How-to: Connect your PC to your television and stereo.

Difficulty: 2

PC to TVFor many years now, I have had my computer connected to my television and stereo so that I can watch films from my computer, sitting comfortably on my couch, or to set the mood with winamp visualisations and music when people are coming around. I have not seen many home setups which take advantage of this. It is so much nicer hearing your MP3 collection, pumping out the big speakers in your house.

It is very easy to set up and it can be done very cheaply, and in some cases free. The cost comes in with cables and adaptors which are cheap unless you need to buy an extra component. It should be possible for everyone to acheive for well under $100.

This article will show you how to connect your computer to your television and stereo. We will cover lots of different scenarios so I hope by the end of this article, everyone will have successfully been able to acheive this.

This theory is identical to if you want to hook your computer up to a projector so if that is what you use, this article is also appropriate for you.

What you need:

This is hard to define initially in this article as there are so many ways to achieve this depending on what type of television you have and what video outputs your computer offers. You may also find that you only want to attach the stereo, and leave the TV disconnected, or vice versa. That is fine, just find the relevant parts of this article to suite your needs. For now we will keep it very basic.

  • A Computer, desktops and laptops will both work. You will require a spare output from your video card.
  • A Television with some type of AUX input.
  • A Stereo with some type of AUX input.

AUX stands for Auxilery, which means an input from an external source. Most stereos and televisions will have these as they are what you would use to connect your DVD or VCR to it.

How to connect your video source to your television:

We are going to look at video first because there are a lot of options here. Connecting your computers audio to your stereo is a much easier task.

The quality you will receive from this setup will depend greatly on the television itself. You may find that reading text and desktop icons are very difficult with the analog options below, but even with an old television, you will be able to watch movies which are on your computer on your TV. They will be of similar quality to connecting your DVD or VCR to your television.

Define your televisions AUX input type:

We first need to define what inputs you have on your television. Some will work better than others. The newer and more expensive televisions are likely to get better results. We will start with the best and work our way through. It is best to keep the format the same at both the output of the computer and the input of the television, meaning that we don’t want to convert from Component Video to S-Video connections where possible.

The Digital World:

HDMI InterfaceHDMI – High Definition Multimedia Interface: Ideally we will all have an HDMI connection on both our television and video card, but most likely don’t have it on either. Many new LCD screen and Plasma displays offer this mother of connections. They are also becoming a little more popular on Video cards. This will give you the highest quality signal. This format can also carry audio. This is very easy to connect from one device to another. It offers the same video quality as a DVI.

DVIDVI – Digital Visual Interface: Many current computers will offer this connection out of the video card. You may well find that if you have a plasma or LCD television, this will be the best connection to use.

The Analog World:

VgaVGA/XGA – Video Graphics Array: This is the standard video output you would have from your video card in your computer. There are not many televisions with these inputs on them. I specifically bought a CRT television with this port many years ago as LCD and plasma displays were very expensive at the time. It offers a good quality picture but is limited on my TV to 640×480 resolution. Text is readable and movies look great. This VGA resolution is higher than what most CRT screens can handle.

SvideoS-Video &ndash Separate Video: This is common on Video cards and televisions. With this format, you will have difficulty reading text on the screen, but films and games will be fine. This is the same output many DVD/HD-TV boxes/Gaming consoles offer so you can expect the same quality as that. Many video cards have this connection.

RCA - CompositeComposite Video – RCA connector: Last and definitely least is the trusty RCA connector. This is what we have used for many years to connect audio and video components together. This is of a lower quality than S-Video but it is still fine for sending audio and video signals around the place. You are most likely to have this connection on your TV and it is possible that you have this on your video card also.

How to decide which connection to use?:

Here are some scenarios: The higher up the list the better

omputer has HDMI and TV has HDMI – Use HDMI
Computer has DVI and TV has DVI – Use DVI
Computer has DVI and TV has VGA – Use VGA + Adaptor
Computer has VGA and TV has VGA – Use VGA
Computer has S-Video and TV has S-Video – Use S-Video
Computer has RCA and TV has RCA – Use RCA
Computer has S-Video and TV has RCA – Use RCA with adaptor
Computer has RCA and TV has S-Video – Use RCA with adaptor

If your scenario is not in this list, things get much trickier. You can purchase a box which will convert input sources to various outputs, or you could purchase an external video card for the task, though both of these options are expensive. You are probably best to buy a new video card with suitable outputs on it. You do not need a fancy video card to achieve this as any video card on the market now is capable of playing video and most games smoothly.

ExclimationIf you have a dual monitor setup already, and your card has a third port for s-video or Composite/RCA, you are likely to have problems connecting all three displays at once. You may be able to use a Y-splitter to send the signal to two sources (losing quality) or get very familiar with your driver configurations so you can switch from one output to another quickly.

If your computer has on-board integrated video (part of the motherboard), and no other outputs, you can put another video card in your computer and have both working together in parallel.

Ensure that your TV is on the right channel before continuing, even if it is a black, blue or static screen.

Configure your video drivers:

Once you have connected your computer to your TV using one of the cables listed above, we need to configure our video card to send a video signal out that port. As all driver software is different, I will cover some of the more common aspects to look out for.

If you are HDMI, DVI and VGA, your computer will recognise your TV as a standard monitor which is much nicer and easier to configure in the driver options.

Most video cards will detect automatically if there is a device attached to its output.

You need to decide if you will have a clone view or an extended view. Clone view shows the same display on both you monitor and you television, whilst extended mode will allow you to drag program windows from one screen to another, or even stretch across both.

On a laptop, the external video output will be preconfigured so you will not have to adjust anything. Once you are plugged in, you can press the “Fn” key with the corresponding Function key. i.e. Fn+F5. The function key depends on the laptop but the key will generally resemble a picture of two monitors. Using these keys, you cycle through the various modes, laptop monitor only, external monitor only, both monitors.

Configuring: Similar for XP and Vista

I am sorry it is not possible to write instructions for each and every driver and connection. You would get a long way reading the manual for your drivers and video card. If you still have problems after doing this, request information on a particular card in the comments, I will do my best to give you this information.

Here is a rough how to for many of Nvidias video cards.

Go into your “Control Panel” and load up your “Display” properties.

Click the “Settings” tab and you will probably still see one monitor depending on what type of connection you used.

Click “Advanced” and then select the tab that corresponds to your “Video Card”. i.e. Geforce 6600 GT.

Here you have all the options for your card. If you are using a Nvidia card, click on n-View Display Settings, otherwise, whichever option shows you multiple display types.

Here you can select Dual-view and Clone, enable and disable displays. Also in the Nvidia control panel, in the tools section is an option to “Force TV detection”.

You may have to restart. You want to get your computer to a stage that in the display settings tab, you have two screens.

So now you should have video on both your computers monitor and your television. If the quality looks really bad, try playing a video and seeing how it looks then. You can try things like changing the resolution in your display settings. You may find that your TV has a sweet spot. Too low a resolution gives a bad picture, too high also gives a bad picture but in the middle is just right. Spend the time to get it as good as you can because once it is setup, you wont need to touch it again.

How to connect your audio source to your television:

Unless you are using a HDMI connection, you are most likely going to come across RCA connections on your TV or stereo. Your computer is likely to have a 3.5mm plug (standard headphone jack) on the sound card.

The easy way to connect your computer to your stereo is to purchase a 3.5mm stereo plug to RCA pair cable. This will plug in both ends without a problem.

Many computer sound cards now offer a digital output. If your sound card has one and your stereo can decode it, this is the best way to go. This is a little harder to configure in your audio settings but the sound results are great. This is the best way to go for surround sound.

Complications arise if we want to keep our computers attached at the same time as we connect to the stereo as most computers will only allow one output. There are some options as to how to tackle this. You can use your headphone jack to send another source out but as this is normally on the front of the computer, this can be untidy.

