How to Connect a Computer DVD to a TV

by Michael Jones

If you often spend hours watching movies on your computer, connecting your computer's DVD player to a TV may be a convenient idea. Because your computer's DVD player is attached to your computer, you will have to simply connect your computer to your TV. If you have a damaged computer screen or a small laptop screen, connecting it to a TV can solve these problems.

1

Check which hookup connections your computer and your TV support. Many computers have a port for an S-Video cable, so this is one way to connect your computer to your monitor. If you have a high-definition TV, a VGA or HDMI cable will display the best picture. If your computer doesn't have an HDMI port, you'll need a DVI cable if you choose this option.

2

Buy the appropriate cables. An S-Video cable will be the cheapest while an HDMI cable is more costly.

3

Plug one end of your cable into the appropriate output port on your computer, and plug the other end into the appropriate input port on your TV. The port will mirror the end of the specific cable you're using. A VGA cable won't fit into an S-Video port and vice versa. If you choose an HDMI and DVI cable, first plug the DVI cable into your computer. Then attach one end of the HDMI cable to the DVI cable. Then plug the other end of the HDMI cable into your TV. Your TV will not display the computer's image immediately.

4

Change you computer monitor's display to "Projection." To do this, hold the "Fn" button and press either "F8" or "F11." It is different on some computers, but the correct button will either have a monitor icon on it or say "CRT/LCD." Once you press the right key, a screen will come up with a couple of options for you to choose from: "Projection Only" or "Projection and Display." "Projection Only" will project whatever you do on your computer onto your TV. Your computer screen will be black. "Projection and Display" will show an image on both your computer screen and your TV.

Tips

  • An S-Video cable has a circular input with four or seven points. Make sure you check how many points your computer is compatible with so you buy the right cable.
  • A VGA cable is a bit bulkier than an S-Video cable. It has a box input on each end of the cable. There are sometimes built-in screws attached to each end of the cable to ensure a secure connection.
  • An HDMI cable looks similar to a USB cable. One end looks like a USB cable, and the other end looks like a VGA cable.
  • A DVI cable is the bulkiest of the four. It looks similar to a VGA cable but is slightly larger.
  • Make sure you get a cable long enough to connect your computer to your TV. A good rule of thumb is to always get a cable longer than you think you'll need.

Warning

  • Video cables do not transmit sound. In order to have your TV play the audio from the DVD player, you will need to connect audio cables as well.

Items you will need

About the Author

Michael Jones reported campus news stories for The University of Southern California's student newspaper, "The Daily Trojan," for four years before graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. He has since gone on to write for several publications both in America and abroad and has an idiosyncratic knack for translating the most intricate tasks into layman speak.

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