Computer Related > Laptop to TV connection Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Alanovich Replies: 21

 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
I have a bog standard, old fashioned CRT widescreen TV, and a bog standard, 2 year old Dell laptop. the TV has SCART, and it has red/yellow/white input things which I use to plug my old fashioned video tape camcorder in to (thus playing sound and vision simultaneously).

I have recently been pointed in the direction of the Firefox TV add on for Mozilla Firefox, and it looks great.

But I'd like to watch and listen to the foreign TV channels available on there on my TV screen instead of my laptop screen.

How? What cables or adapters do I need and where do I stick them?

Thanks for any advice.
Last edited by: Alanović on Wed 31 Mar 10 at 13:57
 Laptop to TV connection - spamcan61
Depends what video output your laptop has ( if any), maybe S-video ( looks the same as an old style mouse connector) or maybe HDMI ( looks like a shrunk USB connection - sort of).

If it's the former something like this would probably work:-

If the latter then I'm a bit stuck for suggestions.
 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
Hmm. Nothing on here which looks like the old style mouse port.

There is something which looks like a shrunken USB port, the bloke next to me says it's a "Firewire" port - is that the same as HDMI? It has the number 1394 printed underneath it.

Other than that I have USB and the two old male and female monitor connecting thingies.

I think I'm stuffed without a new laptop. And/or TV. Speaking of which my missus has been somewhat uncharacteristically mentioning that perhaps we should get a new, bigger, plasma TV, since she saw one at a friend's house, naturally. If buying a new TV, what should I look out for in terms of the specification of connections to ensure that it can be made to (easily) display images and sound from a laptop?
 Laptop to TV connection - spamcan61
Unfortunately Firewire / 1394 isn't HDMI so it does sound like you're a bit stuffed video wise. Just about any new TV will have 2 or 3 HDMI inputs, some do have a direct VGA connection ( one of the connector thingies) for PCs, but not many, so worth checking.
 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
Rats. Thanks for the info though, it will help when I get round to buying that unnecessarily large TV which Mrs A now requires.
 Laptop to TV connection - Crankcase
Assuming the laptop has an output for an external monitor, you probably need something along these lines. Ebay, £40, not a recommendation, just a pointer that such things exist.

 Laptop to TV connection - spamcan61
Yeah, I did wonder if somebody made a VGA to S-video converter that actually worked, it appears so.

Certainly a lot cheaper than the other solution of a fancy telly with a VGA input, for example:-

not sure if it's any good as I'm not really into tellies.

42 inches should be more than enough for any woman.
 Laptop to TV connection - Zero
Lets be honest, a two year old dell laptop driving an older CRT style analogue tele will look pretty horrid what ever way you get the actual electrons in it.

Your wife had the right idea. Wait for the digital tele.
 Laptop to TV connection - spamcan61
>> Lets be honest a two year old dell laptop driving an older CRT style analogue
>> tele will look pretty horrid what ever way you get the actual electrons in it.
>> Your wife had the right idea. Wait for the digital tele.

JPGs displayed on my 28" WS CRT did look pretty crap the one time I tried it ( via DVD player not laptop) not tried video playback, although I thought most recent laptops had half decent 2D graphics capability these days.

If 42 inches isn't enough then Argos do a 52 inch Bush with VGA input for a monkey:-
Last edited by: spamcan61 on Wed 31 Mar 10 at 17:21
 Laptop to TV connection - The Nut
The thread has drifted towards buying a new TV now, but I might as well throw this in anyway.

Until recently we had an old computer hooked up to a widescreen CRT TV as a replacement for a VCR. Viewing photo's on it was awful, but video files looked the same as live TV. It was using an old Radeon 9200 SE with S-Video output but only using a framebuffer video driver so no video acceleration.
 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
Thanks again, spamcan. That one at Richer Sounds I do indeed have my eye on, 42 inches is the agreed maximum size we want.

However they also have a similar Panachronic with something called "1080p". It's a bit more expensive of course. What is that feature and do I need it?

The thought of a 52 inch Bush is making me slightly woozy.
 Laptop to TV connection - Statistical Outlier
There are two types of High Def, 720 and 1080, referring to the number of lines in the image.

720 is better than a standard definition telly, but 1080 is the real deal. The 'p' refers to the fact that the set is compatible with progressive scan mode, where every line is refreshed every frame rather than only 50% of them. Surprisingly, Sky did not go for progressive scan in their standard, so it is more important for Blue-ray than for TV.
 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
So would you say that 1080p offers the best future proofing, so to speak?

I'm keen, if I'm spending on this, to not regret a decision a few years down the line. Anything else to consider when thinking about future proofing?

I think I'll can the idea of getting something to work with the current TV, spending 40 quid on something I'll probably be unhappy with very quickly (the eBay thingie) isn't very appealing.
 Laptop to TV connection - Statistical Outlier
I'd think it unwise not to get 1080p, yes.
 Laptop to TV connection - Iffy
Just to add to the list of double entendres in this thread - size matters.

I've known several people who've bought a widescreen telly only to wish a few months later they'd bought a bigger one.

It's personal choice, obviously, but if the experience of others is anything to go by, it's worth considering a size or two above the size you think you want.

I hope that's clear. :)
 Laptop to TV connection - spamcan61
>> I'd think it unwise not to get 1080p yes.

In terms of future proofing then yes, 1080p is the best bet, but bear in mind that at the moment the amount of broadcast HD is very limited ( and not 1080p anyway), and some sets make a better job than others of displaying a lower resolution SD picture than others. The higher the resolution of the screen the more it can show up the limitations of the source material - so it's not a 100% clear win for 1080p.

The only source material currently available that will make the most of a 1080p set is Blu-Ray disks.
 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
Last time I bought a telly, I wandered in to a shop and bought a telly.


Good grief. ;-)
 Laptop to TV connection - Crankcase
I'm afraid it's not even as simple as choosing the right resolution on the TV.

I spent over a year humming and hawing over going for a new HD box, with all the attendant 720/1080i/p hoohah.

I made my choice in the end, and am happy with it as a TV, but in terms of HD, it's very much a case of Emperor's new clothes to our eyes. It's ok but nothing special.

This is because the screen size we bought is "too small for the room" in HD terms, but in fact is the biggest TV that Mrs C would bear to have in the house.

 Laptop to TV connection - Alanovich
Ah. So I should measure my living room and then choose which size tv? Mrs A said 42 inch because that's what her friend has and she wants the same. Even that seems a bit big to me. My living room is about 28 feet by about 15. What does that suggest?
 Laptop to TV connection - Crankcase
There are various calculators on the web, but a reasonable overview I think is here:

 Laptop to TV connection - Zero
you also need to decide if you want to go HD Freesat, HD Freeview, No HD either, Net connection or Iplayer capability.
 Laptop to TV connection - Roger.
Grrrrrrrrrrr Good add-on, BUT the movies etc require Adobe Flash player which does not (WHY, Adobe?),yet support 64 bit system browsers.
This means I have to use 32 bit IE or Chrome to actually hear any thing!
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