Connecting a TV to My Video Card

OK, I'm really sorry for asking this because I should know more about this than I do, but I am so completely clueless and lost on this subject it's not funny. I'm a programmer, but I have very little knowledge about hardware. I need help...

My video card is a Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 with 1GB of GDDR5.

I have an oldish TV. I'd like to watch computer video (e.g. youtube or mplayer) on my TV set.

My TV set has the following input ports. I don't know what they mean, but they all appear to be RCA jacks:


Video 1

Color Stream
* Y
* P_B
* P_R

My TV and DVD player were a gift about 5 years ago. Maybe longer. But I've never used either one even once. Never even hooked them up. I do all my TV/movie watching on the monitor. I really just watch sites like youtube and hulu on my monitor.

But I'd like to put them to good use -- I'd like to play Dance Mania, which is very difficult with the monitor.

Can someone please tell me what I need to do to get computer video on my TV?

Thanks so much!
6 answers Last reply
More about connecting video card
  1. It really depends on your model and what came with your 4870. Most video cards have a Svideo output which would hook up to your TV. Its round and has about 5 pins.

    Most cards also come with a Svideo to Component Dongle. It plugs into the Svideo and has 3 colors of RCA jacks attached, red, blue, and green. Your tv also has these plugs. Either would work.
  2. Like the above poster said most cards come with a S-Video output or you can get a S-Video to component adapter and hook it up.
  3. Thanks, all. I did some reading on S-Video. So it looks like there are 3 options:

    1. S-Video: good, but not for HD b/c of bandwidth restrictions.
    2. Composite video: unsuitable
    3. Component: HD capable, but you have two more things to hook up.

    None of these are audio capable. That appears to be a completely different ball of wax. Are there different audio standards as well?
  4. Yes, there are a few different types of audio outputs. The most basic is of course the headphone/speaker jack which uses the 2.5mm plug. Next is the analog audio out which uses 2 rca jacks, red and white. This is capable of 5.1. Then there's digital coaxial. This plug usually looks like an orange rca jack. This is also capable of 5.1. Alot of motherboards come with this output standard. Last is fiber optic. The fiber optic plug usually looks like a black square and has a cover on it to prevent dust from getting into it. This is the best and is capable of 7.1. For fiber optic out you would usually need a sound card installed. Most motherboards do come with the digial audio out so look for the orange rca jack on the back by the ethernet port.
  5. No love, I'm afraid.

    My Radeon HD 4870 has a 7 pin which looks like this.

    I checked the box the card came in and lo and behold found exactly what was mentioned: an S-Video dongle, which is pictured here (it's the one all the way to the right with the red/green/blue BNC connectors on one end and a DIN on the other). The DIN end has 7 female pins - a perfect match for the video card. So I plugged the DIN into the Radeon.

    The back of the TV has a red/blue/green BNC connectors labeled "colorstream input". So far, so good.

    Unfortunately, the BNC side didn't reach the TV, so I improvised - I have a 3 BNC connector that was made to interface between the DVD player and the TV. The connectors are correct, so I connected one end to the BNC end of the dongle, and the other end to the TV. The colors on the BNCs themselves are red, white, and yellow, but I was careful to match the colors between the dongle and the TV.

    When I turn the TV on and change the input setting to "colorstream input", it says "Resolution unsupported or no signal present".

    I changed the resolution of my desktop to various standard settings, but nothing changed.

    Do I need to do anything on the computer to enable S-Video output? Is the output always present on that connector? Or do I need to somehow tell the Radeon card to start pushing video signal through the S-Video port?

  6. Pete, it sounds like you have done everything right so far.

    You DO need to enable multiple monitor support in your ATI control center. With my Nvidia video card, I just go into the NVIDIA control panel and click "set up multiple displays" and then click add display and it asks what port to output and so forth. If you dig around in your settings you should see something alike to that.

    This article should perfectly explain how to do it.

    Good luck ;)
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