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How to Connect A Computer To A Projector

Updated on February 7, 2013

A Projector

This is a device used to send signals, (Audio, Visual or graphics) from a computer to another surface. The surface in this case may vary; from plain walls to projection screens, from projection boards to plain cloths. The quality of a projector is determined by its projection resolution and the light intensity. How do you tell the best projector to use?


Lumens (lm) are the units used in determining the output ability of a projector. The more the lumens the wider the display. Projectors ranging below 4000 lumens may not be appropriate for use in very large screens. This means that you have to consider the size of your projection surface when purchasing a projetor. I project the Sunday Services in my Church every Sunday using an Epson (emp) projector with 2700 lumens and so to say am proud of the image quality that it gives me.

Factors To Consider When Setting up A Projector

The quality of an image projected can also be determined by the following;

  1. Projection distance

This refers to the distance between the Projector and the Projection surface. The closer the projector to the surface, the smaller the images and vice versa

2. Angle of Projection/Keystone Effect

The image quality is also highly determined by the angle you place the projector. Projecting in the wrong angle produces the keystone effects which makes an image appear in a distorted shape of a trapezium. In case of a projection from the ceiling, the projector should be mounted in a slanting format with the rear part higher than the front to give an ample throw distance.

3. Lighting

The lighting of a room is also another factor to consider when setting up the projector. A lot of lighting can also alter the quality of your projection. This is because the projection surface might be placed in an area where there is light reflection. This, lowers the quality as the image will become extra bright.

4. Screen Gain/Projection Surface

This refers to where the image from the projector falls in relation to the reflectivity. As said earlier, it can be of different surfaces. A good surface can make it possible for viewing even from a sharp angle. Very shiny surfaces like walls have more reflection hence not producing clear images.

Connecting The Computer To The Projector

To connect the Computer (Desktop or Laptop) to a Projector, several things should be put into consideration.

  • Graphics - Your Computer must be having the correct graphics driver. In some cases, you may not find an option for Connecting to a projector when the graphics in your computer are not perfect.
  • VGA cable - The Visual Graphics Adapter cable is the one that connects the computer to the Projector. In a case of dual monitor display, one will have to use a VGA/Monitor splitter cable. This cable is used to send the same signals from a computer to multiple monitors. Identify the VGA ports in your computer before connecting. The length of the cable will be determined by the distance between the computer position and the projector. you can get the Cables of varying lengths from the Computer Accessories shops.
  • Remote Control - In case your Projector has a remote control, make sure the batteries in the remote are working and remember to put on the power button on the remote before switching the Projector.

Connect one end of the VGA to the output port of your Computer and the other end to the VGA input of the Projector.

Power On both the devices.

Display Configurations
It is much easier to set the type of display you want when using Windows 7 unlike in Windows Xp.

In Windows 7;

  1. Right-Click on an empty area of the desktop and click on personalize.
  2. Click on Display then click on Connect to a Projector.
  3. Select the type of output format you want i.e.
  • Computer Only - The display will only be on the computer
  • Duplicate - both the secondary monitor and the computer will be displaying the same window.
  • Extended - with an Extended display, the operator has the ability to control what is being viewed on the secondary screens. With an extended desktop desktop, one can connect more than two monitors. One can send the information to be viewed while still working on something else on the operating computer. Dual monitor Softwares are most preferred for use in this mode as they enable the operator to split the screen and project the desired information.
  • Projector Only - The display will only be on the Secondary Monitor/Projector. The operator's screen will turn blank when this mode of display is selected. This means that the user can only operate viewing the other monitor.

When using a laptop, these Display modes can easily be configured using Keyboard shortcuts by combining two Keys.

Press the Fn key and hold it down(second key on the bottom left, next to Ctrl). Then tap the function key to change the display. This key will vary in different laptops with most being F8, while others are F4. To identify it, the Key has a screen sign or a computer icon besides it. Tap it until you get the desired display then release.

In Widows Xp;

1. Place your mouse pointer on an empty area and right click then click on properties.

2. Click on the Setting Tab (the last Tab).

3. Here your computer is supposed to have identified the Secondary display and should be indicated as Monitor 2. Click on it.

4. Check the "Enable This Screen" box and click "OK"

In most cases, these settings will only be set once and thereafter the computer will always be detecting the secondary monitor and projecting as earlier set.

A Projector
A Projector
VGA cable
VGA cable
Secondary Monitor display options
Secondary Monitor display options


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    • Palnatech profile image

      Paul Njuguna 4 years ago from Nairobi

      Thanks a lot Josiejossy. Am glad to know that the hub has been of help to you.

    • josiejossy profile image

      josiejossy 4 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Nice and great infor...never knew what to consider when buying a projector...Thanx for sharing