Do you ever find it very boring and strenuous watching a movie on the small screen of your laptop? If yes, why not invest in a mini or full-size projector and watch on a bigger screen? You only need to learn how to connect laptop to Lcd projector. And once you do that, you can use the projector for PowerPoint presentations or streaming movies.
Speaking about connecting a laptop to a projector, how exactly do you go about it? After all, some projectors and computers work via dedicated video cables, including HDMI or VGA. Other models use different types of USB cables.
Well, don’t worry because this guide will cover everything you need to know about connecting a laptop to an Lcd projector.
What Types of Ports do Laptops & Projectors Have?
Knowing what type of ports your laptop and projector have is important. This is because it will help you determine whether or not you need an adapter to connect your PC to an Lcd projector. The different types of ports include:
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
An HDMI port looks so much like a full-size USB port, but it’s a bit larger and with a trapezium shape. Basically, if your projector and laptop have a full-size HDMI port, you just need an HDMI cable to connect them. Therefore, you won’t need an adapter.
Also referred to as a Type-C connector, this is a smaller version of the standard HDMI port. If your laptop has this type of port, you will have to use an adapter. Alternatively, you could use a cable with HDMI type-c on one tip and HDMI on the other tip.
VGA (Video Graphics Array)
A VGA port is usually a D-shaped receptacle with 15 pin ports, thereby making it quite distinctive on your laptop or projector. If your projector and laptop are both equipped with VGA ports, all you need is a VGA cable. But if it is just one of the devices that have the VGA port, an adapter will be essential.
This port looks almost the same as a micro-USB port. However, you will find that it’s more oval in shape but slightly bigger in size. If your laptop uses a USB-C port, the best way to connect it to a projector is using a USB-C to HDMI adapter. But if your projector also supports this type of port, you just do a direct connection using a USB-C cable.
At first glance, you might mistake this port for HDMI. However, DisplayPort has a square-like shape, but one of its sides has been halved at 45-degrees. Most laptops that utilize a DisplayPort use either a mini connector or send their signals out through a USB Type-C port. However, since most projectors don’t come with a DisplayPort, you have to get an adapter to make the connection.
How to Connect Laptop to Lcd Projector for Mac & Windows
With laptops, there are so many ways of connecting them to a mini or full-size projector. You could use a cable, an adapter, or even Bluetooth. But for every method, there is a procedure to follow. Check them out.
Method One: Using an HDMI cable
The most common method of connecting your computer to a projector is using an HDMI cable. Below are steps on how to complete the connection.
Step 1: Identify what cable you need
You first have to identify which type of HDMI cable you need. This is because these cables come in various sizes to choose from. Generally, you should choose a longer cable, so you have the freedom to mount your projector in different places.
Step 2: Connect the cable
While your laptop is still off, simply plug in your HDMI cable directly into your projector. As for the other tip of your cable, it should go into the HDMI port or VGA port of your PC. It is recommended that you start by connecting the cable to your projector first and then to your laptop. This ensures faster signal transmission.
Step 3: Switch on your devices
Once all the cables are plugged in, the next step is to turn on your laptop and LCD projector. Make sure also to plug in the devices to an electrical power outlet.
Step 4: Choose a display option
To choose your preferred screen sharing option, press the Windows icon + P. But if you are a macOS user, click on the “Apple” icon and choose “System Preferences – Display – Arrangement.” You can then choose a ‘PC screen only’ where your projector screen will be off.
There is also the option of selecting ‘Duplicate’ where the same content on your laptop screen gets to appear on your projector. Or the ‘extend option’ where your projector will be treated as simply an extension of the screen of your laptop.
Step 5: Adjust audio settings
If you are holding a small meeting, you can just turn up the speaker on your projector. But if you have a big audience, then you should take the sound out of your laptop through its headphone jack using an audio cable.
Alternatively, you could take the audio out of your projector’s headphone jack and connect it to your sound system.
Method 2: Connecting without HDMI cable
If your laptop and projector don’t feature the same type of ports, you just have to use an adapter. For instance, it will help you convert USB-C to VGA, VGA to HDMI, and Type-C connector to HDMI. Now let’s check out the steps to follow when making the connection.
Step 1: Get the right adapter.
If your laptop does not have an HDMI port but rather a VGA port, you will need a VGA to HDMI adapter. On the other hand, if one of your devices has a USB-C port, then you should get a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
Step 2: Plug in your cable and adapter
First, you should connect one end of your adapter directly into your projector’s VGA or HDMI port. Then, plug in your HDMI or VGA cable to the other part of your adapter. Next, plug the other part of your HDMI or VGA cable into your laptop’s HDMI port.
Step 3: Turn your devices on
Once you have secured all the cables in place, you can then switch on your desktop and projector. At this point, the contents on your laptop should be the same as that on your projector’s screen. You can also customize the display settings.
