Low picture quality, fuzzy text, laptop not giving a full-screen image on TV. These are common issues you might encounter when you connect your laptop to the TV via an HDMI cable.
There is not a single solution to all of these possible issues, but here are four things that you can do to get the best HDMI quality from laptop to TV:
- Update your graphics driver.
- Use the proper HDMI cable.
- Adjust your Windows settings: select the correct Display Resolution (3840 x 2160 for 4K TV) and turn Clear Type Text on.
- Adjust your TV settings: label your HDMI input to PC and turn on HDR (4:4:4 Chroma.)
The process is quick and straightforward. It won’t take more than 10 minutes to improve your TV picture quality from your laptop via HDMI.
(Do you get tired eyes from looking at your screen? I’ve written an article about how to keep the night light on in Windows. You will discover a great app to protect your eyes.)
In the rest of this article, I will explain how to follow each of these steps in detail.
Update your Graphics Driver to Improve HDMI Quality
The first action when encountering any graphics-related problem should always be to update your graphics driver, as drivers are the most common cause of hardware-related issues.
You can choose to update all your drivers at once using a driver updater or do it in the device manager as shown below:
- Enter Device Manager in Windows Search, then click on Open:
- In the Device Manager window, expand Display Adapters to find your graphics card:
- Right-click on your graphics card and select Update Driver:
- Then click on Search automatically for drivers.
After that, your driver will be updated to the latest version.
If Windows can’t find any new drivers, I suggest you scan for new drivers with a third-party driver updater. You can also search for the latest driver on the manufacturer’s website (NVIDIA driver page, AMD driver page, Intel Graphics driver page.)
How to Choose the Right HDMI Cable
When you plug your laptop into your TV, the HDMI cable will transfer the image output as data. The higher the output image’s resolution/refresh rate, the more data is transferred.
So, if you see pixels flickering or your image is occasionally lost when your laptop is connected to your TV, your HDMI cable can’t handle that amount of data.
So, it is crucial to choose the right type of HDMI cable. There are four types of HDMI cables:
- Standard HDMI cables
- High-speed HDMI cables
- Premium high-speed HDMI cables
- Ultra high-speed HDMI cables.
Each type of HDMI cable can transfer a different amount of data. The better cables will support a higher resolution/refresh rate.
So, choosing the suitable HDMI cable depends on your TV resolution and refresh rate.
In the table below, you can check the specifications of each type of cable:
|HDMI Specification||Resolution||Refresh Rate||Recommended for|
|Standard HDMI cables||Up to 1080i (Full HD) resolution||30Hz||Not recommended. Even if you own a Full HD TV, you can buy a cheap high-speed cable that will keep useful.|
|High-Speed HDMI cables||Up to 4K resolution||30Hz||Recommended for the high majority of users. Perfect for 4K TV owners and below.|
|Premium High-Speed HDMI cables||Up to 4K resolution||60Hz||Recommended if you want to play games at 60fps on your 4K TV.|
|Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables||Up to 10K resolution||240Hz (4K)/120Hz (up to 10K)||Recommended for 8K TVs or HDR TVs.|
When choosing the right HDMI cable, there are two other things to keep in mind:
- The HDMI picture quality also depends on your laptop hardware: for example, if you want to play games at 60 fps on your TV, you need to ensure that your graphics card is powerful enough. If not, having a 4K TV and a premium high-speed cable won’t be enough.
- You don’t need an HDMI cable with Ethernet to connect your laptop to your TV: some HDMI cables support Ethernet signals (related to networks and not video/audio). If you only want to connect your laptop to your TV, you
If you already have an HDMI cable and you are unsure of which type it is, you can check this information in the package or even in the cable itself, like in the picture below:
Now with the suitable HDMI cable on-hand, let’s adjust the settings in Windows to ensure you get the best picture quality.
Adjusting the HDMI settings in Windows
In this step, we will tweak three different settings in Windows to improve the HDMI Quality from the laptop to the TV:
- Set Windows to use the same resolution as your TV to enhance your picture quality
- Change your image scale to make your Windows 10 screen size fit your TV
- Turn on Clear Type Text to fix the blurry text.
Before starting these steps, make sure to have your laptop connected to your PC with your HDMI cable.
How to Change Resolution from Laptop to TV HDMI
To set your laptop to use the correct resolution for your TV, follow the steps below:
- Right-click on an empty space in Desktop and select Display settings:
- Under Scale and Layout, go to Display Resolution and select the correct resolution according to your TV output:
If you don’t know the correct resolution of your TV set, check the table below:
|TV type||Resolution (in Pixels)|
|720 p (HD)||1280×720|
How to Get Full Screen on TV from Laptop on Windows 10
This will change the size of the app icons and text on your TV and fix the issue where your TV does not display a full-screen image when connected to the laptop.
- Right-click on an empty space in Desktop and select Display settings.
- Under Scale and Layout, go to Change the Size of Text, Apps, and Other Items and reduce the scale from 300% to 150% (or another one according to your needs):
How to Fix Blurry Text on HDMI Monitor
To improve the quality of text in your TV when connected via HDMI:
- Enter Adjust Cleartype text on Windows Search, then click on Open:
- In the Cleartype Text Tuner, mark the Turn on ClearType checkbox, then click on Next and follow the instruction from Windows:
Adjusting the HDMI settings on your TV
Now we will further improve the quality of your TV by labeling your HDMI input to PC and turning on 4:4:4 Chroma subsampling.
When adjusting the settings on your TV, remember to keep your TV connected to your laptop via HDMI cable.
How to label your TV HDMI input to PC
Labeling your input to PC has more advantages than simply helping you remember what is connected to each HDMI input. It will also improve the picture quality from a PC by automatically disabling all the unnecessary picture enhancements that might affect your picture quality.
The process to label the TV HDMI input to PC will differ according to your TV manufacturer.
Click on the link below to check how to do this on your TV. If your TV manufacturer is not listed below, do a quick Google search to find it:
How to enable Chroma 4:4:4 (Full RGB)
Without getting too technical here, Chroma subsampling is a compression technique utilized in videos to make file sizes smaller. It has three standard ranges: 4:2:0 (fully compressed), 4:2:2 (horizontally compressed), and Full RGB 4:4:4 (fully uncompressed, the highest quality.)
Full RGB is used in PC, graphics cards, monitors, and LCDs, as explained in this article, and you can drastically improve your TV picture quality from your laptop by turning on HDR (High Dynamic Range) on your TV.
Again, the method to turn it on varies on different TVs, so a quick search “How to turn HDR on * TV” (replace * for your TV manufacturer) on Google or YouTube will show you how to enable it on your TV set.
Getting the best picture quality depends on these four factors: the graphics driver, HDMI cable, Windows settings, and TV settings.
Your graphics card also plays a vital role if you plan to game on your 4K TV, but it is not as important if you only want to watch videos or do other tasks.
Another common issue connecting your laptop to your TV via HDMI is the sound coming through the laptop instead of the TV. Sometimes, there is simply no sound. If you have this problem, remember to check my article on switching the sound from your laptop to a TV via HDMI.
If you are having issues with displaying pictures on your PC screen due to the “not enough memory” error, check my article on how to fix Windows Photo Viewer can’t display picture.