Making my computer my monitor, Help please :D:D:D

By arethemad
Nov 23, 2005
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  1. I have an hp pavilion a705w and a sanyo flat screen tv. I have the original soundcard which doesnt have anything on it, no svideo plug in, nothing. I want to be able to use my tv as my monitor. I play alot of poker online and my mothers in a wheelchair and she likes to watch, but she always complains about it being too hard to see whats going on because the letters are so small, so I wanted to get her this for christmas. I just want to be able to show whatever Im doing on my computer on my TV screen. I realize Ill need alot of stuff. Im thinking a graphics card, a tv scan converter, and then some other cables. Can someone give me direct links to what I need? THANK YOU VERY MUCH
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    Actually, it wouldn't take very much at all... just simply upgrading your videocard and installing one with TV-OUT.

    That HP Pavillion does not have an AGP slot, so you are limited to a PCI videocard. What you also get is a much, much better 3D card in the process as just about any aftermarket videocard will be LOADS better than the internal integrated intel video.

    While badly obsolete by today's 3D standards, I'd recommend an ATI Radeon 9250 PCI. I recommend this card specifically because it's TV-Out, Theatre Mode and dual-display drivers are very, very easy to setup exactly what you are trying to do. Here's one, retail box, with the cables you'd need for $56:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814131284

    Installation shouldn't present too much of a problem. The only tricky part should be getting the on-board video disabled, so you may wish to check the BIOS or manual first to see how difficult this may be. Sometimes a BIOS update is needed but unsure for that particular model.

    With the above videocard, the ATI drivers allow you to configure a second monitor using the TV-Out port either with a composite RCA-style cable (included) or svideo cable (if your TV has an svideo input). You can also set a nice "Theatre Mode" which will allow you to use your desktop for windows on your monitor while a DVD or streaming video outputs to the TV-Output. It's very easy to use, configure and install. For games, you would simply set "Clone Mode" in the drivers and game output will be mirrored- which sounds exactly like what you want to do.

    Oh, and kudos for caring for your wheelchair bound mother. It's a very nice gesture. :grinthumb
  3. arethemad

    arethemad Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thank you very much, can you explain to me the whole BIOS thing. I hear about this alot but I never really understood what it meant. Ive installed a soundcard with no problem if that helps at all, if you could help me with the bios thing Id be very grateful
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    You can configure your BIOS usually by hitting DEL or F1 quickly during your PC's initial boot-up sequence- the text mode that comes up for a few seconds prior to Windows loading. It usually has some revision numbers, a short memory test and hardware listing.

    You can enter this commonly by hitting F1, DEL, ESC or other keys. It will usually show on the screen which key is needed to "enter setup"... but it's almost always DEL and/or F1.

    Once in the BIOS setup menus, you use the keyboard/arrow keys to navigate. It's usually menu driven and offers choices for how to enable/disable or configure various hardware your system has. You can also usually set the date/time here for the battery-backed clock/calendar, etc.etc.

    If you can get into your BIOS, you may find an option for the on-board video. Sometimes you can simply enable/disable it in the BIOS. Other times, you need to disable it by opening the case and putting a black-plastic jumper on a set of jumper pins. More rarely, you have to actually flash a new BIOS to add the setting in the BIOS screens.
  5. icantwinn

    icantwinn Newcomer, in training Posts: 38

    if he is running windows xp then he can simply just right click on his desktop then click properties then click the settings tab then at the bottum of that little window click advanced then click the advanced tab then click properties and at the bottum of the window that pops up you can enable or disable the onboard video..if that explains it clearly.
  6. arethemad

    arethemad Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thank you for all your help :D
  7. arethemad

    arethemad Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Sorry for the double post but I think I misled people. The topic title should say help using my tv as my monitor. I want WHATEVER Im doing on the computer to show up on the tv. Can you confirm that this is all Ill need? Sorry for being annoying, but Im trying to get everything right so I dont have to buy something else. Im a little skeptical about throwing 60 dollars out w/o getting all the facts. All I want to know is that this will work when I go on the internet, the tv will show me the internet, talking on msn, itll show me talking on msn. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I promise thats the last question :p
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    Yes it will.

    ATI Radeon's + the Catalyst drivers make cloning your VGA output to TV-Out quick and simple. You can either extend your desktop (so the mouse will go across the two), clone (vga monitor and tv-out are mirror copies of each other) or other neato settings similar. With the 5.11 drivers, you can even map a hotkey to switch between modes. All of this also works in combination to "Theatre" mode, which can be set to change the TV-Out behavior when a video stream is played- such as throw any video stream full-screen on the tv-out (so you can fire up a movie on your VGA monitor, minimize the application yet the TV-OUT will have the movie full-screen).

    If you want to prepare for the purchase, I'd recommend downloading the .NET 2.0 from Windows Update. It's a big download and will be needed if you want to use the very easy Catalyst Control Center form of the ATI drivers. CCC uses .NET and has a drag-and-drop interface for controlling monitor + tv and lots of nifty interlace options. You don't need this as there is a standard Control Panel version also- but the CCC is the best for novices as it's much easier (albeit slower and more bulky).

    Lastly, realize you may need to adjust your VGA resolution to best compensate for TV-OUT. For example, I usually set my desktop resolution to 800x600 when I have the tv-out on Clone Mode. This makes it so the copy of the desktop is clearer and can be displayed all at once on a lower resolution TV. I also bump my font size to "Large" or "Extra Large" to make it more clear on the TV.

    Good luck!
  9. arethemad

    arethemad Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I put in the sound card and it didnt work. I didnt try my dad did and he's gone right now but my mom said that he said put in the soundcard in and the installation cd in and my mom said that nothing happened. that have anything to do with the BIOS? He took out the soundcard for now and I just did the whole properties, settings, advanced thing and after I click on the advanced button, theres no other advanced tab. I didnt do the f1 thing but I'll try right now. Any help with booting the installation CD or what to do when its all put in? THANKS VERY MUCH
  10. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

  11. arethemad

    arethemad Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks much, I figured it out earlier :p My dad said he disabled the other video card, he didnt :p Thanks so much both of you, Im finally done with it and I love it.
     
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