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How to Use a TV as a Monitor for a PC

Many TVs come standard with an port like this one for PC connectivity.
Many TVs come standard with an port like this one for PC connectivity.
agp card image by TEA from Fotolia.com

As we move into the era of "high-definition television," televisions monitors are evolving to look more and more like computer monitors than TV sets. Of course, this isn't just an aesthetic move; many modern LCD, plasma and LED high-definition sets come with the ability to connect to a PC as a standard feature. Using a TV as a monitor for your PC is surprisingly simple, and is incredibly affordable.


Things You'll Need:

  • Connection cables
  • Windows PC (XP, Vista or 7)
  • Television
  1. Determine the type of cable you need to connect your PC to your TV. Look on the back of the TV or refer to the user's manual to learn which inputs are available on your set. Check your PC for a matching output. If your TV and PC don't have a matching input and output, you need to get a converter or a cable that has attachments that will fit both. Some common PC to TV cables are VGA, HDMI, DVI and S-Video.

  2. Connect your PC to your TV using the right cable. In some instances, like when using VGA cables, you need to screw the cable into your PC and TV for a secure connection. This depends on the type of cable you're using.

  3. Power on your TV and switch the input channel so it syncs with the connection type you just made to your PC. Although it is slightly different depending on the brand and type of TV you own, the input channel is generally adjusted by pressing the "Input" or "Source" button on your TV or TV remote control. You'll likely need to press the button several times before you hit the right input channel.

  4. Power on your computer and let it load up to the desktop.

  5. Open the Start menu by clicking the "Start" button with your cursor, then open the Control Panel.

  6. Choose "Appearance and Themes" and click "Display" if using Windows XP. Select "Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Display Settings" if using a Windows Vista PC. Windows 7 users follow the same instructions as Vista users, then click "Change Display Settings" after selecting "Display."

  7. Click the "Identify" button to see which icon represents which display. Click and drag the icons to arrange them however you want. The arrangement of the display affects how they appear if you opt to extend your desktop.

  8. Click the "Multiple display" drop-down list and choose the monitor option that best suits your needs. It's possible to duplicate the display, as well as extend it or make the TV your primary monitor.

  9. Click "Apply > OK" when you finish configuring your settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows 7 has a shortcut for connecting to a projector, TV or external monitor. Just press and hold the "Windows" key while pressing the "P" key to open a quick menu to change the setting.

How to Configure a PC to a TV

A VGA cable is the best way to connect your PC to your television.
A VGA cable is the best way to connect your PC to your television.
vga image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from Fotolia.com

There are many reasons to connect a PC to a television. You may want to use it as a media device to watch movies, or as a simple way to access the internet straight from your couch. Maybe you're just tired of staring at your old monitor and want a change. Luckily, connecting your PC to your television is just a matter of connecting a few cables. In order to do so, you will need to have a television with a PC input on it. Most new televisions have this.

Difficulty: Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • VGA cable
  • 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm audio cable
  • Television with a PC input
  1. Purchase a VGA cable and a 3.5 mm audio cable. If you have an existing monitor, you most likely already have at least the VGA cable. You may have the audio cable if your existing monitor has built-in speakers.

  2. Connect the VGA cable to the output on the back of the computer and the input on the back of the television under the area labeled "PC Input."

  3. Connect the 3.5 mm audio cable to the speaker output on the computer, usually designated with an image of a speaker or the color green. Connect the other side into the small hole under the VGA cable input on the television.

  4. Change the input of the television to "PC," usually done by pressing the input button on your remote or the side of the television. If you are using a laptop, you may need to activate the output on the computer. In Windows 7, go to "Control Panel" and under the section labeled "Hardware and Sound" click "Connect to Projector."

How to Setup TV on a PC

A S-video socket has four pin holes for transmitting a PC signal to the TV.
A S-video socket has four pin holes for transmitting a PC signal to the TV.
s-video image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from Fotolia.com

Using a TV as a computer monitor lets you work on a bigger screen or take advantage of a larger picture for watching movies and internet content. The setup requires a video cable to connect from the PC tower to the television. Two common types of video outputs are S-video on older computers and HDMI (high definition media interface), which is the better option for hooking up an HDTV set.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • HDMI or S-video cable
  1. Plug in the end of an HDMI or S-video cable into the matching port on the computer tower. The pins in each plug line up with the small holes in the port.

  2. Insert the remaining plug on the opposite end of the cable into the labeled port on the TV.

  3. Power on the computer and the TV.

  4. Press and release the source selection button on the TV remote control until you can see the PC desktop on the television.

Category: Computer Zone | Views: 710 | Added by: seniorkoa | Rating: 0.0/0
Total comments: 1
1 Jeroen Waning   (2012-03-03 4:25 AM) [Gurus Entry]
Check out:


for another reason to hook up your PC to your TV. This is pretty cool :)

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