A 3.5mm stereo splitter costs only a few dollars which allows you to connect the one port out of you computer to 2 ports which you can plug into. These cost only a couple of dollars but you will lose some quality doing this. Unless you are an audiophile, you will hardly notice the problem.

You can get an audio selector which are very basic boxes to generally switch multiple sources to one output. As there is often no complex electronics in these boxes, they simply open and close circuits, we can use it in reverse to send one source to multiple outputs. A speaker selector is different and will likely not work for this task.

You could install a secondary sound-card, either with multiple outputs or a single stereo output for connection to your stereo.

Surround sound: 

It gets very tricky when we move up from stereo to surround sound. Although we are able to use cables to connect it all up, it is much easier to send a stereo pair into the stereo and then letting the stereo decode the signal into surround such as pro logic. We can also use the digital option if our computer and Hi-fi allows it. This will mean there is one cable, rather than 3 or 4 stereo pairs.

If you are only using your hi-fi from this article onwards, and not using PC speakers, you should not have problems connecting your computer to the stereo in surround mode. You can use windows sound settings to send out a signal to 5.1 or 7.1 systems and everything sounds fantastic.

If all has gone well, you will now have your computer hooked up to your TV and stereo. This opens you up to a whole new world of multimedia experiences. Continue to check out in the coming weeks as we will cover many software tools which can help you make the most out of your new “Home Theatre”.

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  1. Geoffrey said, on October 23, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

    i did it all but i still cant get it to work i have a geforce 6600 and i got it conected to the tv by svideo to rca with a sharp tv Help

  2. Brett said, on October 27, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    I have done all this too. I have windows vista, and a HP Pavillion Entertainment notebook. I am using S video from my computer and RCA into my TV. I am using Nvidia GeForce Go7600 and plug into a Sharp standard (about 10 years old) TV. It did work, but now I have no idea what setting I have changed but it won’t work now. I’ve been searching everywhere for weeks, do you know what i can do????

  3. dugster said, on November 15, 2007 @ 6:27 am

    check out the wording under HDMI in your article on connecting you pc to your tv and stereo.
    what is a “mother of a connection”
    is that a real bastard to get the plug in ???

  4. pundit46 said, on November 19, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    computer is s-video, and tv is s-video, so i got an s-video cord and it stil doesn’t work. is there some channel i should be on , or not?

  5. Inspect My Gadget said, on November 19, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    Pundit46, is it a desktop or a laptop you are trying to connect?
    The TV will probably have a TV/Video button or something like that. You should be able to scroll through them until you see your computer show up.
    Give me some more info and we will work on it from there… things like video(ATI or Nvidia), is the computer seeing the TV?

  6. Raquel said, on December 4, 2007 @ 6:31 am

    I have a VGA pot on my IBM laptop…but i dont have a VGA on my TV. Instead i ahve a s-port (AV3).
    WHich cable can be used in this scenario.
    Also im not aware of the videocard which i have….i have a windows xp operation system.
    How do i know it and what can i do to install a new driver? would the new videocard be compatible with my laptop?
    Maybe the quesions could sound stupid….but im not a technical person at all. Just trying new stuff.
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  7. Adam said, on December 15, 2007 @ 8:42 am

    hi mate i have a acer aspire 3003wlm with the VGA port and i purchased a adapter for VGA to RCA and plugged it into my tv but it does’nt work please help me???

  8. andy said, on December 16, 2007 @ 7:31 pm

    mate this helped me out a bundle kudos to people like you posting out all this info to help everyone otherwise i would’ve been struggling big time cheers.

  9. Tummy said, on December 16, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

    I have a computer with on-board integrated video (part of the motherboard), and no TV output .Thus exactly as this situation mentioned in your article :
    If your computer has on-board integrated video (part of the motherboard), and no other outputs, you can put another video card in your computer and have both working together in parallel.

    Questions :
    For me , there are 2 options
    A) To buy a new videocard with video output and have it installed in my computer !
    B)To buy a VGA to TV converter . I’ve checked the costs and this is a bit cheaper for me than to have a new videocard with video output installed !

    1) But how about the quality ? Is A) better
    than B) . I wish to watch on-line animated cartoons on my TV !
    and how about the set up (Configuring for the TV as 2nd monitor) ?
    2) For option A), I hear from the computer shop assistant that the integrated videocard has to be disconnected ( via bios or so). Is that necessary ? How can I have both working together in parallel ?

    Can you give me advice : go with A) or B) ? Thanks a lot

  10. Chris Duckworth said, on December 17, 2007 @ 8:12 am

    Hi Tummy

    You bring up some interesting points. I havn’t played with onboard video much, so I will have to make some educated guesses in my response.

    1) It is hard to say. It depends on the quality of the adaptor or the video card. Either way you are going to be using RCA or Svideo, so the quality won’t be perfect. Text will be pretty much unreadable. The good thing about cartoons is that they have bold lines throughout so they look great using any type of cable.

    Because text and Windows itself will look bad on the TV, you will probably want to clone the monitor and the TV so that you have your original monitor to setup a movie(menus) and then view the same image on the TV.

    So which is best, I don’t know. I would choose the videocard option as I have tried it and know it works. You also have more control with a video card.

    2) I have not come across the need to disable the video in the BIOS to get a card working. Saying that, you will lose nothing if you get another video card. The new video card will likely have vga/dvi/svideo (probably only two can be used at one time).
    For cloning, you may need to use the one card for the VGA and Svideo. If you use the new card, you won’t need the onboard video. Sounds wasteful but often onboard video is ignored.

    If you use the svideo and vga(or dvi with $2 converter) of the new card, your problems should be solved. If you want to add an additional 3rd monitor later, you can try to get the onboard video going again and if that fails, put in a second video card.

    There are a bunch of options, and none of them are perfect. I hope this has guided you somewhere in the right direction.

  11. Chris Duckworth said, on December 17, 2007 @ 8:16 am

    Adam, I would love to try and help you, but I need more information about your setup. Where are you getting stuck? Did the adaptor come with instructions / online manual? Drivers installed correctly. I don’t know where to start. Sorry

  12. Donna said, on December 17, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

    Do you have any experience of connection laptop to BT Vision – without the TV In the middle. We have 2 Laptops and PC and no TV and have always been happy playing DVDs and using freeview on laptop but have been offered BT Vision but not sure that this will work…


  13. Chris Duckworth said, on December 18, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    Hi Donna

    I am not familiar with BT vision, but I looked up one of the decoder boxes online. From what I saw, it looks like any other decoder box that has svideo/rca outputs, and no other connections you could really connect to a computer. This creates problems.

    All video plugs on laptops are designed to send a signal out and not receive a signal in. To get it to work the way you want, I think you will need to find some sort of USB video capture device. These don’t come cheap, probably kicking off at around 80 pounds. It starts to be an unrealistic want.

    Don’t quote me on my answer, I have not had a close look at the BT boxes. From what I have seen though – the answer is yes, but only with lots of stuffing around and expense.

  14. Madd Scientist said, on December 19, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    Thanks for the tips, this information was very practical and informative. I have an HPdv9640us Notebook with an HDMI connection and an RCA LCD HDTV with the same type of connection (HDMI). Any suggestions regarding the type (ie brand) of HDMI cable I should get? I keep hearing “go high end” or “it really doesn’t matter”. Your thoughts…

  15. Chris Duckworth said, on December 19, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    Madd, thanks for the feedback.

    I haven’t played with HDMI all that much, but with HDMI being digital, it should be fairly solid signal with cheap or expensive cables.

    With all other cable types I have tried, a solid signal is all that is needed. The quality diference is not really noticable. I normally use fairly cheap cables for RCA and S-video and they do the trick for me.

    If I was you, I would use a cheap one, borrow an expensive one and see if you can pick the diference. Being digital, I think they will look identical. The shop will always try to sell you the expensive one, and from what I have seen, all to no advantage.

    Must be nice to be able to use the HDMI interface. I am jelous.

