How to Use an LCD TV As a Monitor for a Computer

Written by joey perez
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An LCD TV can also double as a computer monitor. Connecting your computer to your LCD television provides plenty of desktop real estate and an excellent way to watch online and local video content from your PC. Depending on your computer and television you may need to connect via VGA cable, DVI cable, DVI-to-HDMI cable or HDMI cable. Also, there are slightly varying steps, depending on whether you are running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 on your computer. A simple set-up will have your HDTV computer monitor up and running in no time.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • VGA cable
  • or DVI cable
  • or DVI to HDMI cable
  • or HDMI cable

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Instructions

    VGA Setup

  1. 1

    Connect a VGA cable to the VGA output on either the motherboard or GPU (graphics card) located on the rear of the computer.

  2. 2

    Tighten the thumb screws on the cable to ensure a secure fit.

  3. 3

    Hook up the other end of the VGA cable to the VGA input, typically named "PC in," on the back of your television.

  4. 4

    Turn on both your television and computer.

  5. 5

    Select "PC input" on the TV using the input selection button on the TV or remote control.

    DVI Setup

  1. 1

    Locate the DVI output on the motherboard or GPU located on the rear of the computer and plug the DVI cable into it.

  2. 2

    Tighten the thumb screws on the DVI cable.

  3. 3

    Connect the other end of the DVI cable to the DVI input on the back of the TV.

  4. 4

    Turn on your television and computer.

  5. 5

    Select the "DVI input" using the input selection button on your television or remote control.

    HDMI Setup

  1. 1

    Insert an HDMI cable into the HDMI input on your motherboard or GPU located on the back of the computer.

  2. 2

    Find an available input labelled HDMI on the back of the television and insert the cable.

  3. 3

    Turn on both your television and computer.

  4. 4

    Select the appropriate input on your television (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3 etc.) using the input selection button on your television or remote control.

    DVI to HDMI

  1. 1

    Connect the DVI end of the cable into the DVI output on your motherboard or GPU located on the back of the computer.

  2. 2

    Locate a free HDMI input on the back of the television and insert the HDMI end of the cable.

  3. 3

    Turn on both your television and computer.

  4. 4

    Select the appropriate input on your television (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3 etc.) by using the input selection button on your television or remote control.

    Setting the Resolution in Windows XP

  1. 1

    Right-click on your computer's Desktop and select "Properties" for Windows XP.

  2. 2

    Click the "Settings" tab in the "Display Properties" window.

  3. 3

    Move the slider to the native screen resolution of your LCD TV. For 720p sets choose 1280 x 720. Choose 1920 x 1080 for 1080p televisions.

  4. 4

    Click "OK."

    Setting the Resolution in Vista

  1. 1

    Right-click on your computer's Desktop and select "Personalize" from the menu.

  2. 2

    Select "Display Settings" at the bottom of the "Personalization, Appearance and Sounds" window.

  3. 3

    Move the slider to the appropriate resolution.

  4. 4

    Click "OK."

    Setting the Resolution in Windows 7

  1. 1

    Right-click on your computer's Desktop and select "Personalize" from the menu.

  2. 2

    Select "Display" at the bottom of the right hand column in the "Personalization" window.

  3. 3

    Choose "Adjust Resolution" from the right hand column of the "Display" window.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Resolution" drop-down menu and select the desired resolution.

  5. 5

    Click "OK."

Tips and warnings

  • For those with notebook computers or those who want to connect their television as their second monitor, you must set up a dual monitor configuration.

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