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Connecting Monitors and TVs to Your PC (Windows Vista and XP)
This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows Vista and XP.
This document provides important information you should know when attaching monitors and TVs to your PC.
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Choosing the right location
Notice the location of windows in the room when deciding where to place the display. The screen can reflect direct sunlight or bright lights making viewing uncomfortable.
Select a location for the monitor or TV that is near the PC and a power source. Cables can be unsightly and should be hidden from view; such as by routing them behind the back of the desk between a wall.
Set the monitor or TV on a flat level surface. Make sure that the monitor or TV does not rest on any cables.
The height and angle of the monitor or TV should not cause neck or back pain during prolonged viewing. It should be positioned so the eyes of the person using the monitor or TV are at least one meter (three feet) away and only slightly angled down. An adjustable chair can help achieve a comfortable position.
Types of video connectors
Know the video connectors on your computer and display devices to avoid problems and get the best possible picture quality.
There are two types of video transfer methods: Digital and Analog. If you try to connect a digital connector to an analog port or vise versa, you will not be able to view video. Also, if you attempt to play protected high-definition digital content, such as Blu-ray movies, over an analog connection, you will probably get an error message or the movie will play at lower quality resolutions.
Click the appropriate heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the following information:
The HDMI connector is a digital connection type for transferring high-definition digital video signals AND audio signals. When used with a compatible monitor or television, HDMI has the capability of carrying true high-definition video and audio as well HDCP protected content (to play Blu-ray high-definition movies). If your computer has HDMI audio, it should be set as the default audio device in Windows audio properties (available from Windows Control Panel). The monitor or TV with HDMI must have speakers to hear audio.
The DisplayPort connector is a digital connection type for sending high-definition digital video signal AND an audio signal to a monitor with a DisplayPort connector. Display has very similar characterics to HDMI but can also support a content protection method called DPCP in addition to the common format HDCP.
The DVI connector is a connector for sending a digital video signal to a display device. Use VGA or DVI, but not both at the same time. Some display devices have both a VGA connector and a DVI connector. If your PC supports DVI, try using the VGA for a while and then try using the DVI connection for a while. Then, use the connection that provides the best picture quality for your display device.
Carries both digital and analog signals. If your computer has a DVI-I port, you can connect to any DVI port on a monitor or TV or you can use a wide variety of adapters to connect to other types of ports.
Carries only digital signals. If your computer has a DVI-D port, you can connect to DVI-I or DVD-D ports. You can often connect to other types of digital connections using adapters. Does not connect to a VGA port.
Not common. Carries only analog signals. If your computer has a DVI-A port, you can connect to DVI-I or DVD-A ports. You can connect to a VGA port using an adapter. Does not connect to digital ports.
For more information about DVI, see DVI Connections
- The S-video and Composite connectors are used to send an analog video signal to a secondary display device, such as a TV. In some cases it is possible to use these connections for the main display, such as for using a TV as the only monitor for a PC, but doing so is not recommended.One example of using a secondary display is in a classroom environment; when connecting a video projector to a desktop computer that is already using a monitor, the instructor can use the primary monitor for performing the actions on the computer while students observe the projected image of what the instructor is doing.
- Connect the speaker and microphone cable, if those connections are available on the display device. Some display devices may have built-in speakers or a microphone. Connect these cables to the computer.
- Connect the power cord to the display device and a power source.CAUTION:HP recommends connecting the monitor or TV to a surge protection device as the power source to prevent damage to the monitor or TV if a power spike occurs.
Do not remove the video port cover!
If your computer came with a graphics card, HP may have installed a plastic cover over the video port attached to the motherboard. Why? Because video has been set up to go through the graphics card for better performance. Most PCs can use graphics from the video card or the motherboard, but not both at the same time. If you remove the plastic cover to connect a monitor (usually VGA), the video will not work unless the video card is removed. The better solution is to connect an adapter to make the connection (see next section).
Using adaptors to help make the connection
What do you do when the video connector on the back of your computer does not match the video connector on the display device? Ideally, you want to have the same video connector on the PC and monitor or TV, but there may be times when this is not possible. The answer may be a special cable or adapter. For example, HP provides a small DVI to VGA adapter in the box with many of its computers. Connect this adapter to the DVI port on the computer and then connect the VGA cable from the monitor or TV into the adapter.
Another good answer may be a special cable that has different connection types on each end. Make sure you know the two types of video connectors before purchasing an adapter or cable.
NOTE: An HDMI connection can also carry audio. HDMI audio is lost when using a DVI to HDMI adapter or cable solution.
NOTE:You cannot connect DVI-D to VGA.
Configuring the monitor in Windows
Use the following steps to provide Windows with the settings for your monitor:
- Turn on the monitor or TV.
- Turn on the PC.
- When Windows opens, it should find the monitor(s) using Windows Plug and Play process. Give Windows extra time to start up while it installs the necessary files for the monitor or TV.NOTE:Most monitors work fine without installing any software by using Microsoft's Plug and Play. However, if your monitor came with a software installation disc, you should install any drivers related to the monitor to get the best experience.If you are connecting an older monitor and Windows does not find it using Plug and Play, please refer to Connecting Older VGA Monitors .
- Once Windows has finished Plug and Play, right-click anywhere on the Windows desktop and select Screen Resolution (Windows Vista) or Properties (Windows XP and earlier) to open a Display Properties windows.
- Set the Resolution slider to match the native resolution of your monitor.For LED and LCD displays, refer to the box, user guide, or product specifications to find the native display resolution.For older CRT monitors (the viewing area is a large glass tube) the display resolution can be set to whatever looks best - a good resolution for CRTs is 1024 x 768.
- Click OK.Your monitor has been installed.
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