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Can I use my laptop as a TV? (How to)

As an owner of a laptop and a TV enthusiast, I have often wondered if it is possible to use my laptop as a TV. After countless hours of research and testing, I am finally ready to share my findings with others who may be in the same situation as I was. In this blog post, I will be discussing how I successfully used my laptop as a TV, as well as a few other solutions I discovered. Whether you are looking for a more affordable option or simply curious about the possibilities, I hope this post can help you explore the options available.

The ways you can use your laptop as a TV may differ. Some include using a streaming service on your laptop instead of a smart TV or smart TV box, using your laptop screen to view content from your TV box, buying adapters, or using software to allow you to connect your consoles to your laptop screen.

Tips:

  • You can use your laptop as a TV with streaming services, by using a TV tuner, with a HDMI cable, with a video capture card, or with console-specific apps.
  • You may need to buy cables or adapters to allow specific inputs to get displayed on your laptop screen.
  • Some laptops have an HDMI input port and a video capture card may be needed if your laptop lacks this port.
  • You can use your laptop as a screen for your console by using wireless technology, cables or adapter, or if your console has an additional HDMI IN port.
  • Both Xbox and PlayStation have apps that allow you to stream your console output to your laptop or computer screen.
  • A video capture card can allow you to turn your laptop into a smart TV with only a few steps if you have a smart TV box.

Can Your Laptop Get Used As A TV?

You can use your laptop as a TV; one example is installing the necessary apps to stream content to your laptop or using your browser to stream content.

There are also more complex ways to use your laptop as a TV, though we do not recommend using some of these methods as they may result in unwanted behavior if you still want to use your laptop.

With some cables and adapters, you can even connect your consoles or smart TV box to your laptop to have a screen or smart TV you can carry around wherever you go.

Streaming Your Favorite TV Content On Your Laptop

With so many choices for streaming services, you can use your laptop as a TV with no hassle. If the streaming service you use has an app, you can download the app from your laptop’s App Center, or your browser can log onto your profile and watch your favorite content without needing additional apps.

This method is one of the most straightforward ways to use your laptop as a TV since it does not require wires or adapters to allow you to watch tv shows on your laptop. 

Using Your Laptop To Watch Cable TV

Though this method is not the intended way to use your laptop and is not the way cable providers assume you’ll be using their service, there are ways to watch cable TV on your notebook. By using an adapter, you may be able to turn your computer into a TV screen. Below we list the steps you need to follow to do this with your laptop and include the things you need.

  1. Get A USB TV Tuner – Before you can start watching cable TV on your laptop, you will need a USB TV tuner. Though USB TV tuners aren’t as freely available as they used to be, they are still available from many online stores, including Amazon.com.
  2. Install The TV Tuner – By plugging in the TV tuner, you should be able to download and install the necessary drivers to allow you to watch cable TV on your notebook. The installation is usually quite simple and comes with instructions to help you.
  3. Plug In Your Cable Or Antenna – If you don’t mind watching only free channels, you can connect the antenna to your TV tuner and open the app to start watching. However, using your premium cable isn’t much harder, and all you need is to insert the line into the correct slot on the adapter, and you’re ready to watch.

Using Your Laptop As A TV for Consoles

If you are looking for a TV screen you can carry around with you so you can use your consoles, there are three easy ways to use your laptop as a screen for this job.

One of the methods uses wireless technology while the other requires you to use cables or adapter, but both are pretty simple to use. Another way to connect your console to your notebook is if it has an additional HDMI IN port.

Below are three methods of connecting your console to your laptop screen to allow you to use your laptop screen as a TV for your consoles.

Laptop With HDMI Input Port

Although it is not very common, some laptops will have an HDMI input port that allows you to plug an HDMI cable into your notebook and view the content on your laptop. Below are the simple guidelines you need to follow to use this method to connect your console.

  1. Plug In The Cables – You first need to plug the HDMI cable into your console and your laptop’s input port. Doing this is usually relatively straightforward, be sure you are using the HDMI input port on your notebook, not the output port.
  2. Switch Your Input – If the image from your console does not immediately appear, you may have to switch your laptop’s input. You should find information on how to do this for your specific device, as it may differ.

Using A Video Capture Card

If your laptop lacks an HDMI input port, you can buy a video capture card that will allow you to use this feature. These cards will usually be able to plug into a USB port on your laptop to enable you to connect an HDMI Input signal. Below is a summary of what you’ll need to do to set up this option.

  1. Get A Video Capture Card – You first need to get a video capture card. You should be able to find one online if there is no store close to you that sells one.
  2. Connect The Card And Install The Software – As usual, you will need to connect the card by plugging it into the USB slot of your laptop, and you should get presented with installation options. Proceed with the installation wizard and choose the best settings for your device.
  3. Connect The Console – You should now be able to connect the console to the video capture card, allowing you to see the console’s output on your laptop screen. If the result does not show automatically, you may need to launch the video capture software.

Get The Relevant App

Both Xbox and PlayStation have apps that allow you to stream your PS or Xbox output to your laptop or computer screen.

If you want to do this with your PlayStation, you can download PS Remote Play, and for Xbox, you can download the Xbox app. Both apps have instructions that allow you to play your Xbox or Playstation on your laptop.

Using Your Laptop As A Smart TV

A video capture card can allow you to turn your laptop or an old laptop into a smart TV with only a few steps if you have a smart TV box. If you are uncertain how to do this, the steps below will help you on the right track.

  1. Get A Video Capture Card And Install The Software – As always, you first need to get a video capture card and connect it to your laptop to install the necessary software. Once the software has gotten installed, you may need to choose the correct settings for your device.
  2. Connect Your Android/Smart TV Box – The next step is to connect your relevant Smart TV box to the video capture card. Once it is connected, you can plug it into a power outlet.
  3. Start The Software – Now that both the video capture card and the smart TV box have gotten plugged in, you should be able to see the expected interface on your laptop screen. You may have to launch the video capture software if the image does not appear automatically.

Conclusion

There are numerous ways to use your laptop screen as a TV, some of which are easier to do than others. Though the screen may be a little smaller than you are used to, if you don’t want to miss your favorite shows or stop gaming, you don’t have to. 

Read more: Google Home Can’t Turn on TV

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