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Old 2009-03-20, 18:52   Link #1
Le Anh
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Questions regarding connecting laptop to TV to watch anime

I have never asked a technical question here, so I'm sorry beforehand if I posted this in wrong place I have a few questions regarding connecting laptop and TV to watch anime/movies that I would appreciate if anyone can answer them.
I'm studying oversea at the moment, and I watch most of anime/movies on my desktop & laptop. However, recently I found an article about connecting laptop to TV and I'm interested in trying it out when I'm home so I want to prepare a little bit for it (I can't try it here so I won't know the result until I'm home).

The TV in my room is a 6-7 years old TV - not a HDTV one, around 21-24", and I don't think I ever saw any S-Video port in it (or could I have missed that port?). My laptop is a Dell XPS M1550 15" and it has a 7-pin S-Video port. I just got a 4-pin S-Video-to-RCA cable from my friend (looks like the one in this website: http://www.svideo.com/svideorca.html, NOT the red-white-yellow one), and according to a quick google search a 4-pin cable can work on 7-pin port, is that right? Will using a 7pin give me better resolution?
After connecting the TV and the laptop, do I need any specific software to display the laptop screen on TV? How good will the resolution be? I usually watch 720p & 1080p h264 files, will those render on TV as nicely as they do on laptop or are they going to be... (since I can't find the word) for example: when you are trying to view a 700x400 anime on fullscreen mode w/ a 19" screen, the images look much worse than how they would look in 700x400 - I'm wondering about that since the TV is physically bigger than my desktop screen (19").

Thank you for reading & waitting for answers. Sorry if there are any typo/grammar mistake in my post since English isn't my first language.

Last edited by Le Anh; 2009-03-20 at 19:19.
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Old 2009-03-20, 19:27   Link #2
chikorita157
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The best resolution it's going to be is 800x600 (4:3). Any higher will make the text unreadable regardless on what type of S-Video cable you use. You may also have to use the pan and scan/aspect ration feature in MPC or VLC to remove the black bars so you can fit the video picture.
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Old 2009-03-20, 21:03   Link #3
Shadow Kira01
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My laptop also has the S-Video outlet and I also have a spare S-Video cable, yet I have not tried this before. I guess, its not possible... The S-Video outlet is probably for connecting a computer monitor.

However, I have tried connecting my portable mp3 player into my standalone dvd player's usb slot and it actually worked. On the contrary, when I connected my cell phone to that same usb slot, it didn't. I guess this depends..
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Old 2009-03-23, 12:30   Link #4
Le Anh
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Thank you for the replies, however, why would the text be unreadable with higher resolution? (just curious, since I usually use bigger resolution, so I probally have to tune it down).
@ Minato: it's possible =) look on google / youtube for it. I haven't tried it myself until ~May though.
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Old 2009-03-23, 13:37   Link #5
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Anh View Post
Thank you for the replies, however, why would the text be unreadable with higher resolution? (just curious, since I usually use bigger resolution, so I probally have to tune it down).
@ Minato: it's possible =) look on google / youtube for it. I haven't tried it myself until ~May though.
This is because a Standard Def TV is only capable of viewing 480i (480 lines), which is why text would be unreadable if you set a higher resolution. This is not the case with HDTV since they have higher resolution and support VGA/DVI/HDMI inputs.
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Old 2009-03-24, 02:33   Link #6
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There are converter boxes that will "solve" your problem (examples: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...088&CatId=1430) .... but ...

... the results are often kind of painful (as chikorita517 notes) compared to just buying a newer flat panel television that has VGA/HDMI/SVGA connections.
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Old 2009-03-29, 00:30   Link #7
Unregistered00
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Just get an S-VGA cable (male) to RCA (male) for the video. Then plug in a male audio jack (the thing that you plug your earphones on) with an RCA (female) on the other end then connect it to the RCA-in (female) of your TV.

Go to control panel > display > settings. Then click on monitor 2 and enable it. If it doesn't work then go to the control panel > display > settings > advance and look for whatever your video driver is. It's very easy but it ain't worth it.The color quality on a CRT TV looks like crap compared to watching it on a computer.

Subs could become a problem but most subs nowadays have texts that are of reasonable size.

I have the cables for the tv near my desk and I only watched anime using this setup a handful of times since the color quality is degraded.

Best thing I can advice you is to buy the biggest LCD COMPUTER monitor, plug it in your PC or laptop and enjoy the ride. You can also buy an LCD TV but since LCD TV is classified as TV and not a computer monitor it's very uncomfortable browsing the web with it.
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Old 2009-03-29, 08:38   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered00 View Post
You can also buy an LCD TV but since LCD TV is classified as TV and not a computer monitor it's very uncomfortable browsing the web with it.


