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Connecting PC to CRT TV

Last response: in Home Theatre
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July 19, 2009 4:59:10 PM

Hi, I want to know if it's possible to connect my PC to my CRT TV.

My config is an Intel P4 3.06ghz on an Intel D102ggc2 mobo with the Ati Xpress 200 chipset. I'm currently using the onboard graphics. The output port is a D-sub [VGA?]. The sound card is an onboard chip as well.

On the TV set, the only inputs are the Component [?] [or are they called RCA?] ports. [They are the ones which have the red, yellow & white connectors].

I've come across a few VGA to Component cables while net surfing & was wondering if it's as simple as connecting the two. Or will the onboard GPU not be able to output correctly to a TV set [Maybe it's only meant to output signals to monitors]? In that case will a dedicated GPU do the trick?

Similarly, will the onboard audio work?

My basic requirement is being able to view movies on the TV [not viewing text] cos my DVD player has gone for a toss. It'll probably be a temporary arrangement till I buy a WD HDTV media player ot HTPC.

Thanks. Much appreciated!

More about : connecting crt

a b x TV
July 20, 2009 5:10:21 AM

The connections you have on your TV are called Composite connections (Red/White for Audio and Yellow for Video). They don't carry the same resolutions as Component connections.

I your situation, I'd probably look for a cheap graphics card with a TV out solution. This card actually comes with a composite out port which would give you a direct connection to your TV. Audio would need to be carried over a separate cable or just use your current PC speakers for audio out.

-Wolf sends
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July 20, 2009 6:59:42 PM

Thanks Wolfshadw. Especially for the link to the card. However, could you please check this card by Sparkle. The specs say that it has HDMI /S-video/ Composite out. But the port does not look like the one on the Gigabyte card you linked to. So could you help clear the confusion please? & what are your thoughts on this ati 4350. The specs say it has a HDTV out [?].

Also, my TV is far away from my PC. So would getting a long [maybe 15-20 feet?] composite video cable be a problem?

Also, for the audio, the audio out on the PC consists of a single jack & the inputs on the TV are two [red & white]. So how should I set that up?

Please excuse this noob's ignorance. Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated!
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a b x TV
July 21, 2009 2:05:53 AM

The card by Sparkle does have all the outputs it states... sort of.

HDMI out would actually be accomplished by adding a DVI --> HDMI adapter. S-Video and Composite out would be accomplished by adding a converter cable (either the Card's TV Out to S-Video or to Composite). The specs don't say the card comes with any of the converters you'd need, so you'd probably have to purchase them separately. The only reason I recommended the card I did was because it has a native composite out port. With that, there's no reason for any type of adapter cable.

The ATI 4350 won't work (or at least not without a lot of headaches) because you do not have an HDTV.

As far as the length of the cable, if it's well shielded (good thick cable), you should be ok in the 15-20' range. Of course, it's going to cost more. I have a 25' VGA cable that's well shielded and it works perfectly. I also have a 50' composite cable that's not well shielded and it didn't work at all.

Concerning the audio, all you need is a splitter like this one and normal audio cables that reach from the PC to the TV.

Don't worry if your questions sound ignorant. They're not. We all started there. :sol: 

-Wolf sends
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July 23, 2009 5:54:57 PM

Thanks Wolfshadw for replying. Sorry I couldn't reply earlier.

Though it is possible to have the pc output to a composite input on the tv, I realise that it might not always work the way it's supposed to. I'm therefore thinking of getting a half decent 2nd hand card so that if this experiment fails, I'll at least have a decent gaming experience.

The trouble is that all of the half decent cards have a s-video out rather than composite out. So is an s-video to composite conversion possible with a simple adapter & is the conversion lossless? I'm not even considering the cards with a dvi out because AFAIK digital to analog conversion is not easy.

Hope you can shed some light on this. Thanks.
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a b x TV
July 23, 2009 8:01:22 PM

Something like this should work for you.

-Wolf sends
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July 24, 2009 6:20:28 PM

Thanks Wolfshadw.

I'll definitely try this out & let you know the results.

As for the software, after I've connected the TV, I'll have to go into display properties & configure the 2nd monitor AFAIK. What resolution should I set this to? Any other settings to keep in mind? [I'm using Win XP, btw]

& is it possible to have different picture output to the different screens? For eg. can I use MS Word on the monitor & simultaneously have a movie displayed on the TV? If yes, then how do I set things up [in Windows or VLC media player, say]? If yes, then is it also possible to have separate audio for the different screens?

One last thing. My PC cabinet is a 'vertical' type [where the height is much greater than the width]. If I lay it on it's side [to mimic an HTPC case, say], then is there any harm? Will the hard drive or dvd drive not function properly?

You have been so kind, replying to all my queries. I hope this is the last lot.

Thank you. Much obliged.
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a b x TV
July 24, 2009 10:36:49 PM

Ok.

When you get your new card, the first thing you're going to want to do is get your system running with just the monitor first. Once that's taken care of, shut down your system and connect the TV to the TV-Out port. When you restart your system, go into your graphic card's control panel and enable the second monitor (if it isn't already). Given that it's a TV-Out port, the settings should be pretty low already, but if they're not, set them as low as they'll go.

It's been awhile since I played around with this kind of set up. At that time, I was running an old ATI Radeon 9200 with the TV-Out going to a small converter box and then to the COAX switch to the TV. As I recall, there was a setting in the Control Center called "Theater Mode". This worked when both displays were set up in "Clone Mode". A windowed movie application on the primary (monitor) display would play full screen on the secondary (TV) display. If I remember correctly, I could not minimize the movie application on the primary display and keep it playing full screen on the TV, so I'd have to run any other applications on top of the movie application.

Unfortunately, there is no way that I know of to have split the audio. You only have one audio source.

I can't speak with any certainty about the orientation of a system affecting operations of the hard drive or optical drive, but I can say that my system at work is a non-tower type. I've had it sitting on it's side for years and it's not given me any grief.

You are quite welcome and if you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to ask. That's why we come here! :sol: 

-Wolf sends
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