If you’ve ever been in the awkward situation of trying to show a large group of people something on your tiny computer, you know that is isn’t ideal. And have you ever just wished you could watch a movie you’ve downloaded on your computer on your big-screen television? What few people realize is that most computers can be connected to most televisions. While it may not be as simple as plugging any cord from one to the other, it is possible to achieve the results you desire with a few steps. And you can often find long time open source software like xvid and vlc to help you watch a video file on your TV.
First, identify the inputs and outputs. You’ll need to examine the input on the TV and the output on the computer. Many TVs have what is called a VGA input. If both your computer and TV are VGA-equipped, connecting the two devices will be easy. If not, you will need to determine what connections are available to you. You are looking for any matching connection. The list that follows is an index of some of the possibilities you may face.
1. VGA to VGA. This is the best possible option, but older televisions usually aren’t manufactured with this type of input.
2. S-Video to S-Video. Both analog and digital televisions often have an S-Video input, and this option won’t compromise the quality as much as other options. If your computer doesn’t have an S-Video output, you can use an adapter.
3. DVI to VGA. You can use a DVI cable instead of a VGA cable if necessary.
4. Component video input to VGA. If your TV has a component video input (usually a digital television), you can connect it to the VGA output on your computer.
Each connection and the aspect ratio from the computer to the TV will need to be fiddled with in order for the link to work properly. But chances are, if you have the above connections, maximizing your screen is viable.