I have a 40" Sony LCD TV connected to a computer, and it's extremely "comfortable" browsing the web. Like any "widescreen" monitor you have to sacrifice vertical height which means more scrolling of text, but that would be true with a 16:10 desktop display as well. Even though the TV supports 1920x1080, I use 1280x720 to make the text more readable across the room.

For sustained textual work I prefer sitting in my office and using my 4:3 19" Dell because of the extra height. For anything with an audiovisual component, like watching anime or streamed video, I prefer the TV.
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Old 2009-03-29, 09:43   Link #9
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered00 View Post
Just get an S-VGA cable (male) to RCA (male) for the video. Then plug in a male audio jack (the thing that you plug your earphones on) with an RCA (female) on the other end then connect it to the RCA-in (female) of your TV.

Go to control panel > display > settings. Then click on monitor 2 and enable it. If it doesn't work then go to the control panel > display > settings > advance and look for whatever your video driver is. It's very easy but it ain't worth it.The color quality on a CRT TV looks like crap compared to watching it on a computer.

Subs could become a problem but most subs nowadays have texts that are of reasonable size.

I have the cables for the tv near my desk and I only watched anime using this setup a handful of times since the color quality is degraded.

Best thing I can advice you is to buy the biggest LCD COMPUTER monitor, plug it in your PC or laptop and enjoy the ride. You can also buy an LCD TV but since LCD TV is classified as TV and not a computer monitor it's very uncomfortable browsing the web with it.
Actually, the resolution on most LCD TV are restricted (1920x1080 for 1080p and 160x768 on most 720p TVs) and the text is clear when you set your fonts at a high DPI setting, but I use the PS3 to play videos instead of hooking my Macbook Pro to the TV since PS3 can play videos at better quality than the computer would.

If you going to do anything else besides playing video, you are better off with a LCD monitor... these days, you can even find 16:9 monitors that would get rid of the black bars on 16:9 video, but you are sacrificing the extra resolution 16:10 ratio provides.
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Old 2009-05-07, 12:38   Link #10
Le Anh
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Hi, another problem raise up now I'm finally at home and trying to connect my laptop and my TV.

I bought a S-Video to RCA cable and connect my laptop to my TV already. The system detected "external display" and I got the message "display connected" when I use Window Mobility Control (Vista feature) already, but my TV doesn't show anything, just a black screen (probably blue-screen, but I turned off blue-screen on my TV).

I have checked channels AV1, AV2 and such on TV, lower my laptop resolution, tried both mirroring screen & extend, tried Fn+F8 to switch between laptop/CRT+LCD/both but doesn't get any better result. Anyone have any idea how to fix that ? =)

Thank in advance
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Old 2009-05-07, 22:26   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
the resolution on most LCD TV are restricted (1920x1080 for 1080p and 160x768 on most 720p TVs) and the text is clear when you set your fonts at a high DPI setting, but I use the PS3 to play videos instead of hooking my Macbook Pro to the TV since PS3 can play videos at better quality than the computer would.
err, your kinda off there. The usual rez for a 720p set is 1366x768 give or take a few pixles.

Its weird that your having problems with text if your using your set at 1080p. At 720p you may need to mess with the font settings but at 1080p I have never seen any problems (as long as your outputing a proper 1080p signal and not just setting a rez). Maybe the vid card cant output properly or your cable is bad (cheap ebay ones can be noisey).
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Old 2009-05-07, 22:44   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wervy View Post
err, your kinda off there. The usual rez for a 720p set is 1366x768 give or take a few pixles.

Its weird that your having problems with text if your using your set at 1080p. At 720p you may need to mess with the font settings but at 1080p I have never seen any problems (as long as your outputing a proper 1080p signal and not just setting a rez). Maybe the vid card cant output properly or your cable is bad (cheap ebay ones can be noisey).
Using 720p or 1080p via HDMI/DVI or native resolution with VGA don't output unreadable text... but you are missing the point. Using S-video or composite connection will make the text unreadable on a standard def TV (480i) due to the limitations in the output on the TV since it doesn't have the scaling feature like it would with HDMI/DVI/VGA, which in turn makes the text unreadable.
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Old 2009-05-08, 01:09   Link #13
Antares
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Anh View Post
Hi, another problem raise up now I'm finally at home and trying to connect my laptop and my TV.

I bought a S-Video to RCA cable and connect my laptop to my TV already. The system detected "external display" and I got the message "display connected" when I use Window Mobility Control (Vista feature) already, but my TV doesn't show anything, just a black screen (probably blue-screen, but I turned off blue-screen on my TV).

