How To Use Your TV As A Computer Monitor
Fortunately, it's pretty easy to use your TV as a computer monitor. Face it, with a huge screen, even the most mundane tasks will seem awesome. Everything from playing minesweeper to editing word documents to video editing to playing the most recent games will be a powerful experience that you'll never want to walk away from.
Unfortunately, depending on the age of your television and the outputs you have on your computer, you may be struggling with quality the entire time you're watching. If you have a spare HDTV lying around, however, proceed to enjoy a huge, beautiful picture.
To use your TV as a computer monitor, you will need:
- Computer with appropriate video output
- Television with appropriate video input
- Appropriate cables
- Speakers (optional)
There are a lot of different options when it comes to video cabling. With careful attention to detail and a bit of legwork, you'll be up and running in no time.
- Television Research Figure out what you have available. Most newer TVs have an HDMI input. This will handle high quality video and sound, and saves you the trouble of setting up speakers if you just want to use what's included with the TV. If you're already using your own speakers, a VGA input is another good choice that will provide quality nearly as high, though without any audio signal. Failing those two options, your best bet is an S-Video input, but you'll be plagued with extremely low resolution. You have been warned!
- Computer Research Again, figure out what you have available. If you want to use your TV as a computer monitor, this is where you'll run into the most problems. Many newer laptops have an HDMI output, and most have a VGA output. Desktops are harder. Some have VGA, some have DVI, some have a mixture of both. Some older desktops have an S-Video output. The same warnings apply here as they do on the television.
- Adapt and Cable Stick to the highest possible quality. Ideally, connect HDMI to HDMI using (surprise) an HDMI cable. If you have a DVI output, buy a DVI to HDMI converter, available cheaply online and (more expensively) in some electronics stores. Run the HDMI cable and you're set. If you only have VGA connections, run a VGA cable from VGA to VGA. S-Video gets the same treatment. Keep in mind that you cannot convert VGA to HDMI, and you cannot reliably upconvert an S-Video signal.
- Enjoy Your computer should fairly readily recognize the new television, but be sure to adjust any display settings as necessary. Use your television's sound system or set up a great computer surround system and you'll be living in computer heaven!