How do I watch my laptop on my television?
July 13, 2008 1:49 PM   Subscribe

How do I view my Sony VGN-NR160E laptop (VGA output port) on my Philips 42PFL7432D/37 television (many ports)?

A while back I purchased a VGN-NR160E laptop. I now want to be able to watch the G-Force visualization program on the Philips TV while listening to iTunes. However, I don't know the best way to connect the female VGA port on the laptop to the television, which has several types of ports. I have tried to research this on my own, but I think I've succeeded in confusing myself.

How can I watch my laptop on this television, preferably without sacrificing too much picture quality? What do I need to buy? I'm wondering what the cheapest way is, and what the most effective way is (I know this may very well be two different techniques). I don't have a lot of money to invest in this, but am willing to do some creative budgeting if it's worth it. :)

Other details:
Laptop: Running Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
Television: 2xHDMI, CVI and S-Video inputs
posted by Jenesta to Technology (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It looks like you have two options:

1) use a converter ($40) to take your laptop's VGA signal and encode it as HDMI, then connect that to one of your TV's HDMI ports. I haven't tried this before, and several AV forum posts say that it can be tricky to get the right resolution from your laptop to get a clear picture on the TV. The converters usually seem to cost closer to $120+, but seem to get mixed reviews just the same.

2) Buy a VGA -> component cable ($10) and connect it to either AV1 or AV3 (the Y, Pb, Pr jacks) on the back of your TV. This is only going to work if your laptop supports RGB output, and it looks like your laptop does. On page 64 of Sony's manual for your laptop, it talks about connecting an RGB signal cable to the laptop's VGA port; you're effectively doing the same thing here with the TV on the other end instead of a projector. If you want a different cable length, they go from 3ft to 50, I just picked 25ft as a midpoint. Note that this isn't adapting/converting anything, it's just sending RGB signals over a VGA pinout.

I'd try the VGA -> component option first, as it's simpler and cheaper. I can't find an exact figure for the resolution you'll get this way in the manuals for either your TV or laptop, though. Both options are fairly inexpensive, so you could buy both from monoprice for $50 + shipping and return the one that a) doesn't work or b) gives the lower-quality picture.
posted by sysinfo at 3:12 PM on July 13, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer such a specific question!
posted by Jenesta at 7:08 PM on July 13, 2008

« Older Where can I find sheets that will impress my...   |   Recommended auto mechanic near Arlington, MA Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.