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Connect PC to TV via HDMI

VanCityScT

New Member
I want my TV to act as a secondary monitor for my PC mainly for when I watch movies and stuff. My PC has a single basic VGA (I think) connection which my monitor is using.

I was looking into it and people suggested adding an HDMI connection to directly connect it to my TV, for around 50$. I want to avoid adding anything to my PC though, since It's old and I'm planning on getting a new one in a couple years. I saw a few USB to HDMI adapters for around 30$ on ebay, seems like they're perfect but I'm worried they're cheap and will break or have poor quality.

Any suggestions? Should I shell out the extra 20$ and add an HDMI connection?
Thanks guys.
 

slicer4ever

Coding random shit
if this is a desktop, might be worth upgrading the video card so you have an hdmi out, and a nicer video card.

if it's a laptop, that's your only option(other than maybe express cards)
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
Yeah it really all depends on what kind of computer you're talking about (desktop or laptop). If it's a desktop, tell us what video card you have. If it is a laptop, tell us what kind of laptop.
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
Yeah without getting an additional video card your only option is to get a USB adapter.

Something like this would work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815290023

ALthough people have expressed issues with lag on these kind of devices, which is understandable since they're using USB 2.0 and only have so much bandwidth accessible. You might get slightly better performance if you use a lower resolution on the second display. I have personally not used any so I cannot comment on how well they work. If all you are looking to do is display something on a second screen (like chat windows or something) this will be fine. If you're looking to throw a video on your TV it might not work that well. However if you really wanted to watch video on your TV while maintaining a connection to your monitor you could invest in a switch that'll just switch the video inputs from your TV to your monitor and vice versa (although with a switch you can't use them both at the same time). Alternatlively you can also use your internal graphics port (the VGA on the back of your computer) and have that use your TV as a primary display (just will need a VGA - HDMI adapter) and use the USB adapter to power your computer monitor.

What do you plan to display on the second screen/TV basically?
 

VanCityScT

New Member
I just basically want to watch Netflix and stuff like that on my TV so yea I'm looking to transfer video. I guess for quality I could get the switch instead. What is it/where can I get it?

And also if I got a new video card then I would want a decent one which would require a new PSU, which I want avoid since I'll worry about all that when I get a new PC.

Thanks for the help!
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
I just basically want to watch Netflix and stuff like that on my TV so yea I'm looking to transfer video. I guess for quality I could get the switch instead. What is it/where can I get it?

And also if I got a new video card then I would want a decent one which would require a new PSU, which I want avoid since I'll worry about all that when I get a new PC.

Thanks for the help!
Yep a new PSU would most likely be necessary if you add on a graphics card to a stock HP system like the one you've got.

Alright as far as a switch goes - things get complicated...as they always do. From the looks of it, most switches allow you to switch between to different inputs (meaning two computers share one screen and you switch between PC1 and PC2). Seeing how you want to watch video on your TV you'll also need audio.

It may be possible to use a VGA split cable (it splits your VGA cable in two, allowing one to go to your monitor and one to go to your TV). If your TV has a VGA input than this might be the way to go as it will clone your display and you'd just need to send a separate 3.5mm audio cable from your computer to it as well - which further complicates things now that I think about it.

Basically what I need to know now is: what kind of TV do you have? Sorry for all the questions, just isn't as easy as it should be. Heck at this point it might just be easier to buy a cheap graphics card and a PSU but that'll run you close to $100. I'm going to keep on looking into solutions, it's tricky.
 

slicer4ever

Coding random shit
can't he simply split his vga and 3.5mm audio cable, and on the tv, all he has to do is switch over to pc mode?.

assuming the tv has vga input, but if it has hdmi, it probably has a vga port.

edit: hmm, this really depends on if the tv can support the same resolution as the monitor, otherwise he'll be changing resolutions each time he wants to switch between the two.

but it should be a decent fix, with little investment.
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
can't he simply split his vga and 3.5mm audio cable, and on the tv, all he has to do is switch over to pc mode?.

assuming the tv has vga input, but if it has hdmi, it probably has a vga port.

edit: hmm, this really depends on if the tv can support the same resolution as the monitor, otherwise he'll be changing resolutions each time he wants to switch between the two.

but it should be a decent fix, with little investment.
Yep - he could simply use a VGA split/mirror cable as well as a 3.5mm split cable but as you said, depends if his TV supports VGA which is why I've asked. Otherwise he'd have to convert it to HDMI as well and that's just way too much of a mess. The VGA split method should cost no more than $30 though.
 

VanCityScT

New Member
Hey guys, sorry for the late reply. I'm literally investing all my free time in school.

Anyway, it looks like the only decent solution I have is splitting the VGA and audio out on my PC so that one of each can go to my television (which by the way is a newer Samsung LCD with 2 HDMI ports and one AV/Component).
That means I'll need a VGA to HDMI cable? Sounds good but you mentioned it would be messy. Do you mean in terms of the quality of video since it would be a pretty rough way to get it through to my TV?

Either that or I could go ahead with the USB to HDMI, since I've heard from a friend that it wasn't too bad. Didn't think it would be this difficult though. I guess I could scrap the idea for now and wait until I finish school and invest in a decent PC.
Regardless, I appreciate the effort, thanks
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
Hey guys, sorry for the late reply. I'm literally investing all my free time in school.

Anyway, it looks like the only decent solution I have is splitting the VGA and audio out on my PC so that one of each can go to my television (which by the way is a newer Samsung LCD with 2 HDMI ports and one AV/Component).
That means I'll need a VGA to HDMI cable? Sounds good but you mentioned it would be messy. Do you mean in terms of the quality of video since it would be a pretty rough way to get it through to my TV?

Either that or I could go ahead with the USB to HDMI, since I've heard from a friend that it wasn't too bad. Didn't think it would be this difficult though. I guess I could scrap the idea for now and wait until I finish school and invest in a decent PC.
Regardless, I appreciate the effort, thanks
Well to convert VGA to HDMI you'll probably also want to include the audio with the HDMI output - in which case it's around $50-70 for devices capable of that. Not sure if your TV has an audio input that allows it to bypass HDMI audio/source audio. You may have to settle for a USB-HDMI adapter although all the reviews I have seen do not recommend it for video watching (although some hint that 480p - aka standard definition may work without frame rate drop).

If you are to go with a USB-HDMI adapter, this one seems like the most promising: http://www.amazon.com/IOGEAR-GUC2025H-External-Video-Interface/dp/B004OA73PW

You could theoretically go the split vga cable route with audio out and then connect the VGA cord (and audio cord) to this adapter: http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Hammerhead-HDMI-Converter-1080p/dp/B006LP0FXA/ref=sr_1_22?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359560100&sr=1-22&keywords=USB+to+HDMI+adapter and run it to your TV. However with none of us here running a similar setup we can't say how well it will run since it'll have to mirror your desktop's screen. If your computer monitor is 1080p or at least close than you shouldn't have too much of an issue mirroring it and getting a good quality result.
 
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