Some people are starting to use their big and thin sized televisions (TVs) as computer monitors. They probably would love to browse what they want to buy online, view photo albums, watch videos, play computer games through a large screen. 

If you have a new computer and television, it would be easier for you to use your TV as a computer monitor. The nice thing once you can hook and connect them both is that the things you see on your PC, will also be the same things that you can see on your full-size TV.

Moderately Challenging


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      Check first the compatibility setting for both TV and computer. For example, if you want to connect your HDTV or HD, determine first their input connections. Televisions usually have three types of inputs.

      The first one is the coaxial cable input where you put that big black cable that TV companies install and this is just the same as your cable box. Next is the RCA composite input, a place where you put those electrical connectors commonly used to channel audio and video signals which come through the yellow, red and white colors. The RCA yellow plug is for the composite video while the white and red RCA plugs are for the stereo audio. The third one is the S-video connector which is an analog video signal that carries video data.

      Televisions that were made a few years ago may have a DVI, RGB/VGA, Component and Composite Videos, Digital Coax and Optical, Multi Channel or HDMI inputs so you also need to check these out if you are curious to know more about them. Generally, the three types of inputs listed above are the basic things that you could see on a television and you need them in order to use your TV as a computer monitor.

      If you want to start connecting your television, just turn on your computer then go to "Properties" then look for the settings tab, and click "Advanced". Browse through the new window select option display tab that applies or has something to do with the use of a TV then follow instructions.

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      Look for the available connections that you can find in the computer for a monitor. You also need to check the available connections at the TV. Many newer built devices have HDMI or DVI connectors although in general, most modern computers have a VGA connector available in them.

      See the jacks on both from your computer and television so that you will know if you have several options. If you have the PC Output Jacks and TV Input Jacks that are both HDMI then you could have an excellent audio and video result with a high definition when it comes to the resolution. You'll have a digital signal type and can use an HDMI cable to transmit both video and audio.

      If you have a VGA, RGB, d-Sub 15, or HD15 (video) and 3.5 mm Headphone Jack (audio) for your PC Output Jacks then you need to have VGA, RGB, d-Sub15, HD15, or "PC Input" (video) and 3.5mm Stereo Audio Input or RCA Input that has an adapter (audio) for your TV Input Jacks. It may provide a very good quality result with a high definition for the resolution. You'll have an analog signal type and have a VGA for your cable.

      If you have a 4 or 7 pin S-Video Jack (video) and 3.5 mm Headphone Jack (audio) for your PC Output Jacks then you need to have RCA Composite Video (yellow) and Audio (red and white) Input Jacks for your TV. It may give a good quality result with a standard definition when it comes to the resolution. You'll have an analog signal type and have an S-Video for your cable. When the connectors present on both the computer and the TV are the same, for example, both have an HDMI, then buy and HDMI cable or if both have DVI connectors then purchase a DVI cable.

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      Check if you have jacks that need PC to TV converters. There are affordable PC to TV converters that you can buy online or offline. For example, if you have a VGA, RGB, d-Sub 15, or HD15 (video) and 3.5 mm Headphone Jack (audio) for your PC Output Jacks paired with RCA Composite Video (yellow) and Audio (red and white) Input Jacks for your TV then you may need a VGA to RCA/Composite or SVideo converter in order to have a good quality result with a standard definition for the resolution and you'll have an analog signal type.

      If you have a VGA, RGB, d-Sub 15, or HD15 (video) and 3.5 mm Headphone Jack (audio) for your PC Output Jacks paired with an HDMI Input Jack for your TV then you may need a VGA to HDMI converter in order to have a very good quality result with a high definition for the resolution and you'll have an analog to digital signal type.

      You could also opt to find the appropriate adapter for your connections although it could be a little bit expensive compared if you'll use cables. For example, if your TV has a HDMI input but your PC has a DVI output then you can use a DVI to HDMI adapter. Just search to find the best deals online. Avoid buying the high end adapter that may only cost you more money. You may need to hook it up from your computer to the TV. A wireless adapter is good if you don't like to work with those lengthy cables.

