How to Connect a PC to an HDMI TV

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There’s a good chance that some day you’ll want to connect your computer to your big-screen TV to make it easier to share either photos you’ve taken or Internet video with guests. HDMI has become the standard type of high-definition connector found on modern TV sets, and many new computers include an HDMI output. The problem is that older computers don’t feature HDMI. 

We’ll approach this problem with two assumptions: one, that you have a desktop computer; and two, that you have a notebook computer.

If you have a desktop computer that does not have an HDMI output, you can install a new graphics card that has an HDMI output. But things will get complicated if the new graphics card doesn’t have an output that matches your monitor (presumably VGA), in which case you’ll simply be swapping one problem for another. To avoid the problem, you’ll have to find a graphics card that has both HDMI and VGA outputs, and preferably an inexpensive one. Because if you set your sights on an expensive graphics card, and if you have to pay someone to install it, you might be better off just buying a new desktop system that already has an HDMI output.

Another way to connect an older desktop computer to the HDMI input of a TV is with an adapter. If your computer has just a VGA output you’ll need a VGA-to-HDMI converter. This type of converter combines a VGA input and a stereo audio input into a single HDMI output that’s compatible with your HDTV set. To use this converter, you’ll need a male VGA to male VGA cable and an audio cable; either a male stereo mini to male RCA or a male RCA to male RCA, depending on the output of your sound card. Of course, you’ll also need an HDMI cable to connect the adapter to your HDTV. If your computer has a DVI output you’ll need a DVI-to-HDMI cable; either that or a DVI-to-HDMI adapter and a standard HDMI cable.

Your options are more limited if you have a notebook computer that doesn’t have an HDMI output because you can’t change the graphics card, and even if you could, you wouldn’t be able to add the HDMI output to the notebook’s chassis. So, your only options are to use a converter as discussed above, or to simply buy a new notebook computer.

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There are lot of ways you can enjoy your movies and television shows, and connecting you home PC to a large screen is one of the ways you can enjoy it while sitting in the confines of your own home or office. The HD technology has revolutionized entertainment, and connect your PC to an HDMI TV makes everything eye candy. There a few steps to follow to enjoy the unlimited potential of the HDMI TV’s.

A good overview of PC to TV cables here, thanks.

The best guide i read so far. It makes the work much easier and good to understand. The problem of my pc is that I only have one VGA port and my LCD TV has a Dvi , a Hdmi , an audio input port and a 9 holes of IoIoI port( maybe it called VGA serial port) only at the back. May I know if I still can connect them both together and make a good picture and audio effect? 

Thank you

Hello -

It sounds like your TV has a DB9 serial port input  (RS-232C) which is used for control and calibration purposes.  It is not a VGA input for video signals.  You will need a VGA to HDMI converter (includes the 1/8" mini to mini audio cable) and an HDMI cable to make the connection.

You say "If your desktop has a dvi port you can get a dvi to hdmi cable".

Will that cable to visual and audio or only viual?

Haven't bought my desktop yet but across budget desktops I can't find many with HDMI port graphics so was wondering if I could use dvi to transfer HD content to my tv.

Hello Dave -

DVI carries the video signal only - so you would need to send the audio separately depending upon the audio inputs/outputs on your TV and PC (male stereo mini to male RCA or a male RCA to male RCA).

A DVI to HDMI cable should do the trick for you.  Please feel free to e-mail us at: AskBH@BandH.com if you have additional questions.

If you use an DVI to HDMI cable to get video to the tv, then use analog audio out of the computer to the TV, the audio will not be in sync with the video. If you have digital audio available at the computer,make sure your tv has a separate digital audio in... most do not.

I'm planning to get one of these >40" TVs for my music production system. I'll need to use a VGA to HDMI converter. I use a Tascam sound device and a pair of Yamaha studio monitors for audio. My question is, will I be able to get picture and sound in sync without connecting the audio to the TV?

Thanks much for the straight forward explanation of how to properly hookup my computer to my new TV.I look forward to making a purchase from your company.

