How to Convert a Flat Panel Computer Monitor to a TV

Written by darla ferrara
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How to Convert a Flat Panel Computer Monitor to a TV
Convert your flat-screen monitor to a TV. (monitor image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

When replacing a broken television or adding an additional unit to your home, you can avoid the cost of purchasing a new device by utilising a flat-screen computer monitor instead. The difference between a LCD computer screen and a TV is primarily the tuner. By purchasing an external tuner, you will save money as well as help reduce electronic waste. It is both a cost reducing and an environmentally friendly solution to the problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Digital TV tuner
  • Speakers
  • Cables
  • Surge protector

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  1. 1

    Purchase a TV tuner designed for computer monitors. Ensure that the tuner is a digital tuner and not analogue. The package should state digital TV tuner.

  2. 2

    Set the monitor up in an area with enough room for the tuner, external speakers and your cable or satellite box.

  3. 3

    Attach the cable, satellite or antenna to the TV tuner. The broadcast device connects to the tuner and the tuner connects to the monitor.

  4. 4

    Connect the tuner to the monitor via the appropriate connection. Examples include S-video, coaxial or RCA. The instructions provided with the tuner will clearly state which connection is best for that tuner. Most flat-screen units will have an S-video connection. This will be the most likely choice. Use the cable provided with the tuner.

  5. 5

    Connect external speakers to the monitor using the audio ports or an RCA cable. The connection will depend on the speakers. Most audio inputs are colour-coded. For example, insert the red plug into the port with red labelling.

  6. 6

    Plug everything into electrical sockets or a surge protector. This includes the monitor, tuner and broadcast device. Turn on all the devices.

  7. 7

    Set the tuner to the appropriate channel. In most cases, this will be channel 3 or 4 depending on your cable or satellite provider. If you are unsure, try one of these two channels.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have difficulties, check all the components to make sure they are on and receiving power. Check all the connections to make sure they are well seated into the ports.

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