Is it possible to connect a PC to an HDTV? HD is great on a computer monitor, but wouldn’t it be better on a large HDTV? This was my thinking after getting a new HDTV. To answer the question, yes it’s possible depending on if your equipment share a common interface. If you have a 30″ Apple cinema display, then don’t waist your time, or send it to me. I would be more than happy to send you my home address. :)

Step 1: Check your HDTV for DVI, HDMI, VGA, or Component connections.
Step 2: Check you PC for a DVI, VGA, or Component connections.

Note: These are the most common interfaces. If you only have an S-Video or Composite connection, then don’t waist your time. S-Video and Composite do not carry an HD signal. You computer monitor will look infinitely better, so it’s not worth the trouble for a larger display. The best connection is digital, so you preferably want to go with HDMI or DVI over VGA and Component.

Step 3: Buy a cable to connect the PC to HDTV, either a DVI to DVI or HDMI to DVI, whatever your case may be. I found my cable on eBay for ten dollars. DO NOT spend $100.00+ dollars at Best Buy or an electronics store for one of these cables. You will not be able to tell a difference between a cheap $10.00 dollar cable and a $100.00 dollar cable.

Step 4: Determine what resolution your HDTV needs to be set at. Most HDTV’s do not share the same native resolution as a computer monitor. To see which resolutions your HDTV supports check out the manual. Most companies have their manuals online.

If the resolution needed is not provided from your video card, try upgrading your drivers. Most video card companies have updated their software and drivers to support HDTV’s. I have an ATI 9700 AIW card. I had to upgrade the Catalyst software and video drivers, and then found the resolution I needed and support for 1080i. If the resolution isn’t available from the display controls of your PC then you will need to add it. Powerstrip is free software to allow you to do this, and it works extremely well. Try option one first and Powerstrip second.

Most HDTVs only accept a few resolutions and some only have component input. Since most PCs don’t have component output, it can be a bit more difficult. Your best bet is to either buy a video card that supports component output or to buy a VGA to component converter. Since the convert costs as much as a good video card, it makes more sense to go with the new Video card.

Note: It is important to keep in mind it is possible to screw up your TV by sending the wrong resolution. So make sure you understand what you are doing before you start to experiment too much. I am not responsible for ruining your beautiful HDTV. Experiment at your own risk.