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How to Connect Your TV To a PC – Without A Rat’s Nest Of Wires

by Tom Volotta on May 15, 2012

connect tv to pcCables, connectors and adapters – the curse of technology from the day the light bulb was invented. Lacking the right cable with the right connector can bring the highest high-tech to its knees.

I’ve been the victim of this scourge numerous times.

The long sought goal to connect a TV to a PC  is no exception. It’s also one of the most common. Perhaps you’ve encountered it.


A lot has changed since PCs and TVs first started trying to hook up. They used to be completely separate industries. Today, both are coming together from their respective directions, competing and cooperating at the same time to create extraordinary interactive communications products.

Smart TVs are browsing the Internet just as you would on a computer, while also providing access to online video such as Netflix, Hulu, Facebook and others.

Computers are integrating more closely and more easily with televisions so people can turn their small screen displays into big screens, and watch videos that only exist on the computer.

This is becoming simpler every day. It used to be this complicated jumble of incompatible cables, connectors and video standards. Now, wireless technology and standardized cables have provided an easy solution for how to connect your TV to a PC.

Now that you’ve connected your TV and computer, why not watch your favorite Facebook videos on your big screen. Download RealPlayer so you can easily save your Facebook videos and watch on your PC with just one click.

An extension of this has also spawned a growing trend called two-screen viewing. It’s another way television and computers are merging.


• First, Wi-Fi is the current rage. TV’s have it built-in, or an easily added Wi-Fi module that plugs into a USB port on the TV. Computers have been wireless for years. It’s only natural that Wi-Fi would be the uniting factor in making PCs and television come together.

Because video is so data-intensive, you need all the speed a Wi-Fi network can offer. The best results come from what’s known as the 802.11n standard. It’s the fastest consumer Wi-Fi available now.

• Second, a variation of the full wireless route is Wi-Fi plus cable. Here, a Wi-Fi equipped computer sends signals to a small receiver, which then connects to the TV with a single HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable. Some receivers will also have the RCA connectors (yellow for video and red and white for audio), just in case your TV does not have HDMI inputs.

Intel has specifically engineered this technology into their second-generation i3, i5 and i7 series of microprocessors calling it WiDi (Wireless Display.)

• The third and final method relies on the tried and true cable. This used to be an unspeakable ordeal, but today, using HDMI, it has become simple.

There remain a seemingly endless number of permutations of the cable method, given the many different types of computer outputs and television inputs that have evolved over the years. The possible combinations of connectors, cables, adaptors, converters and alike can be so convoluted, that I’m not even going to get into trying to explain every audio and video option.


connecting pc iconThe assumption here is that you already have a home Wi-Fi network, your computer is Wi-Fi equipped and you either have a TV with built-in Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi Ready with the adaptor installed following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: Instructions will vary with the manufacturer of the TV and/or PC. Read the user manuals.

1. Turn on the TV and Computer.
2. From the TV menu enable the Wi-Fi mode.
3. Select the Wi-Fi input on the TV as you would Video 1, DVR, etc.
4. On the PC, you should be prompted to select the Wi-Fi connection to the TV. Some PC manufactures (notably Sony) have a dedicated button on their laptops to activate this connection.
5. Follow the TV manufacturer’s instructions on how to link the TV with your Wi-Fi network. It may be necessary to enter the security key or password to allow your network to recognize the TV as an access point.
6. A re-boot of the network router may be necessary.
7. The TV may display a four-digit passcode for you to enter on the PC.
8. The PC should then recognize the TV as a device connection
9. Even with the correct input selected on the TV, you may not see a picture.
10. If so go to the PC’s Control Panel and select “Adjust screen resolution.”
11. You will see images for two different displays.
12. Click on display number 2.
13. Now choose “Extend the desktop onto this monitor.”
14. Click “Apply.”
15. The HDTV screen should now show the Windows desktop photo.
16. If prompted, click “Keep display settings.”
17. You may need to adjust the resolution to get a larger image on the TV.
18. Open windows on the PC screen may need to be dragged to the TV.
19. You should be set, but be warned that Wi-Fi networks can be finicky when it comes to adding devices or making changes.

At least there aren’t any cables to deal with.

Note: Mac users will have a similar multi-screen set-up procedure through System Preferences/Displays/Arrangement/Display, to either extend the desktop to two screens, or ‘Mirror’ exactly what’s on the computer onto the TV.


Follow the same instructions as above AFTER you have installed the Wi-Fi adaptor (aka dongle) in the TV with the USB connector. Everything else is the same procedure.


Don’t have the latest and greatest TV with built-in or Wi-Fi Ready capability? You can still enjoy the freedom of connecting wirelessly to your computer.

A number of third party manufacturers offer wireless receiver solutions. Basically it’s a separate box – a Wi-Fi receiver that then connects to the television by a cable. Many of the new ones are based on Intel WiDi, so you’ll need a computer with the proper microprocessor.


NOTE: Depending on the receiver manufacturer, you may need to install special software on your computer. Be sure to check whether that software should be installed Before or After connecting and powering the receiver. Step 2 below could be different accordingly.

Read the instruction manual.

1. Connect an HDMI cable from the receiver to an input on the TV.
2. Plug the receiver into an AC outlet and turn it on.
3. Power up the PC and TV.
4. Select the HDMI input on the TV the receiver is plugged into.
5. Push the activation button on the PC.
6. Because of the way Windows sometimes operates with multiple screens, you may need to also go through steps 9 through 18 above to adjust the correct screen resolution and display settings.

Again, this is similar to the add-on Wi-Fi module that can be plugged to Wi-Fi Ready TV’s USB port. Instead an audio/video cable runs from the new wireless receiver to audio/video inputs on the TV.

hdmi cableIdeally that would be a single HDMI cable. This is the most up-to-date method for transporting audio and video from Blu-ray players, DVRs, cable boxes and other devices to High Definition televisions. All modern TVs are fitted with multiple HDMI inputs.

