Manage Audio and Video on Windows

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Manage video on windows

If you connect your computer to a projector or an external screen, it can be difficult to get the result you want.  Sometimes, a blank (blue) screen is displayed.  Sometimes, the displayed screen seems to be different from your main laptot's screen. Sometimes, the audio output doesn't work.

In this article, we will try to solve those frequent issues.

Note that this applies to Windows 11 computers, but all Windows OS work the same way.

Connection cable

The first thing to do is to identify the cable you can use.  If you have several possibilities, prefer using HDMI cable.

Cable name Picture Video quality/Audio support Common computers
1) HDMI*


Audio support

New generation PC

Tablet PC

Small computers (Raspberry Pi, Micro PC...)

2) VGA

Low (high for new generation cables)

No audio support

Old computers


Quite good

Audio support

Old MacBook computer


Can be combined with Power Supply, Data, audio...

Audio support

New computers, MacBook, Tablets

*Sometimes, a VGA cable is provided with a VGA > HDMI adaptator.  This cable should be considered as VGA cable (so, no audio support).

To connect the screen/projector, just plug in the cable.  If you computer has no VGA port, you can use an adaptator to connect a VGA cable to an HDMI port.

Projection mode 

In fact, 4 options are available to share your screen :

  • Computer screen only
  • Duplicate screen
  • Extend screen
  • Second screen only

If you get a blank (blue) second screen, try to press [Windows] and [P] key to access the projection menu.  Select the "Duplicate" option.  Now, you second screen will display the same image as yout first screen.

Additional notes

Note that some softwares, shuch as PowerPoint or TeamViewer, can edit your projection mode settings.  For example, when you start the slideshow on PowerPoint, your settings will be set to "Extend screen", and you will get the slideshow on your second screen and the presentator on the first one.  So, if you try to open a link that is in your PowerPoint, a video link for example, it will be shown on your first (computer) screen.  To solve that, move the other app to the second screen by drag and drop, or just press [Windows] + [P] to change the projection mode to "Duplicate".

Manage audio output

The audio output is more difficult to manage than your video output.  Each sound card's manufacturer has its own interface, and its own settings.  The first thing to do is to identify if you have one or two jack connectors.  For old computers, you usually have 2 connectors: one for the audio input and one for audio output. More recent computers have one connector for input/outpout.

1 jack connector

If you have one jack connector, it can be used for input/output at the same time.  For example, you can connect headphones with output and microphone.  Usually, this happens with smartphone's headphones.

But in this case, we just need audio output to play computer's audio.

When you plug in the jack connector, a window usually appears, and ask you to select the output/input type. Select "audio output" or "speaker".

The computer will now output audio to the external speaker.

But if you use a HDMI cable, it won't work, because HDMI output will be selected by default.  To solve that, select the speaker icon in the Windows taskbar, click on the '>' arrow, and select the speaker output (see figure).

2 jack connectors

In this case, you can just select the audio output in the Windows taskbar (see above).

Antoine Poncelet 29/06/2019 19:34

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