Connect your PC to your TV

Howto by DUR0N @ 2003-10-22

Every now and then I hear questions about the TV-out on people's videocards.
"What is it for? Can you connect a TV to it? Can you REALLY connect a TV to it? Sure? Wow, that's great. How do I do that?"
Answering these questions once is funny. Anwering them twice is ok. Anwering them three times and it's getting a routine. I was sooooo mad and tired of people asking me how to connect a TV to a PC, I actually conquered my lazyness and wrote this howto.
Don't ask that question again. Ever. RTFM. Period.
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The TV

The TV

To connect your PC to your TV, you'll need a TV. Sorry, no TV means no PC-TV :p
Now it's getting tricky, there are endless different models of TV's and all have different options and settings.

1. The possible inputs. (in order of most likely apperance)

  • a. Antenna/Cable

    Well, if this wasn't on your TV, you could hardly call it a TV. but for us, it's useless if you want to connect your PC to your TV.

  • b. SCART

    The most common form of connnecting TV's, Videorecorders and DVD drives with eachother. The gigantic proportions of the connector and the oddly shaped form of it make it easy to recognise.

    Madshrimps (c)
    Two fat SCART connections


    Madshrimps (c)


    As you can see SCART houses all video and audio posibilities. Composite, S-Video, RGB all imput and output, all in 1 cable. Offcourse your cable needs to be shielded well (thats why a full SCART cable with all 21 wires costs a fortune) Some SCART cables leave unneeded wires out, so check what you need before you buy.

    This page is all about the SCART connection, if you want to know more...

  • c. Composite

    almost equally common as SCART. one single yellow cinch supplies the video, and two (red and white) are for the audio channels. PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo fans will know this all to well :)

    Madshrimps (c)
    Composite are the three colored holes to the right


  • d. S-Video

    Another form of getting your video (and only the video) signal into your TV. Should give better quality of image, but I surely didn't notice that.

    Madshrimps (c)
    S-Video is the big connector to the left, marked S-V


    2. NTSC, PAL or SECAM

    Yet again, some big difference between TV models. NTSC is the American standard of viewing image on your TV.

  • a. NTSC (NTSC is the American/Japanese system for the Video signal.)
    "National Television System Committee"
    Lines/Field 525/60
    Horizontal Frequency: 15.734 kHz
    Vertical Frequency: 60 Hz

  • b. PAL (European standard for the video signal)
    "Phase Alternating Line"
    PAL N,PAL M,PAL-System (only 2 country's with PAL N and PAL M, most are PAL-System)
    Line/Field 625/50 (525/60 for PAL-M)
    Horizontal Freq. 15.625 (15.750 kHz for PAL-M)
    Vertical Freq. 50 Hz (60 for PAL-M)
    25 images/sec

  • c. SECAM
    "Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire or Sequential Color with Memory"
    Line/Field 625/50
    Horizontal Frequency 15.625 kHz
    Vertical Frequency 50 Hz

    There are some different versions of SECAM (B,G,H,D,K,K1,L) But they are only different in the video and audio bandwidth. Nothing to worry about.

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    Comment from [-Ampora-] @ 2003/10/22
    h4nd|g !


    *ty*
    Comment from the maniak @ 2003/10/23
    Quote:
    Select PAL/NTSC, resolution (640x480 or 800x600, only expensive LCD TV screens can handle 1024x768, not much more I think)

    My normal tv can use any resolution I want. But if i use it on 1024*768, a small font isn't easy to read

    on 800*600 it's a lot better to read

    graka = connect3d 9500 PRO
    Comment from [Bonbon] @ 2003/10/23
    i think a lot of people dont understand the primary screen issue
    (divx on monitor = ok , but on tv : black screen)
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2003/10/23
    I have a Radeon 9500 (nonpro) and when I connect it to my tv, I notice that my Tv-out still isn't selectable as if it were not connected. With the latest drivers I can enable FORCE TV OUT and then it works perfectly => PROBLEM SOLVED

