hooking laptop to tv

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boodles07
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hooking laptop to tv

Hey MAtt and everyone,

I just bought a new Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop with an ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 video card. There are no S-video outputs on it, only VGA and I want to hook it up to my Sony Trinitron WEGA 32 inch TV. We may get an HDTV flatscreen someday but it is not in the budget right now. What would be the best configuration now and would it transfer to the flatscreen? Obviously I want to balance economy with function. Function first, then economy. Can I hook directly VGA to S-video on TV or do I need a box to change the signal? Please help.

Thanks allot.

Matt Whitlock
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Hi boodles07,

Hi boodles07,

Welcome to the TechLore Community. I hope you stick around and get involved in one of the many gadget related discussions happening all over the community.  

If your laptop only sports a VGA output, you'll need a converter box to connect the VGA output to S-video. I talk about a model that does this here.  There are several other options available, a few quick searches on Amazon, Mwave, Tiger Direct, or NewEgg should present plenty of options.

When you go shopping for that new TV, make sure you look for a model with a PC compatible VGA input. It will make connecting your laptop much easier, and will also make it look much better.

boodles07
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Thanks Matt,

Thanks Matt,

So would you dare say that the quality of picture that I am going to get is not worth paying for an adapter like the Kworld adapter? If it is going to look like garbage then I will just wait it out for a new TV. The problem is that we have not had the TV very long, my wife was reluctant to spend so much money on an HDTV with so few HD channels available. We were out yesterday and I made mention of a new TV, it was a mistake!!!!!

Thanks again.

Matt Whitlock
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Well, I wouldn't say it would

Well, I wouldn't say it would look like garbage... but it really depends what you're planning to do with the PC connected to the TV. On S-video, you'd need to reduce the output resolution of the PC pretty low, making it somewhat difficult to use. At 800x600, it's a compromise between functionality and image quality. Text gets harder to read, but images and video will still look okay.

What were you planning on using it for? 

boodles07
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Oh, surfing the net, watching

Oh, surfing the net, watching sports games that are only available on the net, playing music on mediamonkey, basically using it as a bigger monitor so my wife and I can both view things instead of hovering around the laptop.

Matt Whitlock
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Websurfing would be tedious

Websurfing would be tedious at such a low res, but video would look okay and music would sound fine.

If a new TV is in the cards soon, I'd hold off until then. If you think it may be a while, and you really want to set it up this way, you can think about picking up an adapter and running with it.

boodles07
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Thanks for all of your help

Thanks for all of your help Matt, I appreciate it. I will spread the word about your site.

Sam

Jordan800
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Hello. I'm new to the site,

Hello. I'm new to the site, but I do have a few questions about hooking my laptop up to a tv. It is a Toshiba M65-S9092 and it has an s-video connection, and a 1440x900 resoution, with an ATI Radeon X600 video card.

I recently bought an LG HDTV 30", a digital tube tv with a 1920x1080 res. It also has several s-video connections.  I haven't bought a cable yet, but when I hook up my laptop to the tv via s-video, how will the picture look and what resolution will it be capable of? And also, how would I make it so that when the laptop was hooked up to the tv, the picture on the tv is on and the laptop screen is off?

As for sound, my computer only has a 3.5mm headphone audio jack. So would the best option be to hook a 3.5mm headphone jack cable to a red and white Y composite cable for sound on my tv?

 Thanks for the help...

Matt Whitlock
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Jordan800 said: Hello. I'm

Jordan800 said: Hello. I'm new to the site, but I do have a few questions about hooking my laptop up to a tv. It is a Toshiba M65-S9092 and it has an s-video connection, and a 1440x900 resoution, with an ATI Radeon X600 video card. I recently bought an LG HDTV 30", a digital tube tv with a 1920x1080 res. It also has several s-video connections. I haven't bought a cable yet, but when I hook up my laptop to the tv via s-video, how will the picture look and what resolution will it be capable of? And also, how would I make it so that when the laptop was hooked up to the tv, the picture on the tv is on and the laptop screen is off? As for sound, my computer only has a 3.5mm headphone audio jack. So would the best option be to hook a 3.5mm headphone jack cable to a red and white Y composite cable for sound on my tv? Thanks for the help...

 

 

S-video connections are fairly poor for video quality, but if its the best you have, then that's what you'll have to go with. You'd need to crank the res down to 720x480 or 800x600 max in order to read text, but photos and video will look okay.

Does your LG have a VGA or DVI input? Does your laptop have a VGA or DVI out? If so, that's the connection you'll want to shoot for.

You can setup multiple monitors in a variety of ways, but the most common is mirrored (meaning whatever is on the laptop screen is on the TV... with a few exceptions), or multiview (meaning the screens combined will equal one big monitor). You should be able to turn off the laptop display and just use the TV, but focus on just getting a picture on the TV first.

As far as sound goes, you will need a 1/8" to stereo RCA connector cable. You'll be able to find one at any electronics store. 

Jordan800
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Thanks. I appreciate the help

Thanks. I appreciate the help. My computer does have a VGA output, but my TV does not, and only has an HDMI/DVI. Would I have to use a VGA to DVI adapter?

 

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