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How to Connect a Laptop to a TV

♦ The task is not too difficult.

Connecting a laptop to a recent-model television is fairly straightforward. Most digital televisions have a PC outlet that accepts a PC monitor cable. The monitor cable is the 15-pin connector that plugs into your computer monitor and leads to the back of your PC. When you hook your laptop to your television, you are essentially making your television set your computer monitor.

♦ Getting your television ready.

Other televisions are configured for PC input through a coaxial cable, the yellow, red and white input known as the RCA composite, or the S-video connector. Check your television operator’s manual to see if you need to buy a special adaptor. For most, however, the television is ready to go.

♦ You’ll need your operator’s manual.

Before the television will actually pick up the signal from your laptop, again, you’ll need to check your operator’s manual. Look for instructions on setting the television to the PC mode. Attach the computer monitor cable to the laptop monitor outlet. There will only be one outlet on your laptop, so plug the other end of the cable into the television.

♦ Hooking into a Mac laptop

If you are using a Mac laptop, you’ll notice that there is no monitor outlet that accepts one end of the monitor cable. You’ll need buy a monitor cable adaptor (The Apple Mini DVI to VGA Adapter, Model A1307, priced at about $19, fits into the side of the PowerMac laptop and has a female 15-pin receptacle.) Go to the Apple Store on line or visit your local Mac Store to buy one.

♦ The resolution is not the same.

Next, you’ll need to make sure your television is set to the PC mode. Plug the other end of the monitor cable into the television PC receptacle and boot up the computer. Once you do that you might be a bit disappointed, though. Television monitors are not configured to display the high-resolution of the computer monitor. Skipping the technical explanation that involves lines and pixels, the bottom line is that the best resolution you’ll achieve on most televisions is 640×480. (A Mac monitor displays 1920×1200.) Before you can get the television monitor to display everything, you’ll need to reset your computer monitor resolution. (Right click on the Windows 7 desktop and click on “Screen Resolution. Mac users go to System Preferences/Hardware/Displays.) But the lower resolution is not all bad. When you plug in your laptop to the giant monitor, you suddenly have a much larger platform for your computer game.

♦ Read more about hooking up your laptop to a television monitor at:

HowToDothings.com – How to use your TV as a Computer monitor.

Support.apple.com: Using your PowerBook as a DVD player on an external monitor or TV

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