    On my laptop I have a Radeon Mobility and with those drivers I can't force TV-out so I can enable it even when it's connected... What could be the problem and solution ?
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/10/23
    Quote:
    Originally posted by the maniak



    My normal tv can use any resolution I want. But if i use it on 1024*768, a small font isn't easy to read

    on 800*600 it's a lot better to read

    graka = connect3d 9500 PRO
    no, you can't
    your tv card converts the 1024 signal to ~600x~500 (PAL/NTSC standards)

    @unreg dude:
    your tv doesn't send an 'active signal trough the cable, you can fake this by soldering a resistor between some points (you are using s-video right?) but i'm not sure which ones/what resistor is needed. atm. i'll get back on that asap
    Comment from the maniak @ 2003/10/23
    but why can i adjust the resolution then

    I see a big difference between 1024*768 and 800*600
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/10/23
    Quote:
    Originally posted by the maniak
    but why can i adjust the resolution then

    I see a big difference between 1024*768 and 800*600
    it's like resizing a 4Mpixel movie to a 3Mpixel one.
    why would they build tv's which support 1024 if the max reolution is ~600x~500 ?
    Comment from clochard69 @ 2003/10/24
    ik vraag me nu gewoon af hoe ik het geluid van mijn tv via de surround van men pc kan laten gaan.

    andersom is een makkie alsook beeld op je pc krijgen.

    kan logisch zijn, heb er een klein vermoeden van maar heb gewoon nog geen tijd gehad om het uit te proberen.

    dank bij voorbaat

    grtz cloche
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2003/10/25
    Nice article..I like the faq.
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/10/25
    Quote:
    Originally posted by clochard69
    ik vraag me nu gewoon af hoe ik het geluid van mijn tv via de surround van men pc kan laten gaan.

    andersom is een makkie alsook beeld op je pc krijgen.

    kan logisch zijn, heb er een klein vermoeden van maar heb gewoon nog geen tijd gehad om het uit te proberen.

    dank bij voorbaat

    grtz cloche
    gaat niet zonder een TV tuner kaart.
    ge moet zien dat ge uw geluid uit het RF signaal kunt halen, en dat kan alleen maar met een TV tuner kaart of iets dergelijks.
    Comment from the maniak @ 2003/10/25
    gewoon uw geluid van de tv via scart aansluiten op de line in van uw geluidskaart
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/10/26
    dan moet uw tv een scart hebben die ook signalen kan versturen, en bij vele tv's is dit weggelaten
    Comment from clochard69 @ 2003/10/26
    wel zo ne scart kunt ge gaan kope in een elektro zaak eh, en kheb audigy 2 platinum, dus line in is geen probleem.
    maar hoe wordt dit dan afgespeeld, met een bepaald programma of gebeurt dit automatisch als alle kabels op hun plaats zitten?

    alvast bedankt voor de respons
    Comment from the maniak @ 2003/10/26
    da gebeurt automatisch

    ja zolang uw line in nie gedempt is he
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/10/29
    updated
    Comment from Sarcastro @ 2003/11/07
    Great article!

    One little note though;

    Quote:
    Q: Can I use 2 monitors+TV?
    A: No, that's just wanting to much
    Matrox Parhelia supports 2 screens and a TV

    Oh! And you need to get an I/O shield Duron.
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/11/08
    it's one of the key features of the parhelia, normally cards are made for the graphics/speeds and not for the functions (parhelia, matrox G series, 3dlabs wildcat,...)
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2003/11/14
    how do you get the video output from the pc to be in widescreen format (16:9) for widescreen tvs?
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/11/15
    the program that you use to output the signal has to be able to convert the image to 16:9.
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2003/12/01
    Well, I was following the article and everything is working just perfectly.

    The only thing is that the TV doesn't display any kind of movie (neither DVD or DivX). Everything else works though (games, applications, etc.).

    Do you have any idea what should I do to view my movies on the TV?
    Comment from jmke @ 2003/12/01
    What videocard are you using?
    Comment from Roswell @ 2003/12/01
    Probably ATI...