I have checked channels AV1, AV2 and such on TV, lower my laptop resolution, tried both mirroring screen & extend, tried Fn+F8 to switch between laptop/CRT+LCD/both but doesn't get any better result. Anyone have any idea how to fix that ? =)

Thank in advance
I have a 1st Gen XPS M1210. All I need to do is plug in my S-video cable, switch to video mode on my TV, press FN+F8, and my laptop automatically adjust the resolution and change the display on my TV. I don't have to do anything else.

As far as I can tell, the FN button seems to tie to Dell's QuickSet program. Is that program running?

Also, make sure you have the cables plug in properly. I occasionally plug in the audio cable into the video input instead. The video cable is usually the yellow one.
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Old 2009-05-08, 21:32   Link #14
Wervy
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Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Using 720p or 1080p via HDMI/DVI or native resolution with VGA don't output unreadable text... but you are missing the point. Using S-video or composite connection will make the text unreadable on a standard def TV (480i) due to the limitations in the output on the TV since it doesn't have the scaling feature like it would with HDMI/DVI/VGA, which in turn makes the text unreadable.
Eh? Think you are having trouble relizing what I am talking about. You gave the wrong rez for 720p lcdtvs and said that they were no good for reading text. I was just correcting the wrong info you gave because it may give people the wrong idea.
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Old 2009-05-12, 01:04   Link #15
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Originally Posted by Wervy View Post
Eh? Think you are having trouble relizing what I am talking about. You gave the wrong rez for 720p lcdtvs and said that they were no good for reading text. I was just correcting the wrong info you gave because it may give people the wrong idea.
I don't think that was being said. Chikorita was talking not talking about 720p, but about SD, which is 480i, which WILL render text very difficult to read, considering the video is interlaced (hence the "i" in the resolution designator).

To be honest, you're better off using a four-pin adapter. You're guaranteed to get an S-Video signal out, and the adapter WILL correctly combine the two signals that a composite monitor will see. That's because seven-pin jacks may have different pinouts, whether it's on a video card, a laptop or a piece of professional equipment. For an example of what I'm talking about, check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-Video#7_pin_mini-DIN

Hope this helps.

--Ian.
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Old 2009-05-12, 02:48   Link #16
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i think the best resolution is 800x600...
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Old 2009-05-12, 06:12   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Wervy View Post
Eh? Think you are having trouble relizing what I am talking about. You gave the wrong rez for 720p lcdtvs and said that they were no good for reading text. I was just correcting the wrong info you gave because it may give people the wrong idea.
I think that was just a typo by the way... Also my 720p tv has a resolution of 1360X768 not 1366...
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Old 2009-05-12, 08:54   Link #18
Animeruko
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Usually i run in dual display ... and also ive noticed you cant close the lid on most laptops when running an external monitor since it will tell the laptop to shut the display off. try restarting the laptop after having the tv hooked up its also possible the cable you got is bad ..sometimes on those cheaper RCA plugs the wires break inside.

A good way to tell if the connection is working is that most systems when they are showing the post screen when you turn them on will display all the video outs so you can still see stuff on the TV, if that doesn't happen when you turn the laptop on then there is something wrong with the connection, if it does happen but when windows boots the screen goes off then you have an issue with drivers not sending a signal to the tv.

Another possibility is that the AV input on the TV is bad, try the diff inputs on the TV and see and make sure you have the video connected to the correct input.

as for resolutions ... when runing TV from PC you can run between 640x480 to 1024x768 (sometimes even 1280x1024) it really doesn't matter for video watching. i'd just pick whichever one best fills up your TV's screen.

btw, 720P is 1280x720, 1080P is 1920x1080, screens are available in various resolutions but they implement some sort of scaling up/down scale the video to fit the panels native resolution. In the end the native resolution of the screen doesn't matter O_o
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Old 2009-05-14, 09:16   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Craymel View Post
I think that was just a typo by the way... Also my 720p tv has a resolution of 1360X768 not 1366...
Think your confursed between the CE timing resolution and PC timing resolution.

Quote:
I don't think that was being said. Chikorita was talking not talking about 720p, but about SD, which is 480i, which WILL render text very difficult to read, considering the video is interlaced (hence the "i" in the resolution designator)
"Actually, the resolution on most LCD TV are restricted (1920x1080 for 1080p and 160x768 on most 720p TVs) and the text is clear when you set your fonts at a high DPI setting"
I dont really see how that related to 480i in any way. All I was saying was that saying your need to mess with the fontsize was not nessary.
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