PC to TV Connectivity

Overview and Best Practices

The vast amount of entertainment available through the Internet, such as streaming video and downloadable media has inspired many to connect their computer to a television. For a better viewing experience, users in a commercial setting may desire connecting a computer to a television to present slide show and video content in rooms that may be too small for a projection system. Home users may wish to connect their computer to a television to enjoy entertainment on a larger screen size.

Users should understand that connecting a computer to a television is not always as simple as matching corresponding connections with adapters or cables. Displays not specifically designed for computer video applications do not always work well with all types of computer content. Choosing the proper connection type and equipment can have a considerable impact on the overall quality achieved. To determine the best solution for PC connectivity, it is important to identify the type of content that will be displayed.

Standard Definition Recommended Applications

Standard definition televisions (SDTV) possess a limited resolution and utilize a technique known as interlacing to limit signal bandwidth by alternating lines of video information displayed on a screen. This technique has been utilized by SDTV to allow video signals to carry over low bandwidth cable types. A drawback to interlacing is a wobbling effect that is noticeable with still images such as text. As a result, some computer content will not have desirable results. Content such as web sites, text files, and desktop icons can be difficult to view and are not recommended on an SDTV. Content with animation such as video games, DVD video and streaming video work well on SDTV sets and can be connected very easily. Computers that possess a composite video or S-video output can connect directly to the corresponding connection on the television using a cable.

In some instances a computer may not have a corresponding connection to the television, and an alternate method of connectivity will need to be considered. If the computer's only video connection is VGA, then a scan converter device, also called a PC to TV adapter, will need to be installed. A scan converter will convert the computer's VGA video signal into a format that can be interpreted by a television. Video output from the scan converter can be either composite video or S-Video. Most scan converter models have additional features such as zoom control, horizontal and vertical image adjustment and flicker reduction to provide optimal results.

Connect PC to TV

High Definition Recommended Applications

The high resolution abilities and progressive scan techniques used by high definition televisions (HDTV) are ideal for all computer content and offer excellent results. Common applications that benefit from HDTV connections are spreadsheets, word documents, web browsing and high definition video. To achieve the benefits associated with connecting to an HDTV, a computer must have the ideal connection types. As previously mentioned, composite video and S-video are not capable of handling the bandwidth and color information necessary for beneficial results on an HDTV. Digital connection types such as DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort are recommended when connecting to an HDTV. In some instances, an HDTV may not possess a corresponding connection type found on the computer and an adapter or converter device may need to be installed. Desktop users may consider the installation of a graphics adapter that possesses the corresponding connection type such as HDMI or DVI. The chart below serves as a guide to achieve the proper connection type for the appropriate content type.

To see which solutions are compatible to connect your PC to a TV, please visit our Computer Video Compatibility Chart.

This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.