How to Use an LCD Computer Monitor for a Television

Written by alan bradford
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How to Use an LCD Computer Monitor for a Television
Watch TV on your computer monitor. (Computer LCD monitor isolated on white background image by Dmitry Rukhlenko from

An LCD computer monitor can be a low-cost, convenient alternative for watching digital television, instead of buying a television with a built-in tuner. New and used computer monitors usually can be found for a much lower price than televisions and provide comparable picture quality. You can connect your computer monitor to a digital set-top box provided by your cable or satellite provider. Though you sacrifice some functionality, the cost-savings can make this a worthwhile solution.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Satellite or cable set-top box with DVI or HDMI output
  • HDCP-compliant LCD monitor with a digital input port and 720p or 1080p resolution
  • HDMI-to-DVI cable, DVI cable or HDMI cable, as necessary

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  1. 1

    Determine the types of digital video ports that you have on your set-top box and LCD monitor. This defines what kind of cable you need to connect them.

  2. 2

    Disconnect power from the set-top box and LCD monitor.

  3. 3

    Connect the digital video cable to the set-top box. If the set-top box supports HDMI, use the HDMI output port and HDMI cable so that you receive the highest definition signal possible.

  4. 4

    Connect the other end of the digital video cable to the LCD monitor. If the monitor has an HDMI input port, you can use a straight HDMI-to-HDMI cable. If your monitor has only a DVI input port, use an HDMI-to-DVI cable.

  5. 5

    Connect power to the set-top box and LCD monitor.

  6. 6

    Connect the video input into the set-top box, either from your cable provider or satellite provider.

  7. 7

    Tune the set-top box to a television channel of your choice. If no picture appears, you must adjust the resolution settings of your set-top box.

  8. 8

    Enter the set-up mode of your set-top box and adjust the maximum resolution settings to the resolution of your LCD monitor.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't forget that LCD monitors do not have speakers. You will need to connect RCA cables from the set-top box to an external sound system, either directly to speakers or through an audio receiver.

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