  16. Jason said, on December 28, 2007 @ 5:29 am

    I recently connected my Dell Dimension desktop PC to my Sharp TV using a S-Video+audio plug (like the light green one that desktop speakers use) to RCA (yellow/white/red) cable. At first the picture was fuzzy with red/green/blue “snow” and a bit saturated, but one day I was playing a video on my PC monitor and decided to connect the TV as the video was playing and suddenly the picture was great. Once I closed the video, however, the TV display went back to the original, distorted picture.

    Now, in order to get the TV picture normal, I have to open up a video on my PC, connect my TV, unplug the cable from my TV with the video still playing, close the video, then finally re-connect my TV! I noticed that once I open up a video with Windows Media, QuickTime, RealPlayer, etc., the TV display is distorted again. Oddly enough, if I open up any video not in those formats (i.e. AVI) with the DivX player, the picture remains fine.

    Anyone know why this is happening and how I can fix it?

  17. ed said, on December 29, 2007 @ 6:34 am

    Hey I have a HP m8125x connected:
    visually to my sony kdf-46e2000 and;
    audio to my sony dav-dz120

    i have no problems with the visual portion, only with my audio. I have a 3.5 splitter that attaches to my speakers, and the other leads to rca jack to my reciever. The problem is that the sound is very low UNLESS i turn on the tv. Which doesn’t make any sense to me if I don’t have the audio attached to the tv, only to the receiver. Any solutions?

  18. LEe said, on January 1, 2008 @ 6:30 am

    HELP, i have a 1950pro ati GFX card with spare DVi , now i have a cable in to that going to my Bush 28″ tv, with 3 rcas on other end , but the tv wont show picture, only wavely line, black back ground,

    setting are on ATi cat ,

  19. Lee said, on January 1, 2008 @ 6:32 am

    i have a ATI AGP, 1950PRO

    With 2 dvi ,

    1 to monitor
    1 spare, so i have a dvi cable with 3 rcas on the other end going into my 28″bush tv, Old tv not LCD,

    but the tv wont pick up picture only wavly lines with a black back ground,

    ATI cat, are the setting, HELP

  20. Lukenlogs said, on January 3, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

    I’m spec’ing out a HTPC for my brother. He has a Samsung 42″ w/ HDMI in. He runs his sound from his DVD through his stereo (HTIB) for when he wants to crank it, but he also ran a line from the TV to the HTIB, which provides a much quieter sound (I know it’s prolly less fidelity, but sometimes he has to keep it quiet). So my question in building this HTPC w/ a mATX mobo, is can I use the HDMI motherboard port and somehow pipe in sound from the mobo’s onboard chipset WITH a video feed from the hi-pro vid card we’re going to throw into it (either an nVidia 8800GT or an ATI 2600HD).

    It’d be nice to just run one cable from the HTPC to the flatscrizzle.

  21. Chris Duckworth said, on January 5, 2008 @ 3:51 pm

    I didn’t focus much on audio on this article, and there are a lot of questions regarding it. I have put together another article explaining how to get your computers audio to your sound system. This looks at both analog and digital methods.

  22. Edmund Curmi - Malta said, on January 8, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

    I my tv i do not have SVHS but i have 2 scart plugs can i use one of them, I have an old Grundig ST70-670 TOP and my video card is RX600

  23. Chris Duckworth said, on January 14, 2008 @ 8:09 am

    Edmund, you can purchase VGA to SCART converters. I don’t think they should cost too much, but they would be the easiest way to get it all going. The quality should also be quite decent.

  24. Aaron said, on January 15, 2008 @ 12:43 am

    Hi, i have folloed your list of instructions , give or take a few thigns i found them very helpful , but now i am on the last thing ,, i have pc connected to my monitor and my LCD screen with an s-video lead , just like you said it would be good for watching movies or playing games. My only problem now is that on my LCD screen , the picture is comming out in black and white ,and i would like to now how do to this thank you for your help

  25. Bert said, on January 27, 2008 @ 7:14 am

    wonder if you can help me in trying to get audio when i connect my pc to tv,i have fitted a 2 port video splitter to my pc and run an svga cable from this to my tv,i then tried to connect audio using HQ 3.5mm stereo plug to-2 phono plugs,i get a great picture but no sound,where am i going wrong?

  26. Ruby Cooper said, on January 27, 2008 @ 7:23 am

    Please help!! I have my stereo connected to my desktop,
    but would like to connect my panasonic 32″LCD TV with HDMI as a monitor.I have a dell dimension E520 with vista home basic,connected with VGA,has onboard integrated video (part of the motherboard) I think? and no other outputs.What video card should I install? Would appreciate any advice you could give me.

  27. Chris Duckworth said, on January 29, 2008 @ 7:49 am

    Bert, It may be that your svga channel on your TV does not have associated audio channels. If you have an amp, you can plug your audio into it so that you can hear your computers sounds. It looks like you have all the right gear. The manual may be able to confirm this.

  28. Chris Duckworth said, on January 29, 2008 @ 7:53 am

    Ruby, I can’t really suggest a card for you because I have’t played with HDMI all that much. With HDMI being a digital format, I don’t think there will be huge quality issues with whatever card you buy. Get what you can afford, and if that is not much, that should be fine also.

    If you are unhappy with the integrated VGA in any way, now would be a perfect time to get a card which will do both HDMI and VGA. You can then utilise the new VGA and receive the benefits.

  29. Ruby Cooper said, on January 29, 2008 @ 8:06 am

    Thanks Chris,
    Will give it a try.Let you know if it works out o.k.

  30. Katie said, on February 17, 2008 @ 6:04 am


    I have connected my laptop to the tv with no problems. The problem i do have is that I want to be able to watch and listen to the TV whilst using the pc. I can listen to the pc whilst watching tv but I would like to listen to the tv whilst using the pc (if this makes sense). I have worked out that the tv needs to be the main picture but can’t work out how to do this. I have trid on both my LG LCD and Lexsor LCD. Any ideas???

  31. chocolateguy said, on February 27, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

    i have a pc with a VGA output and a television with yellow and red holes…what do you think is the right method to connect my pc to tv??????????

  32. Chris Duckworth said, on February 27, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

    Chocolateguy, sounds like you have rca inputs on your TV. The red would be mono audio. You can send he signal out of your computers 3.5″jack and use a converter to change it to rca. They cost around $3. The video is a bit trickier. The yellow is for video(normally)
    Your video card may have an s-video or RCA output. If it is RCA, use an rCA to RCA cable. If your video cards output is s-video, you may be able to get a converter. If your video card only has VGA output, you will probably need to get a new video card or USB dongle to output your video. It may start getting a little expensive. You won’t need to get a fancy video card though.

  33. Heather said, on February 29, 2008 @ 12:44 am

    I want to listen broadcasts that stream online. Can i listen to this through my bluetooth? If so, how do I set it up?

  34. mr co said, on March 4, 2008 @ 1:55 am

    Hi ive just connected my pc to my tv with a sv to sv lead from my pc graphics card to my tv`s sv in port. i have selected the right channel on my tv (i know this as my xbox 360 works in this port) but i have no picture it does flicker once when i turn the pc on but nothing else, i was just wondering if i have to change a output option in the pc`s graphics settings as it was prev used only with a monitor via the grapics cards vga output.

    many thanks


  35. Chris Duckworth said, on March 7, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

    Mr Co

    There should be options in your display properties to do this. You may need to go into the advanced options and set it up to clone.

    Nvidia software(not sure on ATI) has a force TV detection tick box. This will ensure that your computer will detect the TV.

    Seeing the flicker like you do ensures you have made the correct connections, the rest is all in the PC’s software.

