I'm trying to get my laptop to display on my TV with an HDMI cable. When nothing is connected, my TV is blank, but when I connect my laptop it switches to a sample picture with the text "no signal." I've tried messing around with the settings on my laptop and TV, it changes the distortion on the sample image but not much else.
If the resolution of your laptop is higher than the TV it won't display. Set the HDMI as a 2nd or extended screen. Set that to the native resolution of the TV (1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080).
You can also try a different HDMI cable (longer ones can be more troublesome) and a different input on the TV (sometimes they do work differently).
Sometimes the order that you turn things on or select the input will affect how the TV and laptop "handshake". It may also take 5-10 seconds for the picture to come on.