How to Put a Computer Slideshow on Television

By Marty Simmons

Computers are slowly replacing all the gadgets we normally hook up to TVs, such as VCRs and DVD players. But if you want to view anything from your computer on a regular television, you are going to need the right cable. Newer computers provide several standard types of output, such as HDMI, VGA or DVI. Almost all computers have at least VGA, but some older machines may also have S-Video connectors. Modern HDTVs often have HDMI connectors and some even have VGA and DVI ports. If your computer and TV do not have matching connectors, you cannot hook them together without special adapters.

Check the back of your computer and TV for connection types. You will need to find a common port between them. Remember the common port because it determines the type of cable you need. Laptops sometimes have their video ports on the side rather than the back.

Buy the appropriate cable to run from your computer to the TV. Most cables are available at department and electronics stores.

Attach one end of the cable to the correct port on your computer and the other to the same port on your TV.

Set the TV to the appropriate input setting for the connector. If you are using a VGA connector, your TV could have an input setting called "Computer."

Change the preferences on your computer to use dual monitors if you want to use a display on the computer and the TV simultaneously. Macs will auto-detect and configure your screens. On Windows, you will need to right-click on the desktop and open the Display Properties window. The exact method depends on your computer's video card, but in general you will need to either extend the computer's desktop to the TV or clone the display from your computer to the TV. Cloning means the display on your computer and the TV will match.

Play your slide show or any other programs you want to display on your TV as you would normally.