  36. bhargava said, on March 9, 2008 @ 12:53 am

    i have s-video cable and the laptop is windows vostro 1500 iam not understanding how to connect and how to give the connection from my laptop to television please let me know how to give the connection from laptop to television.
    thanking you,

  37. mitch said, on March 11, 2008 @ 2:22 am

    I have a question,,,I have a laptop dell 1520,,I also have a Westinghouse 42″ lcd tv,,with all the bells and whisles,,I want to use my tv as a monitor,,but I don’t want to use s video,,not clear enough…A buddy of mine gave me a printer cable to run from my laptop to my tv,,it works but it only shows my wallpaper,,I want to be able to use the intire screen,,I have to drag items from outside the screen…is there a program or something we are not doing right??Please email me at given email address…Thanks!

  38. Mary C said, on March 11, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

    I need help also. I’ve hooked up my pc to my tv with s-video cable. I’m good to go with movies online, but when I try to watch movies on my pc using my pc’s dvd player, I get the picture on the monitor but no picture on the tv. Any suggestions??

  39. Chris Duckworth said, on March 11, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

    Mitch, In your display properties, you are likely to have “extend my desktop to this monitor” ticked. That is correct, you can drag programs from one screen to another. What you want to do though is go into your advanced settings and select clone view. This will display the same content on both screens.

  40. Chris Duckworth said, on March 11, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

    Mary, this is probably to do with the limitations of the video card. There is not enough power in it to display the video on both screens(or similar). If you go into your display properties and make the TV your default monitor, the video should switch to that screen and then not show on your laptop. This is a hassle to change backwards and forwards, but I think it will work.

  41. Chris Duckworth said, on March 11, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

    bhargava, the Vostro has an s-video output. Your TV is likely to have the same connection. Use an s-video cable and follow the instructions in the article above. The cables are fairly cheap. There is a good chance you received on with your laptop.

  42. Stas said, on March 16, 2008 @ 6:58 am

    I’ve done all this things you say about the clone view and etc. ,but I still don’t have picture on my TV.I’m using a s-video type of connection. The funny part is that in the past I’ve watched movies on my TV from the PC,but when my mum accidentally stopped the PC it all went black,and since that day I couldn’t watch anything on it. The TV is JVC. Could it be that my graphic card has crashed or something :?I’d be very,very delighted if I get an answer.

  43. Craig P said, on March 21, 2008 @ 12:50 am

    Hi, I have an issue with my ATI 9550 video card. I have it connected to my 50″ big-screen plasma TV via DVI on pc to HDMI on TV. I have an excellent picture and everything looks and sounds great. The problem is, whenever I turn the TV off with the pc still running and then turn the TV back on, I have lost the picture. I have to re-boot the computer again to re-establish video communication. I have tried checking the “force TV detection” box in my video software but it doesn’t help. Any other suggestions you may have??

  44. ben said, on March 23, 2008 @ 8:03 am

    Hi, i am trying to set up a pc to tv connection via s-video on both sides. I have windows vista and i dont think it can detect my tv. I hvae tried the forced detection option and that has done nothing. i have an nvidia 7300 LE video card. Please help me.

  45. Chris Duckworth said, on March 23, 2008 @ 10:03 am

    Ben, it may be that your card won’t do s-video at the same time as VGA or DVI, It should work with one of the options. To see if you can get the video out of it, you may need to try switching from the VGA port to the DVI for your monitor so you can see what is going on. Then make the s-video your default output. Cards with S-video sometimes have these limitations. if there is 3 ports, often you can only use two at one time. I have come across this before. DVI to VGA converter is normaly only a few dollars.

  46. Martin said, on March 27, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    Excellent! Thanks alot!!!!

  47. Alon Jacoby said, on March 29, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

    Hey, I’ve got a toshiba regza with 2 HDMI outputs, and a X1950pro with 1 HDMI output. i tried connecting those through a HDMI cable (obviously…), but although recognized in the Catalyst control center, the TV won’t show any video. its a 37″ LCD display, and its set to the HDMI1 channel (the port where i connected the cable). please, help?


  48. Alon Jacoby said, on March 29, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

    two corrections:
    i meant inputs, not outputs…
    and another thing: i actually managed to get it to work some time ago, but it doesnt work now.

  49. michael brooks said, on March 30, 2008 @ 11:02 am

    Hey, I have a Dell Dimension 3000, and a mikomi lcd tv, using vga connection, it is connected fine and everything, but the colours tend to be a bit to bright, specially colours like orange and red. Also it is hard to read the text, is there any way of fixing this, I am using 600X800 to make it bigger and its the biggest I can get it, but there are still readable problems and my eyes tend to strain with it.

  50. Misha said, on April 12, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

    Hey,I have HP Pavelion with Nvideo 8400.Have connectet Lcd Tv Philips with HDMI.Video is perfect but no audio,only on loptop.Ps advice solution.

  51. Jenny said, on April 13, 2008 @ 12:05 am


    Thanks for all this info. I had set up my TV/PC HP Pavilion and new Samsung LCD using standard monitor cable and all was working fine. Now the TV won’t support the mode with the display on both screens, and worse – the picture on TV is not full size. It is SO bizarre because it was working fine and none of the TV settings seem to help nor do the display settings.

    Can you help?


  52. john said, on April 15, 2008 @ 2:56 am

    i have an ati grafics card and vga port on both my laptop and tv,ive connected both and done everything but on my tv screen its saying mode not supported,do i need to turn my grafics down ,if so how do i do it,if any 1 knows the problem plese speak up ty

  53. Sabrina said, on April 17, 2008 @ 10:38 pm


    I have a laptop:Thosiba U305-S7446, I connect it to my tv Samsung LE40R87BDX with a VGA cable, everything works fine but I tried to get the audio as well by connecting my pc to tv with the audio cable below, but it doesn’t work, what cable do you think I will need to get the audio from my tv.

    Many thanks

  54. Jojo said, on April 18, 2008 @ 3:27 am

    Hi, I have Gatewat Laptop with Vista 32 bits, latest model, It has built in second VGA out put , My Toshiba TV has only AUX and S Video in put option. I bought Adapter from geocity, this wire (Adapter has one end VGA and other end S-video), I connected VGA to my laptop and S-video end with TV. I only see diagonal lines on my tv. I hecked drver made it option like Laptop + monitor, or external monitor only but no success. Here is link for adapter which I bough :

  55. Jorrell said, on April 18, 2008 @ 8:50 am

    I’m a DJ and just bought a HP Pavilion dv9000 Window Vista home premium laptop. It would be a lot easier for me if I could hook up big speakers to my laptop and play must that I down loaded or could down load from my Laptop while I am dJing. Is there a way I can do this with out have to hook up lots of equipment?

  56. Chris Duckworth said, on April 18, 2008 @ 9:15 am

    Hi Sabrina, Your cable appears to be correct. I would suggest to double check your connections. There may be many audio inputs, but the input when there is a VGA connection is not always in the most sensible spot. Do you have an attached sound system? if so, try connecting directly to that. Test your sound output from your laptop with headphones. This will give you a clue as to where the signal is reaching. If you hear stuff through headphones, keep playing with udio settings on TV.

  57. Chris Duckworth said, on April 18, 2008 @ 9:19 am

    Hey Jojo. I have never played with a VGA to s-video lead. Diagonal lines is a good start surprisingly. It would be wise to drop your resolution down to say 800×600 or even 640×480. The real cause for the diagonal lines is probably due to refresh rate. Try dropping that down to 60hz. I think that will do the trick. Let me know if that doesn’t work and we will look into it further.

  58. Chris Duckworth said, on April 18, 2008 @ 9:22 am

    Hi Jorrell, it is certainly possible. I single cord will do the trick. Just plug the cord into the desk or directly into the power amp. I used ot DJ at a local radio station and would plug my laptop into the desk each week. It would only take a couple of minutes to get up and running. I would do it as the computer started up. Just be sure to mute all Windows sounds as they can destroy the mood if an error occurs. Check out this article.

  59. Chris Duckworth said, on April 18, 2008 @ 9:27 am

    Hi john. I think dropping the refresh rate and resolution will get things going for you. Go into the display properties in control panel. Click advanced.
    Click adaptor tab and list all modes. Here, choose a lower resolution with a refresh rate of 60. Start low and make sure it works, and then increase the resolution and refresh rate until you find the optimal. The TV’s manual may give you the upper limits.

