How to Connect a Dell Computer to a Television

By James Clark

Dell computers, both laptops and desktops, are equipped with a video port for hooking up an external monitor. This VGA (video graphics array) port contains 15 holes that connect with the 15 metal connectors inside a VGA cable plug. Dell computers can also be hooked up to a TV instead of a monitor by using an adapter that converts VGA into an S-video socket, a common type of connection on may television sets. The adapter is available at electronics and computers stores.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video cable
  • S-video to VGA adapter
  • VGA cable

Step 1

Plug in one end of the S-video cable into the socket on the connection panel of the TV. It is almost always labeled "S-video," but if not, look for the round socket with four small pin-holes in the center and a notch on one edge. Line up the metal pins in the S-video plug with the four holes.

Step 2

Attach the other end of the cable to the S-video socket on the adapter.

Step 3

Connect the VGA cable from the socket on the adapter to the video port on the back of the Dell desktop tower or the rear edge of a Dell laptop.

Step 4

Twist the lock knobs on each side of the VGA plugs clockwise to hold the cable in place.

Step 5

Press the "Fn" (function) key and the "F8" key on a Dell laptop keyboard at the same time to turn off the built-in monitor while connected to the TV, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some Dell computers, primarily laptops, are equipped with an S-video socket. These computers can be connected directly to a TV with an S-video cable. There is no need for an adapter or VGA cable.