With services like Hulu, Justin.tv and the infamous Youtube, TV viewing has taken a shift or in other words, almost been completely replaced by computers. Instead of going out and buying the priciest HD TV out there, why not take that old standard definition (SD) TV and combine it with your forgotten PC desktop or laptop to convert it a decent media server? I promise your grandma won’t differentiate between the two! If interested, read on!
The first order of business would be the computer. Depending on the TV, the computer will need the matching connector to hook up video to the TV. If the TV isn’t too old, it will have a VGA connection. If that is the case, you are in luck. A VGA connector is the same type of connector that monitors most frequently have if not always! Given that luck, it is just matter of connecting them together and you have video.
[caption id="attachment_2347" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="VGA cable, Image by Josh Bancroft"][/caption]
If the TV is a little bit older or smaller, it will most likely have an S-video/ RCA (yellow) video input. Older PC’s might have S-video outputs. If not you will need a converter from VGA to S-video like this one.
Regardless, you now have video from your PC to your TV.
For audio, you have two options:
If you have some old speakers lying around, u can simply plug those in and you are set! If not, check to see if your TV has RCA audio inputs; if so, you can as well buy a mini-Stereo to RCA (red & white) audio cable like this one
If your TV does not have the RCA audio inputs, you will need to purchase a set of small speakers. A 10$ pair will get the job done.
For cost analysis, in the worse case, you'll spend $5 on the adapters and maybe 15$ on a new set of stereo speakers. If the wires are too short, you will need to simply purchase additional adapters to extend the wires; of course, it is assumed the computer will be near in proximity to the TV.
[caption id="attachment_2353" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="One way to extend the RCA audio cable, Image by CHCOOBOO"][/caption]
You can now watch Internet videos through your TV. The only downside is that the text will be blurry, unless you bump up the DPI. Once set up, browse to your preferred video provider, set to full screen and enjoy!