Increasingly, people are watching videos on computers instead of televisions. If you love the plethora of online videos available to stream and download but wish you could enjoy them from the comfort of your couch, hooking up a PC to your TV is perfect for you. It gives you the best of both worlds---the comfort of your living room combined with the choice of online video. Get a remote control and a decent media browsing program and you've got the ultimate media center.
The Right TV
The easiest way to get your computer hooked up to a TV is to buy one that works with computers right out of the box. Look for a TV with a VGA port, pictured here, and you'll know your TV can receive signals from a computer with very little effort. Just plug your computer into the TV as though it were a monitor and you're good to go. Fire up your web browser or just play your videos.
The Right Video Card
If your TV doesn't have a VGA port, and buying a TV with one is out of the question, the next best thing is to get a video card for your computer that outputs a conventional TV signal. While the image quality in this case won't be as good as the VGA-input setup, it does allow you to make use of conventional televisions. You're going to need a video card with an S-Video port (pictured here) capable of outputting to TV screens, as well as a television with an S-video input. Using the S-video port with a TV is similar to the VGA setup---it's plug and play for the most part. If this doesn't work for you, there's a good chance your video card isn't capable of outputting to a television screen. Check your video card's documentation for more information.
Some video cards have RCA ports: the red, white and yellow plugs commonly seen on DVD players and televisions. If you have ports like this on your computer you can probably plug your computer into your television much the same way you would plug in a DVD player.
VGA Converter Boxes
A VGA converter takes the signal from the VGA port and outputs it to your television, typically using RCA jacks. These devices can be costly, but are in most cases cheaper than a new video card or a new television. If you want an old computer to hook up to an old television without much hassle, this is your go-to option. Such devices are available at electronics stores such as Radio Shack and from a number of online vendors.
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