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Using a Computer Monitor as a TV

By Edited Dec 3, 2015 0 0

Did you just buy a new computer and get a free monitor with it? What to do with an old monitor? You could run your new computer with dual monitors for super geek experience or if you have cable TV you might be able to use the old monitor as a TV.

Using a Computer Monitor as a TV is possible but you may run into a few issues that you will have to work out. We'll cover the know issues first and try to see if you have the right equipment to do it.

HDMI Cable (37792)
The First place to start is your Cable Box. Your cable box MUST have an HDMI and Audio Outputs. Look on the back side of your cable box for a connector that matches the cables shown in the picture. HDMI Outputs & cables do contain audio signals, but most Monitors do not have any type of tuner or amplifier for sound, so you will need to have some external speaker system. Home Theater Systems work great for doing this. If you have a cable box & speaker system, you should have a pretty good chance of getting this to work without too many problems.

Start by connecting the HDMI cable from your Cable Box to the Monitor. HDMI cables can be found at just about any electronics store or on-line. Just make sure you buy them long to reach your monitor. A 6FT. HDMI Cable
is usually more than long enough for this purpose.

Before we work on the Audio system, we should test our set up to make sure you can see the TV picture on your monitor. Turn on both the monitor and your cable box. Most Monitors will self-detect the inputs and select the one with the signal. You may need to use the Menu feature of your monitor to manually select the input if you don't get a picture. If you still don't have a picture, don't panic…you may need to tell your cable box to use the HDMI output. See the manual for the version of your cable box that you have.

I have not experienced too many issues getting the monitor to accept the tv signal in, most use auto-detect.

RCA Cables
Now that we have a picture, it's time for some sound. This is simple as hooking up your RCA Stereo Audio Cable from the cable box to your home theater system. RCA Audio cables have been around for years and are as simple as red to red, white to white.

It is now time to power up your home theater system, monitor, and cable box and you're good to go.

One drawback that I've run into is that most Computer Monitors do not have a remote controls to turn them on or off. You will have to do it by hand, not a huge problem but one none-the-less. One workaround is if your home theater or cable box has a switched AC output. Look for AC plug on the back of the unit, it will look like a wall outlet, only there will be only 1.

Have fun recycling that old computer monitor.

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