I'm still a little confused. I want to have both my usual digital audio and video to my computer as well as audio and video to my HDTV via hdmi. I do not want to disable my computer A/V in order to get it on the TV. How can I accomplish this?

Hello dgh -

No worries - you will not be disabling your computer's audio and video  features at all.  Connecting to the TV will not leave your computer less functional. You will  always have the option to view and listen from the PC or your TV.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

What I don't understand is how to combine my current dvi video output and separate digital audio output into an HDMI output for my TV while also keeping a dvi video output for my computer screen and digital audio for my computer speakers. That is, how do you transform single video and audio outputs from the computer into 2 video and audio outputs (computer + TV)?

How this is accomplished would depend on your systems setup. (For example if your digital audio is coax, or optical. If you can send that information to AskBH@BandH.com we will be happy to provide a solution for you.

Please kindly show me how who to connect my laptop which has only the VGA out put to my flat screen TV which has these slots at the back;HMDI1, HDMI2, SPDIFcoax out, Audio in, SUB out, Scart1, Scart2 and ANT.

Please can I buy the converter online?

You will need to take a VGA cable and the audio output from the headphone port to this converter:

KanexPro VGA to HDMI with Audio Converter for the audio cable you can use: Hosa Stereo Mini Male to 2 RCA Male Y-Cable From the converter use an HDMI cable from the converter to the TV's HDMI input.

If I use a VGA to HDMI converter how good will the video output be? Can I get true hidef video that way?

Hello Jim -

You cannot obtain "true" or native high definition from a VGA source.  Depending upon the quality and sophistication of the scaling or up-conversion circuitry  -  the results can be outstanding.  Also, the quality of VGA signal is key as well.  As is often heard at the studio and at the landfill:  "Garbage in  =  garbage out"

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

You never mention how to hook up a computer that has a HDMI and a smart TV that has a HDMI 3 and HDMI in

Hello BOB -

If I understand your question correctly - you will just need a basic HDMI cable: 

The High-Speed HDMI to HDMI Cable with Ethernet from Pearstone is a high performance cable ideal for HDTV, DVD/Blu-ray players and cable and satellite boxes. This premium cable supports ultra-fast speeds, and supports Audio Return Channel, 3D content and ultra-high resolution of 4K.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hello: I (2) nVidia Quadro 2000 cards which connects to each of two displays with display port to an HDMI port @ each monitor. For this connection I use a diplay port male to connect to the Quadro 200 card and a HDMI male to connect to the 24" display. I have a second Quadro 2000 card with a display port connection to HDMI male connection at the diplay.

My 24" ASUS display will not function when using a DP to HDMI connection. The card is working and has the current Win 7 Pro driver.

I have a third card nVidia Quaro 600 with a DP port that I connect to my 32" HDMI TV, but all that displays is "No Signal" Again the card is functional and I have the current Win 7 Pro driver installed.

The ASUS display VH242H does not display; the 32" HDTV display does not work.

Any suggestions?

Please advise.

Frank

im having the same issue with nvidia gt630. it see it on the computer but i dont get a picture on my tv. i have changed every setting on the tv. Its crazy because the pc see the tv but the tv has not picture.

Frank,

Have you attempted to connect the Asus with the included DVI cable? The picture quality will be identical. There is no need to use a DP to HDMI connection.

Also, four trouble shooting purposes, I would attempt to plug the display in to an alternate card, and use an alternate cable. I would recommend trying the same with the television.  On your Quadro 600, do any of your displays get a signal from the card?

Please direct your response to AskBH@BandH.com, and we will be able to assist you further.

I have a newer desktop that has a Intel HD Graphics 4000 card. Display ports are a VGA of course, but hdmi as well. I paired it with a Insignia 32" LED 1080 display using the hdmi.
The quality of reading text is not good. I adjusted the limited settings on the tv to no avail. Insignia makes no distinction between its 3 hdmi ports, but i tried all three with the same result.
I went into the graphics settings for the card. The recommended resolution detected 1080. With that, I did have to scale back the display to about 70% to fit the icons all in.
Still, the text is not good. It's blotchy and shadowing.

