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How to Connect Computer to TV

Chris writes in with a hardware question

Question:
Hi, I just purchased a new laptop from Toshiba. This is not the first computer I bought and I know to be careful when checking the specs - and I DID check that all the features I wanted to be there - however, the advertisement stated that the it did have the s-video port and after I got done setting up all the new programs I realized it in fact did not have the s-video port. It's a very powerful computer otherwise, 3GB ram, etc, etc...... However the laptop does not have an S-video output - only monitor output. I’m trying to link my laptop to a TV. Is there a way for me to connect to a TV using a USB-to S-video adapter? If so, how would I accomplish this? Would that require extra drivers? If not, what can I do to connect to TV because otherwise the computer is useless; I use my laptop as a link to show word documents or videos to the students that I teach. I purchased an adapter (VGA to S-video) but it for some reason did not work properly. So my last hope is to do it through a USB port. Without the TV, it has been really tough teaching. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

A. If it’s a newer TV it may have a VGA or DVI input where you can plug your computer into it using the VGA output on the back of the computer. There are VGA to DVI adapters if you have a DVI input on your TV.

USB does not transfer video signals from the computer so that most likely is not an option.

When you tried the VGA to S video cable did you make sure to press the Function key on your laptop that switches the video from the LCD screen on the laptop to the VGA output? Just plugging it into the TV will not make it work if you don't tell the computer where to output the video. There should be a key on your keyboard that says function or something similar. There should also be a key that has a picture of a screen on that and you press the function key and that key at the same time to toggle between laptop and external output. There should be 3 modes, one for LCD only, one for output only (TV in your case) and one that will show video on both screens.


 



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