The laptop I use has a 17 inch screen, which is pretty big by most laptop standards. When I am editing photos however I like to use a larger screen to view them sometimes as it helps with accuracy with selecting areas. I have a 24 inch monitor connected to my desktop computer in our home office upstairs (otherwise known as the spare bedroom) but the desktop PC is getting on a bit and doesn’t really have the processing power to edit large photos quickly. It’s fine for word processing and blogging or surfing the web but for multi layer photo editing it’s really not up to it.
So I thought I would get the best of both worlds and connect the laptop into the monitor. It shouldn’t be difficult as the laptop has a port on the side for doing just that. I bought myself an HDMI cable from my usual place in Preston (www.thatcable.com) and went to connect them together. It was only then that I realised the port on the side of my laptop is actually a Display Port and not an HDMI port so the HDMI cable I had bought obviously wouldn’t fit. At first glace an HDMI socket and a Display port look similar but on close inspection I realised I should have spotted the difference.
Luckily ThatCable also have a Display Port to HDMI cable (http://www.thatcable.com/product/1.8M-DisplayPort-Male-to-HDMI-Plug-Cable-Display-Port-Monitor-Adapter-) for the job and also a Display Port to HDMI converter. I opted for the converter as that meant I could still use the HDMI cable on something else if I needed to. The Display Port to HDMI lead is a directional lead which doesn’t really have any other purpose so I thought the converter offered me more versatility. It cost a bit more than a standard HDMI cable but it is the correct tool for the job.
When it arrived I hooked everything up and at first I got no picture at all. It took me quite a while to work out that I needed to tell the laptop that I was connecting into a television rather than a monitor. I still have no idea why but once I’d done that the picture was superb and I was up and running.