Many people, to have a larger desktop and multiple tabs open at the same time without straining their eyes too much, are used to using multiple monitors simultaneously. Although it may be more convenient, many are hesitant at the idea of using multiple devices at the same time, as they are not convinced of the absolute usefulness. To test or simply expand your desktop without spending a lot of money, you can use the TV in your room as a PC monitor. The procedure for doing this is not complicated at all, in fact you just need to know where to get your hands. To help you do this, in this guide we will talk about how to use TV as a PC monitor.
How to connect TV to PC
Currently there are several ways to connect the TV to the PC. In fact, all you have to do is get the right cable and make the connection between TV and PC.
All televisions and almost all computers currently on the market are equipped with HDMI ports; this means that one of the easiest ways to connect TV and PC to each other is to use an HDMI cable. Not only the video signal but also the audio signal will be transferred through this cable. If the PC you have is a convertible device, or a tablet with a keyboard base, you may come across a Mini-HDMI port type. If you find yourself in this situation, in addition to the classic HDMI cable, you will also need an HDMI to Mini-HDMI adapter.
If your PC is older, you can rely on other video outputs, such as VGA. This type of cable, less expensive than the HDMI one, supports the resolution of Full HD televisions, but is not able to pass audio signals. It will therefore be obvious that to this type of cable you will have to combine an audio cable to be inserted in the headphones input on the PC and in the two stereo inputs of the TV.
Present on many PCs and many TVs, S-Video allows you to connect the TV to your PC, albeit with certain restrictions. This type of connection is not suitable for HD content and, similarly to the VGA output, it does not support the passage of audio signals.
Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort and USB-C
The Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort ports are ports on Apple terminals. The latter are capable of transmitting video and audio signals up to the highest possible resolution. To make a connection between TV and Apple PC you will need a Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort to HDMI/VGA/DVI adapter. Also, if you have a 12″ MacBook equipped with USB-C, you can use a simple USB-C-HDMI adapter.
In addition to cable, you can also connect the TV to your computer wirelessly using the home Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, this type of connection is less stable than that via cable, as you may suffer from slight delays and slowdowns that could cause various problems. To do this, you can use special devices:
- Chromecast: This device connects to the TV’s HDMI and USB ports and allows you to send various streaming content. To use this device as a receiver to connect the TV to your PC, all you have to do is go to Google Chrome using your PC, press on the three lines at the top right and select the item Broadcast. Once this is done, all you have to do is expand the Send to drop-down menu, select the item Send desktop and choose the Chromecast from the box that appears;
- Apple TV: if you have an Apple PC, then Apple TV is right for you. Once connected to the same Wi-Fi network both Apple TV and Mac, you can duplicate or extend your desk through AirPlay technology;
Miracast: some PCs are equipped with this support which allows, via Wi-Fi Direct, to send video and audio content to the TV. In order for the transmission between TV and PC to take place correctly, your TV must have Miracast integrated or you will have to purchase a special adapter. To transmit the PC desktop through Miracast you will have to go to the PC settings, select System and click on Connect to wireless screen.
Set up your TV and computer
Once connected PC and TV through one of the cables listed above, there will be nothing left to do but configure the latter. In fact, you can choose whether to duplicate the desktop, or show what is happening on both the PC and the TV, or you can extend your desktop and use it as a secondary monitor.
The first thing to do in case you are using a Windows PC is to click, with the right mouse button, in any area of the desktop. Once this is done, you will have to select the item Screen Settings and, in the screen that will open, you will have to select the item Extend the desktop to this screen and finally you will have to click on the Apply button. To speed things up, you can press the Windows + P keys from the PC keyboard and choose whether to use the Extend or Duplicate function.
To choose which screen between the two to identify as the main monitor you will have to go back to Screen resolution, select with the mouse the icon of the monitor you want to make primary and put the check mark next to the item Set as main screen.
Just like Windows, macOS also allows you to adjust all the various settings. To do this, simply go to System Preferences and click on the Monitor icon. In the window that will appear you can choose which device to use as the main monitor or whether to duplicate the Mac desktop, going to the Arrangement tab, applying or not checking the Duplicate monitor item.