    You have to go to your settings and make your TV the PRIMAIRY screen. See attachment:
    Comment from Falco @ 2003/12/06
    They Say that S-video has much beter TV-Quality then the Scart connector? is that true?
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2003/12/06
    well, scart is a bunch of standards together. If you got a scart cable (shielded properly) i think that wil give the best quality.
    But all is subjective, you will never see the diference. So what's the point then in buying such a expensive scart cable?
    Imo scart is only usefull when you got a phat dvdplayer with RGB out, which gives a real visual improvement.
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2004/01/12
    Hi guys, here's another question for you.
    I've got a PCI GeForce2 MX400, with a tv-out (s-video)
    Connected this one to my TV using such a scart block, wherein i plugged a s-video cable, and the white and red audio connectors.
    i put a channel on AV on the TV.
    Switched my puter on, used TV-tool, and set it on NTSC (thats the only way i get a coloured image) and pressed the big green shiny button

    Now what i get to see on the TV is the channel on the background (snow, cuz it's an empty channel), and in the foreground the PC screen, 50% visible if u know what i mean, so they're a little mixed up.

    anyone know how i can fix this problem?

    Thanks in advance,
    Bored
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2004/01/14
    if you live in the US or china-> NTSC
    else PAL
    try to change the AV channel, some TV's have several AV channels.
    snow means interference so i suggest you check the cables, there might be a bad one. And are you using the block as an input or an output (different pins for that, some blocks have a switch to change between them, some of them don't)
    is the sound ok?
    does the VCR work properly on the AV channel?
    Comment from LowBasic @ 2004/01/14
    Quote:
    Originally posted by Roswell
    Probably ATI...

    You have to go to your settings and make your TV the PRIMAIRY screen. See attachment:

    if you put both your TV and your computer screen on that "round thingy" DivX works just fine
    your screen will be adapted to your TV (same frequency)
    Comment from Unregistered @ 2004/05/23
    Hi wandered if anyone could help, i think its all connected up right. (Its greyscale on AV channel) but i cant get the image on TV

    I have 9600 btw
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2004/05/23
    Quote:
    Originally posted by Unregistered
    Hi wandered if anyone could help, i think its all connected up right. (Its greyscale on AV channel) but i cant get the image on TV

    I have 9600 btw
    what do you mean? grayscale means you can see the image on your TV, but it's only in black'nwhite
    Comment from 187(V)URD@ @ 2004/05/23
    Quote:
    Originally posted by Falco
    They Say that S-video has much beter TV-Quality then the Scart connector? is that true?
    indeed svideo = better quality.
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2004/05/24
    Quote:
    Originally posted by 187(V)URD@


    indeed svideo = better quality.
    if you use pure golden cable with 2cm of shielding and packet with feriet (dunno the english name), maybe you'll see a small difference
    Comment from 187(V)URD@ @ 2004/05/24
    I tested several cabels , with some i didn't had colour on my old tv

    Alse depends on grace and tv.

    I had a scart with good newer tv and gf4ti and had nice quality tbh.
    tested it with 9600pro and didn't had colour , so i modded a cable to a svideo (actually my dad did).

    but i prefer svideo
    Comment from jonesy @ 2004/06/24
    I've got a Hercules all in wonder 9800, trying to connect to tv through as scart adaptor. Just get greyscale. If I use the s video direct to the input on the tv no problem glorious technicolor. Any ideas where the problem might be?
    Comment from jmke @ 2004/06/24
    so the set up is

