How To Connect Laptop To Projector With HDMI: All You Need To Know


By Arindam Roy

If you’re looking for a really easy way to access your laptop’s screen in a conference room or lecture hall, this article is for you. With the right hardware and software, any computer can display its screen on a projector. This includes laptops and Macs set up with Gorilla Group’s Hummingbird HDMI Docking Station USB-C, which supports HDMI input.

This article will guide you through the process of connecting your laptop to any standard projector with an HDMI output port: from selecting the correct cable to making sure that your settings are just right so that everything displays correctly on the larger screen once you get it all hooked up.

Choosing the Right Cable for the Job

The first thing you’ll need to start connecting your laptop to a projector is the right cable. No matter how new or fancy a laptop might be, its HDMI output can only send data at 1080p resolution and 24 frames per second. This is not going to be good enough for most classrooms and conference rooms, where projectors will typically run at much higher resolutions and frame rates. For example, WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels) or WQXGA (2560 x 1600 pixels) projectors are becoming increasingly common. They use high-resolution video signals and can run at 60 fps or faster, which is essential for delivering a smooth 3D experience. If you’re using a laptop with an older connector that only takes HDMI1.3, you’ll need to get an adapter. Unfortunately, the options online are relatively few and expensive. If you have an Apple Macbook Pro (or other Apple device) and want to use it with Hummingbird Docking Station USB-C, we’ll show you how to do that as well in this article’s next section…

Once you have the correct HDMI adapter, all that’s left is to connect your laptop and projector, which can be done in a variety of ways: from simply plugging them directly into each other to running cables through ceiling and wall-mounted projectors (see the following section for an explanation of why this last option is discouraged). Here are the basic steps that you’ll follow regardless of how you connect your systems:

Connect one end of your HDMI adapter or cable to your laptop’s HDMI output port. Connect the other end of your adapter or cable to the HDMI input port of the projector. Set your laptop’s screen resolution and video output for the projector using your laptop’s display settings. Make sure your calibration is correct using a colorimeter, software package, or built-in tool in most modern laptops.

Read here: What Is 3d Projector? Functionality Of A 3d Projector?

A Better Way to Connect: HDMI over USB and VGA over DVI

You can also connect two computers together without needing an entire new cable or adapter if you’re using Hummingbird’s Docking Station USB-C with a VGA input port (or if you have an older version). Simply connect a USB 3.1 Type C to HDMI over USB-C adapter and a USB 3.1 Type C to VGA over DVI adapter instead. Then connect your laptops’ screens together using the adapters, and you’re done! In theory, you can do this with multiple computers just by adding more adapters (although it will get increasingly unwieldy). You can use this method to create a multi-computer presentation in a pinch when you’re giving your talk or presentation.

This solution is much cheaper than buying an HDMI over HDMI cable and also provides better image quality. You’ll also be able to connect multiple computers in the future, or even project one screen on multiple monitors.

Connecting to a Multimedia Projector vs. a Document Camera

If you have a multimedia projector—which is designed for displaying presentation software on a larger screen—you should probably avoid using it with your laptop’s screen directly. You’ll probably want to connect both of them to the projector, but for best results, you should use your laptop’s screen as an output device only and not worry about projecting it from the same machine that you’re using for your talk.

Why? Multimedia projectors use tiny LCD panels to create the image instead of the much larger or LED-based screens that laptops use.

If you’re trying to show a software setup or a multiple screen set up, this is the best way to do it. Otherwise, the presentation may flicker from time to time since the screen doesn’t have enough processing power or memory to run both your presentation and its output for an extended period of time.

Related article: Projector Troubleshooting & Solutions

The same goes for document cameras: using laptops with projectors designed for showing documents can cause those documents to display upside down or mirrored vertically on your computer screen if you don’t make adjustments in advance. So, the next time you’re asked to present from a laptop with a projector, consider the following:

If you have a multimedia projector that supports HDMI input, connect your laptop to it using an HDMI cable. Otherwise, use your laptop’s screen as an output device only and not worry about projecting it from the same machine that you’re using for your talk.

Connect both computers together using Hummingbird Docking Station USB-C with VGA or DVI. If you have multiple computers (for example, if you want to show off your presentation on a mirrored setup), simply add more adapters. If not, connect them together using adapters.

Whatever you do, don’t connect your laptop directly to a multimedia projector’s HDMI input port. The same goes for document cameras or any other device with a similar input port. You’ll simply end up with an upside down or mirrored image display. You can see how it will appear by connecting your laptop and projector directly to each other and then flipping the projector’s display orientation manually on its settings menu—the image that you see in mirror mode is how it will appear on your computer screen if you don’t change anything.

Relevant reading: How To Project Mobile Screen On Wall Without Projector & How To Connect Mobile To Projector: Explained

Connecting to Your Laptop’s Screen Using VGA and DVI Cables

If you’re using Hummingbird Docking Station USB-C with a VGA input port (or if you have an older version), you’ll need to connect your projector to the laptop’s screen directly once again. This can be done by purchasing an HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI cable. If you’re using a MacBook Pro, these adapters are relatively inexpensive and come in several varieties depending on what laptop model or Mac computer you have. You can also connect your projector directly to your laptop’s screen using an HDMI over VGA cable (for example, if you have an iMac). If you do so, you’ll need a VGA adapter to resolve mirroring issues. The same goes for DVI over HDMI for older versions of the Hummingbird Docking Station USB-C.

Of course, any projectors that are designed with VGA inputs will work fine with Hummingbird’s Docking Station USB-C with a VGA input port (or if you have an older version). Again, this solution leaves the screen pointing at the projector and using the laptop’s memory, which can result in flicker or even image degradation.

Connecting to the Laptop’s Screen Using VGA and a DVI Cable

If you’re using an older version of Hummingbird’s Docking Station USB-C with a VGA input port (or if you have an older version), you’ll need to connect it to your laptop’s screen directly. This can be done by purchasing an HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI cable. If you’re using a MacBook Pro, these adapters are relatively inexpensive and come in several varieties depending on what laptop model or Mac computer you have. You can also connect your projector directly to your laptop’s screen using an HDMI over VGA cable (for example, if you have an iMac). If you do so, you’ll need a VGA adapter to resolve mirroring issues. The same goes for DVI over HDMI for older versions of the Hummingbird Docking Station USB-C.

Related post: How To Operate Projector: A Step By Step Guide

Using Multiple Screens

If your laptop has multiple screens connected with HDMI connectors, you can connect them together using one HDMI over VGA cable or two horizontal DVI-D or DVI-I cables. If you’re using a MacBook Pro, these adapters come in several varieties and are relatively inexpensive at under $20 apiece. If you have several computers (for example, if you want to show off your presentation on a mirrored setup), simply add more adapters. If not, connect them together using adapters.

Connecting to Multiple Screens Using VGA and a DVI Cable

If your projector supports VGA inputs, it’s easy to connect it to the laptop’s screen directly using an HDMI over VGA cable or two horizontal DVI cables (one DVI cable for each screen). If you’re using a MacBook Pro, these adapters come in several varieties and are relatively inexpensive at under $20 apiece. If you have several computers (for example, if you want to show off your presentation on a mirrored setup), simply add more adapters. If not, connect them together using adapters.

 

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