Ways to Connect a PC to an HD Television

Connecting your computer to high-resolution HD television can give a whole new level of experience to movies, computer games and slideshows. Only a few years ago, connecting a computer to a TV often involved a tangle of wires and a lot of trial and error. Today the process is much easier. With an HDMI cable, you can have digital video and audio in a single connection. Using Wi-Fi, of course, you don't need any cables at all.


Many, if not most, computers sold today include a High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, port specifically designed for connecting to a high definition monitor or an HDTV. If both your TV and computer have an HDMI port, you can connect the two with a single HDMI cable. Although HDMI technology is designed to transfer both video and audio, not all video cards support HDMI audio. Check your computer's technical specs or the user guide to see if it supports HDMI audio.


Another way to connect a computer to an HDTV is with Digital Visual Interface, or DVI. DVI was once more common than HDMI, but few computers and TVs manufactured today still use it. If your computer uses DVI but your HDTV does not, you can purchase an adapter to connect the two. The benefit of DVI is that it transfers high definition digital video to the TV. The downside is that it does not carry audio, so you will have to use your computer speakers unless your sound card has audio adapters designed for a TV or stereo system.


The characteristic trapezoid-shaped VGA port was a standard on computers and monitors for many years. Even notebooks and computers sold today that support HDMI will often also have a VGA port included as well. VGA, or Video Graphics Array, is an analog technology, not digital. Although it does support high definition video, you should not expect the same crisp resolution you may see using a digital connection. If you have a smaller HDTV in which resolution is not as important as on a large 60-inch display, or if your HDTV doesn't have a free HDMI port, VGA can be a suitable alternative. Like DVI, VGA does not transfer audio.


If your TV has Wi-Fi® connectivity, you may be able to connect your computer to your HDTV without using any cables at all. This can involve software installed on a Smart TV or a hardware component attached to the TV like a Wi-Fi enabled USB stick or a set top Wi-Fi device. In most cases, you also need to install the corresponding software on your computer. You can then stream music or videos over Wi-Fi or use your TV to access files on the computer.

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