Direct TV Internet on your actual TV

Hey everybody, just wanted to let you in on some nifty little info that I picked up on the other day. Well it really goes back to this, I was watching the most recent Die Hard flick and right about the time Bruce Willis yelled “yippie kay yay”… I realized I was hunched over my 19″ laptop monitor. I’m sure most of you, whether you’re using Direct TV Internet, or a free Internet TV provider like Channel King or Streamick, there comes a point where you began to miss your actual television screen… no matter how expensive that cable service was. A SOLUTION! Both cheap and elegant can be found right here.

Connecting Your PC to Your TV

With a few exceptions, most any computer can be connected to any TV. The first step is to look on the back of your computer. You should see one of a few things:

A. An S-Video type connector
s-video2.jpg
B. A DVI type
dvi.jpg
C. ooor, A VGA type
vga.jpg
Step two is to wander over to your television and look on the back of it for…

A. A yellow RCA Plug. If your TV was made in the last decade it should have one of these.
rca.jpg
B. If your TV is a bit newer, it may also have any of the three that were pictured above: the VGA, S-Video, or DVI. If you have a fancy Hi-Def TV, it is almost sure to be equipped with the DVI plug which will give you the best picture quality.

Finding the appropriate cable.

They make a cable for any of the possible combinations of the above fittings. Unfortunately, some are more expensive than others. You can get a VGA to VGA cable at Wal-Mart for less than 5 bucks. A VGA to RCA cable can cost as much as 50. I’ve found Radio Shack to be an excellent resource for cables like these. Just go in and ask for a ____ to ____ cable, inserting the names of the fittings that you specifically need of course. If you don’t live near a Radio Shack you can just type the ____ to ____ cable name into Google and choose from the hundreds of merchants that offer it. That’s it for picture! Now for the easy part…

Sound

OK, like I said this part’s easy. Again, every TV made in the last decade has RCA plugs and every computer I’ve ever seen has a headphone jack. So while you’re at Radio Shack (or online) pick up an 1/8 inch to dual RCA cable. I got mine for 4 dollars. The 1/8 inch end looks just like the plug on the bottom of any set of headphones. Put it in the headphone jack and plug the RCA ends in the red and white RCA plugs on your TV labeled “in”. Just for reference, they look like this:
rca2.jpg
Since I have a laptop I just leave these two cables plugged into my TV with the cords sitting next to it. I can walk over and hook everything up in seconds. If you have a desktop that you would like to connect, many of the cables can be purchased in lengths of several feet. I’ve seen VGA to VGA cables that were 20 feet long.

To sum it all up

It’s hard to explain in fewer words just because of the variance in computers and TVs… but it’s really not at all complicated and it’s definitely worth the trouble. Since most newer computers also have DVD players, not to mention access to Direct TV Internet (which I highly recommend), you can save a serious amount of cash by spending a few bucks and a Saturday afternoon seeking out a couple cables. I’d say give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

February 23, 2008 at 10:20 pm 8 comments


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