Monday, November 11, 2013

Library on the big screen: A guide to watching digital content on your TV

One of the great things about the SCDL’s newly expanded digital collection is the ability to read, watch, or listen to content practically anywhere with your phone or tablet.  But what if you want to enjoy movies and TV shows from Hoopla in the comfort of your living room on your widescreen TV? If you’ve got a laptop, a VGA cable, and a TV with a VGA port, you’re in luck.

Do I have a VGA port?
A VGA port on a laptop, with
a VGA cable.
Newer TVs typically include a VGA port in addition to HDMI and composite/”RCA” ports. Also referred to as a “D-sub” or even simply “PC” port, VGA connectors are a widely used way to connect computers to displays. Although they’ve been largely replaced by DVI and HDMI connectors on newer computers, manufacturers have a habit of including them on newer TVs.

To check if your TV has a VGA port, simply look on the back panel for a blue port with 15 holes (see picture). Next, check your laptop for the same port—it will typically be located on the back or side.
Finding the right cable
If both your TV and your laptop have VGA ports, the only thing stopping you from watching free movies and shows from the comfort of your couch is a VGA cable. You can pick one up on the cheap from Amazon or just run to Wal-Mart or Best Buy if you don’t mind paying a few extra bucks. But first, make sure you don’t already have one—if you have an old computer or monitor sitting around, there’s a good chance it used a VGA cable.

Signing up for Hoopla is easy--just visit and provide
your library card.
Putting it all together

Once you’ve got your cable, all that’s left to do is connect your PC to your TV. On the TV, press your source or input button until you find the one that says “VGA” or “PC.” You might need to press a button on your laptop to use the external display—this is typically one of the function keys at the top of the keyboard.
From here, you can simply navigate to Hoopla and sign in. If you haven’t already signed up for an account, you can do so by simply providing an email address and your library card. Select from any number of a growing collection of movies and TV shows, or play the latest albums using your home audio system.
While you’re at it, you can also enjoy any other online service like YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu on your TV using the same method.

The Hoopla app is freely available on both the
Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
Other options
Although we haven’t been able to test this, you can also look into using your iOS/Android phone or tablet to send content from the Hoopla app to your TV. In order to do this, you’d currently need an Apple TV (for iPhones & iPads) or a Chromecast (for Android devices). If you already have one sitting by your TV, it’s worth a shot.

For more information, check out this article from the Salt Lake Tribune. For an overview of the SCDL’s digital collection, as well as some resources to help you get up and running, check out our website.



  1. Jesse, this is great information! I already have the cable, so the hard part is done. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes your are wright and thanks for post a good topic . your post is

    top most in related post of Technology and Computer Training.

  3. thanks for a good topic and it is a good for us training

  4. Dueltek Wall plates is generally fixed with any connector of your preference. These connectors and adaptor leads are all top class to ensure you usually obtain the best network coverage and excellent performance.
    Demand more? Print detection labels, guidelines and manufacturers logos onto your plate with our environmentally safe long term ink.