Using your TV as a display screen is a practical and underutilised solution to a lot of problems. Whether you’re using your computer for a business presentation or to take advantage of your HD TV as a massive monitor, the addition of an HDMI cable and adaptor can not only create a clearer image, but also make the process much simpler.
Using an HDMI adaptor and cable creates an all-digital output, ensuring that you get purest signal and definitive output to your monitor or HDMI device. Using this instead of an analogue component video cable will reduce distortion with the benefit of carrying audio and video through one cable, instead of several.
Also Read: How to Play PC Games on Your HDTV
Before purchasing your adaptor, it’s wise to check what type of HDMI connector your screen supports, as well as the port connection on your computer.
There are five HDMI connector types in total ranging from type A to E. Type A is typically used to connect TVs and monitors and is most likely the HDMI connector you will need.
- Type A is your “standard” HDMI connector and features 19 pins and a 13.9 mm × 4.45 mm size connector that will support all SDTV, EDTV and HDTV modes.
- Type B features 29 pins and a 21.2 mm × 4.45 mm size connector and will be used in the near future for very high-resolution displays. It is currently not used in any consumer products.
- Type C and D are smaller connectors. Type C is a mini-connector that is very similar to the type A, featuring 19 pins, however the actual plug is smaller, measuring at 10.42 mm × 2.42 mm. Type D is a micro-connector that also has 19 pins but measures in at 2.8 mm × 6.4 mm. These are mostly used with camcorders and mobile phones.
- Type E is used for HDMI connections in vehicles.
Once you’ve worked out what HDMI component you need, you’ll need to check your computer to see what port connections it offers.
- Macbooks typically offer a DVI-I dual link port with up to 24-pin input next to a small line or cross input with up to 4 pins. They may also feature a Mini DisplayPort that looks very similar to your typical USB port. A Mini DisplayPort will carry video and audio with the use of an HDMI adaptor, whereas DVI will not.
- Most laptops will feature a DVI port, as described above, or alternatively a VGA port. These ports have 15 pins in three rows of five, however a VGA to HDMI adaptor will only display video as it is unable to carry audio and separate cables will have to be used.
When looking for your HDMI adaptor, ensure that the part you are plugging into your computer (the male port) matches the DVI, VGA or Mini DisplayPort on your computer and that the female part matches the HDMI type of the TV or monitor you are plugging in.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll soon be enjoying stunning high-definition video straight from your computer to your big screen.