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      Connect the TV to the computer using the appropriate cable to transfer the video from the computer to your TV based on the previous step. Once you can correctly connect it then you could view the images on the TV when you turn it on. You may need a separate cable to send the audio to the TV if you're not using an HDMI cable.

      It could happen that the audio will remain playing from your computer speakers but you're already using your TV as the computer monitor. Look for your computer's "Display Properties" and adjust the image on the screen like the height, width, and among other things that you want to change for your own satisfaction.

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      You can also connect your laptop to your big screen television. Just look for an S-video out jack from your laptop. Find a rectangular box with an S and an arrow (symbol) coming out of this jack and buy an S-Video cord so that you can use it to connect to your TV. It's advisable to buy an S-Video cord that is lengthy enough if ever you want to place your laptop further away from your big screen TV. It's affordable and it's easy to hook up.

      Start by plugging one end of the S-video cord into your laptop then the other one into your TV and after the cord is plugged in, turn on your TV. You need to switch the input to the S-video slot by pressing either the "TV/Video" or "Input" or button on your remote.

      You may notice that your laptop may start to detect automatically the presence of the TV and a screen will just pop out so that it will provide you an option if you want to begin to view it. There might be a possibility that it will not recognize the extra screen so if this happens, you need to open the Windows Mobility Center which you can find through the "Start Menu" on your Windows Task bar.

      If you can't immediately find the Windows Mobility Center, just type it through your "Search programs and files" search box that you can find in your task bar and select connect display. After the TV has been detected, you may choose to duplicate your laptop's monitor on both screens. You can now extend the laptop's monitor through the new screen.

      Many online users love this because they can work something on their laptop while watching and listening to a music a video simultaneously. You may also choose the resolution for your TV to fit for your own viewing.


Tips & Warnings

  • It's easy, convenient and affordable to connect your TV as a computer monitor to enjoy browsing the web if you have an internet connection. You could purchase a high-quality PC to TV cables or If your PC and television do not have compatible connections, you can also purchase affordable PC to TV converters.

  • Computers are becoming so adaptable these days and many of the manufacturing companies had boosted TV compatible outputs on their latest products for the convenience for the buying public to hook it up as fast and easy as they could. Once you can identify your computer's outputs then the sooner you can see any show or movie through your television.

  • Check your desktop or laptop resolution to fit to your TV's resolution. You may need to shrink it down a bit to avoid some flickering. Just choose the lower resolution unless you have a new TV.

  • You can also buy a graphics card, for example, a Nvidia 7800 GT that comes with a little box and a short cord that plugs into the graphics card. The box has a component jack and also an S-Video and composite. Be sure to check if your TV is compatible to the graphics card before buying one.

  • If you have an older TV with only a coaxial cable input, you can purchase an "RF Modulator" because this device will provide you both with S-Video and RCA Composite (yellow, red and white) inputs.

  • Most new televisions that you can find are the flat panel and high-definition types which can easily be connected online and is also nice to place in the living room. HDTVs are mostly known by many as plasma or LCD TVs. These HDTV televisions have a unique screen construction and are equipped with either HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and/or computer or PC Input (standard computer VGA monitor connection). Most computers or PCs have VGA outputs, and the new ones are usually equipped with HDMI outputs. Check for the "PC Input" jack if you want to buy a new HDTV and also check for the HDMI output if you want to purchase a new computer (PC/laptop/notebook).

  • You may use an HDMI or specialty VGA with Audio cable and have a high-resolution monitor. If you have an older TV, you could use a specialty S-Video with Audio to Composite cable to connect your PC with an internet. There are stores that sell HDMI and VGA cables that both support high definition video up to 1920 x 1080 pixels. You can also look for some stores online or offline that sells S-Video cables that support up to 704 x 480 pixels (standard definition).