How to Use an HDTV as a Computer Monitor

By Felix Ofiwe

With the price of high-definition televisions (HDTVs) falling in the past few years, it's tempting to use your HDTV as a computer monitor. You'll have much better picture quality and a wider monitor to play with, and the process for using your HDTV as a computer monitor isn't complex.

Things You'll Need

  • HDMI connector
  • HDMI-to-DVI adapter or cord
  • HDMI cable
  • HDTV manual
  • Computer manual

Step 1

Move your computer next to your HDTV. Set it up so your cord can easily reach both components. Determine whether your computer has a DVI (digital video interface) card installed. If not, install one or buy an external DVI card.

Step 2

Determine whether your HDTV has an HDMI (high definition multimedia interface). Most HDTVs have HDMI interfaces.

Step 3

Attach a HDMI-to-DVI converter to one end of your HDMI cord or buy a cord with HDMI and DVI connectors. Connect your HDMI cord to the HDMI input on your television and the DVI to the DVI input on your computer.

Step 4

Turn on your computer and HDTV. Your television has a native resolution that may be different from your computer's resolution. Adjust your television's resolution to what your computer is able to display. Consult your HDTV manual for your television's native resolution and how to adjust it.

Step 5

Create a custom resolution for your new flat screen monitor. You may be required to create a custom resolution if your HDTV's native resolution won't match your DVI output resolution. Custom resolution procedures will vary. Consult your computer manual for information on how to do this.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your HDTV doesn't have HDMI interfaces, use S-video or VGA. This might affect your picture quality, but it will work.
  • You'll lose sound when you connect HDMI and DVI components. HDMI supports sound, but DVI doesn't. To get around this, connect your computer to your sound system.
  • Your HDTV's native resolution will be brighter than your computer's DVI is able to display. You must adjust the resolution to get good picture quality.