Using HDTV as display

I have an old XP desktop PC that I let the kids use to play games on the HDTV. I'm using a VGA monitor cable input to the TV and the TV is very particular about what resolutions it will tolerate. If I pick the wrong one it will say "no signal". So I have it set up where it will work for web based stuff on a low seeming resolution (may 1024x768), which is fine. Some games that run locally on the PC, however, insist on changing the resolution when they are fired up - normally to lower resolution - and this kills the TV display. Anyone know if there is a way to force it to maybe work within a window without actually changing the resolution? I remember the old days when I could force DOOM to run in a window and not use the entire display...
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  1. I think that your first problem is your cable that you are using.

    . What connections do you have available on your HDTV?

    . Same, What output types does your video card has?

    There are a few ways that you could get better resolution on your HDTV.

    Depending on your answer to this 2 simple questions I could give you a straight answer.
    But this is definitively a cable issue.

    you could use: (depending on your video card and HDTV inputs)

    . straight HDMI cable
    . DVI to HDMI cable
    . DVI to DVI cable
    or use an s-video to component dongle (this upgrades the resolution to HD)

    All of the above combinations can get you 1080P resolution.
  2. It is mostly likely that an old XP desktop PC has an onboard video, with only VGA connection, so you won´t be able to get HD quality from it.
  3. The HDTV has every imaginable input: VGA, HDMI, component, S (not DVI). Both HDMI ports are in use though, so I'd have to work around that if I chose that route (not a huge deal). The video card has VGA and DVI.

    Didn't know there was a way to go from DVI to HDMI. Is it cheaper than getting a newer video card with HDMI in the first place? And will it be tolerant of "arbitrary" resolutions on the PC side?

    Thanks for the help.
  4. Cables Unlimited 6ft HDMI to DVI D Single Link Male to Male Cable - PCM-2296-06
    http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=203383097&sellerid=23270115
    cost: around $11.00 including shipping

    hint: this was a quick search, so you might still find it cheaper.

    As I mention you can also get a dongle that includes various connections, usually you will connected to the computer via s-video and on the other side connect via a component cable to a component input on your HDTV.

    hope this helps.
  5. jemm said:
    It is mostly likely that an old XP desktop PC has an onboard video, with only VGA connection, so you won´t be able to get HD quality from it.


    No, I can get HD quality. The problem comes when an application wants to lower the resolution and the TV doesn't know what to do. It can handle two resolutions that I've found. Anything else and it just punts.
  6. 7 Pin S-Video to 3 RCA RGB Component TV HDTV Cable - CL100-004
    http://www.buy.com/prod/new-7-pin-s-video-to-3-rca-rgb-component-tv-hdtv-cable/217138983.html

    remember that you still need a component cable to connected to this dongle.
  7. Mastiff37 said:
    No, I can get HD quality. The problem comes when an application wants to lower the resolution and the TV doesn't know what to do. It can handle two resolutions that I've found. Anything else and it just punts.


    So it isn´t so old then.
  8. So, if I get a DVI to HDMI adapter and the application switches to one of the strange resolutions that the TV can't understand, does the adapter or HDMI format (or whatever) sort of smooth this out so it will still render, or is my TV still likely to punt on me and say "no signal"?

    I'm looking at this:

    http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-HDMI-Adapter-Cable-Meters/dp/B001TH7T2U

    Plus I'll need an HDMI switch...

    Thanks.
  9. You could always go for a regular HDMI cable and a DVI to HDMI Adapter.
    http://www.buy.com/prod/dvi-m-to-hdmi-f-adapter/217609135.html
    That way you can use the HDMI cable elsewhere later on. Probably cost you less too.

    Have you tried doing Detect Display from your display settings? That should make your pc send resolution available on your HDTV. It's worth a try.

    Keep in mind you wont have any sound through HDMI.
  10. I bought a DVI to HDMI adapter cable and it kind of works except that the resolution is ridiculously low and the image is bleeding off the screen at the edges. Any ideas? It's hard to even play with the settings because the control windows won't fit on the screen. Any ideas?
  11. Stuck at 848x480 resolution. The computer won't let me change it. Any ideas would be great. It is not usable like this, VGA is better.
  12. Have you tried the "Detect Display" function from your display settings.
  13. Yeah. I updated the nvidia drivers and now it tries to do 1024x768 but flickers terribly, and the bottom half of the screen is corrupted by horizontal-ish blurry lines like it can't synch up. With these drivers I can't find any setting that works at all. The lowest res setting doesn't have lines, but the color is terribly distorted and there's ghosting. It's also unusably low, like maybe 640x480 or even less.

    This old nvidia card may just not be up to it, eh? I think it's a gforce 3.
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