  60. Micah said, on April 19, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

    I’m trying to play mpeg + jpeg files (from the Laptop) through my TV,
    using an S-Video cable.
    (also DVDs I have downloaded)
    I have an HP Pavilion XP… and can play the sound through my speakers,
    which are hooked up to the laptop
    (I can’t remember the model #, but it was bought Aug’06)

    I’m not very good w/ technical details, but learn quickly
    (as long as I receive helpful and understandable instructions)
    PLEASE HELP as soon as possible. Thank you.

  61. Sonja said, on April 21, 2008 @ 9:05 am

    I am trying to hook up my Sony VAIO PC to my tv. The computer and tv both have the s-video hook-up. I connected them with the cable but i get no video. The audio is hooked to my surround sound and that is fine. I went to the settings and extended it but still no picture. How do I get the image to show on my tv?

  62. Ant said, on April 21, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

    Hi Chris
    I have a geforce fx5500 graphics card with an s-video tv out port, my tv is quite old and only has 2 scart inputs on the back, I ve bought an s video to scart cable but cant get it to work, have I bought the wrong cable as looking at all the different ways the scart connection method uses a box which converts rca’s to scart like you would find when connecting a playstation or similar. If you can shed any light on my dilemma it would be much appreciated


  63. Chris Duckworth said, on April 23, 2008 @ 11:27 am

    Ant, I havn’t played with SCART cables before. I think the cable you got should work. It is more to do with the software side of things why it may be going wrong. Have you downloaded the latest drivers from NVidia? You may need to fresh boot the computer with only the s-video plugged in. There may also be options in your computers bios to force the signal to the TV. If not the nvidia settings should allow you to force TV detection. Are you seeing the TV at all in your settings?

  64. Ant said, on April 24, 2008 @ 1:50 am

    Hi Chris I ve now worked it out, had to refresh the nvidia drivers and it works now :0) any ideas on how to enhance the picture quality as any font below around 18 in size is blurred and unreadable?

  65. Chris Duckworth said, on April 24, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

    Great news Ant. Bettering the picture quality is tricky. Dropping the resolution can help a lot. If you go into display properties, you can use large fonts. Cleartype may be better on or off.

    You could create a second user account for your computer. One will be your normal account you use now, and another with diferent resolution and large fonts. You may need to add a reschange to your startup folder to change the resolution for that account.

    Overall, it will never be great, but you can make it usable.

  66. sam said, on April 30, 2008 @ 11:34 am

    I have a question i just got a lcd pc monitor and i tried to conect it to my vcr and use the monitor as a tv. i bought the vga splitter to s video and the monitor must have not recognized the signal because it did not show anything. Do you have suggestion aobut how can i wacth tv and connect my video games to the monitor wihout having my pc on all the time?

  67. Chris Duckworth said, on May 1, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

    Hi Sam,
    I think you would need some sort of conversion box to convert the s-video to VGA. This would bypass the computer altogether. I can’t think of any other way. If you wanted to leave your PC on, you could use a TV tuner card with capture capabilities. This would allow you to watch the video, while recording onto your TV, and do all kinds of cool stuff. You should be able to do it, but you won’t get much change from $200.

    If you do get it going with what you have, I would love to know how you got it all happening.

  68. Garth said, on May 7, 2008 @ 2:59 am


    Hello, I am seeking some direction on setting up my nvidia 5500 fx. I had been utilizing a hookup from my card to an Onkyo SR750 routed to the TV. My PC picked up a virus somewhere along the line last month. I ended up killing the hard drive and instlled a new one. I am able to load the nvidia software and get an output on the PC and the TV, but the TV only gets the a/v when I direct connect. If I route through the receiver, I get nothing on the TV or through my speaker system.

    It seems to me that there was an issue with this when I originally set the card up several years ago and I had to do the setup while direct connected, then I was able to detach, reboot and route through the receiver. Does anyone have any idea as to what step(s) I am missing that is preventing the signal from getting routed from the receiver to the TV? Thanks for your input. – btw… NVIDIA support doesn’t have the user guide available any longer and tech support seems oblivious to this having been an issue.

  69. Chris Duckworth said, on May 7, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    Garth, this is tricky. I don’t have much of any idea which way for you to head. The tickbox for force TV detection may be of some use to you in display settings. That will force your computer to recognise the TV no matter what.
    The only other things I can think of are.. a setting in the bios to force s-video output, or ensuring you have the latest drivers for your card. If they are the latest, maybe try an older version. Clutching at straws.

  70. Akbar said, on May 16, 2008 @ 7:29 pm

    How can i use my tv as a monitor ?
    Is tehere any medium through them a hav to connect ?

  71. gary said, on May 18, 2008 @ 12:52 am

    Thanks for a great article. I finally got it working after several attempts! I bought three cheap VGA cables on ebay… one didnt work at all and the others were fine for reading but flickerd when I played back video. I ended up buying a premium gold VGA cable from Lindy… a bit pricey but the result is perfect.

  72. Abhishek said, on May 18, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

    my pc has 8600 gt with dvi vga and s video output……
    my crt tv has only analog video input or co axial cable input….
    can i connect my pc to crt tv and how…….
    tv model. sony kv 2167mt…..
    please help…..

  73. Anubis said, on May 22, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Hey I’ve got a windows XP with a VGA port and I am trying to hook it up to a Westinghouse LCD tv that also has a VGA port. Now the tv has an auto source on it so it automatically switches to the new signal. Now everything works fine the hook up and everything, until it gets to the welcome screen, and then my tv goes and says invalid format. Now being curious I hook up my older millennium edition up to my tv and it works perfectly. I have no idea what’s going on and I would like to hook up my windows XP to it. Please let know if I can fix this and how.

    P.S. I tried calling costumer service for my tv and all the phone numbers have been disconnected, but their website is totally operational.

  74. Chris Duckworth said, on May 22, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

    Hi Anubis, sounds to me like your refresh rates or resolution may be set too high on the XP machine. Check what they are on the ME, and ensure your XP machine is the same. If all else fails, try the 640×480 resolution at 60hz., and then work your way up.
    My CRT TV has a VGA input which looks great, but I am limited to this low resolution. It’s good for films and games. With your TV being LCD, you will probably be able to acheive much higher resolutions. The manual for the TV (probably downloadable with any luck) should tell you what resolution limitations the screen has.

  75. Andi said, on May 27, 2008 @ 3:13 am

    Hi, im having a big problem getting the correct resolution on my tv , wondered if anyone can help pls. i have connected my laptop via a dvi – hdmi cable through an onkyo 606 amp into my sony lcd. i can see the windows xp display on my tv but everythings massive, i cannot understand how to change the laptop in windoes xp to get the output into the correct resolution so my tv looks the same as the laptop when its not connected, interestingly when i boot up the windows loading screen shows in perfect 1080p but the minute the “log into windows” screen appears it reverts to 480p and everythings huge. please help !! thanks in advance

  76. Chris Duckworth said, on May 27, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

    Andi, I don’t know why this is happening. Can you change resolutions once you are in Windows? You may be able to use Reschange shortcuts to make it look correct once it has loaded up. I don’t understand why it would want to change resolutions on its own.

    The Windows startup logo and the like are in low resolution, but full resolution is made available before the login screen. Are there any resolution changers running at startup? It’s beyond me.

  77. omar said, on May 29, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

    I connected my laptop to my lcd tv with vga cable. The only thing that shows on the lcd is the wallpaper.

  78. Chris Duckworth said, on May 29, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    omar, you should be able to drag programs onto this “wallpaper” screen. You need to go into advanced settings and ensure clone or dualview (same thing) is selected, rather than the extend my desktop to the second screen.

