Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to connect your Laptop/PC/Computer to your TV

I’m writing this post on how to connect your PC or computer to a TV because last week I returned from a trip in India and wanted to show all of my pictures and videos to my family from my laptop onto our HDTV, but unfortunately I did not have the correct cords and so after fumbling around for 30 minutes trying to connect my computer to the TV, I had to tell everyone that they would have to wait till the next weekend! Pretty annoying considering the times we live in, it should be quite easy to connect the two together!
So here’s a quick walk-through of all the methods that I know (if you know any more, please comment) to connect a laptop or PC to your TV:

1. S-Video – This is probably the most common method out there currently because an S-Video cable is cheap as heck and just about every TV under the sun has a S-Video port. You’ll have to make sure you laptop is equipped with this port. Remember, there are two types of S-Video cables: 4-pin and 7-pin. Most laptops and PC’s are equipped with a 7-pin port, so if your TV only has a 4-pin S-Video port, then this method will not work.
2. VGA – If you have a HDTV, then you will be better off connecting using a VGA cable. It gives much better quality than S-Video and as with S-Video, the cable is very cheap. You usually won’t find a VGA port on regular TV’s though, so this option is if you have an HDTV.
3. DVI - DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface with “digital” being the key word there. The digital signal will give a higher quality picture than either S-Video or VGA. Of course, your computer will need to have a DVI connection and your TV will need to be an HDTV. This cord is definitely not cheap, it ranges anywhere from $40 to $80.
4. HDMI – Using HDMI will give you the best quality by far. No computers that I know of yet have HDMI ports, but you can get a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to your HDTV. HDMI is compatible with DVI.
5. Scan Converter Box – This is the last method that I could think of and it involves using a scan converter box, which takes a VGA signal and converts it into S-Video or component video.
Here’s a graphic I created with some pictures of the various cables:

Hope this helps someone! If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please feel free to comment!!! Thanks!

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