If your TV is pre-HDMI, this is where it begins to get complicated. You’ll need to find a Wi-Fi receiver that also has the type of audio/video connectors compatible with your TV (typically the yellow, red and white RCA connectors), which some do.


Assuming there’s no wireless option, and the television and computer have to be tethered by cables, you can still get the job done. Which cables, connectors and adaptors you might need depends on the hardware in question.

The simplest and best scenario is that your computer has an HDMI output, and the television has an HDMI input. If so, you’re home free. Just plug one end of the HDMI cable into the TV, and plug the other into the computer.

However, even with the correct HDMI input selected on the TV, you may not see a picture. Go through the same steps 9 – 18 listed above, as if you were connecting through Wi-Fi to be sure Windows knows how to handle the multiple screens. Again, Mac users may have to make similar adjustments through System Preferences/Displays/Arrangement/Display.

The restriction you’ll face now is the length of the cable versus how close you want to be to the big screen. You don’t need to buy expensive HDMI cables.

wires for connecting your tv to a pc

Beyond using a single HDMI cable that carries both high definition video and sound, it can get complicated with DVI, VGA, Component, Composite, S-video, let alone audio, adaptors and converters. You’re into complex areas, and are in need of more help than I can offer here.


Sure, it’s great to use your PC to play the video you shot or was sent to you from a friend, viewing it on a big screen TV. It’s cool to browse the Internet from the couch while you watch on a 50” HD display.

It’s even better with Wi-Fi so you don’t get entangled in wires.

But that’s not why it’s important. As the two worlds get closer to each other, it’s the interaction between them, not the sameness that makes them such a powerful team. Keep an eye on two-screen viewing as it becomes more popular and heightens the merging of computers and television.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sunil June 3, 2012 at 2:55 am

Most home theater reeevicrs allow you to select the audio and video source that goes to the TV. For example, you can connect the output of the cable box to receiver input #1, the DVD player to input #2, and the ps3 to input #3. You then select the input you want to watch with the receiver’s input selector and have one output from the receiver going to an input on the TV. In this case, you only need one HDMI cable (from the receiver to the TV) going through the wall.Of course, this assumes that you have that many HDMI inputs on your receiver (some only have 1 or 2, if any). If you don’t have that many HDMI inputs, you’ll have to use component video/audio inputs for one or more of the video sources.You can also set up your system to have all of the audio/video sources go directly to your TV (the cable box to TV input #1, the DVD player to input #2, and the ps3 to input #3, etc.). You then select the viewed source with the TV’s input selector. But, in this case, you’ll need to have 3 HDMI cables or a combination of HDMI and component video/audio cables, if you don’t have enough HDMI inputs on your TV going through the wall (the 3 audio/video sources going to the TV).Since you’re going through the wall, I think it would be best to only have one cable going from the receiver to the TV, with all of the video sources going to (and switched by) the receiver. This minimizes the cable bundle going through the wall (less to go wrong and have to be replaced by tearing up the wall if it does go bad).

2 Tom Volotta June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

You’re right. Thanks for passing that along.


3 John Jefferson August 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

I was talking about this with my father. Can you share any more detailson this?

4 Tom Volotta August 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

Lots of ground to cover here. Can you be more specific about your concerns?


5 ANISULOWO SAMUEL November 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm


6 Tom Volotta November 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

Go ahead — what’s your question?


7 Stephen Goode November 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hi, I have a question about hooking my computer to my wifi ready tv so that I can get Netflix and others. I’m not very computer savy, so bear with me. I know that my tv came with a Dongle, but I do not have a wireless router yet. What type of router do I need for this application and is there any thing else that I need to purchase to make this work. Thanks–Steve

8 Tom Volotta November 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Any wireless solution you choose should meet the “802.11n” specification. “n” devices typically also handle the older, slower 802.11a, b and g standards. New, faster standards, “ac” and “ad” are coming, but ‘n” is what’s here now.

Any router (wireless or hardwired) should run at 1Gbps speed over Ethernet. 802.11n wireless is nowhere near that fast, but having a 1Gbps allows room for both video and other traffic on your home network the bandwidth to run more smoothly. Use CAT 6 Ethernet cables to connect other 1Gbps devices to the network. Any device or cable that is not 1Gbps between you and the final destination will run at the slower speed of that device or cable.

There are a few different parts to your question to sort out.

I’m assuming you already DO have a router, a hard-wired one, not wireless. If it’s not 1Gbps, replace it with a new wireless router that is.

If the hardwired router IS 1Gbps, then you really don’t need to replace it with a wireless router. A wireless Access Point device will work for you fine.

Don’t put two routers on the same home network. You’re asking for a headache.

APs are a little less expensive that a wireless router. Make sure it is also 802.11n and has a 1Gbps Ethernet to connect to the router. Wireless Access Points typically also act as a simple “Switch” having addition ports to hook up other devices into your network. These ports are also 1Gbps.

If you don’t have a router of any type, then yes, get a Wi-Fi version meeting the above 1Gbps Ethernet and 802.11n wireless specs noted above.


OK, now the Wireless “Ready” TV. If the dongle is either provided or approved by the TV manufacturer, the Wi-Fi feature should now be able to wirelessly connect the TV to your wireless network directly, WITHOUT a computer to get Netflix and other online audio and video service. That’s the point of wireless TV. Follow the TV’s wireless set-up instructions to properly connect it to your network.

I may be presuming to many things here. One of them is that your wireless TV is also a “smart” TV, that has the built-in software to get into these various online video channels. That way, you don’t need the computer for the major content providers.

If for some reason your TV does NOT have that capability, or, if you want to watch online video from sources that are not included in the TV’s selection, then yes, running that online video content through the computer and onto the TV is necessary.

You didn’t say if your computer has Wi-Fi. If it does, great. Just go through the set-up procedure to connect either to the wireless router or the access point. If not, connect to the router with CAT 6 Ethernet cable. Again, assuming the computer has 1Gbps capability.

Once the TV and computer have been authorized for use on the network, you should be able to either watch online video directly through the TV’s channel selection (if it’s a smart TV), and/or use the computer to find the online video you want, and send it to the TV through the network via the wireless router, or hardwired router with wireless access point.

