How to connect a HDTV to a computer

This is how you connect an HDTV to a computer or laptop in order to use the TV as a computer display. You can do this to play games, Netflix, Hulu, etc. on your TV or to setup a TV as a second or only monitor. The best case scenario would be that you have an HDMI port on your computer but a DVI port or even VGA port can be used.

In the video I talk about the VGA/DVI to HDMI converters/adapters, HDMI cables and RCA L/R audio cables as well as RCA L/R to 3.5mm jack adapters. Here are some links to help you find what you need:

25ft HDMI cable: 25ft Premium Gold Series HDMI Cable
This is the HDMI cable I own, I bought this when it was on sale for $20, do not spend over $100 on a cable, if this is not on sale just search for the length of HDMI cable you need such as 10 foot HDMI cable or 15 foot HDMI cable and find something for a reasonable price.

DVI to HDMI: DVI-D Male to HDMI Adapter
This is not the exact DVI to HDMI adapter I use, but it is the same type of device. The one I use came with my video card. Another option is to use a HDMI to DVI Adapter Cable instead of both an adapter and a cable. Either works fine.

VGA to HDMI: VGA To HDMI Converter
This option is a little more expensive, and it may simply be worth it to upgrade to a newer video card with DVI or HDMI ports. In my experience, computers that are several years old (typically only have VGA video cards) may not be powerful enough to run full HD video smoothly. If you want to give it a try, it be warned. Or, if your TV has VGA (sometimes labeled "PC") ports on it, check out the option below:

If you just want to run your HDTV by connecting a VGA cable to your TV's VGA or "PC" port (not all HDTVs have this, but most do): 25 foot VGA Cable
This may not give you the highest quality picture like a HDMI cable would, but it is cheaper than having to buy the complicated VGA converter above. I still recommend upgrading to a newer DVI/HDMI video card though.

RCA L/R audio cable: 25 Foot Gold Plated RCA Patch Cable
If you are connecting to your stereo or TV or sound system with the RCA cables. In the video I mention that cable price doesn't matter, that is for HDMI cables. For audio cables like this you want to go gold plated or at least a sturdy thick wire that will resist interference, you can find these anywhere though.

RCA L/R to 3.5mm stereo adapter: 3.5mm Stereo To RCA
Like I said, this is how I do it, some people have better sound systems where each speaker connects individually and they have better sound cards that even have the RCA jacks right on them. I just use an adapter like this though, it is handy for connecting MP3 players to a stereo as well as any kind of computer or sound device with a headphone jack. Just a cool gadget to have around.

What HDTV is that? And because people often ask, Samsung makes the best HDTVs, all reviewers agree. You can even order on Amazon often for cheaper than Sears or Best Buy and schedule a delivery right to your house. Mine is a 32 inch which Amazon no longer carries, but just check out the great reviews on Amazon to find the TV for you: Great Samsung HDTVs.

Some frequently asked questions


I've connected my computer to my TV with a VGA to HDMI cable, but it doesn't work, why?
Because VGA is an analog signal and HDMI is a digital signal. I'm not sure where VGA to HDMI cables are sold, but they shouldn't be sold at all because you cannot just simply use a cable with a VGA and HDMI plug on each end to connect to the TV. The analog signal must be converted to a digital signal. This must be done with some kind of converter box as linked to above. However, if your video card only has VGA connections, it may not even be powerful enough to run HD video on your TV smoothly. For these reasons, it is best to buy a new video card with DVI or HDMI ports on it already.

Why so many links to Amazon, do you work for them?
I link to Amazon for 2 reasons. They pay me a few pennies (literally) for each item you order if I linked you to it. And most importantly, I buy everything from Amazon myself, because they are an amazing store with an awesome return policy, product reviews, usually the best prices, and everyone already knows and trusts them.