Putting computer video on TV

I can’t seem to get this straight. To put my computer screen on a tv, do I need cables like these: http://search.cablestogo.com/?Ntt=vga+composite+cable&N=0

Do I need converter boxes like these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=vga+adapter+composite&x=0&y=0

Do I need another video card like these, with s-video out and a composite converter cable (this old tv only has composite and coax video inputs): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000380048%201069609641&bop=And&SrchInDesc=low%20profile&Page=1

Thanks in advance.

Assuming your current video card has VGA output, the converter box and RCA cables will do what you need.
Note that TV has truly abysmal resolution. Don’t try anything fancy.

I should have said this earlier, but isn’t it cheaper to get one of the video cards with s-video out and get a converter cable? Isn’t that the point of s-video, to make a tv-type video signal?

Well if your card has S out and your TV only has composite in, you’re stuck. There’s no cable that will convert between the two. If your card also has Composite out, then all you need is an RCA cable.

Most HDTV’s today have HDMI ports. If your videocard output is a DVI port (the connector will be white instead of blue), you can get a physical converter that turns DVI into HDMI. They carry the same data, just a different physical format. The videocards of this type are common nowadays, you can barely buy a videocard that doesn’t have DVI out. The question is, what kind of TV do you have? We need this information to make a recommendation.

Read the OP carefully.

That’s easy to get around. Most places like Radio Shack should have an S-Video to RCA adapter for just a few bucks. He can just take the audio from the headphone jack using something like this.

Then whyfore I was told I could NOT convert from s-video to RCA? This was just flatly incorrect, it seems, and I can buy the cheapest low-profile s-video card that has reviews that say it doesn’t burn up?

OTOH, my computer guy, who probably has not tried to do this before, tried to give me a cable with VGA on one end and composite video on the other. Do these work?

There isn’t?

I stand corrected, but my suspicion is that the quality won’t be very good.


This cable notes that the video card must have a tv-out capability, but why would a card have tv-out and not provide a more standard plug than VGA? Doesn’t that mean that my work comp’s card almost certainly does not have the tv-out capability? Does that mean that it’s possible there’s some setting to make it start sending a tv signal rather than a monitor signal?

My notebook has an S-video output and I spent some time screwing around with it trying to output to a composite video input TV. This would be the equivalent of using a card with an S-video output, I guess. A standard definition TV has an equivalent resolution of something like 720x480i. I used an S-video to composite video cable. Note that there are at least two types of S-video connectors; my notebook has a 7 pin connector. In the display control panel you can go to the settings tab and click on the advanced button which allows you to choose a second monitor. Oddly enough, the S-video cable HAS TO BE connected to the composite video before the control panel will allow you to chose a TV as the second display (it must detect the connection to the composite video input, I suppose). The TV somehow defaulted to 640x480 resolution on the control panel.

This gives you a decidedly mediocre and fuzzy display on the TV, but it was adequate for a picture only PowerPoint slideshow. By the way, this is all done using Windows XP, so YMMV.

How well is this likely to work for watching Hulu or Netflix video on my TV instead of my (tiny) computer screen? Will it be fuzzy on the TV, or will it look normal?


Can it be done wirelessly, and if so, how?

I have a 27" CRT hooked up to my computer running a Radeon 9500 (absolutely nothing special), connected with S-Video. This is my “main” television - it sits in the living room and I watch stuff off the computer in lieu of cable.

The resolution I have to use is really low, like 640x480 or maybe even lower. The refresh rate is very low too. So, it’s not the best machine for reading text (Netflix movie capsules are kind of hard to read) but every format of video I’ve ever watched on there - avi, YouTube*, Netflix Watch Instantly, etc - is crystal clear and fills the screen just fine.

I also have an ATI All-In-Wonder remote, which works great. The one I have is fairly old, but they have new AIW options that come bundled with fancy video cards.

*as clear as Youtube can be, which is not all that clear most times.

It’ll work fine. It’s only at TV resolution, but Hulu and Netflix aren’t real high resolution to begin with.