Steve, hopefully I haven’t made this more confusing, or over-explained this for you. Just trying to identify options for you, without knowing exactly what your current set-up is. Let me know if you’re still stuck.


9 donna December 3, 2012 at 3:11 am

can anyone help me i am using a television as my computer monitor it is connected up with a normal vga cable everything is working expect the sound does anyone no how i get the sound to come through my tvs built in speakers so i dont need my external ones any help will be appreciated thank you

10 Tom Volotta December 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

You’ll need to run a separate audio line from the computer to the TV. VGA is video only.

Probably a mini-jack (stereo) output connector from the computer, to an RCA (Red and White) connection on the TV. There are cables that are already configured that way. That’s the simplest way to go. Just make sure it’s long enough. If not, also get two RCA Couplers and a regular RCA/RCA cable to cover the distance. You can also use a mini-jack cable, from the computer to a separate adaptor with mini-jack IN and RCA OUT, and then connect an RCA cable to hook up to your TV.


11 Paulo December 23, 2012 at 6:44 am

I recently got a smartv samsung series 5 without wifi.
I connected the TV with the wifi router from my web provider and everything works.

Now I’m trying to access the movies in my wifi laptop, the tv is able to see the laptop but there’s an error stating the request wasn’t send while trying the connection to Laptop.

In this case how to connect TV to my wif laptop?


12 Tom Volotta December 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm


It sounds like you have the basics in place for everything to work. If the TV and laptop can both connect with the Internet, and the TV can at least see the laptop, there may only be something simple that needs to be adjusted. The path you’ve created would seem to do the job.

I’m assuming the Samsung SmartTV is “Wi-Fi Ready” but you don’t mention how the Wi-Fi Router connects to the TV. Are you running an Ethernet cable, or have you installed a USB dongle (e.g., a Samsung LinkStick), which adds wireless capability to the Smart TV? Either way, it would seem that your laptop has a path to the TV through the router or directly through the USB dongle. Note: If you are using a dongle, and it is NOT Samsung’s, that might be a problem. Manufactures like to add proprietary quirks to products that talk to each other like these so you’ll buy their hardware. But, that wouldn’t explain the TV getting online video ok. If you’re using a third party USB Wi-Fi dongle, it’s possible that’s blocking the full connection with the laptop.

If you’re good on the Router to TV path, and using Samsung’s Apps to watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others, stay with that for now. Connecting a laptop wirelessly to a TV has several options. If you’re not already using it, get a Samsung LinkStick. Check Amazon for good pricing. There are also Wi-Fi boxes that link to your laptop, than connect to the TV via HDMI.

BUT, BEFORE spending any money on the alternatives above, I’d get in touch with Samsung Tech Support to see if there is a setting to be changed or software that could be installed on your laptop to enable what you want to do with what you’ve already got. The fact the TV sees the laptop indicates there may only be a minor issue with a preference or protocol that can easily be fixed.

Samsung also uses the Digital Living Network Alliance (DNLA) format allowing devices to share content. Samsung’s “Allshare Play” may be in the mix too, but I think that only works when all the hardware in the system is Samsung.


13 Ralph December 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

My question is about sending live content from my PC to TV. I have a new wifi panasonic, no problems connecting to router, no problems viewing content on my PC’s hard drive. How do I get content I am watching on the PC (a movie or TV show that is not downloaded, just watched from a site such as my local cable company) to my TV? Not trying to save the movie/show, just watch it once.

Thanks, Happy New Year!

14 Tom Volotta January 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I’m slightly stumped, Ralph. If as you say, the Wi-Fi path from your PC to TV is working, why you’re not able to mirror streaming video from the PC to your Panasonic isn’t clear to me. I’d double-check the setup preferences on both the PC and TV. It’s possible there is a special setting on one or both that needs to configured to enable the proper handshake so streaming media can be displayed. You didn’t mention if you can see your Internet browser on the TV through the PC. If you can, that should be enough to get what you want. Sorry I don’t have a good answer for you. Let me know if you get this fixed.

… TV

15 ian January 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

My tv is 5 old I havn,t a wifi connection on tv but I have wifi reuter How do I connect PC to TV?

16 Tom Volotta January 4, 2013 at 11:41 am


Re-read the “If Your TV Isn’t Wireless…” and “How To Install A Combination…” sections.

The solution is simple, inexpensive and reliable. You need a special Wi-Fi receiver that has audio/video cable connections to your TV. The PC sends the audio/video via Wi-Fi to the receiver. The receiver then passes it to the TV. Ideally, the TV has a spare HDMI connection. All these modern A/V Wi-Fi receivers will have HDMI.

If the TV doesn’t have an open HDMI, be sure the Wi-Fi receiver you get has other outputs, typically composite video using RCA connectors (red, white & yellow) and is compatible with your TV. Select the appropriate input on the TV to see the Wi-Fi receiver. NOTE: If you use a standard audio/video receiver to route other devices (DVR, Blu-ray, game machine…) the Wi-Fi receiver should connect its audio/video through that box.

The only part that can be a little twitchy is the wireless connection between your PC and the new Wi-Fi receiver that plugs into the TV. Double-check the specs and compatibility requirements for both to be sure they will work together. Odds are they will, but follow the set-up and preference selections on the PC and Wi-Fi receiver. You may also have to install special software so both can connect properly.


17 Balvinder Bassi January 9, 2013 at 9:32 am

HI, I have Samsung UA46ES6200R Smart TV with inbuilt wifi. I also Have asus K55VM Laptop with atheros wifi adapter. I am able to use Allshare application to stream my videos/Pictures to my TV. But I always wanted to extend my desktop to my TV’s larger screen so I followed your tutorial and started wifi softAP on my TV and my laptop was able to connect it. I could also see my laptop connected to my in TV/select source. It was just showing my laptop name and did not show any wifi option to choose from. Any way I selected my laptop name in TV source. Then I tried the last step and go to screen resolution in my laptop. There was no second display option. I think samsung only let streaming of Video/Picture through it’s Allshare application and would not let desktop extended display. I would also like to know if I buy some wifi module like “Measy U1A” and connect it to my TV HDMI port. Would it be possible to extend my laptop desktop through this.

