A laptop with plenty of hard drive space is perfect for storing all your photos, videos and music. But when it comes to watching videos and looking back at your photos, you can't beat a big, high-resolution TV screen.
Built-in wi-fi is almost ubiquitous in modern TVs, and connecting a laptop to one is really easy as a result. Even if your TV isn't as smart as the latest sets, the wealth of connections on laptops means there are usually plenty of options for connecting your laptop with a cable.
As well as displaying anything on your hard drive, once a laptop is connected your TV effectively becomes a monitor. You could browse the internet, play games and use any software on your laptop on a bigger screen.
In this guide we'll take you through the process of getting your Windows laptop or Apple MacBook connected with your TV.
Miracast is a piece of software included in Windows 8.1, 10 and 11 which allows your laptop screen to be displayed on a compatible TV screen. It's a process called screen mirroring. You'll use your laptop's trackpad and keyboard as normal, but your TV will be the display.
For Miracast to work you'll need a compatible TV. To check, head into the network settings on your TV and look for a screen mirroring option. If you see screen mirroring this usually means the TV supports Miracast, but it's possible the TV uses its own proprietary screen mirroring software, in which case it will explain how this works on screen or in the manual.
Once screen mirroring is on, you can start connecting your laptop to your TV.
Your TV should now display what's on your laptop screen. You can choose whether you want the TV to duplicate the screen (mirroring), or extend the display if you want to carry on using your laptop screen as well.
The process is slightly different if you're using this older version of Windows.
You should now see your laptop screen mirrored on your TV screen. You can also choose to extend the display onto your TV if you want to carry on using your laptop screen, too.
You'll need to have the free Google Chrome browser installed on your computer for this to work.
To get your MacBook screen to display on your TV wirelessly, you'll also need an Apple TV.
Apple TVs aren't cheap (the latest model is £149), but you can achieve the same result with a £30 Chromecast. The connection process is the same as with a Windows laptop.
If your TV doesn't support wireless screen mirroring, you can still connect your laptop or MacBook the old-fashioned way.
How you do it will depend on the ports on your TV and laptop. Ideally, you should use an HDMI cable. This transmits both video and sound, which is handy if you're watching a video or want to listen to music through your TV.
Some older laptops don't have HDMI outputs. If yours doesn't, look for a VGA port instead. Unfortunately, VGA only transmits video, and newer TVs don't have VGA inputs.