How to Use Flat Screen TV as a Computer Monitor By: Matt Viglione

How to Use Flat Screen
TV as a Computer
By: Matt Viglione
This module is designed to show how to use a flat
screen TV as a computer monitor. I will be
showing this procedure on my 42” Toshiba LCD TV
and using my HP laptop computer. I will also show
how to use your TV speakers for sound from your
computer which becomes useful for watching
movies from your laptop on your TV.
I will show how to determine what connections to
look for on both a laptop and a TV in order to
properly get video and sound on your TV from your
• Students will learn how to
recognize different input and
output connections on both a
laptop and a TV.
• Students will learn which cables
are necessary to output video
and sound from their laptop to a
flat screen TV.
• Students will learn how to set
their laptop to output video from
their laptop to TV using Windows
Vista software.
Tools Needed
• Laptop (HP used in demo)
• Flat Screen TV (Toshiba 42”
used in demo)
• Video Output/Input cable
(VGA male to VGA male used in
• Sound Output/Input cable
(3.5mm male stereo to 3.5mm
Toshiba 42” LCD Flat Screen TV
HP Pavilion Laptop
What is a VGA connection?
“Abbreviation of video graphics array, a graphics display system for
PCs developed by IBM. VGA has become one of the de facto
standards for PCs. In text mode, VGA systems provide a resolution of
720 by 400 pixels. In graphic mode, the resolution is either 640 by
480 (with 16 colors) or 320 by 200 (with 256 colors). The total palette
of colors is 262,144. Unlike earlier graphics standards for PCs -MDA, CGA, and EGA -- VGA uses analog signals rather than digital
signals. Consequently, a monitor designed for one of the older
standards will not be able to use VGA.”
What is a 3.5mm Stereo connector?
“A small round connector for accepting the pin-shaped plug from a
standard pair of music headphones. While 2.5mm is the standard for
phone headsets, the slightly larger 3.5mm size is the standard for
music headphones and just about every other type of electronic
device other than phones (music players, PCs, etc.). Either size can
support stereo sound and/or microphone, depending on the number
of separate connector rings on the plug or jack.”
Step 1: Identify
Laptop Outputs
Examine Laptop in order to see what is available to
output video and sound
S-Video VGA
This laptop
shows an Svideo output
on the far
left and a
VGA video
output on
the right.
VGA would
give better
quality and
would be the
best option
if the TV
allows it.
The only
output for
sound on this
laptop is a
3.5mm stereo
jack. This is
the same
output you
would use for
There are 2
available on
this laptop
labeled on the
far right.
Step 2: Identify TV
Examine TV in order to find available video and
audio inputs
This image if from the TV
manual and shows
available inputs on the
back of the TV.
For video there is HDMI
(#2), VGA (#3), Component
HD (#5), and S-Video (#6).
Because our laptop
options, out best option is
using the VGA video Input
For audio we must use the
3.5mm stereo input (#4)
because that is what is
selected to use when using
the VGA input.
*NOTE: HDMI is best
option for quality and it
combines both video and
audio. If you have a laptop
that has a HDMI output,
use that!
Step 3: Find
Appropriate Cables
VGA cable
with male to
AUDIO: 3.5mm
male stereo to
3.5mm male
Step 4: Connect
Laptop to TV
Attach one
end of the
VGA cable
and the
3.5mm stereo
cable into
outputs of
Attach other
end of each
cable in
inputs on
back of TV.
Step 5: Set
appropriate Input on
Click “Input”
on TV in
order to
select the
channel for
the TV to be
tuned to.
Select “PC”
or possible
“VGA”. This
is #9 on this
TV being
Step 6: Set Laptop to
Output to TV
1. Right click on a
blank area on
laptop desktop.
Select and left
click on the
2. Select the
“Connect to a
projector or
other external
display” on the
upper right
side of the
3. Select and
left click on the
button. Once
clicked your
laptop screen
should be
displayed on
your TV. Audio
connected with
the 3.5mm
cable just as
would be.
If everything has been done correctly, you should see
your TV acting as a computer monitor and have sound
when music or movies are played.
Additional Information
Below are a few links that can further help with
connecting your laptop/PC to your TV. These may give
you additional options for a variety of computer and TV
How To Use Your TV as a Computer Monitor – How to Use a TV as a Computer Monitor
YouTube - Turn your t.v. into a computer monitor