What am I doing wrong? And how can the settings be adjusted correctly?
Is the problem from using hdmi?

It sounds like you may be having problems with overscan. This is by default tuned on, and when using the television for TV, it works as you would expect. When trying to use it as a monitor, your desktop is too big for the screen. There are two places where this can be adjusted in most cases. You would need to get out the owner’s manual for the TV, and locate the setting for overscan, and turn it off. (This is most likely listed in the “Adjusting Advanced Video settings” section.) Once it is turned off, the computer’s output resolution, set to 1920x1080 should fit perfectly on the display, without any stretching, or blurring.

HDMI is not the issue; in fact, it is one of the best ways to make the connection. It is completely digital, and you will get the best result.

I'm having trouble connecting a Westinghouse 22" LED TV with HDMI in to a Dell Studio XPS 8300 with a supposed HDMI out. Im getting no sognal on the TV when connected to the Dell. I can't even deteect another monitor within Control panel. When I use a laptop, i get the picture fine on the TV while using the same cable. What gives????

Hello -

Based on the troubleshooting you have already performed - it appears that the issue stems from the Dell XPS. There could be an issue with its video card or the HDMI output connection itself.  You may wish to contact Dell for support: 

Dell
Tel: (800) 624-9897
Website: http://www.dell.com/

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

what if i had a VGA male to a HDMI male cable, do i need a convertor? Because when i connect the vga to my notebook and the hdmi to my tv the tv doesn't recognize any signal from my notebook.

You would need a VGA to HDMI analog to digital converter. For example, this model:

Atlona VGA to HDMI Scaler/Converter

Hi, I bought a vga to hdmi cable from amazon last week, and it was a huge dissapointment. They dont seem to work for me or any body in that case. Its got something to do with the lack of power or something.

After i read this post i went out and got myself a vga to hdmi converter box. Its very similar to the one you posted and its working great so far. I had to get an AUX audio cable along with a hdmi cable which wasnt supplied with the converter.

Anyway im up and running now and i can now use my gaming graphics card on my hdmi monitor without any issues.

If its wasnt for you post i wouldnt be playing all these games on my new monitor.

Many thanks

I connected hdmi cabel from my hd tv to my hd computer and get no viedo or audio??

Hi Robert -

If you own a Mac - with the TV connected via HDMI go to "System Preferences">Display Arrangement> choose "Mirror Display".  If you own a PC it can get tricky as manufacture's vary the command for dual monitor functionality.  Typically you press the "Fn" key while also pressing a key along the top row with a monitor graphic on it.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I have a HP Pavilion m6-1045dx laptop and want to connect to a an older Toshiba TV that only seems to have SVedio hookups. My laptop only has an HDMI port. Can I connect them ?

Hi Chuck -

The Atlona HDMI/DVI to Composite and S-Video Down-converter automatically detects and down-converts the HDMI or DVI digital signal from a PC, Mac, GPS system, camcorder or video game to analog S-Video or composite video with audio. It is capable of accepting any incoming resolution up to 1080p through HDTV input and up to 1600 x 1200 at 60 Hz (UXGA) through PC input.

Note! AT-HD530 is NOT-HDCP compatible. Will not work with HDCP Devices such as Cable/Sat Boxes and DVD players

Automatically detects and down-converts the HDMI or DVI digital signal from a PC, Mac, GPS system, camcorder or video game to analog S-Video or composite video with audio
Accepts any incoming resolution up to 1080p through HDTV input and up to 1600 x 1200 at 60 Hz (UXGA) through PC input
Converts the output either to NTSC or PAL format
Output video format is selectable between composite video and S-Video
Features HDMI/DVI loop-out

