How To Hook Up Your TV as a Second Monitor

In the past, the only things that you can hook up to your television set are the gaming console and DVD players. Today, however, TV sets are more advanced, and can actually be used as a second monitor for your computer. If you have a high definition TV set that you want to transform into a monitor, here’s how.

  • Video cables. First of all, you will need to connect the set itself with the computer. Most TV sets have S-video cables. The problem with S-video cables is that these are not standard ports in most computers and laptops. However, you can still work around this problem by using an adapter that you can use to transform the S-video cable into a VGA cable, which will connect easily with the VGA port that most computers and laptops have.  The VGA converter can usually be purchased in most electronics shops.
  • Audio cable. Next, you will need to connect the audio cable. The audio cable is usually much easier to connect, since a lot of TV sets have audio cables that fit into the audio port in the computer. In case your computer does not have an audio port, however, you can also find adapters that will allow you to connect the device to your television set.
  • Turn on the devices. Once you have connected the computer and the television set, you can turn on both of the devices by connecting them to a power source and pressing the power button. Make sure that you do not do this beforehand, since connecting electrical devices while these are connected to the power source can cause electric shock. Electric shock can damage the sensitive components of both the TV set and the computer.
  • Setting the Graphics options. With the computer turn on, go the Graphics options. Usually, the Graphics options can be accessed through the Control Panel, found in the Start Menu. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, you can also access the Graphics options by right clicking on the desktop. In the Graphics options, you have the option of selecting your secondary monitor. A diagram will usually show you which the primary and secondary monitors is. In this case, the actual computer or laptop monitor will be the primary monitor, while the TV set will be the secondary monitor.
  • Setting the resolution. Generally, the computer will apply the same resolution that it applies on the primary monitor. This can cause skewing on the TV monitor. This problem may be resolved by adjusting the resolution. Make sure that the images do not simply fit, but that the icons are large enough for you to be able to see them. Remember, you do not have to worry about size because a TV screen is usually quite big and will give you all the room that you need.

With these steps, you should be able to see your computer desktop displayed right in your TV set. You can also play movies, music files, and oven open games saved in your computer while using the TV as the secondary monitor.


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