How to Convert VGA to RCA

By Techwalla Contributor

Hooking up your desktop or laptop with an available VGA port to your television set is a simple task. Doing so gives you a modern twist on presenting the "slide show" of your vacation pictures to your family and friends. You can also watch Internet TV on your television set by hooking up your desktop or laptop to it.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with VGA port (desktop or laptop, Windows or Mac)
  • VGA to RCA converter
  • Television with RCA port
  • 3.5mm audio cable to handle audio connection (optional)

Step 1

Set up your computer near your television set; hook it up to your Internet connection unless you are running a wireless network.

Step 2

Connect the VGA end of your VGA to RCA adapter to the VGA port on the back of your computer.

Step 3

Connect the RCA end of the VGA to RCA converter to your television set. Depending on the converter you purchased, you may have RCA cabling extending directly from the converter, or you may have additional RCA cabling that needs to be plugged into the RCA end of the converter and then into your television set.

Step 4

Turn on your computer and allow it to recognize your television as a second monitor. Windows users enter your "Display Manager," Mac users go to "System Preferences," and enable the additional monitor. If you want to have the same display on both monitors choose to "clone" your display. If you want to drag and drop videos onto the TV's screen choose "extended desktop" mode.

Step 5

Decide on your audio. Either have the computer handle audio or transfer it to the television. By default, your computer will handle it; just turn your speakers up and enjoy. Connect a 3.5mm audio cable from your computer's headset jack (audio out) to your television's red/white stereo ports if you want audio streamed through your TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • The entire setup process should take a few minutes.
  • Travel with the VGA to RCA converter and your laptop to stream Internet videos on your hotel TV.
  • Get a VGA to HDMI converter rather than a VGA to RCA one if you want to watch everything in HD. VGA to RCA is good for standard definition content, but HDMI is better for reading text on the screen.
  • If you require a full HD signal you should be looking for a VGA to HDMI converter rather than a VGA to RCA. VGA to RCA is good for standard definition content (just regular youtube videos, Hulu, etc.), but for reading text on the screen you will definitely want to go with a VGA to HDMI. Be careful - not all VGA to RCA or VGA to HDMI converters are created equal! While the outside may look similar, some of the cheaper cards will produce fuzzy images or worse, can even damage your equipment. Always look for the Sewell brand for PC to TV conversion.

References & Resources