use the connected TV set as a dual monitor.

Step 7

Select "Computer Only" if you don't want the computer's display to appear on the TV; select "Duplicate" for the computer's display to be mirrored on both the Dell laptop and the Emerson HDTV; select "Extend" to expand your primary monitor's display onto the HDTV; or select "Projector Only" for the computer's display to be output to only the projector. The change takes effect automatically.