While most budget computers ship with only a single port for connecting a monitor, higher-end gaming or multimedia systems often include dual-head video cards for hooking up two monitors simultaneously. Although designed for use with computer monitors, you can also DVI ports on a dual-head system to route video signals to a TV. Some LCD and LED TVs include a DVI port compatible with the ones found on computers. However, if you are already using the DVI port on your TV for another connection, or if the television does not have one, you can use an adapter cable to send video from the DVI port on the video card to an HDMI input on the TV.
Power off the television and the computer.
Connect the male DVI end of the adapter or converter cable to the unused DVI port on the video card -- the other should connect to the cable for your computer monitor. Connect one end of the HDMI cable into the female side of the adapter and plug the other end into an empty HDMI port on the TV. Alternatively, connect the HDMI end of a converter cable directly into one of the TV's HDMI ports.
Power on the TV first, then the computer. Wait for Windows to boot and log in with your username and password if prompted.
Use the remote control for the television to select the input or source associated with the port used for the computer connection. Press the "Input" or "Source" button on the remote until the label for the port appears on the TV screen. For example, if you connected the cable to the port on the TV labeled "HDMI 1," press the appropriate key or button on the remote until "HDMI 1" appears on the screen. Depending on the type of computer and video card you have, the display from the computer may or may not appear on the screen automatically. However, Windows displays a mirror image of the computer display on the TV automatically in many cases.
Go to the computer and press the "Windows-P" keys simultaneously to display a small window that allows you to configure multiple displays. Click the "Extend" icon to display a blank Windows desktop on the TV screen. Alternatively, click the "Projector Only" option to display the computer screens content on the television only. Other options available are "Computer Only" and "Mirror," which creates a duplicate of the computer monitor on the TV screen.
- You may be able to use the manufacturer's driver utility to configure a mirrored or extended display on the television. For instance, AMD, Intel and Nvidia all provide configuration utilities for their video cards and graphics adapters that you can access from the system tray in the taskbar. To use the utility, click its icon in the system tray, then follow the prompts to set up a multiple-display system.
- Even if the video card has its own configuration utility, you can still use the native Windows display utility to configure the displays as well as resolution size if needed. To access the Windows display settings, right-click anywhere on the open Windows desktop and click "Screen Resolution."
- If you experience problems, such as the picture not filling the whole screen, not being centered, or otherwise not displaying properly, try adjusting settings in the manufacturer's video driver utility, as it typically provides more low-level configuration options than the native Windows utility.
- Male-DVI to female-HDMI adapter or converter cable
- HDMI cable, if using an adapter
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- Microsoft Windows: Connect Your Computer to a TV
- HDMI: Frequently Asked Questions
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