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Anyone with a large screen TV and PC who doesn't have the two connected is missing a bet!

For the most part, you'll be hooking up your computer, laptop, or tablet, even with an HDMI or DP (display port) connection ... and that is pretty straight forward. You connect the HDMI or DP cable to your device and the other end of the cable goes into your TV. You can even mirror Bluetooth computing devices to your TV or gaming monitor.

That said, there are still a lot of computers out there that will need the "old fashioned" approach to "hooking up" the large screen  TV ... so here is my original take on this ... something I have been doing for more than three decades (and it still works just fine and dandy). I first connected a computer to a TV in 1984 and even then I was amazed you could do that ... in fact, I still am. I mean, basically, your TV is now just another monitor into which you "hook up" different connections ... cable TV, the old-fashioned (now digital) outside TV antennas, Roku (if you don't have one, GET ONE), computers, gaming devices ... and the list goes on and on!

For me, I wanted to watch NetFlix online movies on my large screen TV instead of on my "dinky" 19 inch computer monitor. Also, I have a subscription to MLB.TV which allows me to watch baseball games online. Then, once I had my PC connected to my large screen TV, I really enjoyed fooling around with Microsoft Flight Simulator. I've never gotten much good at flying the plane, but I still have a lot of fun (even the crashes are entertaining, especially because through instant replay you can watch (and learn from) what happened! The experience of flying is amazing on such a large screen, right in my livingroom. And, that really is the whole point, because now your TV becomes an extension of your PC. You have the entire Internet at your disposal there in your livingroom (or wherever your TV is located).

For around $30, you can get all you need to accomplish this fairly "simple" task of linking your TV to your PC. It is simple once you know how to do it! But, be forewarned, success is all a matter of getting the correct cables and the right drivers for your video card. All you need is an S-Video cable and an RCA jack, audio cable. The trick isn't so much in connecting the PC to the TV. It is knowing what you need to to get in the way of what type of S-Video cable and the drivers for your video card in your computer.

It also helps to have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, because then you don't really have to worry where your computer is in relation to the TV. The bluetooth option gives you 25 feet (at least) to roam with the keyboard and mouse. That translates into being able to sit on the couch and control what you are seeing (and doing) on your large screen TV, once the computer is connected. A bluetooth keyboard and mouse will run you anywhere from $60 on up to $200+, depending on which way you go. I went with Microsoft's new 7000 series bluetooth keyboard and mouse ... and I love it!

Most large screen TVs still come with S-Video plugs. In fact, my TV is ten years old and even it has two connections for S-Video. So that is the first thing you want to check. Next, you want to check to be sure you have an S-Video connection on your graphics card (or on your computer). If you don't have such a connection, then you are going to need a new video card.

And, before we go any further here, you need to know about the main factor when it comes to S-Video. There are seven pin and four pin connections for S-Video. That is what you want to look for on both your TV and your computer. Fortunately for me, both my TV and my PC have four pin connectors. There are S-Video cables that have a four pin connection on one end and a seven pin connection on the other. So once you know what kind of S-Video cable you need, the next step is to check out the "TV connection" options for your video card.

I have an NVidia graphics card that comes with a four pin S-Video connection. I went to NVidea's web site to find out more and learned that I needed an updated driver (my video card was two years old). The new driver is what allowed for everything to work once I connected the TV to the PC.

So here are the steps to follow for connecting your PC to your TV:

Step One: Check the S-Video connection(s) on your TV ... be sure to check to see if it is four or seven pins.

Step Two: Check the S-Video connection on your PC ... this is the same drill with seeing if it is a four or seven pin connection.

Step Three: Learn about your PC's video card and drivers. If your PC is fairly new, you probably don't need a new driver, but check the company's web site anyway. They might have a step-by-step guide for setting up your TV with your PC. Such guides are usually helpful (NVidia's was NOT helpful at all. I was completely on my own to figure it all out and to make it work).

Step Four: Connect your TV to your PC with S-Video cable ... AND, don't forget that S-Video doesn't do anything for audio. That's why you will need the audio cable that has RCA jacks. The connection for that is right under the S-Video connection on your TV. For your PC, just plug the RCA jack into the green audio plug on the back (the same one where you speakers were connected).

Step Five: Download and install the new video driver as well as read the help files (under your video card's properties tab ... you can get to this by right clicking your desktop and clicking on Properties. For computer's running Windows Vista, click on "Personalize." Next click on Display Settings. In most cases, you will then need to click on "Advanced Settings." This will all depend on your video card. The look for the tabs that have to do with the monitor and settings. In my case, I had to "stumble around" until I found the option to click on a button for "TV" ... at that point, it is just a matter of selecting which options you want. NOTE: since you are basically going to be working with dual monitors - your TV is one "monitor" and your other monitor is the one attached to your PC's graphics card. Now it is important here to be sure that you make sure the TV is the #1 monitor. The reason for that is because with streaming video, the video/games/movies/film clips will only play on the #1 monitor - in most cases. The #2 monitor will just have a black area where the video is playing on the #1. It is important to note, that once you get to this point, you are going to have to "fool around" a bit until you get things working.

Step Six: This is the "making it all work" phase. Once you have the correct driver installed and the S-Video, along with the audio RCA jacks, connected, you are pretty much on your own. Hopefully, everything will be working and you'll have your computer desktop on your TV screen. In my case, I "crashed and burned" at this stage, because I learned something about my Computer, TV, and S-Video, and that was that you need to have the S-Video channel "active' when the computer video card is seeking it out. In other words, I needed to have switched my TV to S-Video channel #2 (where I had connected everything) BEFORE my computer and video card could recognize it to set things up. In other words, when I wasn't "tuned in" to S-Video channel #2, my computer couldn't see it, so the video card software couldn't set things up for connecting the TV to the PC. Once I got that figured out, it only took a few minutes for my computer (and video driver) to recognize my TV and set up the connection. From that point on, whenever I switch my TV to S-Video channel #2, I'm all set (as long as I have my PC on ... I "tripped over that" a few times, thinking things weren't working - until I realized, I hadn't turned on my PC! It was one of those Homer Simpson, "Doh!" moments!


At first, all of this might seem really complex. I know it did for me, but I took it one step at a time. It really is as simple as a) making sure your TV and PC have the S-Video connections; b) getting the S-Video cable (four or seven pin); c) getting the audio, RCA jack cable; d) making sure you have the newest driver for your video card for the S-Video connection to your TV; e) connecting your TV to your PC with the S-Video and audio cables; and f) adjusting your video card settings to recognize your TV so you have the S-Video connection established.

The moment you see your PC desktop on your PC, it is a revelation. You feel like you have stepped into the future ... then, once you start viewing movies or playing games or watching sports online (like baseball, for me), you just smile to yourself and think, "How cool is this?" It expands the scope and depth of your TV (and, well, your intellect) to now have your TV "connected to the world via the Internet" - all right there in your livingroom!

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