Connect your PC to your TV through HDMI (and More)

You’ve got an awesome computer. You have a pretty sweet TV just sitting there in your living room, begging to be used. Why not use them together? In fact, I go this route when I want to play games…or watch Netflix. Or Hulu….or read my emails!  OK, maybe not that last bit – but you get the idea: There’s no need to huddle around a small screen. Want to know how to get this stuff set up in short order? Thought so. Keep reading for a breakdown of how to hook your PC to your TV.


Going Wireless

You have a couple options right off the bat. One is wireless. Some of the newest HP laptops – like, say the ENVY 14 Spectre – offer up Intel’s Wireless Display technology. In a nutshell, you have the laptop wirelessly stream your display to an external TV adapter (that you need to buy separately). Just fire up the Intel WiDi app on your PC (if it comes with the tech) and it starts searching for WiDi recievers.


Another option is to use HP’s Wireless TV Connect tech. The first gen device was pretty cool (you can see a video demo of how it works here) But the second gen Wireless TV Connect: It’s pretty great. Seriously. It can transmit a 1080p 3D TV signal and audio from one device to a display. Just plug one end into whatever device you’re using and leave the receiver plugged into your TV. Best part: It’s got virtually undetectable lag. In fact, I’ve plugged one end into a PS3 in one room and play a game in another room!


Wired for HDMI

Then, of course, there’s that HDMI cable sticking out of your TV. You could just plug it straight into your computer. It could be that ENVY 17 you yank out of your backpack…or a Pavilion HPE that you’re leaving in your home entertainment center (the later isn’t as crazy as it may sound.) Let’s do a walkthrough of that – and tackle some of the basics of getting you set up.


Your friend, the HDMI Cable

HDMI cord.jpg



The graphics card in your computer may have more than one connector. Most graphics cards support connecting one or two displays at a time.


HDMI, Port dock.gif


When you use HDMI to connect your display, you need to adjust some settings through Windows to hear sound through the display. Because of this, HP recommends that you connect analog speakers to the computer Audio Line Out connector if you want to hear sound during the initial setup of the computer. Here’s another ProTip for you: If you need to use an HDMI-to-DVI connector to plug into your TV it won’t transfer the audio.


FIRST STEP: How to connect a monitor or TV using an HDMI connection


NOTE: If you are viewing 1080P or higher video definition, use a category 2 HDMI cable.Notepad.png



To connect the display using an HDMI connection (and HDMI cable):

  1. Shut down the computer. Turn off the monitor or TV.
  2. Connect an HDMI cable to the computer and to the display.
  3. Turn on the display, and select the HDMI input as the input source to view.
  4. Turn on the computer.

Pretty obvious stuff, right? Next is the only part you need to make doubly-sure you set up right…


NEXT STEP: How to set up HDMI sound


1.Right-click the Volume icon (white speaker) on the taskbar. Sound Button.gif

2.Click Playback Devices….this opens the Sound window.

3.On the Playback tab, click Digital Output Device (HDMI) if it is present. If it is not present, click Realtek HDMI Output.


Figure: Digital Output Device (HDMI) selection


Digital Output Device.gif


Figure: Realtek HDMI Output selection


Realtek HDMI Output.gif


4.Click Set Default.

5.Click Apply.

6.Do one of the following:

  • If you used Digital Output Device (HDMI), click OK to close the window. This completes the steps to activate HDMI sound for this option.
  • If you used Realtek HDMI Output, continue with step 7.

7.Double-click Realtek HDMI Output.

8.The Properties window opens.

9.Click the Supported Formats tab. Place a check in the 48.0 KHz check box, and ensure that there is no check in the Dolby Digital check box and all other check boxes.

Figure: Supported Formats settings in the Realtek HDMI Output Properties window


Supported Format.jpg


Notepad.pngNOTE: For most displays to play back audio, the sample rate must be 48.0 KHz.



10.Click OK to apply the changes and close the window. Done!


ADVANCED STUFF: Adjusting the video performance

All right, you’re wired up, audio is rocking and now, if you want to do a little fine-tuning. You need to go into the graphics card software controls to switch up performance. I’m going to break down options whether you’re using an AMD- or NVIDIA-based board.



Use the NVIDIA Control Panel software to adjust settings for an NVIDIA graphics card.


Use these steps to open and use the NVIDIA graphics card software:


1.To open the graphics card software, right-click an empty area of the computer desktop, and then click the NVIDIA graphics card software item in the menu: nVidia Display or NVIDIA Control Panel.


2.The NVIDIA software window opens. Perform one of the following that matches the graphics card software:

  • Click Display or Video & Television.

Notepad.png NOTE: Video & Television appears only when a digital television is connected to the graphics card before the graphics card software is opened.


  • Click nView Display Settings , and then select the monitor or TV in Current display.

Notepad.png NOTE: nView Display Settings appears only when more than one display is connected to the graphics card before the graphics card software is opened.


3.Click a selection, make adjustments or changes, and then click Apply.


These are some of the NVIDIA Control Panel software settings for the graphics card:

  • 3D Settings: For games and 3D applications
  • Resolution, color quality, and refresh rate
  • Color
  • Scale
  • Rotation
  • Video color: Adjusts the color for a fine-tuned image or specific uses.
  • Digital color format: Selects the format, if supported by the display, for visual color saturation (pure black).
  • Signal format: Selects the signal format for a standard TV or HDTV (high definition television). Also, selects the high definition format.

Figure: Example Change the Signal or HD Format selection screen



Change Signal.jpg


For more information, click Help in the screen toolbar or refer to the NVIDIA home Web site .


IF YOU HAVE AMD Graphics….

Use the ATI software to adjust settings for the graphics card.


To open and use the ATI graphics card software:


1.To open the graphics card software, right-click an empty area of the computer desktop, and then click the ATI graphics card software item in the menu: ATI Catalyst Control Center or ATI CCC.


2.Select Basic and click Next.


Figure: Example ATI Catalyst Control Center opening wizard screen


ATI Catalyst.jpg


3. Follow the instructions to set up the display and select options.


Figure 9: Example ATI Catalyst Control Center setting selection screen


ATI Catalyst Control Center.jpg


For more information, click Help in the screen toolbar or refer to the ATI Products home Web site .


See, not so bad, right? Did that help you? Or do you have more questions? I’m here for you, so hit the comments with your thoughts.

Tags: Connection| hdmi| HDTV| tv
Labels: connection| hdmi| HDTV| TV
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