Method 3: Connect to the projector wirelessly
If you find running many cables between your projector and laptop annoying, you should consider wireless connectivity. There are many methods or software you can use to achieve a wireless connection. These include:
1. Wireless Dongle
This is a pocket device that enables you to convert Wi-Fi signals to a USB signals. Simply put, it acts as a modem or Wi-Fi router. It is the best solution if your projector cannot directly connect to your Wi-Fi. You just plug this device into your projector’s USB connector or the VGA port for a wireless connection to your laptop.
2. Google Chromecast
Here is another unique device that you can plug into your projector with an HDMI port or adapter. Consequently, this allows you to stream content from your laptop onto the projector wirelessly. After connecting it to your projector, you just activate the feature on your Google Chrome web browser. Then, follow the on-screen steps to finish the installation. But you must ensure your laptop and projector are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Most Windows laptops and some projectors do support Miracast, which is an HDMI over Wi-Fi solution. However, if this feature is not integrated into your projector, you just use a Miracast video adapter. You simply attach it to your projector’s HDMI or VGA port and then enable wireless display on your laptop. This will allow your computer to scan for nearby Miracast devices so you can make the connection.
4. Apple TV Airplay
If you’re using a MacBook, this is the easiest solution for achieving a wireless connection. You just connect your projector to your Mac using an HDMI or adapter cable. Then, find the “AirPlay Mirroring” icon on the menu bar and select “Apple TV” from the drop-down menu.
5. Wireless projectors
As the name suggests, a wireless projector is built to connect with other wireless-enabled devices effortlessly. Some models may come with a built-in wireless card, while others may require a wireless adapter. Either way, you just need to press down the “Windows key + K” to select a device from the list. Your laptop will then connect automatically to your projector.
Method 4: Connect via Bluetooth for Windows 10
For most newer projector models, you will find that they are compatible with Bluetooth technology. But how do you transmit content from your laptop to your Lcd projector via Bluetooth? Here are the steps to help you.
Step 1: Switch on your devices
Press the power switch to turn your laptop and projector on. Then, if your projector has built-in Bluetooth technology, simply choose the “Source” from the settings as the Bluetooth option.
Step 2: Plug in the adapter
If your projector does not have integrated Bluetooth technology, you will need a Bluetooth USB adapter. Simply connect the adapter to the USB port on the back of your LCD projector.
Step 3: Pair your devices
On your laptop, select the “Add a Bluetooth Device” option and choose your projector from the list of devices. Next, click on the “pair” option. You should receive a code on your projector in the form of a pop-up message. Just select the “yes” option. At this point, you should be in a position to share your content from your laptop’s screen to that of your projector via Bluetooth.
Laptop won’t connect to your Projector?
If you just follow the above steps on how to connect laptop to Lcd projector, your PC should easily connect to your projector. Unfortunately, in some rare cases, your computer may fail to connect to your projector. This could be because of:
Defective adapters or cables
If your laptop doesn’t connect to the projector, it could be because you are using a faulty cable or adapter. However, the only way to tell if the issue is with the cable or adapter is by connecting them to another laptop. If the problem still remains, the only solution would be to get a new pair of cables or adapters.
Use of incorrect cables
If you happen to use the wrong cables, your computer will definitely not connect to the projector. For instance, when you use an HDMI to VGA adapter instead of a VGA to HDMI adapter while connecting your laptop via VGA port.
In some rare cases, what could be causing your laptop not to connect to the projector may be a loose connection. Therefore, after plugging all the cables into their respective ports, you should check if they are firmly connected.
Selecting the wrong settings
If you want the content on your laptop to appear on your projector’s screen, you have to adjust some settings. Unfortunately, if you don’t input the correct settings, you may find it impossible to project your content.
Can you connect a laptop to a project using a USB cable?
Yes. You can use a standard USB-A cable to directly connect your windows laptop to your projector’s USB port. But on macOS, you will most likely need an adapter to use a USB-A cable.
How can I connect my VGA laptop to a projector with HDMI?
You just use a VGA to HDMI adapter to convert your laptop’s VGA to HDMI. The adapter should consist of a VGA input (male) and an HDMI output port (male). Once you have your adapter, you should plug it into your computer’s VGA port. Then, connect the adapter to your projector using a standard HDMI cable.
Can you connect more than one projector to your laptop?
Yes, it is possible using a VGA splitter. You just plug the splitter into your laptop’s VGA port and one end of your VGA cable to the splitter. The VGA cable will then connect to your different projectors.
Whether you’re using a macOS or Windows laptop, you can easily connect it to any Lcd projector. The important thing is knowing what type of ports both of your devices have so you can determine what cables to use. This way, you won’t end up using the wrong cables or even adapters. And after identifying what cables you need, you just follow the above steps on how to connect laptop to Lcd projector.