    9800 ---> S-Video out ----------------> Scart connector --> TV ?
    Comment from 187(V)URD@ @ 2004/06/24
    Quote:
    Originally posted by jonesy
    I've got a Hercules all in wonder 9800, trying to connect to tv through as scart adaptor. Just get greyscale. If I use the s video direct to the input on the tv no problem glorious technicolor. Any ideas where the problem might be?
    Got also a scart adaptor ( for 4 scarts ) .
    This thing doesn't work with tvout so you need to view it with s-video or just one scart (sometimes scarts won't work , no matter what you do)
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2004/06/25
    Quote:
    Originally posted by jonesy
    I've got a Hercules all in wonder 9800, trying to connect to tv through as scart adaptor. Just get greyscale. If I use the s video direct to the input on the tv no problem glorious technicolor. Any ideas where the problem might be?
    scart has a svideo in and svideo out, and some blocks don't have connections for both. make sure your block has the necessairy imputs, not outputs.
    Also, if you use scart, your TV will probably use another channel then the s-video channel. Switching to another AV channel might work.
    Comment from jonesy @ 2004/06/25
    Sorted, easy when you know how, I put the s vid to scart adaptor from the pc into AV2 instead of the RGB, played with the remote and bingo color!!!
    #Thanks for the help guys
    Comment from wanrosli @ 2005/02/25
    I'm not sure if somebody has actually address this problem but I'm going to ask anyway coz I'm running out of ideas!

    Here's my prob..

    I've got a Laptop (Fujitsu Siemens AMILO D 1840) with ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 on it. Just bought a Panasonic TV (TX28PM1) few weeks ago. Both have got S-Video on it (4 pins), [at the back of the laptop and in front of the TV (AV3)]. When I connect them together with an S-Video cable all I got was a clear black and white picture/screen on the TV (no colour). I've no problem with the sound. I have tried using the S-Video to Composite converter but still get the same thing (no colour). Also tried the scart but still the same. But when I tried connecting my Sony Handycam and my DVD player to the TV directly via the same S-Video cable it works just fine. I've tried all available settings on the Display Settings (PAL B, D, G ... I.. NTSC etc) but still no colour!! All I got was the same black and white screen on the TV. I've also tried connecting my laptop to a Philips TV and the same thing happen. Is my graphics card not compatible with my TV or there is something else that I need to do?? I'm sure there is someone out there with the same problem as mine.

    Oh...could someone also tell me whether screen refresh rate has anything to do with this colour problem?? because i noticed that my TV runs on 50Hz and my laptop runs on 1280 x 800 True Colour (32 Bit) 60 Hertz. Should I change my laptop to 50Hz as well to get the colour and if so how to do that? because I think the lowest rate it has got is only 60Hz.

    PLEASEEEE HELPPP MEEEEEE..... TQ!
    -LI-
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/02/25
    So, your TV sits listening on the AV3 channel, s-video, you're using PAL (They use PAL in the UK right? If else, use NTSC. I guess it's NTSC since you guys over there are pretty america-minded)
    Reboot every time you change a setting, sometimes that helps.
    The refresh rate of your TV-out is locked to the NTSC/PAL setting, so no problems there, if the right setting is applied.
    Comment from wanrosli @ 2005/02/25
    Yup.. I am in the UK. My TV is on AV3/S and I'm using PAL. By the way, does it make any difference to apply without reboot and to apply after reboot? because there is an option to apply without reboot. Anyway, I'm going to give this Reboot method a try. Oh, and FYI, I took my Laptop to a PC repair shop the other day and they've tested it on a Hitachi Opus TV with the exact same settings and cable that I've used and it work just fine. It just wont work on my Panasonic TX-28PM1 yet... I'm still trying...

    Thanks for the respond DURON..[color=skyblue]
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/02/25
    If it works with exact the same settings on another TV, it must be something between the TV and the laptop. Try out the other AV channels on the TV, and theck out the setup menu of the tv, maybe there is something useful in there.
    Comment from wanrosli @ 2005/02/26
    I've also tried all available AV channels on the TV (AV1,AV2,AV2/S,AV3 and AV3/S) all with same results...B&W picture. Anyway...I think I'm going to give it another day or two before I give up and sell this stupid TV of mine!! Thanks again DURON. My advice to all u guys out there....if connecting PC to TV is the main reason for you to go and buy a new TV make sure you bring you PC/Laptop and check its compatibility with the TV at the shop before buying or you'll end up like me! I cant return/exchange it because they said that the TV is not faulty since it work perfectly well with other appliances like my DVD Player and Handycam.
    Comment from wanrosli @ 2005/02/26
    Oh..and there's nothing much in the TV setup menu as well. believe me...I've read and memorize every single detail of its manual hahhaaha that's how crazy people can get trying to connect PC to TV. But some lucky guys like DURON and others just make it look so simple and easy... some people also tell me that I should try connecting via a DVD Recorder but then again that would mean spending some more ££££ as well
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/07
    HI there,

