How to Attach an Acer Monitor to a DIRECTV DVR

by Jeff Grundy Google

    DIRECTV offers a complete line of digital video recorders that not only allow you to record programming but also serve as your TV tuner/receiver or "cable box." High-end DIRECTV DVRs, such as the HMC, HD DVR and TiVo models, even allow you to access thousands of on-demand movies if connected to the Internet with the DIRECTV Cinema connection kit. While all DIRECTV DVRs support basic BNC cable or RCA connections for connecting to older TVs, models that are more expensive may also include HDMI connections for connecting to HD TVs or computer monitors. If you don’t have a modern large-screen HDTV, but have an unused Acer LCD or LED monitor, you can connect it to a DIRECTV DVR in lieu of a television.

    Acer Monitors with HDMI Ports

    Step 1

    Power off the DIRECTV DVR and the Acer monitor.

    Step 2

    Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the port on the rear of the DVR labeled "HDMI" or "HDMI Out." Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the matching port on the Acer monitor.

    Step 3

    Power on the Acer monitor first, then turn on the DIRECTV DVR. Use the Acer monitor with the DVR just as you would a regular television. After you power on the devices, the display from the DVR appears on the Acer monitor automatically. Note that the monitor may take a few seconds to display the picture from the DVR as it scans for video signal types and detects the HDMI cable connection.

    DVI Port Connections

    Step 1

    Power off the Acer monitor and the DIRECTV DVR.

    Step 2

    Connect the DVI end of the HDMI-to-DVI combo adapter cable to the DVI port on the rear of the Acer monitor. Connect the 3.5mm audio piggy-back cable on the combo adapter to the speaker input on the monitor. If the monitor does not have built-in speakers, connect the audio cable on the adapter to a pair of computer speakers by using a 3.5mm female-to-female audio cable to connect the two male ends between the adapter and the speakers.

    Step 3

    Connect the other end of the combo adapter cable to the "HDMI Out" or "HDMI" port on the DIRECTV DVR.

    Step 4

    Power on the Acer monitor, then the DVR. Select and play programming on the DVR as you normally would.

    HDMI-to-VGA Conversion

    Step 1

    Plug the VGA connector on the video cable for the Acer monitor to the 15-pin female VGA port on the converter box. Connect the HDMI cable to the DVR and to the matching port on the converter box.

    Step 2

    Connect the 3.5mm audio cable to the converter box and to the monitor or a pair of computer speakers.

    Step 3

    Connect the AC power adapter to the converter box, and then plug the power cord into an empty electrical outlet.

    Step 4

    Power on the monitor and the DVR. Use the DIRECTV DVR normally.

    RCA-to-VGA Adapter

    Step 1

    Connect the male RCA plugs from the RCA-to-VGA adapter into the matching colored female connectors on the end of an RCA A/V extension cable. Connect the male plugs into the matching-colored RCA ports on the rear of the DIRECTV DVR.

    Step 2

    Connect the male VGA connector on the Acer monitor cable to the female VGA port on the RCA-to-VGA adapter.

    Step 3

    Connect the 3.5mm audio cable from the adapter into the speaker port for the monitor. Alternatively, connect a 3.5mm female-to-female adapter cable, then connect the audio cables from the adapter and speakers into either side of the female-to-female adapter cable.

    Step 4

    Power on both devices and use the DVR as you normally would.

    Tips

    • If you want to connect the audio cable from an adapter to your home stereo rather than routing sound to the monitor or a set of computer speakers, connect a female-to-female 3.5mm adapter cable to the cable from the video adapter, then connect a 3.5mm-to-RCA converter. Connect the red and white RCA plugs on the 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter into the "Auxiliary" port on the rear of the amplifier or the receiver.

    Warnings

    • Beware of simple cable adapters sold with claims that they convert HDMI to VGA, or vice versa. HDMI delivers true digital signals, while VGA can only send and transmit analog video signals. To convert between the two types of connectors, you must use a converter box that decodes the digital signals and encodes them into an analog one that the VGA interface can understand and transmit.

    Required Items

    • HDMI cable (optional)
    • HDMI-to-VGA converter box (optional)
    • HDMI-to-DVI combo cable (optional)
    • 3.5mm female-to-female audio extension cable adapter (optional)
    • Computer speakers (optional)
    • RCA-to-VGA converter cable (optional)
    • RCA A/V male-to-female cable set (optional)

    About the Author

    Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images