Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Connecting laptop to TV

Connecting laptop to TV

Force your laptop to detect your TV, make the image fit and fix audio problems

Picture on TV is distorted

Because the resolution of laptop screens varies from those on high-definition TVs, whenever you connect one to the other the resulting picture on your TV can often look stretched or distorted. The edges of your Windows desktop may even be cut off altogether – a problem known as overscan.

To solve this you need to tweak your TV’s settings, though exactly which setting will depend on the make and model of your TV. In short, you need to change your TV’s screen’s aspect ratio from 16:9 to Just Scan or Screen Fit mode (the name will vary).

To do this on a Samsung TV, for example, open the TV’s menu using your remote control and choose Picture, Screen Adjustment, Picture Size then select Screen Fit. On an LG TV, open the menu and select Picture Mode, Aspect Ratio then choose Just Scan. This will enable the image from your laptop to fit proportionately on your TV screen.

No picture on TV

If you’ve connected your laptop to your TV but can’t see your desktop on your TV screen, there a few fixes you can try. The first thing you should do is, using your TV’s remote control, cycle through all the available HDMI input channels (modern TVs can have as many as six). If you still don’t see your desktop on any of them, the next step is to make sure your HDMI cable works. Plug your cable into another high-definition device, such as a Blu-ray player or Sky HD box and see if you get a picture.

If the cable works fine, the next step is to make the TV the default output display for your laptop. The easiest way to do this is to plug the laptop into the TV, switch the TV on, select the correct HDMI input channel and then restart your laptop. As it starts up your laptop should detect your TV and change its display output to that automatically.

If this doesn’t work, try pressing the Windows key+P while the TV is connected. This opens the Project menu, where you can set how the laptop handles multiple displays. Select Duplicate and after a few seconds the TV should replicate what is displayed on your laptop.

HDMI cable won’t fit into laptop

If you can’t find an HDMI socket, then you probably have an older laptop that was made before these sockets became standard. Alternatively, you may have a newer laptop with a micro HDMI or mini HDMI socket instead. Irritatingly, micro and mini HDMI connections require different types of cable, so it’s worth checking which socket your laptop has before you buy a new cable.

To check this, type system information into the Start search box and make a note of the System Model. Enter the manufacturer’s name, model and ‘spec’ (for example, Samsung 905S3G spec) into an online search. One of the first suggestions should be your model’s specifications page on the manufacturer’s website. Here, look for an entry called I/O Ports and check whether micro or mini HDMI is listed.

HDMI cables are relatively cheap – you can buy a micro HDMI from or a mini HDMI from for about £4 from Amazon.

No sound from your TV

If you can see the Windows desktop on your TV but aren’t getting any sound, it’s probably because your laptop isn’t using the TV as its primary speaker. To fix this, right-click the Start menu, click Control Panel, ‘Hardware and Sound’ then Sound. You’ll see a list of all available playback devices. In the Playback tab you should see an entry for Digital Audio (HDMI) or similar. Rightclick this, click Enable and then Apply so that your TV is used to output the laptop’s audio.

If you can’t see the Digital Audio (HDMI) option, right-click anywhere within the Playback tab and tick Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices. This forces your PC to display all disabled audio devices. You should now see Digital Audio (HDMI) listed.