(use your TV as a monitor, for movies, Hulu, Web Browsing, games or presentations)
I have a Standard Definition TV - I have a HDTV - What about Audio?
Connect your Computer (PC/Mac) to your HDTV
A) VGA to HDTV Component Video Connections:
There are two types of VGA to Component Video converters to choose from.
1) Transcoders just re-encode from RGB to Y-Pr-Pb. What this means is, the resolution that goes in, comes back out, just "re-encoded" to Component Video.
So you get: 480p -> 480p, 720p -> 720p, 1080i -> 1080i, etc. The biggest problem usually is HDTV's are not happy with most computer monitor signals. Make sure your Video Card can output a good HDTV signal (720p [1280x720@60Hz], 1080i [Is usually changed to 540p, which most HDTV's will accept as if it were 1080i, most video cards will balk if you try and get them to output 1080i: email@example.com/30Hz] , or maybe 1080p [1920x1080@60Hz]) otherwise you are going to have to use a program like "Powerstrip" for PC's or DisplayConfigX for Macs. If not sure, please ask.
2) Converters/Scalers accept various resolutions in and can output selectable video output formats.
So you can have inputs and outputs like these: 800x600->1080i, 1280x1024->720p, etc. Check specs for exactly what you need. Your best bet for a good result quality wise and "picture fitting the screen" wise is to keep the input resolution as close as you can to the output resolution.
Products and more Info: VGA to Component Video Converters, Transcoders and Scalers
B) VGA to HDMI
TV's today have plenty of HDMI inputs and fewer and fewer Component Video inputs, so why not use HDMI? The latest VGA to HDMI converters are compatible with more of the new Widescreen VGA resolutions, which the older ones couldn't handle. The rule to remember is the lower the resolution going into the converter, the blurrier the picture coming out will be. No scaler can do a perfect job of creating pixels that just don't exist.
VGA to HDMI converters
C) USB to HDMI
Are you using a laptop with no Video output? Maybe you just want to add the display as a 2nd monitor and keep your other monitor as is. USB 2.0 can give you pretty decent results. USB 3.0 devices will be coming soon and should give even higher resolutions and video frame rates.
USB to HDMI, DVI and VGA Converters
Want to go 100% Digital?
DVI and HDMI Digital Video Connections:
When going from DVI or HDMI from a computer to an HDTV it is again necessary to make sure that you give the HDTV a signal it likes. You need to know how to set your video output to specific resolutions and refresh rates in order to do this correctly. Sending some weird PC/Mac resolution like 1680x1050@60Hz will usually result in no picture. If you can output a standard HDTV signal, (720p [1280x720@60Hz], 1080i [firstname.lastname@example.org/30Hz] , or maybe 1080p [1920x1080@60Hz]) then the connection should work. If you have trouble, let us know. If you have a video output like the Intel Graphics accelerator then you probably don't have a suitable output, which will mean you need a Video Scaler/Processor
Sometimes you want a simple converter that also will combine Audio into the HDMI signal.
Convert DVI and Analog or Digital Audio to HDMI
Connect your Computer (PC/Mac) to your Standard Def TV
There are two different signals to be considered when connecting your computer to your TV. There is the video signal and the audio signal. The video signal is a bit tricky if you don't have a video card with a video output. To get video output you will need to use a VGA to video converter box.
VGA to Video Converters
Want to go Wireless?
Wireless PC to TV converters
Don't Forget Audio!
Connecting the Stereo Audio Signal
The audio signal will be taken from your audio "line out" connector on the back of your computer, or if there is none, then the speaker output will usually work just as well. Most of these audio outputs use a connector called a "3.5mm stereo mini phone plug" which is "standard" although some more proffesionally oriented sound cards have "RCA" jacks. If you don't know what yours has, it is almost definately a mini phone plug. So, to connect the computers output to the TV, stereo system or surround sound reciever input, you use a 3.5mm mini phone plug to Rca jack adapter, together with a RCA jack stereo cable which goes to the audio input of your TV or Home Theater system.
Here is all you usually need:
3.5mm stereo mini phone plug to dual RCA jack stereo cable
Mini plug to dual RCA Cables
Some Computers and sound cards actually support Digital Optical Audio using a special 3.5mm Connector that doubles as a Stereo Speaker/headphone output. It looks like a 3.5mm mini plug connector, works like a 3.5mm mini plug, but additionally outputs a digital optical 5.1 signal for surround sound. To use this you'll need a mini toslink to Toslink Cable.
Mini Toslink to Toslink Optical Cables
Another common way to provide Digital Audio out of Sound Cards or laptops is to use the 3.5mm Speaker/Headphone output again, but this time for Coax Digital Audio.
RCA to 3.5mm S/PDIF Cables
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