Cable finder

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Revision as of 17:33, 29 September 2009 by Tepples (talk | contribs) (wikipedia)
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This page helps you find the cables you need to connect a personal computer to a television.

Background

In 1987, IBM released the Video Graphics Array (VGA) card, which could generate a color video signal with 480p enhanced definition. But for about two decades afterward, connecting a PC to a TV was considered a "hard problem". Most TVs of the time were boxy CRT SDTVs (cathode ray tube standard-definition televisions). These required a scan converter to turn the EDTV (enhanced-definition television) or HDTV (high-definition television) signal from a monitor into an SDTV signal that the TV can use. But starting around the early 2000s, video cards using a chipset made by NVIDIA or ATI began to incorporate a TV output with a scan converter right on the card. Furthermore, as of 2008, people are replacing their SDTV sets with HDTV sets, which have the same ports on the back as a PC monitor.

Video connector

First find the video output connectors on the back of your computer and your monitor or TV set. Then compare them to the pictures on Wikipedia:

To be added: gallery of photos of each port

HDTV

Your computer Your monitor Required cable
VGA VGA VGA cable
DVI (DVI-I) VGA DVI-to-VGA cable
DVI DVI DVI cable
DVI HDMI DVI-to-HDMI cable
HDMI DVI DVI-to-HDMI cable
HDMI HDMI HDMI cable

SDTV

Do not confuse RCA connectors that carry composite video (yellow) with those carrying audio (white or red), or you'll hear a horrible buzzing noise from your TV's speakers.

Your computer Your monitor Required cable
S-Video (4 or 7 pin) S-Video (4 pin) S-video cable
S-Video Composite S-Video cable
Composite Composite RCA cable
VGA Composite Scan converter and RCA cable
VGA S-Video Scan converter and S-Video cable
DVI-I Composite Scan converter, DVI-to-VGA cable, and RCA cable
DVI-I S-Video Scan converter, DVI-to-VGA cable, and S-Video cable

If you need a scan converter, I've had decent results with the SW-22050 from Sewell.