Is It Possible To Use A TV As A Computer Monitor: How to View A PC On A Television Monitor
There is a significant difference between the way a computer monitor works and the way a television works. The output format of each device is different, the connectors are different, and in many cases the screen resolution can be significantly different.
In order to be able to use a TV as a computer monitor a user must convert the computer's video output into a format that the television will be able to decode. How this happens and what is required to do it depends on the television being used.
If the television to be used has an input port for a VGA signal, DVI, or HDMI input and the computer has the ability to output the video signal through that type of connection then no further hardware may be required (except for the VGA or HDMI cable needed to get the information from the computer to the television).
If the computer has a DVI connection but the television is HDMI only, all that is necessary is to purchase a small, relatively inexpensive adaptor to convert from the DVI style connection to the more streamlined HDMI connection. However, many newer computers are now shipping with HDMI outputs built onto the motherboard. In these cases all that is needed is to run the cable between the two and turn them on.
In most installations the computer and HDMI television will recognize each other and the display will switch to whatever mode is needed to display the information. Of all of the ways to use a TV as a computer monitor, using a computer and TV that both have HDMI interfaces is by far the most convenient and least problematic. For those computers without built in HDMI outputs consider purchasing a special USB to HDMI converter.
Using Older Tube Televisions As Computer Monitors
For those that want to use traditional tube televisions or some late model flat panel televisions as a computer monitor things become slightly more complicated. In many cases such older model televisions have very limited input capabilities, with the most common being standard composite video inputs in the form of a yellow RCA jack.
For many years some manufacturers have provided RCA composite video output jacks on the computer's video card. If the computer comes equipped with such a jack then in most cases all that is needed is to run an RCA video cable and adjust some settings in the computer's control panel. For computers without such a port it is usually necessary to install an add-on PCI card or a special USB powered external video card .
While using a television as a cheap monitor may seem very appealing remember that the difference in image quality between older televisions using RCA cables and a modern LCD television via HDMI is dramatic. Whenever possible use digital to digital connections (such as HDMI or DVI) to preserve the highest quality possible for the television being used.
Author: Chad Criswell