There are now many ways to enjoy your favorite movies and television shows over a broadband internet connectionÂ on your computer for a small amount of money, or even for free. Unfortunately, watching such media in the confines of your home office does not make for the most enjoyable experience. If you would like to escape the office, however, and enjoy your entertainment on the big screen in the living room.
1. Turn your computer off, and turn it around to view the rear of the unit. Find the cable that comes from the computer’s monitor, and follow it to the back of the PC. The cable will be plugged into the output of the video card, which will be either a 15-pin VGA port or a 29-pin DVI port. If you are fortunate, there will be a second port directly next to it, of either the DVI or VGA variety. On the newest machines, you may even find a regular HDMI port on the card.
2. Choose the connection for video output. If your computer has an HDMI port, you can simply connect an HDMI cord of the correct length between the computer and the TV. Otherwise, you will need to make a few decisions. If your computer has only a single video output, and it will not be used solely with the television, you may want to invest in a new video card. Purchase one with either a DVI or an HDMI output, and install it in an available slot, according the instructions included with it. If you intend to use the VGA output on a single-output or dual-output card to drive the HDMI display, then a special device will be needed to convert between the formats, and the price of the converter is actually about the same price as an entry-level video card that will be easier to use with your TV. In that case, it may be a wise idea to upgrade the card in order to obtain a DVI or HDMI port. However, if your chosen output port is of the DVI variety, an inexpensive DVI to HDMI cable can be purchased to convert your computer’s output into the proper HDMI input for your TV.
3. Connect the HDMI cable from your television to your computer. Install the correct adapter or converter for your computer, if necessary. Unless your computer has HDMI output, cords will also need to be connected from the sound card output to the HDMI video cable or adapter, because HDMI carries both video and audio signals.
4. Boot your PC, and configure the new display, by selecting “Control Panel” from the “Start” Menu. Then double-click the “Display” icon and click the “Settings” tab. The manual for your HDMI TV will list the screen resolutions it supports, along with the refresh rates. Configure the resolution in the “Settings” tab, and then click the “Advanced” button to set the refresh rate. If you are using the HDMI TV as the second monitor, you will also have to configure how it is used by Windows, according to the instructions pertaining to your video card. Most cards offer a “Clone” or “Mirror” mode, where both screens display the same content. Alternately, the “Extended Desktop” mode can be used, in which each monitor will operate independently.
5. Reboot your PC to apply the changes, if necessary, and prepare to relax on your couch and watch your movies on the big-screen HDMI TV.