18 Tom Volotta January 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm


You’ve got an interesting question! Because you’re mentioning specific brands and models of gear, I had to do a bit of searching.

First: I don’t quite understand why your Samsung Smart TV, with built-in Wi-Fi, isn’t connecting directly with the Asus laptop and its Atheros Wi-fi.

Second: From what I can tell, Samsung’s proprietary All Share protocol is PRIMARILY for Samsung mobile devices to integrate seamlessly with Samsung Smart TVs. However, there’s also an indication third party computers can also make that connection. It’s a little hazy. Samsung would of course like you to stick with their product line. Whether the content displayed through All Share is restricted to displaying Video and Audio, and NOT the actual desktop of the computer isn’t spelled out clearly, At least for me!

Third: I don’t know if softAP is helping or getting in the way of what you’re trying to do. It seems the purpose is to act as a mobile, wireless Access Point so other devices can more easily get plugged into your local network. Why this is necessary for a Smart TV which already has built-in Wi-Fi is a question for me.

Forth: You consistently used the term “extend” your desktop to the TV screen. Is that what you trying to, or are you really referring to “mirroring” your computer’s desktop to the TV? Mirror means exactly the same thing on your computer appears on the TV. Extend is where you are setting up a Dual-Monitor arrangement, in effect increasing the “real estate” the number of pixels that you have available. In this configuration, different images on are each screen, and you can move the cursor from one to the other, drag widows between the two and so on. Settings for “Extended” or “Mirroring” is done in the Monitor or Display preferences on your laptop.

If you can’t get the Asus to link directly to the Samsung via their respective Wi-Fi, it’s my guess that Samsung’s All Share and the softAP software may be creating an endless circle of complications. Wipe your system clean of all that stuff and start fresh with just Asus to Samsung. If THAT doesn’t work, then, yes, I would look to a device (many other brands are available) like the Measy U1A you mentioned. Since you’d be side-stepping Samsung’s proprietary All Share, you might have a cleaner shot at seeing the Asus desktop on the Samsung TV. Whether you want to Extend or Mirror that desktop is a matter of the native resolution the Asus can display, and the preferences of monitor display available in your computer.

Please let me know if any of the suggestions above help you out, or if I’m misunderstanding something about the problem. The proprietary and generic solutions for these kind of applications need to be ironed out quickly by the industry, especially if they want to push so-called “Two Screen” applications.

Good Luck.


19 Balvinder Bassi January 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Thanks for the suggestion dude,
1. I disabled the SoftAP and the Allshare. But there was no option in my Smart TV to enable wifi otherwise. I think it’s always in enable mode But it’s just to connect to the internet through wifi router. I can’t see samsung TV in my Laptop’s wifi internet access points.
2. Samsung has provided the allshareplay application to download on PC and install it to connect it to any allshare supported device (Mobile or TV). But it just can stream Audio,Video and Images.
3. I will be more than happy if can can just mirror my desktop on my TV to play some games without any time lag.
4. I am not sure if the devices like Measy U1A, Measy A5A or other android wifi media devices will help or not.
5. I have two options to do that either I change my Laptop’s network adapter to Intel Centrino 6230 or I buy Netgear Push2TV adapter.

20 Tom Volotta January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm


Thanks for getting back on this. Yeah, the problem with most of the packaged solutions a given manufacturer provides for advanced features is that they only work with the manufacturer’s gear. Not surprised All Share is exclusively for viewing online video. That’s what “Smart TV” has come to be defined as. Smart enough to display Internet content the TV manufacturer has license agreements with.

Let me look into this more. Can’t right this minute. You know more about your Samsung Smart TV and your laptop gear that I do, but what I don’t want to see you do is buy more hardware than necessary. BTW: Is the UA46ES6200R a model sold in the US or overseas? I don’t see it listed in Samsung’s US product line, but do notice lots of references to this being a model distributed in other countries.

I’m not positive, but think the Netgear Push2TV (which does both Mirror and Expand)is designed to work only with the Intel WiDi system, which is built into the most recent versions of Intel’s “i” series microprocessors. It’s not an add-on board. Not sure what the Centrino 6230 gets you. Does your Asus have an Intel WiDi processor? The Netgear Push2TV is a good fit, BUT given you already ave a full-blown, built-in Wi-Fi, Smart TV, I’ve got to believe there is a simpler and less expensive way to get your PC connected to the TV. The Samsung Link Stick might work, but I have to investigate more. There may be some quirky set-up or preference that needs to be configured.

I’ll be back.


21 Tom Volotta January 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm


The basic delema you have is your Samsung Smart TV only wants to link to the Internet through your router in order to access video and audio content Samsung is licensed to use (Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc.) It does have a Samsung LinkStick USB plug in, but that device is confined to use with other Samsung wireless products such as Blu-ray players. All Share is specifically a vertical marketing scheme to encourage a Samsung “ecosystem” much like Apple. This will be be even more prevalent when Apple starts rolling out their own TVs.

A growing tread to do what you want — see your laptop desktop on the TV — is being confined to the Intel WiDi system. This is a Wi-Fi receiver that communicates with your wireless PC, and connects to the TV via HDMI. Although your Asus laptop has a sophisticated “i7″ microprocessor, unfortunately it is not Intel WiDi certified, so your out of luck there.

Don’t give up though. Netgear is one of several companies that make a wireless solution that will work with you gear. That particular model is is the PTVU1000 (aka Universal Push2TV HD – Wireless PC to TV Adaptor.) NOTE: Don’t confuse the PTVU1000 model with the PTV2000 (Push2TV HD-TV Adaptor For Intel Wireless Display. That unit DOES require the special Intel WiDi equipped microprocessor. As high-end as you Intel microprocessor is, it isn’t Intel WiDi.

