Computer to Tv - Cable Connect Setup

Many a time I admission looked over at my 32" television and thought, why can't I aloft bend up my computer to that activity and affray my PC abecedarian on a huge screen? I abounding it would beat abode a huge adviser for a ton of cash, right? I mean, I can already watch TV on my computer by accoutrement Pro Video 2008 -why can't I aloft changeabout it around? Well, I looked into it. It can be done, but there are some limitations that, in the end, adeptness not achieve it ceremony your while. I'll explain afterwards in the article.


Most TVs these days have three basic types of inputs. You have your coaxial cable input, the same as your cable box or satellite, an RCA composite input (the yellow, red and white inputs) and an S-video connector. Newer televisions might have Component Video, DVI, VGA or HDMI inputs but the ones listed above are more common.

Identify your computer's outputs. These days computer manufacturers are adding TV compatible outputs on their products so it's easy to have a pc to tv connection when you hook it up. The S-video in particular seems to be popping up on more and more computers, so a PC to TV S video connector might be what you need. You can shop for S-video cables all over the place online. Mostly you will find the usual VGA output that the regular monitor hooks up to (see more later on VGA cables). The newer multimedia computers will probably have all high definition outputs that connect directly to your HDTV, but for now we will deal with what most people have for both computers and televisions.

Find the appropriate adapter for your connections. You may need to get a computer to TV cable so you can hook up your computer to the TV. If you have an HDTV, you may need a VGA to component cable. This VGA to component cable connects your computer to a HDTV and acts as a converter. (And that computer could be either a Mac or a PC.)

A PC to tv connector has a VGA adapter on one end and (usually) a selection of connectors on the other (S-video, RCA composite and Component). The good thing about these is that you can take it from TV to TV and you'll be able to hook up computer to TV for all of them. I highly recommend a wireless adapter. It costs a bit more but wireless is worth not having a big cable mess and not keeping your computer near your TV.

Connect your computer to your TV. If you have a TV compatible output on your computer, such as an S-video jack, just take an S-video cable and connect it to your computer and your TV. If you do not, then you'll definitely need a VGA to S-video cable or a VGA to component cable attach your VGA end of your adapter to your computer and use the RCA, S-video or Component Video cable to attach to your TV. After you've made all the connections, make sure you are on the correct TV video input. Press the input button on your TV or remote until you see your computer's signal.

Now, here is where you might get a little disappointed when trying to connect computer to TV. Your TV's usual video signal is called NTSC (PAL if you live in Europe). This signal is different than the one generated by your computer. Computers use signals measured by pixels: 320x200, 320x240, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 or 1600x1200. Most TV's can only get about 500 lines of resolution, in computers this is like 500 vertical pixels. The video amplifiers in televisions cannot handle higher resolutions either. So when you factor these things together you are left with a maximum resolution of 640x480.

This is not the worst thing in the world because even so, when you connect a computer to a TV you can play games and watch video in lower resolutions without a problem. It's just that you will never get close to the resolution your computer monitor will give you. Beware of some PC to TV adapters that claim to give you more than 640x480, they just reduce the quality of the original television signal to compensate.

You can get a VGA to component cable for an HDTV that will give you higher resolutions but you need an HDTV and an adapter that costs usually 2-3 times more than your standard computer to tv adapter. Any way you choose, it is not hard to use your TV as a computer monitor if you follow the few steps above.

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