Question audio/video output

Mar 10, 2019
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I have an older laptop with a 1366x768 resolution screen and I'm using an hdmi to connect it to a 1080p tv with a 5.1 surround sound system to watch movies. Would the tv would show true/native 1080p even though my laptop's resolution is less (assumming I'm watching 1080p source material), or would it just be upscaled? I think that if my laptop's processor and graphics hardware can handle 1080p that it would just use the TV as the primary monitor and be able to display proper 1080p but I'm not really sure so I'd love to know. Also, as far as audio goes, if my laptop doesn't have a dedicated soundcard or the greatest speakers, how would the sound be outputted to the surround sound system hooked up to the tv? Would the surround sound speakers just take over and do all the work, or would it matter that my laptops speakers aren't the greatest and thus the sound quality from the surround sound would suffer. If I did have a sound card or better laptop speakers, would the sound quality from the TV-connected speakers improve? I'm also asking this because I'll probably be upgrading to a newer laptop that'll have 1080p resolution but we also have a 4k tv that I usually don't plug into because I don't know if my laptop could even handle it. How does all work? Thanks in advance!
 
If you set your TV as second display or extended desktop you should be able to set the video resolution of the HDMI output to 1920x1080 in the video control panel of the laptop. You can try it with the 4k TV the same way and see if it allows you to set the video to 4k. It may not work since the laptop probably doesn't support HDMI 2.0. No harm in trying and if the 4k TV is superior to the 1080 TV you will get a better picture even sending 1080p to it.
HDMI handles digital audio as well as video. Select HDMI as your audio device and shut off the laptop speakers. If you have a HTS connected to the TV it should also work with the laptop as it would with any other source connected to the TV with HDMI. The laptop speakers and a soundcard are irrelevant. The HTS does all that.
 
Mar 10, 2019
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Thanks for the reply! So, I just have a partially wireless 5.1 sound system with no hub/receiver. It's just connected via optical audio cable. Would I need a receiver to be able to handle all of the sound? Since I don't have one right now, it would be the laptop itself that would handle the actual processing right? And as far as video, my new laptop is natively 1080p with no dedicated graphics card, just integrated. It's definitely not beefy enough to handle treating a 4k tv as an external monitor. So I'd essentially be outputting 1080p video from the laptop and I guess the TV would handle the upscaling?
 
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