There are other brands and models that will work with your existing system. I just picked Netgear because they had a straightforward comparison, and know Netgear makes quality products. Read the specs carefully. Talk to both the the TV manufacturer and adapter provider to be sure of compatibility for your needs.

This “Smart TV” label is primarily used to indicate the TV has a buit-in browser that can access video and audio channels it has licensed, and for a variety of widgets (Apps) for games and special, proprietary features. Connecting a PC to a Smart TV is mainly used to access streaming video and audio content. The notion of connecting your computer to extend or mirror your desktop is not a prime consideration. The TV manufactures have left that to third party vendors. The old-fashioned, wired connection (HDMI to HDMI) is luckily still available. Just not as covenient.

Good Luck. Let me know if you get the desktop on your TV. You’ll still need to fiddle around with monitor preferences and setting to properly configure the mirror or extend feature. This can be a pain. Consult the PC an TV user manuals.


22 Balvinder Bassi January 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

Dear Tom,
Thank you for such a detailed guide. I have also done all the research and came to the same conclusion as you described. I was also considering the same Netgear model


I have two options.
1. To get the above mentioned Netgear hardware.
2. To buy Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 WIFI + Bluetooth
I have already bought a HDMI cable and successfully mirrored the desktop on my TV, but you know wifi display is the main dream and I’ll fulfill it. I’ll definetly let you know when I get my wifi display on TV.

23 Tom Volotta January 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm


At least we’re more or less on the same page for this !!!

A couple (maybe more than that!) comments:

1. As I mentioned previously, I don’t quite get what the Intel Centrious 6230 brings to the table that you don’t already have with the Atheros (a very good brand) already in your Asus K55VM. They are both 802.11n, with BlueTooth (which isn’t important in this case), so I don’t see spending the money for essentially the same function. If you can not get a Wi-Fi connection between your laptop and the Samsung Smart TV with the Atheros, why do you think the Intel Centrious will do the trick? The problem, as I see it, is that the Samsung Wi-Fi is only tuned to either connect to those online video and audio services Samsung has contractual relationships with, or to connect to its own brand of wireless products such as Blu-ray players.

2. The Centrious 6230 is NOT the same thing as the Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) system. That capability is embedded in certain “i” series microprocessors. Unfortunately, NOT you Asus K55VM. Even then, those ONLY work with an external Wi-Fi receiver (e.g., the Netgear Push2TV PTVU2000 – big brother of the 1000), so you’re still stuck with having to buy and install a separate box, then connect it via HDMI to the TV. Unless I’m way off-base, neither the Atheros nor Centrious will give you a nice clean, DIRECT Wi-Fi connection between your laptop and the Samsung.

3. BTW: If I am full of hot air, and the Centrious DOES give you a Wi-Fi desktop connection — BE SURE to get the Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6230, 62230ANHMW (supports 802.11a/b/g/n) – NOT THE 62230AGHRU (supports 802.11a/b/g). You want 802.11n speed and bandwidth. For the life of me, I’ll never understand why manufacturers play cutesy games with their product IDs — making them so similar you need an electron microscope to tell the difference. “ANHMW” vs. “AGHRU” !!! Oh, the new standard you’ll begin to see is called 802.11ac. It’s about three times faster than 802.11n, So get ready to to swap out all your networking gear in a couple years!

So, after all that blathering – it seems to me the most straightforward solution for you is to go with the Neatgear PUSH2TV 1000. Inexpensive, AND it really IS a Wi-Fi system. As I said, if there’s a way to go DIRECTLY from you laptop’s Wi-Fi straight into the Samsung, I must be overlooking it. I’d double and triple-check with both Samsung and what Wi-Fi adaptor you think will work BEFORE going that route.

I think the thing about having the separate Wi-Fi receiver that plugs into the TV via HDMI is that there aren’t any complications with what source on the TV you select to see your laptop. It’s like selecting Blu-ray, DVR or whatever other source. Simple. Even though so-called “Smart” I think these TVs still have a problem filtering what they are programmed to work with, and third-party Wi-Fi signals coming in on the same path.

Hope I’m on the right track here, and haven’t made things more confusing for you. Please let me know what solution works best for you.


24 Tammy Gilbert January 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I have a Dell inspiron laptop and a Samsung flat screen TV. I bought a HDMI cable, and it works with my TV, won’t connect to my computer. What kin of adaptor is available to fix this and what do I need to connect the audio? Thanks for you help.

25 Tom Volotta January 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm


I’m missing something here. First you say you’re using an HDMI cable that “works” with Dell laptop and Samsung TV, but then say it “won’t connect.” Am I misunderstanding something here? It either does or doesn’t. If your computer has an HDMI output, it should connect perfectly fine to your TV’s HDMI input, which also carries the audio signal. That’s a straight, hard-wired connection. Should work great, but restrictive I. Terms of mobility.

If you’re looking to do a wireless connection between the laptop and the TV, that’s a different issue. Similar, but slightly different. Assuming your laptop has Wi-Fi capability, there several Wi-Fi receiver boxes that will make a wireless connection between the Dell and the receiver. You then connect the receiver to the Samsung via HDMI cable, which carries both High Definition video and Surround sound (maybe even HD Surround) for maximum flexibility. Careful in selecting the receiver. Intel markets a WiDi solution that requires a special microprocessor in the computer, along with a specially equipped receiver that connects to the TV. There are plenty of more conventional systems available.

Give me a few more details on your problem and hardware/software setup, and I’ll try to iron this out for you.


26 Colin January 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi Tom
There is a lot of stuff here and my answer is probably here but i haven’t found it, quite.
I have a LG smart TV which accesses my PC through WIFI for media files, internet etc.. But I cannot access PC for other material such as read emails. I guess I mean the desktop so I can display whatever is on my computer. Any suggestions? I could use an RGB cable or similar, but would mean shifting my PC or a pretty long cable.

27 Tom Volotta January 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm


This seems to be coming up a bit. I believe the answer is that these “Smart TVs” are expressly rigged to access those content services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.) who have licensing agreements with the various manufacturers. There is a lot of overlap here, as the content services want their programming on as many hardware devices as possible. The problem is that the built-in Smart TV Wi-Fi is optimized for those particular services, and for playback of certain media files and internet browsing.

