Smart TVs and laptops are a great match, believe it or not, and you can use them together to make your entertainment and work life even better.
While both can connect to the Internet and stream content, merging the two takes advantage of the large display of smart TVs and your computer’s technology.
So how do smart TVs and laptops work together?
Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and Laptop Computers:
Smart TVs can connect to the Internet and may be linked to different devices, such as laptops. By connecting your laptop computer, you can display your computer screen on your smart TV.
1. Can You Connect Your Laptop to a Smart TV?
You can connect your laptop to your smart TV.
There are different ways to connect your smart TV with your laptop, either through a wired or wireless connection.
2. Can You Connect a Laptop to a Smart TV Wirelessly?
You can connect your smart TV and laptop wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
When connected via Bluetooth, your smart TV can act as a mirror of your smart TV. But this feature is only available for Windows laptops.
You can do much more if you connect your smart TV with your laptop via Wi-Fi as opposed to Bluetooth. Most smart TVs nowadays have built-in Chromecast, AirPlay, or both, which use Wi-Fi to connect to devices.
For those who have Chromecast, you can use it to screencast content from your smart TV.
If you are a Macbook user, you can use AirPlay to mirror your screen from your laptop to the smart TV.
Is Wi-Fi better than Bluetooth when connecting to a smart TV?
While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both work with smart TVs, the former is simply the better choice to use when connecting your laptop to your smart TV.
Bluetooth is not as flexible as Wi-Fi, as it can only pair between devices and it does not connect to the Internet.
Wi-Fi also has a longer range than Bluetooth, and it can send a higher amount of data. It also has better security features than Bluetooth.
3. Can You Share a Laptop Screen with a Smart TV as a Monitor?
You can share your laptop screen to your smart TV and make it your monitor.
There are a few ways you can do this using a wired connection:
- The first is through HDMI. Modern laptops and smart TVs have HDMI ports, which make it easy for you to connect the two. You even have the option to route your audio to the smart TV or through other speakers. Among the wired connections, HDMI is the best solution since you get higher resolutions on your screen.
- The second is through VGA. While not all laptops will have VGA, this port is a good option for those who have slightly older laptops that use VGA.
- S-Video is a good option for connecting old laptops. You can use an S-Video to RCA cables and connect your laptop to the RCA port of your smart TV.
Note that if you are using a laptop that uses USB Type-C, you will need a dongle to convert the port to HDMI or VGA.
You can also connect your screens wirelessly:
- You can opt for sharing your screen via Bluetooth, although not all smart TVs or laptops can use this method.
- You can use Chromecast to connect your screens, but not all apps can be cast through it when mirroring.
- You can also use Miracast to connect your laptop and smart TV if it is supported.
- If you are using an Apple laptop and have a newer LG or Vizio smart TV, you can use AirPlay to mirror your laptop to your smart TV.
Should I use wired or wireless?
Both connectivity options have their strengths and weaknesses.
If you are using your smart TV as an actual monitor or extension of your laptop’s screen you are better off using a wired connection, especially if you are doing graphic intensive work, such as video editing.
But if you are just planning to watch a movie, you can stick to wireless connections, such as Chromecast.
4. How Do You Disconnect a Laptop from a Smart TV?
If you connected your laptop via a wired connection, such as HDMI, you can disconnect from the display settings on your laptop.
If your laptop is connected through Chromecast, you can just exit the app on your smart TV.
If you are using AirPlay, you can go to the screen mirroring settings and end the session.
5. My Laptop Can’t Find My Smart TV, What Can I Do?
The issue of a laptop not finding a smart TV is usually associated with wireless connections.
- The first thing you need to do is make sure you are within range of the smart TV and there are no hindrances that can interrupt connectivity.
- Next, make sure your smart TV and laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Your Wi-Fi network serves as a bridge between the two devices.
- If you continue to have issues, try using a wired connection, which is more stable.
6. Can You Use a Laptop Keyboard and Mouse with a Smart TV?
You can use a separate computer mouse or keyboard to connect with your smart TV and navigate your smart TV with it.
If you are trying to use your smart TV as a monitor for your laptop, complete with its keyboard and mouse, refer to the steps outlined in Question 3.
7. Why is the Mouse Movement from My Laptop Delayed on My Smart TV?
If you make a key or mouse stroke on your laptop and it is delayed on your smart TV, chances are your TV has a high input lag and a low refresh rate.
You can try resolving this issue by turning on the Game Mode of your smart TV. Some TVs will have a Variable Refresh Rate, which can also address this issue.
8. Can I Use My Smart TV to Play PC Games?
You can play PC games on your smart TV when connected via HDMI, which is great if you want to play your games on the big screen.
While you can play your PC games on any smart TV with HDMI, not all smart TVs are created equal in gaming. Even if you have an advanced wireless keyboard and mouse, you will still encounter lags if your smart TV is not up to speed.
If you plan to buy a smart TV that works well with games, you should look for the following traits:
- Variable Refresh Rate
- Automatic Low Latency Mode
- Good Motion Handling
- FreeSync Support
- G-Sync Support
The most important features among the five qualifications listed are Variable Refresh Rate and Automatic Low Latency Mode. These two features mean you’ll have smooth gameplay and minimized lags when entering commands during the games. The other features contribute to a better graphic experience.
Another consideration when using a smart TV for gaming is the type of game you want to play.
While you can get a smart TV with pretty high specifications that works with games, the reality is that there will always be a slight lag. PC games that rely heavily on precise synchronization of movement, such as shooter games, won’t work as well as video game genres that are less intensive, like strategy or role-playing video games, when connected to your smart TV.
With all that said, if you want to play video games on a bigger screen but are worried about the lag, you can consider getting a gaming monitor instead.
To learn more about using your smart TV with games, check out our article Are Smart TVs Good Or Bad For Gaming?
9. Can You Use a Smart TV to Show Slide Presentations from Your Computer?
You can connect your smart TV and laptop through HDMI to display your slide presentation.
A smart TV is a good option to use for work presentations since the big screen means everyone will be able to see.
10. How Else Can You Use a Smart TV with a Laptop?
There are plenty of other ways you can use a smart TV in tandem with your laptop.
- If you have a smaller smart TV, you can use it as a second monitor. The smart TV works as a second screen that can help you compare data on your screen without having to move between windows.
- If you are a video editor, you can use the smart TV as a high-quality reference monitor for your work. Especially if the smart TV has HDR, which will show your highly attuned colors.
- The same can be said if you are editing photos. You can use a smart TV to simulate how your images will appear on different screens.
11. Can You Transfer Files from Your Laptop Directly to Your Smart TV?
You cannot transfer files from your computer to your smart TV.
You cannot download from your smart TV to your laptop, either, as TV browsers do not have a download function.
But you can take advantage of cloud services, such as Google Drive, and open the files through the web browser of your smart TV.
12. What Are the Best Smart TVs to Connect with Your Laptop?
The best smart TVs to connect with a laptop are those that have Variable Refresh Rate and Automatic Low Latency Mode. These two features allow for minimal delays when typing or moving your mouse.
One of the best smart TVs that has these features is the LG CX series.
Aside from having a Variable Refresh Rate and Automatic Low Latency Mode, the LG CX series comes with good image quality, wide viewing angles, and works well in any lighting condition. On top of that, the LG CX series comes with both Chromecast and AirPlay. That makes it compatible with Windows, Macbooks, and Chromecast laptops.
If you are on a budget, the Vizio M7 Series is a viable choice. While it only has a 60 Hz refresh rate, it features Automatic Low Latency and Variable Refresh Rate. It also has Chromecast and AirPlay built-in.