Connecting multiple television sets to one computer might come in handy when you are doing a presentation and you have a big audience in different places in the same building. This is also a nice touch when you are in a conference room, and you want everyone to be able to view your presentation from different angles. The easiest way you can do this is by using a video amplifier or splitter, which uses RCA or audio/video cables.
RCA has the advantage of being compatible with virtually all television sets. However, note that not all computers can output to RCA. For this purpose, you will be needing a VGA to RCA converter.
- First, you will need to connect your computer’s VGA output to a video distribution amplifier. You can usually buy one from any reputable electronics store, like Radio Shack. Simply plug it into the VGA port. The amplifier then splits the signal into red, green and blue, which you should then connect to the amplifier input.
- For best results, link your computer’s audio output to the amplifier as well. This is useful if your presentation has audio. For this purpose, you will need a converter cable with a 3.5 mm jack Otherwise, just linking the video will be fine.
- Check the ports on the television you need to output the display to. Most new TV sets have a component input, which comprises Red, Green and Blue. Otherwise, it will just be a composite Audio/Video input, with Yellow as the video, and Red and White as audio.
- Connect each TV set to an output port on the amplifier. Use the appropriate cables—either Yellow for composite video, or RGB for component video.
- Power up the computer. Likewise, turn on each TV. Confirm that the TV sets are set to Video. Note that you might need to check if the input ports you used are Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, and so forth.
- If you are using a laptop computer, you might need to set your output to “VGA only.” Look for the appropriate Fn key to scroll through the features. If you’re using Windows 7, you can press Win-P to scroll through “Computer only,” “Duplicate,” and “Extend,” or “Projector only.” from within Windows. You can choose either the Duplicate or Projector only options.
- Check if each television set is now displaying your computer’s output. If you have connected audio, then check if your audio is outputting to the proper TV set or sound system, as well.
If your TV sets have S-video inputs, then it will make connecting easier for you. Most modern graphics cards—including those in notebook computers—come with S-video output built-in. You will just need to buy an amplifier that inputs and outputs S-video. Or, you can simply purchase an S-video splitter that goes three ways.
Do note that splitting your signal three ways will result in a reduction in quality. Signal degrades the farther it goes, and the more it is split. If your televisions are located a long way from the source computer, you should get a strong amplifier, or you should amplify the signal midway from the computer to the TV sets, for best display results.