How to connect your TV to the internet

Written by nathan mcginty
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Watching video on your TV from the Internet, whether it's YouTube videos of fighting cats or your vacation movies, is easier than ever before. Most of the newest models of flatscreen TVs come with a number of options to connect an external video source. Even older models will at least have an extra RCA video connection that will allow you to hook up your Internet-enabled computer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Computer with video out
  • TV with video out
  • Connection cable

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  1. 1

    How you proceed depends on what sort of Internet connection you have. Do you have a wireless connection that uses a router or is your computer hard-wired into the broadband modem?

  2. 2

    Check your TV's available input ports to determine the type of connection wire you need. Depending on the model of your TV and its age, possible inputs are: RCA Video, S-video, VGA, Composite Video, USB and HDMI. Most newer flat-screen models will have all of the above options built in.

  3. 3

    Check your computer's output connections. As with your TV connections, you usually have a number of options. The vast majority of computers will have some kind of VGA output for a monitor and this is probably the easiest connection to use. (Macs can use a converter to change their output to VGA.) USB connections are popular as well. One of the newest connections is an HDMI. This is possible if you have one of the newer graphic cards that supports HDMI connections.

  4. 4

    Purchase the appropriate cable to connect the computer to the TV.

  5. 5

    Select the TV input. You need to tell the TV which input your computer is connected to. This is usually done through an "INPUT" command on the TV remote control. This will allow you to cycle through the possible TV connections.

  6. 6

    Your TV should now connected to the Internet.

Tips and warnings

  • The VGA and RCA Video connections are video only. You will not get audio through your TV with these connections. For audio, you will need to run a connection from the speaker out on your computer to the audio input on your TV.
  • If using this connection on a computer with multiple monitor capability, such as a laptop, you will need to tell your computer which screen will be your primary and secondary monitors. Or you can turn the laptop monitor off entirely. This is done through the display settings in your computer.

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