How do I connect my computer to a TV?


Connecting your computer, laptop, or HTPC (home theater PC) to a television set can be as simple as selecting the right audio / video cable for the job. The two most important considerations in this selection are what outputs your video card provides and what inputs your TV can support. Video cards with TV-Out support usually have one or more of the following outputs – HDMI, RCA, SVideo, or DVI. HDMI is the best choice because it will carry both audio and video with a single cable. While there are many types of HDMI cables that can do the job for you, be careful to make sure you pick the right connector types as laptops may vary (ie- some may have Micro HDMI connectors, etc.). Many other laptops will support displayport or DVI – which will transmit high definition video but no audio. RCA & S-Video are the lowest-quality cables for the job, but oftentimes the most easy to configure and the most widely available on very old laptops.

SVideo is higher quality than RCA and is also fairly simple to setup. DVI is now becoming the standard on outputs and is also a great option for connecting between a PC and a TV. DVI is especially recommended on newer television sets as they have become more common.

Some video cards also support component outputs, which would be very high quality. These cards, however, are not commonly found so this method is usually not an option.

A final choice in connecting your computer to your TV is to use an adapter. Using an adapter you will be able to adapt the technology present on your video card to that of your television. Common adapters include S-Video to RCA, DVI to SVGA, DVI to HDMI, etc.

Once you determine what cable-type you will be using, ensure that you purchase the correct length to allow for enough room to move things around in your setup.

One thought on “How do I connect my computer to a TV?

  1. I very often connect my computer to the HDTV to watch videos and movies. With HDMI cable it is as easy as connecting the computer to the monitor. In fact, I use the same cable.

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