The notion of mirroring (some call this ‘extending’, but to me that mean BOTH the computer screen AND television screen are used together for a much larger desktop environment.) Mirroring is just showing what’s on your computer, on your TV. Obviously some resolution problems there, which I won’t get into.

This is the unfortunate fallacy of the current generation of Smart TVs. They don’t allow displaying your computer desktop through their Wi-Fi systems. BUT, there ARE ways around this. You can purchase a Wi-Fi receiver which will connect with your computer’s Wi-Fi, and then plug the receiver into your TV (ideally) through an HDMI cable. Careful about the specs for the receiver though. Intel is integrating what they call Wireless Display (WiDi) into the current generation of “i” series microprocessors. Very convenient and very clever. The problem with that is the receiver box that connects to the TV via HDMI must be WiDi compatible. Several of the major interface and networking companies are doing this now, but also offer a more generic version, which does not require the Intel WiDi spec.

Check around, you’ll find several. This should provide you with the solution I think you’re looking for (to see your computer screen on a high def TV.) Yeah, avoid running RGB, or any other kinds of cables (other than from the receiver box to the TV – a 3′ HDMI). You’ll just be tripping over cables and crashing into your TV, and then where will you be?!?!?!?

Let me know if you can get this working. I don’t have a Smart TV, but use TiVo to access various online content. As for displaying my computer (laptop?) on my 1080p TV, I’m frankly just not interested. I watch TV, TiVo, Blu-ray and fiddle with my iPad. That’s enough media for me.


28 Bill February 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hi Guys
I have a 6 series samsung led tv wich I have connected to my home network with a cable using the tv’s ethernet port.
My samsung laptop is also connected to the same network, and I can connect to my latop from the tv using allshare but I can’t mirror my laptop desktop to the tv!
Any ideas? Should the tv be smart to be able to do so?

29 Tom Volotta February 11, 2013 at 11:58 am


No, Smart TVs shouldn’t necessarily be able to display your computer’s desktop through your network. It’s possible some new models are or soon will offer that capability, but your Samsung 6 Series isn’t one.

You’re running into a similar problem people are having in trying to mirror or extend their laptop (or desktop) computer to a “Smart TV.” Samsung has been one of the leaders in the Smart TV area, however, like other manufactures, current generation systems have their limitations. The usual question involves the Wi-Fi features, and ‘Why can’t I see the desktop of my Wi-Fi laptop on the Wi-Fi Smart TV?’ Although yours is slightly different, with the Samsung connected to the network via Ethernet, it’s still a network, and the hang-up is the same.

These Smart TVs are geared at accessing the Internet for specific content programming services, e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, others and various Apps, which they have licenses with. These TVs are also designed to communicate with other media content devices like smart phones and notebooks (ideally those made by that same manufacturer, THEM.) That’s the “Smart” part. There ARE sets coming on the market with true built-in browsers, where you can fly around the Internet, but that’s still different from your situation. Samsung’s AllShare is probably only letting program services and apps on your laptop that are compatible with the Smart TV’s be displayed. It’s not going to just let you use the TV as a big screen for your laptop to do whatever.

There are two basic solutions for you:
1. Hardwire the laptop to the TV, hopefully with HDMI. A cumbersome, inconvenient, trip-over-the-wire-and-crash-INTO-your-big-screen-TV, way to go. Avoid that.
2. Get a special Wi-Fi Receiver, that will communicate with your laptop’s Wi-Fi, then connect the receiver to the Samsung TV with HDMI. This is what I’d do.

There are two classes of these receivers, general purpose and Intel WiDi. Both are a wireless receiver that connects to your wireless computer, with the receiver then hard-wire connected to the TV with HDMI. The Intel WiDi is a new solution, but these new Intel WiDi Receivers ONLY work if the Intel microprocessor in your computer has the WiDi feature (optimized to send video wirelessly.) I think this is becoming pretty much of a standard for new Intel microprocessors. Likewise, Intel WiDi computers will only work with Intel WiDi compatible Receivers. There are several brands on the market adopting this. The second class are the general purpose Wi-Fi receivers that do the same thing, they just don’t require Intel WiDi in the receiver or your computer. Again, several manufacturers of those, as this type of solution has been around well before Intel WiDi.

You’ll have to check to see if your laptop is new enough to have the built-in Intel WiDi. If it does, great. Get a WiDi receiver. If not, go the conventional Wi-Fi route. The same companies that make WiDI receivers make regular ones. You’ll then have to fiddle with the monitor setting in your computer to either Mirror (exact desktop from computer shown on TV) or Extend (essentially a dual-monitor situation, where the TV just becomes extra pixels for you to use.) Mirror and Extend are often used interchangeably, but I make a distinction. Whether you can even attempt to “Extend” depends on your graphics chip. Just go with Mirroring – that’s what you said you wanted to do anyway. Watch out for different resolutions in the set-up.

If you get this working right (or not), let me know. I’d be curious to learn what your configuration is. Hope this solves things for you. Good Luck.


30 John February 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm


I have a question. I am trying to connect my streaming video from my pc to my tv, but my ty is an old box tv, Sharp, with all the regular ports from back in the day. I have it connected using a vga to rca, I think. Well I basically have everything connected but nothing is showing up on the tv input channel I have the rca cables hooked up to. Is there some special app or video player software or setting I need for what is on the pc to show up on the tv. I have no idea what to do. If you can help, I’d really appreciate it thanks.


31 Tom Volotta February 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Hi, John.

It looks like you’re going the direct hard-wired way. No wireless involved.

There are a few things going on here. The basic issue is sending the correct signal to the TV’s RCA inputs. This isn’t an App or video player problem, but it MIGHT be a setting in your computer. From your description, it sounds like you are using about a simple five dollar VGA to RCA dumb (no processing going on) Adaptor where the VGA pin connections are wired to the RCA outputs. This is fine IF your computer’s graphic card is doing the necessary Conversion from VGA to RCA. If the graphics card is not able to convert VGA to what’s typically called “TV-Out” then there is no way the dumb Adaptor will feed the right signals to the TV set.

