How to Connect a Computer to a CRT TV

Updated February 21, 2017

A CRT (cathode ray tube) television typically uses an S-video or RCA-type composite socket to receive video signals. Computers are usually equipped with a 15-hole video port to output video signals to an external monitor. Adaptors available at computer and electronics stores make it possible to connect a computer video cable with an S-video or RCA composite video cable. The opposite ends of the cables can then be hooked up to their respective components for viewing computer video on TV.

Connect the S-video cable from the matching input jack on the back of the TV to the jack on the adaptor. Turn the plug on each end of the notch on the edge so it lines up with the slot on the jack.

Plug in the VGA cable to the matching jack on the adaptor and the VGA jack on the computer, typically on the back of the tower (central processing unit).

Tighten the VGA plugs to the connections by turning the small screws on the plugs clockwise.


Turn off the computer and the TV while connecting the cables to prevent a power surge from damaging the CRT screen.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video cable
  • VGA to S-video adaptor
  • VGA cable
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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.