How to Connect My Analog TV to My Computer

By James Clark

Connecting a computer to an older analog television enables the user to enjoy Web browsing and multimedia content on a larger screen, while recording Internet content to an optional VCR or DVD recorder. The connection requires a computer and a TV equipped either with Video Graphics Array (VGA) jacks, an S-video jack, or a combination of both. A straight connection between matching jack types will provide the best picture, although an adapter can be used to transform the VGA signal to S-video. Standard audio cables and a Y-adapter for connecting to the computer will be needed for sound.

Things You'll Need

  • Analog TV
  • VGA cable, S-vdeo cable and VGA to S-video adapter
  • Audio cables
  • Y-adapter with RCA jacks on one end and a mini-plug on the other, available at electronics stores
  • Computer

Step 1

Check the back of the computer and television to determine which video connections are available. A four-sided VGA port contains 15 holes in three rows of five each. A round S-video port contains four holes and three notches around the perimeter. If there are matching ports on the computer and TV, use a single cable, for example, VGA to VGA. If the ports are different (VGA on the computer, S-video on the TV) an adapter will be needed.

Step 2

Connect the VGA plug to the VGA OUT port on the back of the computer with the wider end of the plug turned upward, tightening the lock bolt on each side of the plug by turning clockwise. If the TV is equipped with a VGA IN jack, connect the other end of the cable to the television in the same manner. Otherwise, continue to Step 3.

Step 3

Connect the VGA plug on a VGA to S-video adapter to the back of the computer, then inset the S-video plug on the other end of the adapter into a Video IN jack on the back of the TV. Like the VGA, the S-video plug inserts in one direction only.

Step 4

Connect the plugs on a set of audio cables to the Audio IN jacks on the back of the TV.

Step 5

Insert the plugs on the other end of the cables into the RCA jacks on a Y-adapter.

Step 6

Insert the mini-plug on the Y-adapter into the computer Audio OUT jack, located on the back of the Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Tips & Warnings

  • If the computer is connected to a separate monitor and an analog TV, press the "Fn" and "F8" keys simultaneously to toggle between the monitor and the television.
  • Unplug the computer and TV from the electricity until the AV connections are complete.