How to Connect a Dell Inspiron to a Television

Connecting your Dell Inspiron laptop to your television is an easy way of viewing downloaded movies on a larger screen, browsing the Internet on your television, giving presentations or perhaps showing a slideshow of your vacation to a houseful of partygoers. Depending on your exact Inspiron model, your video-out options will vary. The connections also depend on the available input options on your television. Even without an exact match (same video-out and video-in), you can easily solve the problem with the proper video cable adapters.

  1. Connect a VGA cable from the VGA video-out on your Dell Inspiron laptop to the VGA input on your television. Older television models may lack a VGA input, but newer, digital models should have VGA input capabilities. Once connected, using your television's menu, simply change the television's "Source/Input" to the VGA connection to view your desktop on the big screen.
  2. Connect an S-video cable from the Dell's S-video-out port to the television's S-Video input, if you don't have a VGA input on your television. S-video is beneficial for older televisions that lack digital inputs. Tune your television to the S-video input source, using your television's menu, to view your Dell computer on your TV.
  3. Use an adapter. Depending on your television's available inputs, your only option may be to use an adapter, such as VGA to HDMI or component cables or S-Video to RCA cables. In such cases, connect the adapter to the Inspiron's video-out port. Connect the appropriate cable(s) to the adapter and to your TV's input. Change the TVs input source to view your Dell desktop using your television's menu.

Things You Will Need

  • VGA cable
  • S-Video cable
  • Video-out adapters


  • Once connected, you may have to adjust your computer's resolution. This is accomplished by opening the Control Panel, via the Start menu on your Dell Inspiron. Select "Appearance and Personalization > Adjust Screen Resolution." Select the desired resolution and click "Apply."

About the Author

J.S. Copper began writing professionally in 2008, specializing in technology, running and health-related topics. He has worked with a handful of technology websites providing tutorials, tips and tricks. Prior to writing, Copper worked in Web design