  79. Steven said, on June 2, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

    Hey ,I’ve got a windows XP with a VGA port and I am trying to hook it up to a JVC Plasma tv that also has a VGA port. When i connect the laptop to tv by pressing fn+f10 while playing video, the tv comes out sound but no picture at all.My laptop refesh rate is at 60hz and the resolution is at 1024 x 768. Can u tell me what should i do. Thank you.

  80. Chris Duckworth said, on June 2, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

    Steven, movies don’t seem to like jumping from screen to screen, especially with laptops. Try starting the movie after pressing Fn+F10. Does it work with normal Windows?

  81. Dev said, on June 8, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

    I have attached the laptop to my tv…n My only problem now is that on my tc screen , the picture is comming out in black and white ,and i would like to now how do to this thank you for your help

  82. Ray Allen said, on June 10, 2008 @ 1:23 am

    Hi i am tryng to connect my acer aspire desktop which has an ATI Radeon 2400 Pro graphics card fitted with hdmi output to my Phillips 37″ lcd tv which has 2x hdmi inputs. The problem i am having is that my computer and tv are in different rooms approx 15mtrs apart, i have purchased a 15mtr hdmi to hdmi cable but when i connect it up the tv just says no signal being received. Am i to far away to get a signal on my tv using hdmi?
    I would appreciate any help you can give me.

  83. Chris Duckworth said, on June 10, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    Not sure Ray. I would try it out with a shorter cable to see if thats the problem. It is most liekly incorrect settings though. There may be some BIOS settings that will turn on the HDMI at startup.

  84. josh said, on June 11, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

    I have a new HP Pavilion media PC, and am trying to hook it up to my LG LCD TV using a HDMI cable. It works for about 2 mins when I first turn the PC on (enough time to show the boot menu and resuming windows) it up but then the picture drops out and it says ‘no signal’ on the TV. This happens each time I try the connection? I dont have a monitor to try this on either so have to keep turning the PC off without shutting down – surely not good.
    Any guidance appreciated :)

  85. josh said, on June 11, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

    ps i should have mentioned, exactly the same thing happens when i try S video. My laptop connects fine to the TV using s video. Is this a video card problem? (i have a geforce 8400 card).

  86. Ray Allen said, on June 13, 2008 @ 1:23 am

    Hi thanks i have actually added an hdmi extender and i now get a perfect picture on my tv but cannot get sound, any ideas to correct this would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Ray

  87. Chris Duckworth said, on June 13, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    You have a better grasp of HDMI than me Ray. My only guess with the audio is that the wrong audio output is selected from your computer. You can change the default output device in the sounds and audio settings. Make sure it is set up to use the hdmi connection.

    An HDMI extender, sounds like a great setup.

  88. mary ellis said, on June 27, 2008 @ 2:15 am

    was wondering wether you could help me out at all on the following.
    I have Creative Inspire P8500, 5.1 pc speakers.
    I would love to be able to have the same sound transferred to my tv, amplifier and PS3 etc for watching tv and films.

    I currently use the JVC RX E100R home cinema system, which is where my tv etc are all rigged up to,is there a cable that can be used between these two devices so i can have surround come through, i had looked at being able to transfer the speakers and subwoofer direct to the amplifier itself, but they are not the straight wire in connection like the back of the JVC system connectors, and have a sort of head connection on them.

    My computer is a Packard Bell IEXTREME Y8520.

    I would really appreciate any help at all, as i havent got the faintest clue where to start with audio connections.
    Kind Regards

  89. Chris Duckworth said, on June 30, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

    Hi Mary, that’s a challenging one. Analog 5.1 is very frustrating to split between sources as there are too many wires in the mix. Digital is much simpler as it is one cable.
    Does you TV amp have a digital input? You may be able to use the analog out of your soundcard for the creative speakers, and then use a digital output for the TV and stereo. Most programs will let you change which output the audio will come out of. This lets you default the programs you want your music and movies to come out of.
    Most modern soundcards do have a digital output. If it is a diferent type to the digital input on the JVC, you can buy USB sound adapters with digital outputs on them. It is as if you are installing a new soundcard on your computer. These can be found under the $50 mark.

  90. Austin said, on July 13, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

    My Pc is connected with TV Phililips 37 LCD( Cable Hdmi –DVI)And this works fine(Sometimes i use both for output and i setup In Display settings –Extended Desktop).But problem is when i turned OFF TV and ON this again later this shows NO INPUT SIGNAL.Thn i have to go Dispaly settings and need to change something(Ex i always change bit maybe 32 to 16 and after i got signal change it back) and this works again.So what is the probelm and how can i solve this any suggestions………..and Im using Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit .

  91. Chris Duckworth said, on July 14, 2008 @ 10:59 am

    Hi Austin, I don’t think there is really a fix for this. My TV has limitations that make the switch not as flawless as I would like. There are a few tools that may make your life easier.
    Reschange is a program that helps you make shortcuts on the desktop(or anywhere) to change your screen resolution easily. This saves you from going through the display settings dialog.
    There is also jRes, that helps you change resolution and other settings easily, without needing to go into display properties.
    Reschange at least should at least speed up connecting your TV.

  92. Dave said, on August 20, 2008 @ 11:46 am

    Hi, first all lemme say thank you for the wonderful guide it helped alot. I am trying to connect my pc to my durabrand tv usuing a s video cord. I shouldnt say trying because i have succedded in establishing a connection my only problem is that the picture it should be showing is moving up and down rather fast (almost as if the vertical hold is broken on an old tv) and it is in black and white. now I know it can do it b/c up to a few hours ago i had a viable good solid connection untill i changed video cards after redoing all my settings I am still left with the black and white screen moving up and down rather fast. any ideas on how to remedy this?

  93. Chris Duckworth said, on August 20, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    Hi Dave, the scrolling screen is probably the refresh rate being unsuitable for the screen. Try setting it to 60hz. The correct refresh rate may be in the manual, but 60 is a good starting point. If you have the latest Nvidia or ATI drivers, there may well be sync options which you can fiddle around with. This could also be the cause the b&w picture. You could try another cable to see if that is causeing the b&w picture. It’s going to be a bit of a fault finding adventure.

  94. Julia Brown said, on September 22, 2008 @ 7:29 pm

    Hi There. I just got a Samsung L22A450. It has S-Video, as does my laptop (LW60). I have contectd it up and it works but I cannot view any video via windows media player or Power DVD (The sole purpose of the exercise being so I can watch DVD’s from my laptop through my TV)? The screen window with the movie in it is just blank. I tried it with videos that I’ve downloaded… and with movies straight off a DVD (authentic)?!
    Does my TV lack some kind of codec that allows me to view movies?!
    Cheers :]

  95. Chris Duckworth said, on September 25, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Hi Julie, it may be a limitation of the video card. If you try going into your display settings and setting the TV as the default monitor in clone mode, you may find that that will fix it.
    You can sometimes set this in the bios also, but it can become frustrating to change here if you take your laptop with you everywhere. Saying that, it may auto select the laptop screen if no TV is attached. It varies from model to model.

  96. D said, on September 26, 2008 @ 12:34 am

    Hi. I connected my PC to my TV using a DVI-HDMI cable and receive a perfect video signal but I can’t get any audio out of my TV. What can I do to fix this? Should I purchase a separate RCA cable even though I’m using an HDMI cable? Thanks

  97. scott kimmett said, on September 29, 2008 @ 3:38 am

    i have my PC and TV together but is it poibal to conect my TV to another TV in my house

  98. Rajat said, on September 29, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Can anybody help: I have got a Compaq presario laptop and I used to connect my LCD through VGA which was great!
    Now I am unable to see the display on my LCD the moment I give signal command to LCD although my laptop shows a blank screen but my LCD still remains blank….what seems to be the problem>????

    If I try to connect it with s-video (laptop 7 pins) than my LCD has only 4 pins….would that work some how as a 7 to 4 pin cable is not usually available …
    I have got a intel 545 gm chipset…

    Urgent help wud be higly appreciated….thanks a ton!