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi Chuck -

The Atlona HDMI/DVI to Composite and S-Video Down-converter automatically detects and down-converts the HDMI or DVI digital signal from a PC, Mac, GPS system, camcorder or video game to analog S-Video or composite video with audio. It is capable of accepting any incoming resolution up to 1080p through HDTV input and up to 1600 x 1200 at 60 Hz (UXGA) through PC input.
    Automatically detects and down-converts the HDMI or DVI digital signal from a PC, Mac, GPS system,    camcorder or video game to analog S-Video or composite video with audio
    Accepts any incoming resolution up to 1080p through HDTV input and up to 1600 x 1200 at 60 Hz (UXGA)    through PC input
    Converts the output either to NTSC or PAL format
    Output video format is selectable between composite video and S-Video
    Features HDMI/DVI loop-out

Simply connect this device between your PC and your TV using an HDMI cable and an S-video cable.

(Note! AT-HD530 is NOT-HDCP compatible. Will not work with HDCP Devices such as Cable/Sat Boxes and DVD players)

 Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Shopping for a new laptop. Want to keep the cost down but I get a laptop with HDMI output. If I plan to connect the HDMI output to a 42" HD (1080) TV, is there a minimum resolution I should shop for on the laptop's graphic card?
Thanks in advance.

Hello Rod -

You should look for a laptop that features 1080p output via HDMI.  If it does  - then the embedded graphics card is capable of outputting the HD signal.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi,

I’m so glad I found this helpful webpage – other sources I’ve tried haven’t been helpful with suggestions about my options (HP started transferring my call back-and-forth between Tech Support and Sales when I asked for their suggestions, and the local PC repair shop seems to want to me to buy something they have):

I bought my HP desktop PC in August 2011 (details below). It doesn’t have either an HDMI port or a VGA port. I wanted to add an HDMI port to it, but based on what you write above, I think adding both HDMI and VGA ports might be the way to go (I’ll be buying a new TV after this). Please let me know my options regarding the graphics cards I might consider, and other parts needed to do this (to change the power supply, and so on)? I’m sure there are options regarding price and features/specs, and I’d like to make an informed choice about the parts I purchase.

Thanks.

About my computer:
HP Pavilion p7-1010t
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]
Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual-Core processor E5800 [3.1GHz, 2MB L2, 800MHz FSB]
4GB DDR3-800MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs]
FREE UPGRADE to 500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 320GB
No additional office software
No additional security software
Integrated graphics - Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 [VGA]
SuperMulti DVD Burner
Integrated Ethernet port, No wireless LAN
2 USB, front audio ports
No TV Tuner
Integrated sound
HP keyboard and optical mouse

Having read the piece above more closely, I now see the 'a new graphics card' hyperlink to your webpage listing of available options for graphics cards addresses my primary query. As I'm yet to buy a TV for this purpose (anything from a 24" to a 30" screen for my modest living room), it seems a card with an HDMI output is all I'll need. But based on the particulars of my desktop, the layman that I am would appreciate your suggestions as to the basic features/specs the card should have. The only reason I'd connect my desktop to the TV would be to watch video off the Internet.

Also, I'd appreciate anything you could say about other parts I'd need to upgrade my computer's power supply as necessary for this purpose.

Thanks.

Hi -

You will need to make sure your desktop computer has an open expansion bay in order to accept an additional graphics display card.  Be sure to check if it is a PCI or PCI Express (PCIe) expansion slot and if there is enough clearance for the card when installed. The card must also be compatible with your Windows version and architechture (32 bit or 64 bit).  The card will also list a minimum power requirement in  watts - typically 250 watts or more. So, in some cases the power supply for your computer may need to be upgraded. The PNY Technologies GeForce GT 610 1024 MB Graphics Card is a fine low cost upgrade suitable for your general use.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Thanks, Mark,

I'll have to verify these things at the PC repair shop that will install the parts. I actually asked them the preliminary questions I asked you, but instead of informing me as you have, they seemed more intent on quickly selling one of the cards they stock.

I'll ask any additional questions by e-mail.

I truly appreciate your help – thanks!

