Tell me if this sounds familiar. For whatever reason, you miss your favorite show. Even worse, you forgot to DVR it.
No problem. You’ll catch it On Demand. Of course, this particular show isn’t available On Demand. That or it isn’t available until some time next week after the next show airs and what good is that? That puts you another week behind schedule. So what can you do to watch the show you missed? Check the Internet.
Many times you can find the missing episode the day after it originally aired on the channel’s website (ABC.com, FXnetworks.com, etc.). Or you can check a site like Fancast.com or Hulu.com for rebroadcasts of your favorite shows and movies. Then, you can either watch it right there on your little laptop screen or you can graduate to the computer/TV/Internet blend of television. It’s actually much easier than you may think.
You can create your own little broadcast network using just your laptop, your high speed Internet connection and your TV. That’s right. So how do you hook up your laptop to your TV? It’s easy.
First, you need to determine which type of cable you’ll need. Most laptops will have multiple options, but at the very least you should have an S-Video output (Separate Video). Likewise, most newer model TV’s will have an S-Video input. You just need to make sure both have the same type of S-Video connector. There are 4 pin and 7 pin. Your laptop will likely have a 7 pin, so just make sure your TV has the same or it won’t work.
Your next option would be VGA – Video Graphics Array. The VGA output on your laptop is the more familiar, blue connector typically used to connect your monitor to your laptop. VGA provides a higher quality connection than the S-cable, but your TV likely won’t have a VGA connection unless it’s an HDTV.
You could also look for the white connector, the DVI – Digital Visual Interface. Found on newer laptops and Macs, DVI will provide a much higher quality display from your laptop to your TV. DVI inputs are found almost exclusively on HDTV’s and the cables can be a lot more expensive than VGA or S-Video cables. However, if you plan on watching TV from your laptop on a fairly regular basis the cost could be worth it.
Of course, you could utilize your HDMI input on your HDTV, but you’ll likely find your laptop lacking an HDMI output. That will likely change over time, but for now you can use a DVI to HDMI connector to your laptop to your HDTV.
In the end, connecting your laptop to your TV is easy. It’s all about the connections and cables. Once you determine which type of cable you need, make sure you buy enough. The last thing you want to do is connect your laptop to your TV and be forced to dangle the computer in awkward position, because you didn’t buy enough cable. VGA and DVI cables may be more limited in length, but S-video cable can run great distances. That’s important when you don’t want to leave the couch to watch the next episode.