I’ll start out by saying I don’t know what MS was thinking when they used the Mini HDMI on the Surface RT and went with Mini Display Port on the Surface Pro…I don’t really get it but they did. If you have a Surface RT then all you need is a Standard (HDMI) to mini HDMI cable.
Cruising BestBuy I found me an open Item RocketFish Mini Display Port to HDMI adapter that set me back about $12. One could pay much more in the McSection of the store. To hook the Surface Pro up via HDMI you will need an adapter, similar to below, and a Standard HDMI cable. The Mini Display Port plugs into the Surface on the right hand side near the bottom of the device; the HDMI cable plugs into the adapter then into your TV or Monitor.
Once all connections (Surface > Adapter > TV) are made, the Surface Pro will recognize the attached device and offer some choices via the Charms menu.
To set how displays behave:
Charms Menu > Devices > Second Screen.
PC Screen Only – Only the Surface Screen is active.
Duplicate – Show what is on the Surface screen on the Second Screen.
Extend – Extend the Surfaces Screen to the Second Screen (like an extra work area).
Second Screen Only – Show Only on the Second Screen. You had better have a mouse/keyboard hooked up to navigate. Touch on the Surface works but you will be driving blind…trust me.
In the Home Theatre environment, if your A/V Receiver has enough HDMI “IN” connections you could plug into one of those for big sound. Or you could just plug in to one of the HDMI ports on the TV. With Media Center on my Surface I can stream my music libraries and have my (network) photos library do a slideshow. Kind of like when Dad would bring the old carousal projector and show the slides to anyone that would watch.
I have actually had people over and given training sessions on the big screen (remote into a Hyper-V box with SharePoint running and do some training that they could see). You could also do PowerPoint Presentations and the likes.
Picture slide shows with music in the background are really cool on the big screen.
Getting real and doing some work on an big monitor; You could plug the HDMI cable into your HDMI capable monitor. Honestly, I do not do this very much unless I want to use the pen (which is Wacom Technology…Pressure Sensitive) on the Surface to do some photo editing. I do have a Wacom tablet attached to my desktop so the need to use the Surface is minimal.
An Observation with Surface Pro connected to HDMI Monitor and Extended selected for Second Screen:
Now I thought it would be pretty cool to have Start Screen running on the Surface and Desktop mode running on the Monitor. Keep in mind I don’t have this all figured out; What I found was when I click on a program that was running on the desktop (monitor) the Surface would switch to Desktop. Kind of like extended mode, it would be on desktop mode but you would not see the program that was running on the Monitor. This was weird as some of the metro apps would not lose focus but more times than not the Surface would switch to Desktop mode when I clicked something on the Second Screen. You can dock apps on the Surface and they would stay, but the main area on the Surface would change.