  99. Chris Duckworth said, on September 29, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

    Rajat, not sure off the top of my head. Wikipedia is a good source for pin information. My guess is that some pins may not be used. You won’t get anything like the quality you got with VGA before.

  100. Shea said, on September 30, 2008 @ 7:18 am

    I have read all of the comments so far and have not had any luck, but I may have missed something so forgive me if I am repeating a previous problem. I am trying to connect a Toshiba Satellite laptop to a Panasonic 1080i HDTV via s-cord and have not had any luck. When trying to change the dual monitor display in the laptop when I hit apply, it asks me if I want to revert to old settings, then does so anyways regardless of which option I choose. Please help!

  101. Chris Duckworth said, on September 30, 2008 @ 8:41 am

    Shea, try the Fn+f? buttons to see if it will cycle through to the TV. Make sure the TV is on the right channel before trying this. When it comes to laptops, initially there shouldn’t be much need to change the settings. The settings are more for tweaking later on.

  102. troy said, on November 5, 2008 @ 12:38 am

    My Hitachi Ultravision vs60810 LCD TV works fine with the HDMI cable from my XPS sending audio and video to the TV the problem is that the audio out (RCA) to my Receiver from the TV will not carry the audio from the TV to my Receiver. Hitachi says this is intentional to prevet copyright infringements in recording the programming but I hate having to use the 1/8 headphone jack to rca when the hdmi is sending the best sound to the TV. I doubt seriously there is anyway around this problem but thought I would mention it. I’m really surprised I havent seen anyone else complaining of this problem on any other post as it must happen to everyone trying to do what I am. Thanks for your time.


  103. Ravikiran said, on November 11, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

    I am having a lenovo T-61 laptop, it does not have S video out pin, it has got only vga out and USB out. I want to connect my laptop to a TV which is a CRT TV which has RCA pins as input. I am not able to get to know I do I connect my laptop to my TV. Kindly advice.

  104. Chris Duckworth said, on November 13, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    Ravikiran, you might need to invest in a USB dongle, or docking station, that will allow for RCA or svideo output. It won’t be all that cheap, but it will get things working.

  105. John said, on November 20, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

    I hope you get paid for doing all this.

    I have a similiar problem to Rajat’s above. I’m using the S VIDEO method of connecting my desktop (Dell Dimension 8400) to a newer Toshiba Television. Unfortunately, the desktop has a S Video 7 pin output while they Toshiba has a 4 pin. I just tried to connect a straight S (4 Pin) Video Cable to see if I would get anything, but no such luck.

    Should I be looking for an S 7 to 4 pin video adapter cable?

    I’m not gonna lie, my comp is like 8 years old, but it shuld still work right? Thanks.


  106. Chris Duckworth said, on November 21, 2008 @ 8:34 am

    Hi JP, I was hopeful when I started this site, that it would get me out of my day job, but no such luck. It is currently more of a hobby.

    A lot of laptops have the 7 pin connection which can be split into video/audio outputs by way of an adaptor. Laptops usually came with these adaptors. It is the 7 pin at one end, and audio & s-video at the other end. I think that most computer shops will have this on their shelves. Look up your laptops manual online to find out if this is the case. You might also see a picture of the adaptor needed.


  107. Wilder said, on December 1, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

    I have an hp desktop computer, and I’m using a 27″ rca t.v. with a vcr deck built in. I just got a video card installed(en 8400gs silent). I can only use the s-v to rca connection. The tv only has 2 rca jacks so I use/d a gold connector so I could at lest have to of the video connections working. I couldn’t get the display to show on the t.v. I ended up losing the display on the normal monitor also. I found and DVI to vga converter and tried that. There I found the display again. After messing with the settings for a day I finally some how got it to work on the t.v. Well since then the items on the desktop were very hard to read so I thought I could change the settings to make it more clearer. But by doing that I lost the display of the T.V. again and it ended up back to just the dvi slot. I’ve been messing with it and I still can not get it back on the t.v. The auto detect option seems to not work And the bottom part of the option wont let me check it or click on to restart. But If I click to enable the tv. it auto checks it but the restart is still hidden. When I stat the computer, if the sv is the only connection then while loading up it shows on the tv but what it goes to log in it shuts off again. Any ideas or help? Thanks for taking the time to read and help!

  108. Chris Duckworth said, on December 1, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

    Hi Wilder, There are number of issues it could be. Some cards only allow for vga/rca or dvi/rca. This could be the reason why the card is reverting to dvi when you connect a TV. Check the manual that came with your card to figure out if this is the case.
    Ensure you have the latest video drivers from nVidia. Change the refresh rate to 60hz and the resolution to 640×480 to start off with. When you make adjustments to the resolution, ensure the refresh rate hasn’t changed either, which is a common occurence.
    Is there any onboard video getting in the way? Check the bios to see if you can force the signal to multiple screens through that.
    In the nvidia drivers, ensure that force tv detection is ticked.
    While these things may not solve your problem, they might get you on the right track and provide you with a bit more information to provide me.

  109. steven rock said, on December 3, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

    hi mate ive connected an svideo cable from pc to tv. and when pc is starting up i can see it on the tv but when windows is about to come on it cuts off and the screen on the tv goes blank. it always seems show on tv when the pc is starting up but always cuts off be the desktop loads. can you help by any chance. im using an nvidia geforce fx5500….many thanks…

  110. Chris Duckworth said, on December 4, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

    Hi steven, this is when the nvidia software comes in. Everything before the login is software driven. You are going to need to relook at your video settings.i.e. when the resolution changes. You have proven it is connected correctly hardware wise. Look back at some of the recent comments with similar problems.

  111. steve said, on December 14, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

    I want to try this. My PC is a COMPAQ with512mb SyncDRAM total system memory,AMD Athlon (TM) XP Processor model 1700,80gb ultraDMA hard drive,56 v.90 modem,integrated savage4 3d graphics with 8mb video memory. My receiver is a kenwood vr-806 7.1 surround with hd component digtil video switching. My tv is a VIZIO HD/LCD HDMI 1 AND HDMI 2. What do i need to do? My friend that looks at everything from a PC angle,tells me i need alot of money. I need advice?

  112. Chris Duckworth said, on December 15, 2008 @ 8:54 am

    Hi Steve, it won’t cost too much to make your computer connect to your tv. You may be able to get a converter which will convert your current vga to svideo. That would only cost a few dollars.
    If that fails, you need is a new Video card which will set you back around $US80. You can get a dual head hdmi card for that price, making connection easy. While the older AGP cards are harder to find these days, they are still available, and probably second hand options may be best.
    It needs to be asked what you want your computer to do once you have connected it? With the specs you have, you may not be able to use it as a home theatre PC. If you want music and pictures showing on your tv and stereo, that should be fine.

  113. steve said, on December 15, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    thank you very much. I have s video on my tv and stero and i want to home theather. I think my pc might be out dated. Keep in touch with me i am gonna to try this. Coming into40,000 from a car wreck and income taxes in our household.

  114. Chris Duckworth said, on December 17, 2008 @ 8:41 am

    steve, to use your computer as a home theatre PC probably means adding in a tv tuner card. Your computer is probably borderline in handling such a card, but for best results and ease of setup, a new video card is probably a worthwhile investment.

  115. Kevin said, on December 19, 2008 @ 3:26 am

    Can this be done wirelessly?

  116. Christy said, on December 19, 2008 @ 9:36 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I couldn’t not figure out how to connect my laptop to my new TV, but your advice was very helpful and now I am happy watching PowerPoint presentations on my TV.

    Thank you!!!!

  117. Chris Duckworth said, on December 23, 2008 @ 7:54 am

    Kevin, it can be done wirelessly, but the results are often a bit useless. AV senders can be picked up from electronics shops for around $100, and they claim to have a range of around 100metres. I haven’t found one which worked well enough over 5 metres. Spending a bit more money, it may be possible. Once you get to the stage price point that they work, you might be better off getting a cheap computer and remote desktopping to it.

