How to Connect Your TV to the Internet

One way to impress friends and perhaps yourself is to press a button on your TV's remote, switch from the evening news and make the Internet appear on your television set. While it takes a little preparation to make that digital magic happen, you don't need to spend a fortune to put the Web on your TV. In fact, you may already have most of the ingredients you need to enjoy free videos, action games and other Internet content you normally view using your computer monitor.

Items you will need

  • Video Connection Cable
  • Audio Connection Cable
Step 1

Examine your TV's inputs. Depending on your set, you may discover one or more inputs such as HDMI, DVI, component and composite. Some televisions may even have a VGA plug. This type of plug looks like the one you'll find on many older video cards that connect monitors to computers. Newer TVs often have HDMI ports that help you enjoy high-quality video.

Step 2

Identify your computer's video outputs. You'll need to use one of them to get video from the computer to your TV. If your PC's video card has an HDMI output, for instance, you can identify it by checking your owner's manual or visiting your computer maker's support site. If your video card doesn't have an HDMI or DVI output, check the card for component or S-Video video outputs. Component outputs look similar to the RCA outputs you might use to connect an audio cable to a receiver or TV.

Step 3

Decide how you'd like to connect your computer to your TV. If the computer's video card has multiple output types, you’ll save time and money by choosing an output type that matches your TV’s input type. For example, if you have a laptop computer that has as component outputs and a TV that has S-Video and component outputs, you'll probably want to go with component video since a simple component video cable will connect your two devices. While it's possible to convert some video signals into other types, you’ll spend money purchasing adapters and converter boxes.

Step 4

Acquire a video cable based on the connection method you plan to use. If you choose the HDMI connection method, get an HDMI cable. If your devices have only component connections, get a component video cable. Older sets may have inputs that accept composite cables. While composite cables are the cheapest, they produce the poorest quality video.

Step 5

Plug one end of your cable into the output you chose on your computer's video card. If your computer has only a VGA output and your TV has a VGA input, for instance, connect one end of your VGA cable to your video card. Plug the cable’s other end into the input jack you selected for the TV.

Step 6

Connect your computer’s sound card to your TV. If you don't choose the HDMI connection method, run an audio cable from your computer to the TV. Many sound cards have standard 3.5mm speaker jacks into which you can plug a 3.5mm cable. Newer sound cards may have a digital optical jack that transmits high quality audio. Your sound card might also have standard RCA jacks. The cable you’ll use will depend on your sound card. After connecting the appropriate cable to your sound card, plug the other end into the appropriate audio input jack on your TV.

Step 7

Power up your television if it’s off and use its remote to switch the TV to the input source you selected. For example, if you plugged a component cable into the TV’s auxiliary input section, use the remote to switch the TV to that source. Different TVs have unique remotes, menus and configurations. Consult your owner’s manual if you need assistance changing your television’s input source.

Step 8

Launch your computer's browser and visit a site you’d like to view on TV. For example, if you want to watch a YouTube video, play it and enjoy it on your television.

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