    My laptop has a 7 pin s-video output in wich i connected one end of a 4 pin s-video cable and the other end i connected to a scart adaptor just like the one in the image how-to. I only connected the s-video from the pc to the s-video entry of the adaptor as an input. And connected the output of the adapator as a scart male directly to the scart female input of the TV.

    The problem is that i can only see my pc in black & white in the TV. My television supports PAL B & G, and my display definitions of my ATI graphic card is set to that kind of display, so what's wrong?

    Any ideas please?

    Tanx!
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/06/07
    Well, it is possible your TV is not on the right AV channel.
    Also, sometimes those 7pin connectors have a different layout, and they need their own cable to work. Mostly, 7pin is S-video and composite combined in one connector, which could explain the loss of the cromatic information.
    The first thing you could try is connecting the laptop to another TV (form another brand) that way, you can be sure it's not the TV.
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/07
    Ok, trying to connect to another TV migth work to see if the problem is on the TV! But should the reason of the problem of seeing in black&white caused by sending the signal out of a 7 pin s-video through a 4 pin cable? Because i believe several people are using the 4-pin cable, and they seemed to see in colour while changing to a scart connection.

    By the way DURON, since you wrote the How To, how did you connect through the s-video to scart connection? Did you use a 7-pin cable? And does your adaptor contains a female 7-pin input?

    Tanx!

    Cave!
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/09
    Help please?

    Cave!
    Comment from jmke @ 2005/06/09
    did connecting to another TV work?
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/09
    No, i couldn't try the connection with other tv. But even so i was trying to know if my connection was exactly as you explained in your diagram, i.e., i didn't connect the audio yet, but with the image, i'm using a 4 pin s-video cable on both sides connecting between my laptop and the adpator, and using the scart output of the adaptor directly in the "av->1" or the "av->2" of my tv. Both the tv and the ati graphic card are set to PAL B, G which is the correct system, so not a problem over there. I have seriously doubts about the cables, since they are absolutely new (although they weren't tested in the store because they came in closed boxes). My Tv is also new and the adaptor has all the 20 pins in the scart output. Also i even tryed to connect both the upper pins of the s-video cable (this is if you have a 4 pin s-video cable and you), the upper pins are like this:

    * *
    * *
    --

    Because as a user "TheRippa" of one forum stated, this connects the luminance and chrominance of the signal. So I connected these 2 pins with some kind of wire around them in the end of the cable before i insert the cable in the adaptor. It corrected his problem of seeing black&white but it didn't worked for me!!

    Tanx!
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/06/09
    You are living in Europe right? In America it's all NTSC.

    I've used this cable first:http://www.madshrimps.be/howto/Conne...-DUR0N-370.jpg
    then I went from both S-video or composite to the scart block.
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/15
    You went from both S-video or composite to the scart block! How did you do that? Did you connect the s-video out of the pc to the s-video of the adaptor and then you connect the scart out of the adaptor to the scart entry of the Tv or you connect more than that?

    Tanx!
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/06/15
    You can choose between s-video and composite on some blocks, or even connect them both. I don't recommend attaching them both at the same time, it is possible (yet unlikely) the signal loops back into your graphics card.
    And it gives more distortion.
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/22
    Hi there!

    I already solved my problem thanx to this forum:

    http://forums.windrivers.com/showthr...1&page=2&pp=15

    I hope it helps someone else!

