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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Computer-TV connection question - Mayfly

   
Author Topic: Computer-TV connection question - Mayfly
Lyrhawn
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So I've decided to get rid of my old tube TV that I was using in my bedroom. It was hooked up to an ancient DVD player and it worked pretty well for me as a set up. Now I'm using a 32 inch flatscreen, but when I hooked up the DVD player to it, the picture was absolutely awful.

The TV is pretty close to my computer tower. Would it be possible to hook the TV into my computer and play DVDs off my computer but still use my regular monitor the way I do now? Basically, I guess, can I split screen between my TV and my monitor and use one of the screens to play a movie?

Actually, now that I think about it, splitscreening would probably increase my productivity, so there's another reason to want to make that work.

Edit to add: Okay, I was going to try it via HDMI connection, but my tower appears to have some sort of mini-HDMI connection instead of the standard, so that's out. The TV has a port for a monitor cable (VGA?), but oddly the back of the tower has two what I think are DVI ports. The monitor has an open VGA cable port, so could I connect the TV and the Monitor and make that work somehow?

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Mucus
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Yeah, I have a TV flat screen hooked up by HDMI, it just works like a second monitor.

Converters for DVI to VGA are easy to find, you probably got some with your video card.

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Lyrhawn
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So that's what those little adapters were that I keep losing?

I'd have to buy one, I have no idea where all my loose odds and ends are. Would you suggest buying a DVI to VGA cord/adapter, or an HDMI to HDMI mini cable? Is there a difference quality wise (for the image, I mean)?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
my tower appears to have some sort of mini-HDMI connection instead of the standard, so that's out
No, it's not. You can buy a mini-HDMI to full-HDMI cable for $5, and that's all you'll need.

If you try to connect to the VGA port on the TV, you'll be limiting the resolution of your connection. Stick to HDMI.

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Lyrhawn
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Got it.

Thanks!

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Stone_Wolf_
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I have my laptop hooked up to my flat pannel tv, for netflix, YouTube and video gaming, with a VGA.
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MattP
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That "mini-HDMI" might also be a "display port" connector, which I think would be more likely on a tower. There also cheap adapters available for converting that to HDMI.

Display Port:
http://www.thegamersblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/DisplayPort.jpg

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Lyrhawn
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It doesn't quite look like that.

I think I have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card. I'm pretty sure it has two DVI ports and an HDMI mini, though now you have me wondering.

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MattP
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Yeah, that card has a mini-HDMI.
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Stephan
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Blu-Ray players are pretty cheap nowadays. The Sony ones have Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.
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Aros
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DVI to HDMI is the preferred cable in this instance.
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TomDavidson
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No, it's not. HDMI to HDMI is preferred, as long as you have it, since it will also carry audio and is considered an encrypted connection for things like Blu-Ray playback.
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scifibum
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You might have to make sure your video card handles the audio directly; some models would require an additional audio pass through connection (inside the case).
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TomDavidson
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The GTX 460 passes audio out through its mini-HDMI port. But you want to make sure that the cable you buy actually carries audio, since not all mini-HDMI cables do.
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Lyrhawn
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I ordered this cable last night and it should be here tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it handles sound too. Looking forward to finally making fuller use of all these doodads.

Now if I can just figure out a way to hook it into my soundbar/subwoofer system, that'd be even better.

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TomDavidson
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What's your AV receiver like?
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I ordered this cable last night and it should be here tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it handles sound too. Looking forward to finally making fuller use of all these doodads.

Now if I can just figure out a way to hook it into my soundbar/subwoofer system, that'd be even better.

Your TV probably has an "audio out" port of some type, either optical, digital, or analog. Just figure out what type it has, and then run a cable from that port to your soundbar.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What's your AV receiver like?

I have this system. You're supposed to hook up everything through the subwoofer. Previously I had my PS3, TV and one or two other things all hooked into the back of the subwoofer, and then you can cycle through them.

I suppose I could hook the TV into the subwoofer and just plug the HDMI cable from the computer into the subwoofer, but I'm not sure if that'd work. I never had a problem playing video games and the like using the central unit as a switching station.

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TomDavidson
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The system, as described, does both audio and video pass-through; this is true of most modern AV switchers. This means you should be able to run HDMI into the subwoofer from the video card, then run another HDMI cable from the subwoofer into the TV.
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Lyrhawn
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Awesome! I'll try that tomorrow. Thanks!
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Lyrhawn
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Okay, I got the image to show up on the TV screen, but I can't get the audio to work through the soundsystem, and the picture looks really not very good. Do I need to adjust the resolution on the screen or something to make the picture look better? It looked better when my DVD player on my old tube TV played it.

this is what the back of my subwoofer looks like. I have the TV hooked into the TV out, and the computer plugged into the BD In spot. Then I set the system to BD.

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TomDavidson
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Does your computer automatically detect the resolution of your screen? It should. If it doesn't, then resolution may in fact be a problem.

That said, if sound isn't working, you may first want to make sure that the drivers on your video card have been updated to the latest version.

-------

There are some threads on the Internet, like the one below, which suggest that passthrough on this unit can be problematic:
http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/TV-Home-Theater/Sony-Soundbar-HT-CT150-not-displaying-video/td-p/135749

This thread has a LOT of discussion and useful things to try:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1236597/sony-ht-ct150-and-ct350/1890

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MattP
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You have to change the audio settings in Windows to use that hdmi port instead of whatever the default is (probably a separate audio jack on the back of the computer). You may need to update your graphics card drivers to have that option.
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Lyrhawn
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Okay, I got the soundbar to work. Matt was right, I had to change which audio input was being used. Hooray!

I think most of my resolution problems are actually stemming from the fact that I'm just now realizing just how crappy the picture is on my TV. It's pretty blah, but I think the setup is by and large pretty good. I'll have to keep playing with it.

Thanks for those threads Tom. I tried to do a few searches before I came back here to ask, but I couldn't find anything specifically addressing my problem.

I'll address future questions to the forum Tom linked to. I think I've taken advantage of you guys enough. Thanks again! [Smile]

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:


I think most of my resolution problems are actually stemming from the fact that I'm just now realizing just how crappy the picture is on my TV. It's pretty blah, but I think the setup is by and large pretty good. I'll have to keep playing with it.


If you're playing from a DVD or Blu-ray on your computer, then the picture quality should be the same as if you were using a DVD player. If you've downloaded something, that's not necessarily the case, because a lot of downloads are compressed, which damages picture quality. Are you having picture quality issues with everything, or just downloads? If it's everything, you might want to play with the picture settings on your TV--sharpness, tint, etc.. If it's just downloads, there's not a ton you can do, other than turn down the sharpness while you're watching them, maybe.
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