We have a comprehensive Computer and Laptop to TV connection guide! If you do not see how to connect your computer or laptop, just contact us and we will be happy to show you!
Please see our connection guide below and follow the links to the products. Note: below the visual connection guide is a more comprehensive guide to other connections, such as RF Coax, DisplayPort and Apple connections
Please scroll down if you need instructions on how to connect a computer to a television.
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If your laptop has s-video output it is the easiest and least expensive way to connect it to a television and enjoy downloaded videos from Netflix, Hulu or other download sites. S-video is just one way of connecting computer to tv. Other PC to TV connections including using a desktop computer or the favorite method: connect laptop to tv. Connecting a laptop to tv can be done in many different ways.
Please see below different procedures on how to connect to a "laptop to tv" or a regular desktop with video output:
How to connect the S-Video, VGA, DVI or HDMI Video output of a laptop or desktop computer? First, determine the correct cable or converters that you need from the links below:
To see a video on how to activate the s-video output, CLICK HERE.
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There are many computers (such as Acer, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, IBM, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, etc.) that have the ATI, SAVAGE, nVIDIA and other graphics cards that have a "TV-Out" via a 4-pin or 7-pin S-Video receptacle.
Computer manufacturers have not standardized on what jack to use - the 7 or 4 pin jack, but our adapters are cross-brand and are PC/MAC compatible and are designed to fit the corresponding 7-pin or 4-pin connector.
Note on Windows 7: If you upgraded to Win 7 you will probably need to update your video drivers in order to enable the S-Video output. If you are using Windows 7 run the Windows 7 TV wizard after connecting our cables.
Quick Summary under XP: In order to be able to see the movie playing on your TV you have to select the TV in the "Device settings". The movie will not play on both the laptop's screen and the TV under dual or clone view. Here's what you have to do under Win XP: Go to Start; Control Panel; Appearance and Themes; Display; Settings; Advanced; select the "tab" for your Graphics card; select "Device Settings"; select TV. For further details read below.
Before you start, change the display settings to 800 x 600; you need to do this since most TVs will not support higher resolution settings - this is ok, however, since you do not need higher resolution to enjoy your DVDs or to view your monitor's display on your TV. Read below about TV/VGA resolution comparisons. Also, make sure all of the hardware is connected before turning on the computer; you may have trouble getting the video card to recognize the TV as the second monitor - the option on some Dells is to change to "Clone" in Nview. But "Clone" is grayed out unless you have the RCA connector on the far end of the "S to RCA" cable, terminated in a VCR or TV.
1. Connect the "S-Video to RCA" cable or the "Pro S-Video to 3 RCA" cable to the "S-video out" of the computer and to the "video in" (yellow RCA jack) on the TV. NOTE: This step must be performed before you start up the computer. Make sure that your TV is set to "recognize" the RCA/yellow video-in jack; you may have to play with the "aux 1", "aux 2", or "line-in" selections on the TV or the TV's remote control. The S-Video jack on your computer may be a 4-pin or 7-pin jack that is usually on the back of the computer.
We will first describe the procedures for machines running Windows XP:
- Click on Start, Control Panel.
- Click on Display
- Click on Settings
- Slide the "Screen resolution" area slider bar toward Less until the setting reads 800 x 600. OK, you may not like how your screen looks at this setting after usig high-res settings, but you'll certainly enjoy your DVD on your TV!!! You can always change the res back when not playing DVDs.
- Click Apply
- Press the FN key and your computer's corresponding "F-number" key. For instance, on some Toshiba laptops you press the FN+F5 simultaneously four times to get the TV-Out setting. The "FN" key is a short-cut key on most laptop keyboards. Note, the combination keys that you may have to press depend on your laptop. Here's a brief list: Acer Fn+F3; Dell Fn+F8; Fujitsu Fn+F5; Gateway Fn+F3; HP Fn+F5; IBM Fn+F1 or +F3, +F7 +F8; NEC Fn+F3; Panasonic Fn+F2; Samsung Fn+F4 or F5 or F6; Sharp Fn+F5; Sony Fn+F7; and Toshiba Fn+F5 or +F7.
- Start playing your movie or presentation.
- There may be additional adjustments that may be required. If the TV display is shifted to the right with a black vertical bar on the left side you will have to perform additional settings. Joshua T. has the following suggestions: "The computer runs Windows XP Pro and has a "Radeon IGP 345M", which I believe is made by ATI. Under 'Display Properties', 'Settings', 'Advanced', 'Displays', click the "TV" button, then 'Adjustments' tab. There you will find options to change the vertical/horizontal size and position. Once you have switched over to use the tv you can simply adjust these settings while you watch the display on the television to get it looking the way you like."
Procedures for Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Me, or Microsoft Windows 2000:
NOTE: To use the TV as the primary display with the dual display function, you need to enable the TV setting every time you start your computer.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, select Control Panel, and choose Display.
2.1 Under the Display Properties window, ensure that the color depth is set to High Color (16bit)
2.2 Click Advanced Properties under the Settings tab; this brings up the ATI or SAVAGE video card features.
2.3 Click on the Display tab; this gives you the output options.
2.4. If you have an ATI video card the "Displays" tab gives you the output options. If the TV is detected, it shows the power button on. The button next to that gives you adjustments for the picture, kind of like those to center the view on your monitor. On the bottom are some blue buttons.
2.5 Make the TV the primary display and the monitor secondary. The default settings on the rest of the adjustments may not need to be changed.
