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HDMI Input Laptop: Uses of HDMI Port on PC & Mac

Do you have something on your computer that you would love to play on your television? Maybe you just downloaded a movie, or a video/movie was sent to you, and you would like to watch it on a bigger screen, perhaps with your friends and family?

There is a solution. A modern TV set can now be connected to a laptop computer or desktop. By using this technique, your desktop becomes a playback device, with the television acting as a monitor. High-definition multimedia interface (or HDMI) cable is the easiest way to do this.

What you will need

  • A desktop with an HDMI ‘out’ socket, a sound card and a video card
  • A television with an HDMI input socket
  • An HDMI cable to connect the computer and the TV.

Steps to connect your computer to your television

  • Place your desktop next to your TV or make sure that your desktop is located close enough to reach it using the HDMI cable. Ensure that both your computer and your TV are turned off.
  • At the back of your laptop, you will find an HDMI socket, which looks a bit like a USB socket but is not rectangular. It’ll carry the label, ‘HDMI’.
  • The HDMI cable looks the same at the 2 ends. It does not matter which end you plug into your desktop. Then plug one end in now.
  • There is a flap on the front or side of your television or on the back near the power cable. Beneath it, you will see different input sockets and buttons. Plug the other end of the cable into your TV through the HDMI socket that is under the flap.
  • Switch on your television. On the remote control use the “AV” button to select the AV input ‘PC’.
  • Put on your desktop. It’ll now carry out a ‘handshake protocol’ with your television. Your television will feed information to the computer about the format it needs in order to accept video. You should see the information from your desktop appearing on your television You may allow some changes on your desktop. Make use of your touchpad or mouse to click on the buttons in the usual way.
  • Your television is now your desktop screen. Ensure you choose the ‘Full screen’ option on your desktop.
  • Play the movie or video you would like to watch. Move your mouse pointer off the laptop screen so the ‘Play’ and ‘Pause’ buttons do not mess it up. But do not worry — if you move the mouse again, they will reappear.
  • When the movie has finished, close the file that contained the film or video and shut down your desktop. Plug out the HDMI cable and select a different input on your television’s ‘AV’ button.

After the connection …

In any case your Mac does not recognize your HDTV display or other HDMI devices after the connection, follow these steps:

  • Switch off the HDMI device while your Mac is turned on.
  • Plug out or unplug the HDMI cable from your Mac and plug it in again.
  • Then, turn on the HDMI device.

Just in case the video on your HDTV or display extends beyond the borders of the screen, open Displays preferences and adjust the underscan slider for a well fit. To open Displays preferences, you can employ any of these techniques:

  • Select Apple () menu then, System Preferences, and then click Displays.
  • Hit a combination of Shift-Command-A to open the Applications folder. And double-click System Preferences, and then tap Displays.
  • If your keyboard has brightness controls, press Option–Brightness Up or Option–Brightness Down.

Lest your HDMI device is not receiving audio from your Mac:

  • Select Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sound. Select your HDMI device in the output pane.
  • If you’re connecting using a Mini Display Port connector, make sure that your Mac can send audio over Mini Display Port.
  • And if you are connecting from a Mac mini, plug out any audio device that is plugged into your computer’s Audio-Out port.

You might see an HDCP error if your Mac goes to sleep while a video is playing or paused. Close the app that is playing the video, and then open the app again. If the issue continues, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Energy Saver and adjust the settings so that your display does not go off.

Tijani Mustapha
Tijani Mustapha
Tijani Mustapha Adedeji is a Senior Tech Writer on Techblet. He has a strong flair for gadgets and tech-related developments around the globe. Deji, based in Lagos, Nigeria, is an avid reader, who loves meeting people.


  1. The best part of your blog for me is when you said that your TV set can now be connected to a laptop, you can use an HDMI cable. I will share this with my sister who is planning to hold a party to celebrate her son’s 10th birthday next month. She mentioned that she wanted to play videos that are saved on her laptop for everyone to see during the party. It will be nice to ensure a bigger screen for the videos, so your tips will make sense to her.


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