How to Connect Your PC to Your Big Screen TV

By James Clark

Hooking up a personal computer to a big-screen TV makes it possible to enjoy web content and video files stored to the hard drive on a larger screen size. if the computer is equipped with a DVD player, the PC can also be used as a home-theater component to take the place of a DVD player. Cables for connecting the equipment depend on the type of connections compatible with both the computer and TV. S-video jacks are common on many computers and TVs. Newer equipment may also have High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) jacks, which can be connected with a single cable to transmit picture and sound.

Things You'll Need

  • Video cable (S-video or HDMI)
  • VGA to S-video adapter (for computers with VGA jack only)
  • Audio cables
  • Y-adapter for audio cable connection from PC to TV

Connecting Video Cable

Step 1

Check the back panel of the computer tower or laptop and the TV to see which connections are available. An S-video socket is round, with three notches around the perimeter and four pin holes in the center. The six-sided HDMI port is wider on the top edge. If the computer and TV have HDMI jacks, use a single HDMI cable by inserting the plug on each end with the wide edge turned upward.

Step 2

Connect the plug on one end of the S-video cable to the S-video socket on a TV if the set is not equipped with HDMI.

Step 3

Attach the plug on the other end directly to the S-video socket on the back of the computer tower. Computers equipped with a four-sided video graphics array port can be connected to an S-video cable with an adapter. Simply connect the S-video cable to the adapter and hook up the VGA plug on the other end to the VGA port on the computer. The port is typically used to connect an external monitor.

Hooking Up the Audio

Step 1

Insert the mini-plug on the Y-adapter into the "Line Out" or headphones jack on the computer.

Step 2

Insert the two plugs on one end of the stereo cables into the two jacks on the Y-adapter.

Step 3

Connect the two plugs on the opposite end of the cables to the audio input jacks on the back of the TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unplug the TV and computer from the power while connecting audio-video cables.