There exist a whole host of ways in which to connect a laptop computer to a TV or projector. One of the most efficient ways of doing so is through the use of a Video Graphics Array (VGA) cable. Introduced in 1987, VGA was expressly designed to serve as the industry standard interface: as such, VGA cables are the most common way of connecting between a number of source devices and display monitors. This includes most desktop computers and laptop computers as well as projectors – some TVs such as LCD and LED TVs also offer VGA cable support. With a 15 pin connector on either end, VGA cables effortlessly plug into VGA ports and are a universal option for the vast array of devices that support them. If your desktop monitor utilises a configurable VGA cable, that very same cable can be used by your laptop in order to connect it to a projector or TV.
Thanks to their versatility, VGA interfaces are guaranteed to be found on almost any piece of audio/video hardware – this is especially good news if your source device or display monitor was manufactured to serve as a low end, entry level product or budget model of its line. For laptops older than four to five years, using VGA cables to connect to a TV or projector might be your only option – older devices are often rarely equipped with High Definition Multimedia Interface functionality, the current standard today.
However, VGA cables can only process analogue video signals, so outputting audio requires the use of an additional 3.5mm audio lead – connect this cable from the ‘Headphone Out’ socket of your laptop to the audio port of your TV or external speakers, if using a projector. On supported TVs, the VGA port is typically labelled as ‘PC IN’.