How to output your computer to a TV

Have you considered using a bigger screen?

When you buy a new laptop or desktop computer, a laptop will come with a certain sized screen (for example 14 inch); whereas on a desktop computer, the screen size
might be between 19 and 22 inches.

Did you know you could output what is on your computer screen (either from a laptop or a computer) to a TV size of your choosing?

Things you will need

To use your TV as a bigger screen for your computer work, or even to see photos etcetera on the screen, the following things will be needed.

1. A TV with at least 1 spare HDMI slot.
If you have a Smart TV, on the Samsung TV's you can turn on Voice guide (which can be found under the accessibility section of the TV). When the screen reader has been turned on, it will speak the channel  number, the show airing and the time slot, the program guide and settings etcetera. It will also speak the source you are going to use. Other TV's might have a screen reader built into them and may vary as to what each one speaks.
If you have one of the older TV's, it might be a matter of marking the source button with velcro, so that when you press it, it will cycle between TV, HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3 etcetera back to the TV show that is airing.
2. A VGA to HDMI converter for older computers or laptops that only have a VGA port.
You can buy one of these off for around 7 to 8 dollars plus postage.
3. You will also need to buy an HDMI cable (2 meters is usually a good size), to reach from the computer to the HDMI slot on the TV.
It is a good idea to measure the length between the computer or laptop and the TV, to get the right size HDMI cable to do the job.

 Connecting the VGA to HDMI converter to your TV

When you get your VGA to HDMI converter, please note the following on the converter.
On one end there is a VGA plug that will plug into the VGA port on your computer. There will also be a short 3.5 mm plug coming from the back of the VGA head, which can plug into your sound card, to be used as the output speakers on the TV.
From the VGA head there will be a thicker cable with a bigger plug on the other end. The smaller slot will be for a micro USB plug to go into, and the other end of the plug is a bigger USB plug, which will plug into the back of your computer (into a spare USB port) for power.
With the other slot (which is bigger), it is for the HDMI cable to be plugged into, and the other end of the HDMI cable will go into a spare HDMI port on the TV.

A laptop or computer with an HDMI port

If your computer has an HDMI port, or the laptop does, then no converter is needed. It is a matter of plugging one end of the HDMI cable into your laptop or computer, and the other end into a spare HDMI port on the TV. The sound source might also have to be changed on your computer output, so that it goes to the TV, otherwise you might only see the Windows desktop and have no sound going out the TV speakers.

Change your source on the TV

Now that you have everything plugged in, turn on your TV. Locate the source button on the TV, then press it a few times to get to your HDMI port that you are going to use on the TV. This way is for the older TV's. You can mark the source button with some velcro to know where it is on the remote.
If you have a smart TV, and the screen reader on it reads where you arrow, locate the source menu, then locate the source you wish to use for the computer.
After you have located it, boot up your computer by pressing the power button. You will then need to wait until the computer boots up, then changes to the HDMI source you have used. Shortly after, your Windows desktop will appear on your TV, along with sound, (if you plugged in the 3.5 mm plug into the speaker hole / or headphone hole) on the computer.
The sound will be output through the TV speakers. This is using the VGA to HDMI converter used on laptops and computers with a VGA port.

Changing the screen resolution

If the desktop does not fill the screen properly, you can change the screen resolution under the Display settings in control panel on your computer.
If the screen is filled correctly with your desktop on the TV, you will not need to go any further, but if not, you will need to do the following.

A quick way to change your screen resolution (while on the Desktop of your computer) is to make sure that nothing is selected by doing the following. Press the Ctrl key + Spacebar. If you are using a screen reader, you should hear it say not selected. Next, press the applications key on your computer, then when the context menu comes up, arrow down to display settings, then press the Enter key. After that, you will need to locate the screen resolution, then move the slider (either to the left or to the right) to fill the screen. You will only have a few seconds to do this. When happy, apply the settings on your computer, then close the screen with the Alt + F4 keys to get back to your Desktop. Now, enjoy your bigger screen.

Because you are outputting your screen on the computer to a bigger screen, you will be able to use your adaptive software on your computer as well without any problems.
You can also use a wireless keyboard on your computer / laptop and sit on your favourite lounge chair in front of the bigger screen.

If you are using magnification software, it will mean that you will need to move around more on the TV screen.

Now, enjoy the bigger screen to see photos etcetera on it. With this, it will also help people with low vision, plus, when you have finished with it being used as a huge monitor, it can be used to watch TV on as well.