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How to Use Your Television as a Computer Monitor


Using a television as a computer monitor is easily done, and offers some unique benefits. It has taken quite a few years for the computer/television convergence to became a reality, which is unusual, because the two seem to be similar, but the technology of the last few years makes it an idea that is feasible for the average user, and not limited to technologically adept early adopters only.

Computer to TV Connections

The simplest and most flexible way to go about using a television as a computer monitor involves using a laptop. Many laptops come equipped with either a VGA, S-Video, component, or HDMI video outputs intended to facilitate usage of an additional monitor to either provide additional desktop work area, or compensate for the small screens of some laptops when being used in an office environment. Use one of these outputs to attach a television with compatible inputs, and from there it’s just a matter of configuring the computer to recognize the additional video peripheral. Keep in mind that older, pre high definition televisions do not provide as sharp a picture as a computer monitor, so small text and graphics may be hard to deal with if you’re located any distance from the screen, and newer wide screen computer monitors and older 4:3 aspect ratio televisions will require some fiddling around to achieve an acceptable compromise between the information displayed on the computer monitor compared to what the TV displays.

Advantages to Using a Television as a Computer Monitor

The number-one advantage is being able to stream video from the internet to the television and be able to watch movies and television shows without the necessity of sitting in an office chair right next to the screen. Even an older television will do a nice job with this type of content, and a newer, high definition TV will in most cases match the aspect ratio of a wide screen computer monitor perfectly.

With a high definition TV, it will also be feasible to perform tasks usually associated with productivity, such as word processing, spreadsheet tasks, and email with a level of comfort that will increase work output, and overcome some of the ergonomic issues of long periods spent in one position in front of a desktop monitor.

A wireless keyboard and mouse make both these advantages even more appealing. With the latest laptops and TVs, it is possible to make all the connections from computer to television completely wireless.



“Why – Turn a computer monitor into a TV – Digital Home –” Product reviews and prices, software downloads, and tech news – CNET. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

“PC/Mac to TV or HDTV Connections.” RAM Electronics – Audio video Home theater and Computer cables – HDMI DVI HDTV Component adapter cables av switch boxes USB firewire 1394 ilink cat5 network fiber optic SCSI hub serial parallel accessories cable switches converters video capture cpu coole. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

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