Article ID : 00032284 / Last Modified : 07/06/2023Print

Connect a computer to a TV for use as a monitor using a HDMI, VGA, or DVI cable

    If you want to use a cable connection to view a computer display on the TV, there are multiple cable types that are compatible. Review the information to select the wired connection method for your TV and computer.

    Before You Start

    Video connections

    To connect your television to a computer for use as a monitor, one or more of these ports will be compatible:

    • A: HDMI
    • B: VGA (RGB)
    • C: S-Video
    • D: Component Video
    • E: Composite Video
    • F: DVI (Digital Video Interface)

    IMPORTANT: When connecting a notebook computer, it may be necessary to press a function key combination, such as the FN+F7 keys on VAIO notebook computers, or other key combinations in order for the notebook computer to output the video signal.

    Note: For model-specific information regarding the use of a VAIO computer, refer to the operating instructions supplied with the product.

    If your television and computer both have a matching video port, then you can simply connect both devices by using the appropriate type of cable. For example, if the computer uses a DVI port to output the video signal and the TV has a DVI port for receiving the video signal, then connect a DVI cable to both of the DVI ports; the same applies to the other types of ports. The video quality displayed on the television will be determined by the connection method used to connect the computer. For the best video quality, try using a VGA, DVI, HDMI, or Component Video connection. While S-Video and Composite Video connections can be used, they don't provide the resolution of the other connection cables. Additionally, your connection options may be limited by the types of ports available on both devices.

    The computer and television may not have any matching ports. If this is the case, it will be necessary to do one of the following:

    1. Install a video card in the computer that has a matching port like the one found on the television.
      Note: If using an Apple® iMac® computer, a Thunderbolt™ adapter may be required to output an HDMI or a DVI connection. Visit the Apple website or contact Apple support for further assistance.
    2. Purchase a video converter.


    • A DVI-to-HDMI cable or a DVI-to-HDMI converter is not supported or guaranteed when attempting to connect a computer that has a DVI output and the TV has a HDMI connection.
    • Video converters can be purchased from local and online computer retailers.

    Although both options are fine, rather than installing a new video card in the computer, it may be easier to simply connect a video converter. Since most computers use a VGA/RGB port to output the video signal, you will probably need to use a VGA converter to pass the signal to the television. Use one of the following types of converters depending on the video input available on your television:

    • VGA-to-DVI
    • VGA-to-HDMI
    • VGA-to-Component Video
    • VGA-to-S-Video
    • VGA-to-Composite Video

    Whether installing a different video card or using a video converter, it is important to make sure that the computer can output the video resolution properly. You should check the instruction manual of your television to determine what resolution is supported and then configure the computer accordingly in the Display Properties section in the Control Panel of the operating system. Some of the more commonly used resolutions for televisions are 640x480 and 800x600.


    • As with VAIO computers, the instruction manuals for Sony televisions are also available online.
    • Although the computer may be capable of displaying higher resolutions, the capability of the television may not be compatible. This can result in overscan which causes some of the screen information to be cut off or missing. Alternatively, for a widescreen or High-Definition TV (HDTV), it may be necessary to install software on the computer that supports higher resolutions.

    In addition to the resolution, the computer must also use a scan frequency (also known as refresh rate) that is compatible with the television. Common scan frequencies are 50Hz, 60Hz, and sometimes 75Hz. Again, you should check the instruction manual of your television for this information.

    WARNING! There is a risk of hardware damage. Using a scan frequency that is not supported can cause damage to the television or computer.

    The video connections will require a compatible audio connection. If the computer does not have any speakers connected, then you will need to connect an audio cable (unless you are using an HDMI-to-HDMI connection). There are two types of audio port connections: mini plug or composite audio jacks (RCA).

    • A: Composite Audio
    • B: Mini plug
    • If the computer has a line out mini plug and the television has composite audio input jacks, use a mini plug-to-composite audio cable.
    • If the computer has composite audio output jacks and television has composite audio input jacks, use a standard composite audio cable.
    • If the computer has a 3.5 mm line-out mini plug and the television has a 3.5 mm line-in mini plug, use a miniplug-to-miniplug audio cable.

    Note: The audio cables are capable of providing stereo sound (left and right channel audio) to the television and are available from most local and online computer or electronics retailers.