To make the TV the primary display you have to select "monitor 2" (you do that by selecting monitor 2 with the mouse" and then "moving it" to the left of "monitor 1". By switching the position of the monitors in your display settings you effectively make the monitor on the left the primary monitor.
Videos and mpegs play on an "overlay" method and can only play on one monitor at the same time, thus, you have to decide which monitor you want the video overlay to play in...and since the idea is to watch the video on your TV, you thus have to make the TV the primary monitor.
2.6 If you have the SAVAGE graphics card you need to do the following on the display tab - go to the settings tab. There's a drop down menu with 2 monitors, select the first one. Click on the advanced button. There's a tab titled "s3 duo vue". Choose that tab, and click on the tv option. If you do not follow these steps you'll get a message from the savage image card control stating "You must activate the tv first." NOTE: To use the TV as the primary display with the dual display function, you need to enable the settings every time you start your computer. Also, the IBM ThinkPad T20, T21, T22 and T23 systems do not support dual display running Microsoft Windows 2000 unless there's a 2nd PCI card installed on the ThinkPad Dock.
3. Click OK to close window.
3.1 Click OK to apply the changes
NOTE: The S-Video to RCA Adapter must be attached to the unit or the TV option will be grayed out.
4. When the DVD player was showing the movie, the TV will display it, but the monitor window will be black unless you have dual display capability on your computer.
5. Your TV may just happen to be able to support the
1024 x 768 pixel resolution that the computer may be set to, however, if you lower the resolution to 800 x 600 the movie will probably play much smoother without any noticeable drop in picture quality.
6. Video Formats. You need to make sure that the video format selected on your computer is the same as the video format required for your television. There are some computers that are sold in the USA with PAL-B as the default video format; you need to change it to NTSC-M for TVs in North and South America. There are basically three television video formats, NTSC, PAL and SECAM. NTSC is used in Canada, Japan (NTSC-J), USA, Mexico, Central and South America. PAL is used in most European Countries, Australia and New Zealand. SECAM is primarily used in France and the old soviet republics.
Here's a tip from a Daniel W. of the UK that needed to change the setting from NTSC to PAL on a Toshiba Satellite running Win XP-home with an Intel Graphics card; if the video setting is not changed, the tele will only display black and white since the video format in the UK is PAL: "To find the correct tab to change the s-video options: Display properties; Settings menu; Advanced; Intel Graphics menu; Graphics Properties; Devices menu; Television menu; then change NTSC to PAL - Problem solved!"
Here's another tip from a customer that was getting black and white on a TP T23 running Win 2000 after installing the W2K Service Pack 3: "To try and remedy the lack of color problem, I installed an older version of the video driver, letting Microsft pick this. I then downloaded IBM's newer driver. I now get color TV out. However, it may be that deliberately switching to PAL (apply) and then switching back to NTSC (apply) fixed the problem."
The moral of the story is that if you are in a country that has PAL video you may need to select PAL as the video format, apply, then select NTSC, apply, and then switch back to PAL and apply again. Does anyone know why this switching is required? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post the answer here.
A few words about resolution. Remember that your monitor's VGA resolution and TV resolution is measured differently since they are different standards and were meant to be seen at different distances. If "pixel resolution" was used to measure TV (NTSC) video then the approximate resolution of a regular TV would be 448x480. Your TV does not need to have higher resolution since it was not meant to be seen as close as your monitor. Regular TV was meant to be seen from a viewing ratio (viewing distance to picture height) of 4-to-1. An HDTV usually has a larger screen size and thus requires higher resolution, since the viewing ratio is about 3:1. You may have to re-arrange your TV viewing distance if you get an HDTV - since it's not going to look good if you just plop it in the same spot as your analog TV; you have to adjust the viewing distance.
Higher resolution is nice, just remember that your eyes are also part of the equation and higher pixel resolution is probably not necessary or desirable since your eyes can only resolve detail at a certain distance. Just try watching your computer's VGA monitor from the same distance that you watch your TV and you'll see what I mean. "Hey, Honey, now that we got the HDTV, can we get a bigger TV room? The HDTV don't look too good from here."
What is S-Video? S-Video is a video format that was created by JVC in the 1970s and is now practically everywhere. S-Video is an analog video format that carries the brightness and synchronization signals on one channel and the color information in an other channel. S-Video, also known as SVIDEO, S.Video, S_Video, SVHS, Y/C and Super Video as well as Super VHS. S-Video is also a type component video format in that it delivers the the brightness and color information in separate "components". It is different than "composite" video in that composite has all the signals combined.
What is Component Video? Component Video is also a video format like S-Video but it has the color information separated into two channels, whereas s-video has the color information on one channel. The quality difference between S-Video and Composite video is significant to the extent that it is very noticeable when you compare two TVs, one with s-video and one with composite video. When you make the comparison between Component Video and S-Video, the difference is not that noticeable and most people will not be able to tell the difference, unless you point it out to them. There is a lot of hype about Component Video but the reality is that it is not that great. You should be very happy with an s-video signal or even if you have to convert s-video to composite video.
Please see below some of our products for connecting your PC to your TV or projector.
Computer to tv connections are popular. To watch online videos you can connect the pc to tv or laptop to tv. "Laptop to tv" connections provide you a very flexible way of connecting your computer to television since you can take the laptop anywhere and connect to any tv with the products by s-video. S-Video.com provides you with many different ways to connect the computer to tv or laptop/tv. You may be able to connect via the s-video output or VGA or DVI or HDMI output from the computer to tv.