How to Connect a Computer to a TV Via a USB

By Anne Hirsh

Connecting your computer to a TV using a USB cable used to be impossible. Thanks to technological developments, this is no longer the case. You can now purchase signal converters that can take a signal from your computer's USB port and translate it into data that is readable in other configurations, including HDMI for high-definition televisions. When shopping for the hardware to hook your computer into the TV, look for the words "Converter" or "Signal converter" on the packaging, rather than "Adapter." An adapter simply changes the configuration of the port, which may or may not work with modern TVs. A converter actually translates the signal into something your TV input can read.

Things You'll Need

  • PC to TV converter

Step 1

Ensure the USB signal converter will convert your computer's video output to your TV's video input. For example, if your TV has an HDMI input, select a USB to HDMI signal converter. If your TV requires VGA connections, select a converter with USB input and VGA output. These items are often listed as PC to TV converter boxes, and they may have more than one output configuration.

Step 2

Check that the converter unit is compatible with your computer's operating system, such as Windows Vista, XP or 7 or Mac OS X, before purchasing.

Step 3

Install any needed driver software. Read all of your PC to TV converter's instructions thoroughly before you plug the unit into your computer or TV. Follow all printed directions and onscreen prompts to set up the software for your converter.

Step 4

Test the installation by playing a video on your computer and watching it on the TV. If everything seems to be installed properly but the video only appears on your computer monitor, not the television, toggle the display. The key combination to do this varies by manufacturer, but is often achieved by pressing the "Fn" key and the "F5" key at the same time. If this doesn't work, check your user's guide for the display function key.