How do I connect my laptop / computer to the TV?

1. Make sure your television has the proper connection ports. Some older televisions are not equipped with the connections necessary to connect the laptop to the television. An S-video connection is the most common means of connection.

2. Check the laptop to make sure there is a video capable of connecting to the television. Not all laptops come equipped with a TV-out video card.

3. Obtain the correct cable to connect the PC laptop and the television. S-video cables are the most common cable and the easiest to connect. VGA is another cable option. VGA is a regular monitor cable that connects the two. This option is only available for HDTVs.

Here are examples of video cables you might need, depending on your computer and TV:

 

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.

 

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 TVs though, so this option is applicable if you have an HDTV.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

4. Connect the laptop to the television. Make certain that both the TV and laptop are off before making the connection. When turning the television on make sure that the appropriate video mode is activated. For instance, if an S-video cable is used set the video option on the television to S-video. On the laptop set the video output to the correct source. Please consult the owner's manual, because steps for changing the setting vary for each laptop model.

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