    Thanx anyway!
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2005/06/22
    Quote:
    Originally posted by cave
    Hi there!

    I already solved my problem thanx to this forum:

    http://forums.windrivers.com/showthr...1&page=2&pp=15

    I hope it helps someone else!

    Thanx anyway!
    So it was just a bad cable after all?
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/22
    Nope Duron! Not indeed! Like the forum from the link that i stated before, and like TheRippa stated, there are some TVs that cannot receive s-video through scart inputs. So, instead of buying another cable from s-video to rca or anything like that, you can connect the 2 upper pins of the s-video cable with a piece of wire around them and voilá! You get colour! Pretty simple hum?

    Best wishes,

    Cave!
    Comment from the maniak @ 2005/06/22
    same problem as I had

    there are cables from svideo to rca which have this connection u made by yourself,
    Comment from jmke @ 2005/06/22
    Quote:
    Originally posted by cave
    you can connect the 2 upper pins of the s-video cable with a piece of wire around them and voilá! You get colour! Pretty simple hum?
    not very customer friendly in fact
    Comment from cave @ 2005/06/22
    It might not be very customer friendly, but it works and you don't need to buy another cable, you just need to connect the pins with a little piece of wire, and you get better quality than with rca.
    Comment from valter @ 2006/02/08
    Hi,
    I have to run about 20m to my Pal TV.
    TV out is svideo.

    I have had a thought that I would appreciate your feedback on.

    Instead of running svideo or composite plus audio using separate wires or cat5 with baluns ( an expensive option ).
    What about converting video and audio to an rf signal and running thru coax to a tuner.

    This seems on the surgface to be a cheap practical option, but I'm probably missing something.
    Comment from Sidney @ 2006/02/08
    Transmitter frequency (is missing) in VHF to receiver (tuner).
    RF (radio frequency) requires a transmitter; and a receiver (tuner).
    Comment from valter @ 2006/02/08
    Thanks Lazy,

    The composite/audio to rf converter I am looking at is powered and uses either channel 0 or 1.
    Does this address your issue?
    Comment from Sidney @ 2006/02/08
    I am not sure what you are using exactly. However, TV reception is either; wireless turner (VHF or UHF), cable (satelite inclusive) and Svideo (direct).
    Using PCI tv turner card from PC, and wireless transmision to TV which receives both audio and video signalsn from svideo input. Is this what to want to do?

    If it is, I haven't tried. May be others can help.
    Comment from valter @ 2006/02/08
    Thanks Lazy,

    What I am trying to do is take av signals from computer svideo/stereo then convey to a tv about 20m away.

    I have explored using baluns to carry sound and video over cat5 cable,
    so composite video and audio in and out, with cat5 in between.
    Probably work ok but expensive.

    My other thought is to use a converter to send composite video and audio to an rf channel. Send over coax to the tuner.
    If this worked it would be a reasonable cost.

    The reason I ask this is I have seen a lot of discussion re sending video over svideo etc, but virtually none on this idea. The reason for this might be it is impractical, if so I would like to understand why.

    I appreciate your thoughts, maybe some others might have issues
    Comment from jmke @ 2006/02/08
    I'm using a 10m svideo cable, quality is only average... image degrading is visible though
    Comment from valter @ 2006/02/20
    Hi,
    I have done it and it works fine.
    It seems to me that this old but reliable technology is a good way around the problem of sending an av signal to another room.
    Thanks to those who raised issues.
    Comment from yenj69 @ 2006/03/18
    I successfully connect tv to pc, however, the resolution of the tv is really blurry (but in color), you can hardly read a word; while the monitor remains very clear? what can I do to adjust the tv resolution? Please help~ Thanks~
    Comment from jmke @ 2006/03/18
    well, a TV set is very low res and not meant to be used as a monitor;
    Comment from DUR0N @ 2006/03/18
    You could try upgrading your cables, most of the time it's due to a bad cable. Also, if you have composite you might try s-video. People have seen remarkable differences between those two.

     

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