How to Hook Up My Computer to My TV

by Maxwell Payne

Connecting your computer to your TV allows you to view the contents of the computer screen on the TV screen, which can be especially useful for viewing movies or pictures on a larger screen. In essence, the TV screen becomes the computer's monitor for viewing purposes.

Determine what kind of video line-in connection the TV has. These connections are typically on the back or side of the TV. You also will need to determine what kind of video line-out connection the computer has. Types of video connections include S-Video, VGA, DVI and HDMI. The Resources section of this article offers links to sites that will help you identify the connection type of your TV and computer.

Purchase a video connection cable that is for the type of connection that the computer and TV share. For example, if the TV and computer both have S-Video ports, you should purchase an S-Video cable. S-Video connections are the most common and least expensive option.

Connect the end of the S-Video cable that matches the connection on the computer to the computer video line-out port. Connect the other end to the video line-in port of the same kind on the TV.

Convert video from VGA video to S-Video or even component video. Do this if the two connection ports on the computer and TV are not compatible. You will need to purchase a scan converter box, a VGA video cable, and either an S-Video or component video cable. Connect the cable that will connect to the computer jack to the computer and the converter box, and connect the S-Video or component video cable to the TV and the converter box.

Turn on the TV and use the remote control to select "Input." Some TVs will have multiple selections. Turn on the computer and play a movie or display an image on the screen. As you are scrolling through the "Input" options on the television, you will see a matching image of what you opened on your computer on the TV screen when the correct input is selected.

Adjust the screen resolution on the computer if the image on the TV is distorted, too small or too large. Do this by going into Control Panel and Display Settings on the computer. Select a different screen resolution until the image on the TV fits the TV screen.

Warning

  • close Do not force cable connections or wiring connections into video line-in or video line-out ports not designed to handle the connection plug type.

Items you will need

About the Author

Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.