The first thing you need to do is open the Settings/Preferences application either in the computer’s general settings, or the one for the specific graphics card you’re using. That would be the case if you swapped out the board that came with the computer for one with more features. Either way, the graphics output must be “TV-Out” (or whatever other label they may have) compatible. So, look into that first. The graphics board may not have the conversion feature, or the settings needed for adjustment.

If the graphics output CAN be set to a TV-Out signal, you should be ok with using the dumb adaptor you have to then get picture on the TV. You may need to check User Help to get this configured correctly. If the graphics board simply isn’t built to do that, then the dumb adaptor you have is pretty much useless in this situation.

Then, you need an external box, a true Convertor (not an Adaptor) that will take the regular VGA output from the computer, and CONVERT it to TV-Out signal for RCA. Depending on the different outputs and other features, consumer convertor prices run from around $25 up to $100. I think a simple, lower-end device will work fine for you. You didn’t say anything about the old Sharp having an S-Video input. IF it does, definitely get a converter that has S-Video. MUCH better quality that the composite video you’ll get from the RCA input. Convertors that have S will probably have both RCA and S-Video.

Oh, if by chance your computer CAN do the necessary conversion, as mentioned above, replace the dumb Adaptor you have now with one that includes S-Video out.

OK, enough of that… Now audio. VGA is only delivering video. You didn’t say anything about that, so either you’ve got that cable working (just a simple mini or micro jack to Stereo RCA cables, no conversion needed) or you don’t need or want to hear sound through the TV, or even through an A/V receiver.

Let me know what, if any of this works for you. Should be a simple and inexpensive fix.


32 Bill February 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Hi Tom,
Thank you for the detailed explanation.
I think I am gonna go with a general purpose solution, what do you think of the imation av wireless extender

33 Tom Volotta February 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm


I don’t have hands-on experience with the Imation, nor directly with the other wireless receivers. haven’t done any side-by-side comparisons. I would note that the specs for the Imation indicate it only delivers 720p. Maybe that’s a match for your current TV, you may find yourself with a 1080p display in the future, in which case you’d be handcuffing yourself. There are several of these devices out there, but take a look at the Netgear PTVU1000. It will do 1080p, is Universal (no Intel WiDi required) and had a lower MSRP.

Thanks for taking the time to get back on your progress with this.


34 Neal February 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I have a question, I have my satillite audio curently hooked to my pc using a switch for changing between two audio sources, I purchased a rca cable and spliced it into the switch, this makes the audio come out the external computer speakers that i have hooked up. what I was wondering was if i bought an rca cable that ends in a 3.5mm jack and hook it into the computer if this would enable me to listen to the tv using a bluetooth headphones, right now i have to switch between tv and computer depending on which one i want to listen too.

35 Tom Volotta February 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm


The description of the RCA and 3.5mm cables, splices, switch, speakers, satellite TV and computer setup is confusing. Not sure where some things are coming or going from.

Since your objective is enabling Bluetooth headphones to listen to two sources without a switch, it seems you need to connect a BT dongle on the satellite box. A snag could be whether your BT headphones can pair with more than one device.

If I’m missing something, please get back with additional details about your system configuration.


36 Melanie S Wonderling February 17, 2013 at 4:56 am

I have a 51′ Samsung HDTV Plasma TV…I purchased a Samsung Netflix equipped BluRay player. I have a Kenwood receiver which I use for my sound for everything. Is there some kind of connector for me to use to go from the HDMI end to a RCA end so I can still use my Kenwwod receiver?

37 Tom Volotta February 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm


Yes — but you’re not going to like the solution. You need a converter with HDMI Input, and analog audio out, including an HDMI pass-through. If my presumptions below are correct, this could be a waste of your money. Here’s why:

Since you didn’t mention the model numbers of the TV, BD player and receiver, I’m guessing on just what your system configuration can do, and how to optimize it. Your Samsung plasma and Blu-ray player use HDMI. That’s currently the best interface connection for both HD video and HD Surround sound. HD Surround IS better than the previous generation.

The Kenwood receiver seems to be the weak link. Since you’re asking for an RCA connector to the receiver, I’m assuming the Kenwood can only handle analog audio, and that you are NOT referring to a coax cable with an RCA connector, carrying S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) digital audio. Toslink optical cable is also S/PDIF.

Or — you are already using your coax digital audio inputs on the Kenwood for other sources (e.g., DVR) — or that the Blu-ray player only has HDMI, or HDMI and Toslink out. I think you’ve got an old, analog-only, Kenwood receiver.

I’m also going to assume you want the best possible VIDEO from the BD player to the HD plasma, which would be via HDMI. I don’t know what other equipment you have connected to the receiver.

All those assumptions about your setup point to needing a converter with HDMI in, and analog audio out, while the HDMI itself is still able to “pass-through” without being affected. The configuration would be: Blu-ray HDMI out to Converter – HDMI pass through to Plasma TV for video (although audio is still carried) – and analog stereo (or, if you have the inputs, analog Multi-Channel for a version of Surround) audio out through RCA connectors to the Kenwood receiver.

Yup. It’s confusing. Too many standards, connectors, etc.

The reason I started out saying you’re not going to like the solution, because it would be a waste of money, is that these particular HDMI in to different outputs WITH HDMI pass-through seem to start around $150 and can easily be twice that. It’s the HDMI pass-through that adds cost. Cheaper devices that change HDMI to a variety of other formats, but without the pass-through, run as low as $35. Incredibly lousy video though.

Given that long-winded response, I’d recommend stretching your budget and spending an additional $100 over the $150 converter, to buy an entry level, modern receiver. Try for Samsung for some convenient interconnect features with your other Samsung equipment. A new receiver will have HDMI In and Out, and other digital capabilities. You’d then be able to add some inexpensive speakers for a basic 5.1 Surround sound listening environment. The newer HD Surround standards are really something. The new receiver will serve you well for many years.

