There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to have your computer linked to your TV. For one, your computer likely already has a DVD player that can be used to watch movies. With the advent of online TV shows providers, such as Hulu, it is now possible to replay that episode you missed the other night, for free (bye-bye Tivo). Or, perhaps you just want to sit back on your couch and surf the net with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
There are many ways to connect your computer to your TV and the type of connection you use will be determined by your computer’s video output port(s) and your TV’s inputs.
The simplest, and perhaps best, way to connect to a TV is by using the same VGA monitor cable you would use to connect to a traditional computer monitor. Check your TV to make sure you have this connection. Most laptops have this connection and all desktops have it. With this easy connection, you will be enjoying HD quality.
Another good solution for getting HD content from your computer to your TV is by using a technology called HDMI. Your computer may or may not have this port. If you have a desktop computer and don’t have this port, there are several video cards on the market that you can install to get HDMI. Of course, ATL Computer Repair would be happy to assist you with this.
One of the main benefits of using HDMI is that it carries video and audio signals, so you only need one cable to get everything working. With the monitor cable solution described above, you will also need a 1/8 inch to RCA Y-cable to get audio.
If you have an older TV without monitor or HDMI ports, you can still connect to your TV using a signal conversion device. There are several on the market nowadays, like this one. You connect your monitor out to the device and it outputs RCA or S-video to your TV. This solution should work for just about anybody and is currently what I’m using. The disadvantage of using this method is that it is more expensive and the quality is much lower (not HD). It’s not a good solution for surfing the web as the lettering can be difficult to see, but it works great for watching TV shows on Hulu or streaming a movie from Netflix. Keep in mind that you will also need a separate cable for the audio as well as an empty power outlet to power the unit.
Whichever solution you choose, it is rewarding to merge the two worlds of computers and TVs. Once you have it working, you might wonder why you haven’t done it sooner.