Hi -

According to HP's published specifications you should be able to install and use this PCIe graphic display card to add both HDMI and VGA outputs to your desktop computer: PNY Technologies GeForce GT 610 1024 MB Graphics Card.  This graphics display card requires a minimum 350 watt power supply - so you will need to change out the 250 watt power supply that was originally installed.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi there...

So I just bought a Radeon HD5450 graphic/video card that has DVI/CRT HDMI capabilities and after installing I noticed the brilliant difference in the appearance of my screen! Yay! ;) But the reason I bought the video card was because I had no HDMI slot in the back of my Dell. It was custom ordered without one :( and then gifted to me. So...long story short, I have a 36" LCD Samsung that does have 2 HDMI slots and yet when I connect my PC desktop and the TV nothing happens! My PC recognizes the Samsung. I've extended the display like all the YouTube videos tell me to do...yet still nothing works! Also I just noticed that when I am in Display Settings which shows me both monitors, when I click on DETECT, they both show up as #2??? Shouldn't one be detected as 1 and the other detected as 2? Ive been at this for hours and now I am tired and frustrated. It seems like such an easy thing to do, but I can't figure it out. On my laptop there was no problem...but on the Dell PC no luck whatsoever. Sad sad me. Please help. Thx...

There are two things that I would recommend trying. The first may, or may not apply. If the Dell you are using has an integrated GPU it may need to be disabled in the systems BIOS. I have seen this cause issues in the past. If you are in the BIOS, and don’t see the setting, don’t stress too much, as it is not always an option.

The second thing that I would do is update the driver and software for the card. You can find both downloads here.  Be sure to download both the Driver full package, and Software full package. When installing, reboot after each install.

If after the steps above are completed you still have issues, please send an e-mail to ask@bhphotovideo.com with the model system you are upgrading, as well as the version of Windows. Be sure to include if it is 32, or 64-bit.

I would love to take advantage of a GeForce GTX 465 connected to a Sony Bravia 32" 1080p full HD to maximize picture quality for internet, games and movies etc.

The problem is however the picture quality is appalling via HDMI as apposed to VGA.

I just purchased a new power supply so I could power up this beefy graphics card only to find that the quality is still really bad.

Already messed with the graphics card refresh rates etc but this makes no improvement what so ever.

All other HDMI devices the picture quality is excellent but the HDMI from even a high quality graphics card the quality is really bad.

After searching the internet there really doesn't seem to be any help at all and others are experiencing this same problem.

Anyway if someone can shed some light on this issue it would be great to know one way or the other.

Cheers.....

The most common cause for a bad image from a computer to a television is an incorrect resolution. Even if you are off by a few lines, it can case degradation in the image. Select 1920x1080 for your 1080p Sony. If after changing this setting you still have an issue, I recommend sending an e-mail to askbh@bandh.com, and we can go more indepth with you.

when I connected an HP (750HD,4gm) to a Vizio 47" HDTV using an adapter VGA to HDMI cable from the pc to the HDMI connection on the tv, I was able to get a picture of the desktop on the tv, but could not get a video to transfer from the pc to tv.

(before I was successful connecting a laptop to a Samsung tv using the vga and audio cables, so this is really frustrating.) any help appreciated.

It sounds like you had the system set up to extend your desktop. On your HP laptop, if you hold the Fn key, and press F4, select Projector Only. The laptop will then transfer the video to your television. Please note that VGA does not support audio, and a separate cable will be required.

I boought an HDMI cable to put in my laptop and into my TV. I wanted to see my pix on the TV...does not work. What am I doing wrong? ty

Hi -

If you have an HP laptop you can if you hold the Fn key, and press F4,  and select Projector Only. The laptop will then transfer the video to your television. On other Windows laptops right click your mouse anywhere on the blank part of the screen and scroll down and click on "Properties" and select the output (HDMI) that you want to use and if you want the images displayed on the laptop and the TV simultaneously or not.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

hi I have a Lenovo notebook G560E and it didn't come with a hdmi I want to know is I have a philps tv with hdmi on it can I get a cable that I could connect the hdmi cable to a connection to my notebook.i have 3 usb ports and some other thing please help

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