Many laptops include HDMI out to connect your laptop to HDTV screens. The problem with wired connections from your laptop to HDTV is you can't get close far enough from the screen to sit comfortably. The ideal scenario is to connect a laptop to HDTV wirelessly so you can sit on the couch and watch whatever is streaming from your computer. Intel Wireless Display makes this scenario possible, with a fairly simple connection between your laptop and an adapter connected to your HDTV. To make it work, you need to make sure you have a compatible laptop. I'll walk you through what's required, as well as show you how to connect a laptop to HDTV wirelessly.
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"I'm buying a new HDTV. I looked at 720p and 1080p HDTV screens. Both 720p and 1080p look great in the store, but the 1080p HDTV I'm looking at costs more than the 720p HDTV. What is the difference between 720p and 1080p HDTV if both look great?"
You hit on an important point in your HDTV shopping research. The actual technology differences between 720p and 1080p HDTV may not matter as long as you buy an HDTV that looks good to you and keeps you satisfied for the life of your purchase. For many viewing scenarios, the difference between 720p and 1080p is fairly minimal. I'm a big fan of buying the best product you can afford, but here are some things to keep in mind as you narrow your HDTV purchase options.
"Can I connect my PC VGA video out to my HDTV much like I do my DVD player using the Yellow, Red, and White RCA jacks?"
While you certainly could get a VGA to composite video adapter, to connect your PC to HDTV, I'm not really certain why you'd want to. Most computer video cards support HD video resolutions like 1280x720 and 1920x1080 using either component connections (the red, blue, and green RCA cables), HDMI, DVI, or VGA. At best the yellow RCA connection you make on the composite video-in will be 480p or 640x480, which is the equivalent of many cell phone screen resolutions. There are probably several better choices for your connection instead.
"Hi, I have a Dell SP2309W 23-inch Full HD comptuer monitor with HDMI input. Can I connect my high definition set top cable box HDMI output to my computer monitor directly to use the monitor as an HDTV?"
The differences between an HDTV and a computer monitor of the same size have become minimal. If you have a computer monitor with a screen resolution of 1920x1080 and HDMI input, you effectively have an HD-ready television screen. Conversely, if you have an HDTV with an easy way to connect to your computer, your HDTV can make a great computer monitor. In your case, all you should need is an HDMI cable to connect your cable box to your computer monitor, however, there are a few cases where I have seen computer monitors fail as an HDTV screen.
"I have Comcast cable and I want to use the Comcast remote to turn on my HDTV. I think I have the HDTV codes but I can't figure out how to program my Comcast remote with the HDTV codes."
Each one of the Comcast remotes uses a slightly different configuration in terms of activating the programming function, so you may want to check with Comcast support for the correct programming instructions for your Comcast Remote. The 3-device remote controls follow the same basic method to add remote codes described here:
"I heard someone talking about HDBaseT for my HDTV. What is HDBaseT and should I be using it in my home theater?"
HDBaseT is the latest cabling standard for connecting your HDTV to other home theater components. The HDBaseT cabling looks just like a standard Ethernet cable and according to the HDBaseT standards organization, if you buy a Cat5e or Cat6 cable, it should just work with two supported components. The bad news is there will probably be a period where we will all need some goofy adapters to connect all of our gear created to work with HDMI to HDBaseT components, but there are several features of this new HDBaseT cable that make it an improvement.
"Can I connect a computer to a 46" HDTV and use split screen software to make it like four screens / monitors in one? I have a PC with XP, and a Mac with OS X Leopard 10.5. However if the solution requires a different OS, I can get a new system."
There are a number of ways to achieve displaying multiple screens on the same physical screen. If you were to run 3 additional operating systems in virtual machines on Windows, you would effectively get 4 unique screen displays. On a Mac running something like VMWare or Parallels you could increase the number of screens. While the technology to do this is certainly possible, you're going to run into some limitations beyond the operating system that may be frustrating for the result you attempt to achieve.
"With the economic down turn I am interested in free online TV. I have an HP Pavilion dv6700 (with an hdmi port) using Windows Vista. I also received a remote control with my laptop but am currently trying to find it. I have a 42" HDTV that I would like to connect to my computer. I also use the Harmony One all- in-one remote control by Logitec."
My questions are:
Can I do this? Can I get HD quality TV over the internet? Will picture quality suffer from moving from my laptop to a larger 42" HDTV screen size? What is the minimum broadband speed needed and what is optimal speed? Can use the remote I have? Can you make a favorites list with the equipment I have or do I need a software program for managing the channels and movie downloads?
For the most part PC video playback either works or it doesn't. Every once in awhile, software makers add a few features that make it worth upgrading to the latest version. PowerDVD 9 from Cyberlink is one of these occasions. If you've been having trouble playing back Blu-ray or AVCHD movies on your system, consider PowerDVD 9 Ultra and Deluxe a dramatic improvement. The software is getting better at rendering complex high definition video on less powerful hardware, providing a better experience for HD video. This doesn't mean your PC from 2001 will suddenly be able to play HD with ease, but PowerDVD seems less reliant on optimal hardware specs with this version. HD playback isn't the only reason you may want to think about an upgrade.
How can I play a Blu-ray DVD on my Windows computer? I know I need a new DVD drive, but what else do I need?"
To play a Blu-ray movie on your computer, there are several things you will need in addition to having a Blu-ray drive. Blu-ray requires fairly robust hardware for smooth playback, so you might need to upgrade some components in your computer. Blu-ray also requires software with the right codecs for playing Blu-ray disks. And if you are connecting an external monitor to your computer, your video card needs to be HDCP compliant in order for Blu-ray playback to work.
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