Internet streaming services give viewers plenty of options when boredom strikes, but people without a television that has the ability to access the Internet are limited to streaming shows, movies and clips on a computer. Learning how to connect a computer to a television enhances the viewing experience.
Reasons to Connect a Computer to a TV
A computer screen tends to be significantly smaller than a television screen, so the detail of videos watched on a computer is reduced. Many computers either do not offer high definition or do not have the quality of high definition that televisions do.
People who like to watch movies, shows or other videos with friends and family members will likely have a difficult time sharing videos with others when it can only be accessed on a computer screen. Digital photos that are to be shared with visitors could also be better shared through a television screen.
Professionals may wish to make a PowerPoint presentation at work, but making a visual presentation with only a computer to show the visual material is ineffective. Small businesses typically cannot afford to purchase equipment that is specifically designed to project presentations, so being able to view a presentation that is saved on a computer through a television is an ideal solution.
A Step-by-Step Guide
First, only consider hooking up a computer to a television if the television offers high definition picture quality. Older TVs in standard definition often offer worse quality than the quality of a picture on a computer screen, so there is not much motivation behind connecting a computer to a standard definition TV.
If a high definition television is available, the steps listed below can be used.
• Choose the Correct Cable
Make sure that any cables that are purchased for the purpose of connecting a computer to a television are compatible with both pieces of equipment.
The best cable to provide high definition is an HDMI cable, but many laptops do not come equipped to utilize such a cable. An adapter will be necessary in this case. New televisions come equipped to be compatible with an HDMI cable.
A DVI cable may be used to import the display on a computer on to a television, but there is no sound capability available with this type of cord. It is ideal for sharing digital pictures on a television screen, but anyone who would like to watch videos with sound using a DVI cable will need to purchase a separate audio cable to transfer sound from a computer to a television.
If high definition is not a concern and budgets are tight, an S-Video cable can be used for picture transfer. However, S-video cables also require a separate audio cable to be used for sound.
• Make the Connection
Be sure to use the correct input on the television when connecting a cable from a computer, and start off with the computer powered down. Connecting the computer to the TV while both electronics are on can result in a failure of the television to recognize the computer.
If the picture seems distorted in any way when the computer is started, try adjusting the aspect ratio and picture quality on the television menu.
• Access Videos or Photos
Since the television is simply being used as a monitor when a computer is connected to the TV, the controls for videos and pictures must be done directly from the computer.
• Wireless Connections
New technology is starting to emerge that allows a person to use a receiver to transfer an image and audio from a computer to a television. However, both the computer and the TV must be high definition in order for the transmitter and receiver to work. Since this technology is in the early stages, it is not compatible with many devices and tends to be expensive.
The limitations of a computer screen can make viewing and sharing videos and pictures difficult, but modern technology allows a computer to be connected to a television with minimal effort. Purchase the right cable for specific needs, and remember to ensure that videos and pictures can be viewed in high definition if desired.