If this idea doesn’t work for you, get back to me with the model numbers of your gear, and I’ll look more closely at a solution.


38 chetan February 21, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hi Tom,

I have a samsung 40ES5700 and Dell Inspiron ( without HDMI output ).
My laptop is connected wirelessly to router and TV is connected with LAN cable to router.
If I stream programs directly on TV with browser or youtube, some times its gets closed due to short of memory.

Can I share my laptop screen on TV ? ( Can I watch on TV programs streaming on laptop ?? )
This way I can avoid one more cable and to buy a wireless dongle for TV.

39 Tom Volotta February 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm


Yes, your computer desktop can be displayed (mirror) on the TV screen. But, plugging a dongle into the TV for a wireless connection to your LAN won’t do the trick. That wireless dongle only allows for the same (licensed) online content you are already getting through the hardwired Ethernet cable. It won’t simply let your computer connect so the desktop can be seen on the TV screen. The current generation of Smart TVs have limitations when it comes to built-in, wireless linking with computers.

To wirelessly mirror your desktop on the TV, you need a Wireless Display Adaptor. This is a small wireless receiver, with hardwire OUT connections to the TV. The receiver makes a wireless connection directly with the Inspiron. Then plug an (ideally) HDMI cable into the Output of receiver and to an Input on the TV. From there, you’ll probably need to make adjustments to the computer’s monitor settings so it properly recognizes the wireless adaptor to mirror the desktop on the TV. It’s pretty simple, but you must follow the instructions with which ever Wireless Display Adaptor you use. Some devices may require installing special software they provide.

Be aware there are two flavors of these Wireless Display Adaptors. First, the generic variety, which, similar to most all wireless routers, can pair with a wireless computer, as long as they both have a common transport protocol (e.g., 802.11n.) The second type is an Intel version, specially designed for wireless video. It’s called Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), and may be on its way to becoming a standard, much like Intel’s Thunderbolt. Here BOTH the Wireless Display Adaptor AND the computer MUST be WiDi compatible. WiDi is built-in the the newest generation of Intel “i” series microprocessors. It will then connect with Wireless Display Adaptors that are likewise WiDi equipped. A non-WiDi computer can NOT connect with a WiDi Display Adaptor. Intel WiDi also offers the ability to multi-task, streaming video from the computer to the TV while running other applications only on the computer desktop.

So, if your Dell Inspiron does NOT have an Intel WiDi microprocessor, you need the generic Wireless Display Adaptor. If you DO have WiDi, get a WiDi version. Check the specs on your computer and the display adaptor to be sure they will work together. Make especially sure the audio/video connections on the TV and display adaptor match. HDMI is best. Netgear and D-Link are just a couple of the several brands that make Wireless Display Adaptors. Blu-ray players, TVs and other devices are coming to market with built-in WiDi.

Let me know if this doesn’t work for you.


40 spearko520 March 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm

first thanks for sharing all your knowledge in this arena- i am hoping you can lend a little more insight into the issue that chetan is having, since i also have an inspiron that has neither a widi supported processor or ANY output terminals. I didn’t realize that the hdmi connection on the back was input only until after i ran cables, and i am thinking that based on what you are saying above that wifi might be my best bet to get my desktop to appear on a remote monitor. I have looked into the possibilty of USB to HDMI, but i don’t know which option will be able to stream with better resolution. The real problem i am having is finding some sort of wifi system or wireless display adapter that will work with my system. I looked into the netgear pushtoTV and it looks like all their models rely in the widi technology. When i do an internet or even amazon search, i am getting everything from roku to diamond usb display. I know there has to be a way to make this work, but i certainly can’t find it. Let me know what you think- thanks!

41 Daniel Abera July 12, 2013 at 6:24 am

Can i connect LED tv to computer system unit?What are other application can i get from those device
thank you

42 RealPlayer July 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

With the right cable you can. Just depends on what ports you have on the LED TV.

43 John Ferguson August 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

Tom, I do have a question but first I gotta say what an amazing, generous guy you seem to be. All these questions and your detailed follow ups are impressive indeed!
My question? Currently, I have our main TV hard wire connected from my pc’s graphics card to my TV, through an HDMI cable. The pc is 6′ away so it works out great. Got my full Desktop in our 73″ Mits. Wireless mini DiNovo and mouse. I’d like to do the same for our bedroom TV, a Samsung LED. The graphics card only has 1 HDMI output. Is it possible to “split” that so I can do the identical setup in the bedroom? I don’t mind going with a longer 25′ HDMI cable. I could hide it easily. I also have a StarTech 4 to 1 HDMI video switch with remote. Could I connect this to my graphics card? This would give me 4 more HDMI outs. The problem with this switcher would be a good general access location. Re reading my text I’m confused. Hope you’re not!

44 June October 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm


We currently use our HDMI port to connect to internet via cable. Just bought a new TV but there is only one HDMI port on our laptop, which is already in use for internet so we cannot connect with the TV. Does that mean the only option is the old fashioned more difficult way to connect to TV you mentioned earlier? Thanks!

45 gilson February 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm

problem connected my pc and tv

46 Brinton Felixraja February 17, 2015 at 4:13 am

Could you please be more specific about the problem you are having? Please describe exactly what it is that you are trying to do and include any error messages that you may receive. It can also be helpful to include the following information:

> What is the operating system of your computer (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1)?
> Are you streaming the videos via Roku or Chromecast device?
> What happens when you try to access the Cloud Videos?
> Have you connected the device to access the videos?
> What version of RealPlayer is installed? To find the version:

a. Open the RealPlayer software.
b. From the RealPlayer menu in the upper left, choose “Help” option.
c. Choose “About RealPlayer” inside the “Help” menu. A window opens.
d. Provide the information listed beside “Version” near the top of the “About RealPlayer” window. These numbers indicate the version of RealPlayer currently installed on the computer (i.e. “RealPlayer″ or “RealPlayer″).

If you have any additional questions, please send an email to

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