How to Connect a Laptop to RGB

Updated February 21, 2017

Connecting a laptop to RGB connections, which represent Red, Green and Blue component video signals, requires a special cable to adapt the computer jack with the plug-type jacks used for RGB. Some laptops use a Digital Video Interface (DVI) jack to transmit video signals, such as to a projector for multimedia presentations. This same jack can be used with a DVI to RGB adaptor cable for transmitting video from the laptop to a device with RGB inputs, such as a television monitor.

Insert the DVI end of the connecting cable into the DVI port on the laptop. The plug only inserts in one direction, so don't force the plug into the jack.

Hand tighten the two retainer screws on the DVI plug housing by turning each screw clockwise. The screws and plug assembly resemble the plug for securing a computer printer or external monitor to the laptop and attach essentially the same way.

Insert the RGB video plugs into the colour-coded Red, Green and Blue Video input jacks on a device such as a television.

Double-click the "Display" icon in the computer's Control Panel to change the setting to external monitor, which will instruct the computer to send video signals to the attached RGB device.


Disconnect the equipment from the power when making connections. You can also display the image on the laptop and external monitor simultaneously. Most laptops have keyboard shortcuts to toggle the display among monitors.


There are several types of DVI cables. Check the DVI jack on the back of the laptop and count the number of steel pins and rows inside to match up the jack with the correct DVI to RGB cable.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with a DVI port
  • DVI to RGB video cable
  • Video device with RGB inputs
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.