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Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to connect your Laptop/PC/Computer to your TV

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Link to source article at Online Tech Tips:

How to connect your Laptop/PC/Computer to your TV

I’m writing this post on how to connect your PC or computer to a TV because last week I returned from a trip in India and wanted to show all of my pictures and videos to my family from my laptop onto our HDTV, but unfortunately I did not have the correct cords and so after fumbling around for 30 minutes trying to connect my computer to the TV, I had to tell everyone that they would have to wait till the next weekend! Pretty annoying considering the times we live in, it should be quite easy to connect the two together!

So here’s a quick walk-through of all the methods that I know (if you know any more, please comment) to connect a laptop or PC to your TV:

1. S-Video - This is probably the most common method out there currently because an S-Video cable is cheap as heck and just about every TV under the sun has a S-Video port. You’ll have to make sure you laptop is equipped with this port. Remember, there are two types of S-Video cables: 4-pin and 7-pin. Most laptops and PC’s are equipped with a 7-pin port, so if your TV only has a 4-pin S-Video port, then this method will not work.

2. VGA - If you have a HDTV, then you will be better off connecting using a VGA cable. It gives much better quality than S-Video and as with S-Video, the cable is very cheap. You usually won’t find a VGA port on regular TV’s though, so this option is if you have an HDTV.

3. DVI - DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface with “digital” being the key word there. The digital signal will give a higher quality picture than either S-Video or VGA. Of course, your computer will need to have a DVI connection and your TV will need to be an HDTV. This cord is definitely not cheap, it ranges anywhere from $40 to $80.

4. HDMI - Using HDMI will give you the best quality by far. No computers that I know of yet have HDMI ports, but you can get a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to your HDTV. HDMI is compatible with DVI.

5. Scan Converter Box - This is the last method that I could think of and it involves using a scan converter box, which takes a VGA signal and converts it into S-Video or component video.

Here’s a graphic I created with some pictures of the various cables:




Remember to print this article for your records.


Helpful Comments and situations to help solve:


1. Peter Mule said:

tried using a vga cord connected to laptop and hdtv. tuned tv to pc mode but when laptop is switched on the screen just remains black as well as the tv screen..The only thing that works is that i can use the cursor on the laptop and it shows up on the hdtv but all remains black…what can i do..please,,,any suggestions….thank you


* You could try to do a few things for starters: go ahead and change the resolution on your laptop to something lower, maybe 800×600, sometimes that causes the problem. You can also change the color scheme to 24-bit if it’s set to 32-bit and see if that works.

Also, you said you are changing the TV to PC mode, but what about the laptop? Sometimes, you have to press FN (function key) and F8 (the CRT/LCD) key to have the signal sent out to the TV.


2. Hmz said:

Dude, the easiest and by far the best way I have seen is to set the advance timings on a pc just right and use a vga to scart cable (Maybe with audio of you don’t have the pc hooked up to an audio system of some sort). This is a nerdy approach but you get superb results for little money with stuff that’s standard on both the TV and PC. You can also get dvi to s-video or CVBS to make it happen.

One on my favorite ways is to just stream it to my TV via a computer that is hooked up via DVI. This way you can have a silent, efficient and small htcp that can stream over your wan.


3. Nick H said:

I have a Tevion 32″ LCD TV, my computer has 3 outputs, 1xVGA, 1xDVI, 1xS-Video. I bought a DVI-D cable (5 metres) and a DVI to HDMI Adaptor to connect the computer and the TV.

The video works fine but of course I cannot get any audio since the TV does not appear to have a audio input related to the HDMI video input. Is there any other work arounds to get audio to work in this case?

If there isn’t I will just get a DVI to VGA adaptor and a 5 metre VGA cable and connect that to my TV and use the 3.5mm “PC Audio In” to connect the audio. How much worse will the video look using VGA instead of DVI?


4. Mike said:

I hooked my computer to my TV using the s-video cable, then I configured my my video card, and now I can see my comp image on my TV screen.. However, what Im really trying to do, is go the other way. I want my TV screen image to appear in a video program on my computer so I can capture the footage with my CPU.. How do I get my computer to find the TV?


5. Michael said:

I was trying to hook my computer to my new HDTV, I was told to buy a DVI to HDMI cable, I went to the store and picked up a DVI-D to HDMI I connected it and I get an image but is not good at all, it has some kind of green stripes on the screen. Could it be becuase is a DVI-D? Does that have anything to do with it? Whats the difference bewteen DVI-D and DVI?
If anyone knows, I would aprreciate your help.
Thanks


6. faith said:

I have a vga cable both male and attached it from my laptop to hdtv that has hdmi port, the cable fit the hdmi port but I don’t know what keys to turn from my laptop so I can watch watch the video from my laptop to hdtv. Where do I find the FN key it all shows f1 f2 f3 f4 etc. Can I use that vga cable to hdmi port? Please help.

Thanks.


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