Different software and hardware solutions already exist that allow you to watch your favorite TV channels on your PC. Most commonly used are so called TV tuner cards where you hook up your cable. These tuner cards effectively perform the functions of a TV tuner and this gives you access to all the channels that are provided in your cable service. But what if you want to turn things around and use your TV as a computer monitor? It may have some limitations but it can be easily done. Here’s how.
First, you should check out what connection options are provided on your TV. The usual connections that are provided in most Ts are the RCA composite connection, the S-Video connection and the cable connection. The RCA composite connection is the one that we’re all familiar – the input with the yellow, white and red colors. For newer televisions, you will get additional inputs like Component Video, DVI, VGA (also called the RGB or D-Sub connection) and HDMI, which is the newest standard.
Now go look at the outputs of your computer. Even though a growing number of computer hardware companies are placing outputs that make it easier to connect it to TVs it’s still best to double check what kind of connections you can make. The most common ‘TV-friendly’ connection that’s being included in some motherboards or graphics cards are either the S-Video output or HDMI. But across the board, the most common output connection in PCs is the VGA out.
After you have identified what kind of connectors are in your computer, it’s now time to decide which connection you will use if you have a couple of options. Let’s say that your PC has both a VGA and an S-Video connection and your TV has it as well. Now connect the correct cable to the terminals on both the PC and the TV. Boot up the PC and turn on the TV. Just press the input button on the TV remote or on the TV itself until you get the PC signal.
When you use a TV as a monitor you have to remember that, unless it is a High definition monitor like an LCD TV or Plasma TV, the chances are great that the resolution will not be as clear or crisp as the images generated by your computer monitor. This is most apparent if you use a CRT TV. A CRT TV just cannot generate the high quality images that monitors can bring up. The highest resolution a CRT TV can generate is only 640 x 480.
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