VAVS Home Help Connecting a laptop

Connecting a laptop

macbook  dell 

A Desktop PC is available in all common teaching rooms, meeting rooms (except rooms 1-203 and 135-105) and GATCF computer labs for the purpose of showing presentations. An HDMI cable with commonly used adapters are also available for those who wish to connect a laptop to the AV system in these rooms. The available cables and adapters as well as the switching mechanisms vary from room to room. For details consult the VAVS - JCU Room finder (click on the virtual room).

Black screen

If the laptop produces a black screen instead of the presentation, please ensure:

  • A cable has been connected between the AV system and the laptop
  • The laptop is set to duplicate or mirror its display
  • The laptop resolution is not exceeding 1920x1080

If the laptop displays a green screen, it is most likely a HDCP issue - contact VAVS for assistance.


  • 3.5mm stereo audio (used to connect stereo audio from a laptop to the AV system – not available in all rooms and computer labs).
  • Display port - The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to carry audio, USB, and other forms of data. VESA designed it to replace VGA, DVI, and FPD-Link. DisplayPort is backward compatible with VGA and DVI through the use of adapters.
  • HDMI (for the connection of a digital laptop or other HDMI device – only available in AV Services rooms commissioned after 1/2/2013)
  • Mini Display Port (used to connect a MacBook to the AV system - not available in all rooms)
  • USB-C - available on most laptops, tablets and smart phones made today. Provides fast data transferrs and re-charging.
  • VGA (for the connection of an analogue laptop to the AV system - this type of connection is still available in some rooms but will eventually be phased out).


From 2018 all the VAVS videoconference systems are capable of transmitting the presentation (2nd video stream) in HD (1080p = 1920×1080).

Please note some older VAVS teaching rooms still use the lower resolution of XGA (1024x768) for the presentation.

You will find the resolution and refresh rate settings in the screen properties of the laptop and using them will in most cases guarantee the laptop will interconnect with the AV system. We anticipate you know how to ‘drive’ your laptop i.e. change the resolution and connect it to a flat panel display or projector (duplicate or extend the displays). Click on the images above for some hints regarding the latter.

Network (LAN)

A blue network cable is usually available in the Common Teaching Rooms to provide the connection to the JCU network and beyond. Wireless connection to the network is in most rooms provided through Eduroam. A JCU-guest wifi account is available for those who don't have JCU credentials. Check for Wi-Fi networks in the laptop, tablet or smart phone.