How to Cast a Laptop to a TV
Whether for work or for play, casting your laptop to a TV can be a useful tool. There are a variety of ways you can cast a laptop to a TV, from a reliable wired connection to hassle-free wireless adapters or kits.
Casting with an HDMI Cable
Connecting a laptop to a TV using an HDMI cable connection is both reliable and simple. If your laptop has an HDMI port, then it’s as simple as plugging the cable into your laptop and an open HDMI port on your TV. Then you just need to switch the TV input source to the correct HDMI input.
Some laptops don’t have a standard HDMI port. In fact, many newer laptops don’t. In this case, to use a wired connection, you will need an HDMI adapter that is compatible with the port on your laptop. To begin casting, plug the adapter into your laptop’s port, then connect the HDMI cable both to the HDMI adapter on your laptop and to the TV.
Casting with a Wireless Display Adapter
A wireless display adapter is typically a small device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV. It acts as a receiver to the signal being transmitted wirelessly from your laptop. What’s critical is that the wireless display technology in the laptop must be compatible with the technology in the wireless display adapter.
Using a wireless display adapter eliminates cable clutter and offers flexibility and freedom without the limitations of a cable. It is typically used as a “portable” way to share a laptop screen to a TV or projector screen as each version may carry some limitations. Below are three common wireless display adapter technologies:
- Miracast technology – Most laptops equipped with Windows 8.1 or newer operating systems include Miracast, a wireless display standard designed for screen mirroring. Miracast is what communicates your laptop’s screen to the wireless display adapter.
- Chromecast or Wi-Fi Dongle – Chromecast or other Wi-Fi dongles use your home Wi-Fi network to connect your laptop to your TV for casting. This type of connection is used primarily for sharing content from an app or web page. Casting using one of these devices is straight-forward. Plug the dongle into your TV and follow the on-screen set up instructions, making sure to connect to the same Wi-Fi network that your laptop is connected to. Then pair your laptop with the dongle and enable casting or screen mirroring on your laptop. Every dongle has different requirements, so refer to the user manual for specific set up instructions
- AirPlay – Apple products use AirPlay for screen mirroring and casting. AirPlay is only compatible with Apple products. In order to cast wirelessly cast your MacBook to your TV, you will need an Apple TV. Once you pair your laptop to the Apple TV, you can cast your laptop to the TV with the push of a button.
Casting with a Wireless HDMI Kit
Wireless display kits allow you to cast a laptop screen to a TV without a wired connection. These kits often include everything you need for casting and offer an easy plug and play set-up.
While both wireless display adapters and wireless HDMI kits eliminate cable clutter, there are a few differences. Wireless HDMI kits typically come with a transmitter that connects to your laptop, and a receiver that connect to a TV. Wireless HDMI kits tend to be a more permanent set up or solution as in an office conference room. They are also more versatile in terms of compatibility and the content that can be delivered over them. Typically using a wireless HDMI kit, you can share any content from your laptop on a TV, including HD video and audio, websites, files, applications and more.
When looking into wireless HDMI, it may be best to get a kit that includes all the necessary components. Also check into compatibility. Kits are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some kits may not be compatible with your specific laptop or TV.
How Wireless HDMI Kits Work
Wireless HDMI kits often include a transmitter that connects to your laptop and a receiver that plugs into the TV. Some also include a power adapter, others use power from the device they’re connected to. Once the transmitter and receiver are connected, they instantly establish a wireless connection without Wi-Fi, cables, or additional set-up steps. Because wireless HDMI uses a direct connection, you can count on a stable, low-latency and high-quality connection.
Wireless HDMI in the Home
Wireless HDMI kits are a great, cable-clutter free solution for home use. You can eliminate using HDMI cables to connect your gaming consoles, set top boxes, cable boxes and laptop using wireless HDMI solutions. This is a great option for when you’re streaming video or games to your TV or projector screen.
Wireless HDMI for Business
Casting a laptop to a TV or projector screen is great tool business presentations, restaurant settings, or even in business waiting rooms. Wireless HDMI is ideal as a fixed or permanent solution in meeting rooms. It allows employees or business partners to connect their laptops to a larger screen and effectively present information without limits. Using a wireless connection allows presenters to move freely around the room, use a remote to control the presentation, and interact with the audience while showing videos, slideshows, or a step-by-step demonstration.