  118. heather said, on January 6, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

    Thank you! You have saved me from throwing my TV out of the window! I can now watch movies from my laptop in the comfort of my sofa too!

  119. ALARMAN1938 said, on January 18, 2009 @ 2:56 am

    Thanks for the very helpfull advice on which cable to use PC to TV, very straight foward, bought a DVI to HMDI cable from CABLE UNIVERSE in ENGLAND for a fraction of the price charged by our large computer & electrical outlets, and it worked first time. thanks again.

  120. daredevil said, on January 18, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

    thnx 4 this info

  121. JKhanh said, on February 6, 2009 @ 4:19 am


    I’m having problems seeing anything on my tv. I have a Nvidia Gefore 7600 GS Video card and I’m connecting my PC to my TV through an adapter that starts as a 7 Pin S-Cable from my PC then converts into 4 Pin S-Cable and Yellow RCA plug for my TV. I have both connected. I can see the start up on my TV but in black and white, but as soon as the login screen pops up it just goes to static. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

  122. Adam said, on February 8, 2009 @ 1:17 am

    Hi there
    Thanks for all the advice above, which I have read eagerly but have not yet found a solution to my problem. I have a 5 year old Philips TV and my laptop is a Toshiba Portege. The output on the laptop is VGA and the input on the TV is S-Video. I have a cable which connects the 2. Sadly, I cannot seem to get a picture on the TV. I have played around with the settings in the graphics controller which is Intel(R) GMA Driver for Mobile. It’s strange as sometimes I just get a blue screen, and every so often I get a flickering black and white screen with the screen split in 3 parallel columns and is almost impossible to read or view. Can you help please?
    Many thanks in advance

  123. Chris Duckworth said, on February 9, 2009 @ 9:08 am

    Hi JKahnh,I think you only need to plug in one of the cables to your TV. It might be gettign in tangles. The yellow is probably the easiest. Work your way through the AV inputs on the TV and see what shows up. If it can’t be found, work your way through these comments as the answer will be in there. Seeing you are getting a picture during the machine startup, you have already progressed quite a way.

  124. Lilly said, on February 16, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    I am trying to connect my pc to the tv. I have windows Vista, with Multimedia centre, Vided card is nvidia geforce 7350 Le. I have the VGA cable and Y adabter for the sound. On my computer says DVI, on (Sony Bravia 32″tv- RGB. I am using this VGA cable which goes ok, but I am getting error “unsupported signal” check the output”
    I am not sure what I need to do. Please, help.

  125. Rudy said, on February 21, 2009 @ 12:31 am


    I have a Plasma TV with HDMI ports and a PC with DVI port. I get a DVI to HDMI cable and a I can see my PC on the TV, but, i can not change the resolution in Display Settings. only have 480 X 640 option @ 60Hz. Is this because the video card or the tv?

    Do i have to get a diferent video card?

  126. Chris Duckworth said, on February 26, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    Hi Rudy, it is a 50/50 bet as to which it is. The TV’s manual should say it’s limitations. It might be worth trying to update your video card drivers as this may give you more options.

    The ultimate test would be to send the output of your main output of your video card to the tv to see if the tv can handle a higher resolution. If it can, you are elft with trying a driver upgrade of the video card, or the next step is to buy a new video card.

  127. Chris Duckworth said, on February 26, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

    Hi Lilly, you will need to drop the resolution to 640×480 and the refresh rate to 60hz. If you then get a signal, start increasing it until you get this error again. There is probably information in the TV’s manual as to what resolution and refresh rate the tv can handle.

  128. Adam said, on February 26, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    Hi Chris
    Are you able to offer any advice in respect of my post on 8th February above please?
    I’d be very grateful if you could
    Many thanks

  129. Chris Duckworth said, on February 27, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    Hi Adam, I am sorry I forgot about your comment. There are some strange things going on that I wanted to think over.. then work took over.

    The fact you sometimes get black and white and other times blue screens is the giveaway. I just don’t know what it means. It is always worth doing a driver update. If the VGA port is there, it should be capable of sending the signal. Are there any pins bent in the laptops port or the cord? Have you tried the cord on another computer/TV?

    I always recommend dropping resolution and refresh rate but I don’t think that will make a difference for your problems. Refresh rate may be possible.
    Make sure that no video or graphic intensive stuff is in motion when doing the shift+F4 combination to cycle between outputs.
    That’s about all I can suggest for now, but let me know how you get on. You should at least get some hints out of this.


  130. AJ said, on March 19, 2009 @ 8:12 am

    my video card is vga but the tv has vga and hdmi. Is the picture going to be the same with vga to vga or better if I spring for the vga to hdmi cable? Thank you

  131. Chris Duckworth said, on March 25, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    Hi AJ, not sure on this one, but I think it won’t make a diference. As logn as the VGA in on the TV can handle as high resolutions. My guess is that a VGA to HDMI cable won’t improve anything because the initial source is the same.

  132. Jack said, on April 1, 2009 @ 5:04 am

    read all the comments….confusing…..

    can I get a wire with 9-pin female VGA plug on one end and s-video on the other for my tv?

  133. Chris Duckworth said, on April 1, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    Hi Jack, you can get these cables, but from what I have seen and read, they don’t work. The signal strenght and frequencies are all messed up. You would need to get a converter box (around $US100 US), or a new video card (an additional PCI would do the trick if its a desktop(around $US50)). Either way, your going to be spending money somewhere.

  134. shane said, on April 10, 2009 @ 1:44 am


    I have a new video card, an ATI 4830 that has a VGA, DVI and HDMI connectors on the back of it. I have just built a HTPC with the view of eventually connecting up to a new flat screen later this year. In the meantime, I am using a 22″ flat screen computer monitor. I would like to connect this HTPC to my 8 year old Sony CRT TV. Unfortunately, it only has composite connectors plus one songle s-video connector.

    I would of course like to make use of the bigger screen of the TV set, is it possible to connect my HTPC’s ATI4830 to the TV? If so what sort of cable connections do I need.

    I appreciate any assistance.

    Thank you.

  135. Syed said, on April 10, 2009 @ 9:18 am

    I am trying to connect my pc to the tv. I have windows Vista, with Multimedia centre, Vided card is nvidia geforc8300GS. I have the S Video cable 7 pin to 4 pin.
    When I turn the TV on, I can see my Cpu monitor, for few seconds I can see starting screens for microsoft page, as soon as my cpu change to vista screen, I lost the signal from my tv, switch to video 1.
    can u help me for this.

  136. Dfort said, on April 16, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    I have an HP Paviliion laptop, and am trying to connect to a LCD TV. I have a VGA cable on both the computer and the TV, and an input setting on the TV that is specifically for the PC. I bought a standard headphone cable in hopes that it could go from the computer to the TV for audio, but found out that there isn’t a headphone port on the TV. I can get another cable for the audio, what do you recommend? My main problem isn’t even with the audio, but that i can’t even get the video to run through the VGS cable? I do run vista, so maybe i need to change settings??

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  137. Chris Duckworth said, on April 16, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    Dfort, you can purchase a cable which is 3.5″ microphone on one end, and dual rca on the other. This shoudl suite your needs. They aren’t all that expensive. The video problems would be settings. I would be repeating myself if I tried to explain what was wrong. Sift through the comments and see what you can find.

  138. Chris Duckworth said, on April 16, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

    This article has become a very thorough troubleshooting page for people trying to connect their PC to their TV. I have repeated myself in the responses to many of the comments. Everything I know is in the article and the comments, so please look at them to find help. I am closing the comments on this one. Nothing personal, I am just bored of responding to this topic, and it is very hard to fix without physically seeing the problem.
    Key points:
    Laptop users: press Fn+F?
    Ensure settings are correct in display settings
    HDMI users, ensure internal digital cable is connected from your sound card to video card.
    Try dropping resolution.
    Good luck.