In last few years we have seen an incredible development in the CGI which has enabled breathtaking visual effects in various movies. Such effects have made it possible for the film creators to bring their imagination to the silver screen.

However, watching such movies on a small 15 inch laptop, just isn’t fun.

It’s always desirable to watch anything on a large Plasma/HD TV screen – whether it’s a movie, a graphic intensive game or you’re sharing the Hi-Res pictures of your vacation with your friends. This is true not only at home but at your workplace too – as one can show PowerPoint presentations or reports on a Big TV for a larger set of audience.

In this article we write about the various ways in which a Computer or a Laptop can be connected to your TV.

Connecting Your Computer To The TV:

various cablesThere are a number of ways in which a computer can be connected to a TV. It all depends upon, which computer and TV model you have and the kind of input connection ports on your TV and the output connection ports of your Computer.

Most of the TV’s provide a number of cables to allow external input to be fed to them. You would need to check the connection cables you got with your TV and connect them to your computer properly.

Once you set up this connection –  you can then use your TV as your computer monitor.

Few ways in which you can connect your Laptop/PC to your TV:

1) Connect PC to your TV Using a S-Video Cable:


We start with the S-Video cable, since it’s the most common port and is available with almost every TV, old or new. You would need to check however,  if your laptop or computer has the S-Video port, which will allow us to establish a connection. This however, doesn’t give the best picture quality and is generally best used with older TV models.

There are 2 types of S-Video cables – 4 pin and 7 pin. Generally the PC’s have a 7 Pin port. If your computer has a 4 Pin S-video port, this method wouldn’t work.

However,  some S-Video cables have composite connectors at one end, so you can attach the S-Video end to your PC, and the composite connectors  (which look similar to audio jacks) into your television’s composite input ports and this would connect your computer to the TV.

2) Connect PC to Your TV using a VGA Cable:


If you have a Hi-Def. TV it makes more sense to connect your computer to the TV using a VGA cable. Compared to S-Video above, a VGA Cable connection gives a much better picture quality and is easier to connect.

HDTV’s come equipped with a VGA port , and most computers have a VGA port on the motherboard or on the Graphics card. This is a straightforward way to connect your computer to the TV.

3) Connect PC to TV With A DVI Cable:


Just like the VGA Cable above, the HDTV’s have an option to connect a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) cable, since HDTV’s work on a digital signal.  The older CRT monitor/TV’s are analog and hence cannot work with this type of input.

The picture quality of a DVI cable is superior to both S-Video and the VGA cable output. If you have a DVI port on your computer and your TV, DVI cable would be the way to go.

4) Connect Your PC to your TV with a HDMI Cable:


HDMI cables are now a standard part of the HDTV’s and provide the best possible picture quality available. However, not many Computers come equipped with a HDMI port.

In order to connect your PC to your TV via HDMI port, you would need to use a DVI (PC) to HDMI (TV) adaptor cable. Since DVI and HDMI are compatible technologies, this works out quite well, and should be the connection of choice for best possible computer to TV output.

This cable is not very expensive and should be available on eBay at around 5$ – 10$ price range.

Now that we have seen the various cables that connect our PC to the TV, we look at the ports to which these cables are connected.

Various TV Ports – S-Video, VGA, DVI, HDMI Ports:


The above image can be a good reference when you are trying to figure out the different TV ports, and help your plug the cables in the correct ports.

Connecting Audio Cables To Your TV:

3.5_mm_to_RCA_1.5_cableIf you are using either S-Video or VGA to connect your PC to the TV, you would need to connect the audio cables separately. The DVI and HDMI cables have inbuilt audio transmission, but the previous 2 do not.

In order to connect your computer’s audio to your TV, you would need the 3.5mm RCA 1.5 m Cable. One end is to be plugged in where you usually plug your speakers, on the computer and the other end goes to the audio input of your PC. Once plugged you would be able to listen to the computer’s audio on your TV speakers.

The red and white cables indicate the right and left speakers, so make sure you hook the cables in the correct sockets.

How to get the picture on TV once the cables are plugged in:

Once you connect the cables properly, it’s now time to transfer the computers display to the TV. To do this in Windows 7, right-click on the desktop and click on “Screen Resolution”.

Now click on the “Detect” button, which will force the computer to search for other monitors. If you have connected the PC via a DVI or HDMI cable, the display should show up. In case of S-Video or VGA you may need to use the option “Try to connect anyway on VGA”


Once you have selected the display, click on okay and the picture should now be transferred on to your TV. You may need to adjust your screen resolution on the PC, if the output doesn’t show up on the TV.

In Windows XP, follow a similar method. Right click on desktop and click on Graphics Options. From there, select Output to an external monitor. If everything is properly plugged in and set up, you would see the output being displayed on the TV.

These are the few, most common options to connect your computer to your TV. These can vary depending upon your TV and computer model as well as the cables you have.

If you know any other methods to connect your PC and TV, do share them in the comments section below. I am sure lot of people would find it useful.



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