How to use a PC DVD player and watch movies on TV

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Frank R. asks:

" My machine has Windows XP, a DVD ROM drive, and an ATI Radeon 9000 video card with S-VIDEO TV / OUT.

Can I play DVDs from my computer and watch them on my 61" TV? What kind of cables do I need to attempt this? "

My Answer:

Yes you can!

Go to your local Radio Shack and purchase the following cables:

  • #1: Male S-Video to female RCA cable. This will plug into the back of your video card and convert the S-Video output into RCA output. An S-Video cable by itself is usually much more expensive than its RCA counterpart and provides roughly the same picture quality.
     
  • #2: Male to male RCA cable. One end will plug into the female RCA cable (the above mentioned cable), and the other will plug into the back of your TV (Video In) Port. Altogether, it would look something like this: Computer [Video Card]: ---> S-Video (male) to RCA (female) ---> RCA (Male) to RCA (Male) --> TV (Video In)
     
  • #3: Male "earphone-jack connector" to 2x male RCA cable. This will plug into the back of your sound card and provide 2 audio RCA (left and right) which can be used as audio-input for your TV or Stereo Receiver. Altogether, it would look something like this: Computer [Sound Card]: ---> Y-Cable (earphone jack) to RCA (Left / Right Audio) ---> TV or Stereo (Audio In)

Side Note: Make sure that the cables are long enough to reach to your TV. You can also make your own RCA cables by purchasing RCA Heads and 12 gauge speaker-wire. This is relatively simple to do, but can cause picture distortion if not secured properly. Also note that the configuration above is suitable for cables of no more than 25 feet in length; any additional measurement requires a signal booster (also available from Radio Shack).

Once everything is hooked up properly:

  • Turn on the TV
     
  • Set the TV to the proper Video Mode (IE: Video1 or Video2, or wherever you plugged the cable in)
     
  • Go to the computer and set your Video Card to TV OUT
     
  • Load the movie using your computer's DVD player
     
  • Make the movie full screen
     
  • Sit down and enjoy your movie!
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