Connecting your computer to your TV can have a lot of advantages. Your TV is likely to be much bigger, and perhaps have a better resolution than your computer monitor. There are also times when you want to have multiple screens, and a TV screen can make a great second (or even third) monitor in a pinch. However, for most people, connecting a computer to a TV is simply a matter of wanting to watch video files on the big screen. It is a good quick fix if your TV is not Internet ready, or if the video you wish to watch is on your computer hard drive. Here are some simple ways to get the connection right.

Today, wirelessly connecting your computer or laptop to your TV is the way to go. With any laptop, you should be able to stream to your TV. If you use Google Chromecast or Apple TV, it is simple to connect your computer, or even a mobile device, to your TV for video streaming. Google Chromecast is by far the more affordable option (not really a surprise). Once the Chromecast is connected to your TV and enabled, you should see an icon on your device. All you have to do is click on that icon to get started. Apple TV is specifically for Apple products, so if you have a Mac, an iPad, or an iPhone, this will be your wireless option. Once the Apple TV is connected to your wireless network, you should see a menu option or an icon on all of your Apple devices. Check the menu.

If you prefer to use wires, and you will have to if you do not have one of the devices above, your best option is an HDMI cable. Most TVs come with several HDMI ports, so you probably have a free one. If not, you could disconnect a video game system temporarily. Most PCs and laptops have an HDMI port. The trick is just getting the computer close enough to the TV to plug it in. HDMI is simple because the one cable transfers both audio and video. Your PC will simply recognize the TV as your new monitor. A laptop should automatically connect as well. The TV will either become an extension of the desktop, or your computer screen will be mirrored depending on the option you have selected. You can right click on your desktop background to change the options. Alternatively, you can use a DVI cable for video, but you will have to use a separate connection for audio, so HDMI is far easier. Either way, streaming to your TV from a laptop or other computer will be easy.