How to: Connect Laptop to TV

In this series of posts, we hope to set the record straight on connecting your computer to your TV, whether it’s a MacBook, PC laptop or desktop.

First off, let’s look at why you might want to do this. There are some obvious reasons and some not-so-obvious ones.

Obvious reasons you would want to connect a laptop to a TV:

  1. You can surf the internet on your TV
  2. You can put your computer stuff (apps, games, movies) on the big screen
  3. You can sit in a couch and use your computer without it being on your lap

Not-so-obvious reasons:

  1. Your computer is probably the only device you can hook up to your TV that is guaranteed to work on all streaming services (Flash-based players, etc) and will play all media files
  2. You don’t have to spend $50+ on another box for your TV
  3. You are not alone. Streaming is so ubiquitous these days that there are many situations where you would want to share what you’re watching with others

We’ve separated the posts into two categories: one for Windows laptops and another for MacBooks. The specifics for each are quite different, so click the link that applies to you.

Shameless plug: Apptui let’s you control your entire computer with your Android or iOS phone/tablet. You get mouse control, keyboard, and custom remotes for websites and apps.


Netflix Remote: Control Netflix With Your Phone or Tablet

Why build a Netflix remote? According to Wikipedia, Netflix is “an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media available to viewers in North and South America, the Caribbean, and parts of Europe (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom)”¹.

We’ve never heard of it, but apparently it let’s you watch full episodes of The Magic School Bus, so that’s why we’ve made a Netflix remote. Check it out in our video or get your Netflix remote by getting Apptui for free on our Downloads page.

Why you would use a Netflix remote:

  • Someone calls while you’re watching the Magic School Bus episode “Gets Ready, Set, Dough,” where Mrs. Frizzle and her shrunken class must bake a cake, and you need to pause
  • You need to turn up the volume because you can’t hear Arnold’s complaints in “Gets Lost in Space,” where the class finds themselves exploring the solar system
  • You have to rewind episode “Getting Energized” to rewatch the final chain reaction that keeps the Walkerville carnival Ferris wheel running
  • You need to search for other Magic School Bus episodes, such as “Plays Ball,” where the students learn first-hand the properties of friction
  • You would like to navigate to the parent genre for Magic School Bus, Children & Family

All of these functions are supported in the Apptui Netflix remote, even for shows that aren’t Magic School Bus. And also movies.

For the uninitiated, here’s the rundown: Apptui is a free app that lets you control your computer with your phone or tablet. You get full mouse control and keyboard input. Apptui also gives you custom remotes for specific sites and applications, including Netflix. This means that you can control Netflix with your phone or tablet by using Apptui. Check out our main site for more information.

Netflix remote

8tracks Remote: Control Your Music From Anywhere

8tracks_lgOver the last little while we’ve had the pleasure of working with 8tracks to let users control their playlists from anywhere with their phone. They are awesome people providing an awesome service, so check them out if you don’t already use them all day at work. Basically, they have thousands of publicly-created playlists of every genre. All the usual top tracks, bangers and workout mixes are there, but there are tons of really neat niche playlists that will show you something new. Based, for example, around the morning, the night or the jungle.

Reasons you might need an 8tracks remote:

  • You’re having a party and don’t exactly trust that your computer will be safe as a public jukebox, but you still want to let people choose some tracks
  • You don’t feel like getting out of bed to change the track because it’s late Saturday morning and you have absolutely no plans at all because your party last night was good
  • You’re cooking and don’t want your laptop to get spilled on/knocked over/covered in grease/on fire
  • You’re cleaning and having earphone wires on while doing actual things is painful, but you want to control the playlist without interrupting your focus
  • You are some kind of land baron/vampire/royalty and your room is so huge that walking over to change the track is just way too tiring

Also, excitingly, we’ve put together a playlist of Canadian tracks for the discerning sleepoverer. Listen here if you feel like staying up.

If you’re new to Apptui, you can get it for free here. Not only can it control 8tracks, but it lets you control your whole computer with your phone or tablet. You get mouse control, keyboard input and a bunch of customized remotes like this one for 8tracks. If you have any questions or have ideas for remotes that you’d like to see, send us an email at

The Apptui Blog: The Blog Post

Hi and welcome to the Apptui blog. We’ve been blogging for the last two years but apparently to the old social media manager “blogging” means entering incoherent meeting minutes into a gridlined notebook and never typing them up.

Not really, but now we do have a blog and you’re welcome to read it for free.

Here’s what you might have missed:

Lots more to come! Talk to you soon.