Have you ever wished you could see your computer screen on a TV? Would you like to see emails, web pages, photos slideshows, YouTube videos and movies on a big screen or display presentations for your business?
Well you can….and it can be pretty simple and inexpensive to set up.
The simplest method is Chromecast because you don’t have to know about ports and screen resolution settings.
A $35 Chromecast plugs into the TV and connects it to your Wi-Fi network. Then you can see video, images and pages from the Chrome web browser from any computer, smartphone or tablet that’s also on the network. This is a very inexpensive solution and very easy to set up. You can use Chromecast with a Mac too. You will just need to use the chrome browser instead of Safari when connected to the TV.
If you want to see everything on your computer rather than just what’s shown in Google Chrome, you can do a direct connection.
There are four kinds of ports for direct connections. HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA.
All newer TVs have HDMI, and that’s the one you ideally want to use because it supports HD (high definition).
Unfortunately, many computers don’t support HDMI
Computers that don’t have HDMI, will have either DVI or DisplayPort. If your computer has one of these, you can get an adapter to connect it to the HDMI port on your TV.
Inexpensive computers might have only VGA and it cannot do HD (high definition) images so you might want to use a better computer if you plan to stream movies online.
GETTING THE RESOLUTION RIGHT
Modern computers should be smart enough to figure out the right resolution, when you plug into a TV, especially if you’re using the HDMI port.
However, if you’re using an adapter or an older version of Windows, it might have to adjust the resolution.
Right-click on the computer desktop and select “Screen Resolution.” Select the TV and change the Resolution to 1920×1080 (unless you’re using a smaller or older TV, in which case it might be 1280×720).
You might be tempted to push the resolution higher, but don’t. Not only will it look terrible but a higher resolution actually makes everything on the screen look smaller.
PICKING A TV SIZE
If you’re going to use a TV in a larger room, you want to make sure it’s easy to see. This handy chart will give you an idea of the size you’ll want based on the room length.
|Distance||Minimum size||Maximum size|
|6 feet||24-inch screen||36-inch screen|
|8 feet||32-inch screen||48-inch screen|
|10 feet||40-inch screen||60-inch screen|
|12 feet||48-inch screen||72-inch screen|
Even with a large TV, you might still have a hard time seeing smaller computer text from a distance. You can use CTRL + + (plus sign) in most programs to zoom in text and images. CTRL + – (minus sign) zooms back out, and CTRL + 0 (zero) resets the zoom. This is a great trick for watching on your regular computer monitor as well.
CONTROLLING THE COMPUTER
You can use a wired mouse and keyboard, but it’s more convenient to use a wireless mouse and keyboard so you can pass it around or give it to whomever is running a meeting in your office.
Be sure everyone knows how to turn off the mouse when it isn’t in use so you don’t waste the batteries. For business use, you might keep several on hand so you don’t have to interrupt a meeting to change batteries.
If you need help doing any of this, just call me for an appointment. 760-348-8867
If you have found this information helpful, please share it with others and encourage them to contact me to receive my Techie Tips on a regular basis.