There are many computers (such as IBM ThinkPads, Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, etc.) that have the ATI, SAVAGE, nVIDIA and other graphics cards that output S-Video.
Our S-Video adapters allow you to connect to your regular TV and pass on the color with the highest resolution. The S-Video jack on your graphics card may have seven or four little holes and a rectangular slot or "key". Unlike other adapters, our 4-pin adapters will fit both the 7-pin jack and the 4-pin S-Video jacks.
Computer manufacturers have not standardized on what jack to use - the 7 or 4 pin jack, but our adapters are cross-brand and are PC/MAC compatible and will fit either the 7-pin or 4-pin jack.
The following procedures are similar to what you may have to do in order view your DVDs on your regular TV.
Quick Summary under XP: In order to be able to see the movie playing on your TV you have to select the TV in the "Device settings". The movie will not play on both the laptop's screen and the TV under dual or clone view. Here's what you have to do under Win XP: Go to Start; Control Panel; Appearance and Themes; Display; Settings; Advanced; select the "tab" for your Graphics card; select "Device Settings"; select TV. For further details read below.
Before you start, change the display settings to 800 x 600; you need to do this since most TVs will not support higher resolution settings - this is ok, however, since you do not need higher resolution to enjoy your DVDs or to view your monitor's display on your TV. Read below about TV/VGA resolution comparisons. Also, make sure all of the hardware is connected before turning on the computer; you may have trouble getting the video card to recognize the TV as the second monitor - the option on some Dells is to change to "Clone" in Nview. But "Clone" is grayed out unless you have the RCA connector on the far end of the "S to RCA" cable, terminated in a VCR or TV.
1. Connect the "S-Video to RCA" cable or the "Pro S-Video to 3 RCA" cable to the "S-video out" of the computer and to the "video in" (yellow RCA jack) on the TV. NOTE: This step must be performed before you start up the computer. Make sure that your TV is set to "recognize" the RCA/yellow video-in jack; you may have to play with the "aux 1", "aux 2", or "line-in" selections on the TV or the TV's remote control. The S-Video jack on your computer may be a 4-pin or 7-pin jack that is usually on the back of the computer, as in the "TV-out" connector (# 2) on this diagram of the IBM ThinkPad T2X.
We will first describe the procedures for machines running Windows XP:
- Click on Start, Control Panel.
- Click on Display
- Click on Settings
- Slide the "Screen resolution" area slider bar toward Less until the setting reads 800 x 600. OK, you may not like how your screen looks at this setting after usig high-res settings, but you'll certainly enjoy your DVD on your TV!!! You can always change the res back when not playing DVDs.
- Click Apply
- Press FN and F5 simultaneously four times. The "FN" key is a short-cut key on some laptop keyboards. Note, this procedure is used with computers that have the nVIDIA G Force 4 card; your card may be different, but the idea is to select the TV-out function from the display settings of Win XP. It's not that complicated.
- Start playing your movie or presentation.
- There may be additional adjustments that may be required. If the TV display is shifted to the right with a black vertical bar on the left side you will have to perform additional settings. Joshua T. has the following suggestions: "The computer runs Windows XP Pro and has a "Radeon IGP 345M", which I believe is made by ATI. Under 'Display Properties', 'Settings', 'Advanced', 'Displays', click the "TV" button, then 'Adjustments' tab. There you will find options to change the vertical/horizontal size and position. Once you have switched over to use the tv you can simply adjust these settings while you watch the display on the television to get it looking the way you like."
Procedures for Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Me, or Microsoft Windows 2000:
NOTE: To use the TV as the primary display with the dual display function, you need to enable the TV setting every time you start your computer.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, select Control Panel, and choose Display.
2.1 Under the Display Properties window, ensure that the color depth is set to High Color (16bit)
2.2 Click Advanced Properties under the Settings tab; this brings up the ATI or SAVAGE video card features.
2.3 Click on the Display tab; this gives you the output options.
2.4. If you have an ATI video card the "Displays" tab gives you the output options. If the TV is detected, it shows the power button on. The button next to that gives you adjustments for the picture, kind of like those to center the view on your monitor. On the bottom are some blue buttons.
2.5 Make the TV the primary display and the monitor secondary. The default settings on the rest of the adjustments may not need to be changed.
To make the TV the primary display you have to select "monitor 2" (you do that by selecting monitor 2 with the mouse" and then "moving it" to the left of "monitor 1". By switching the position of the monitors in your display settings you effectively make the monitor on the left the primary monitor.
Videos and mpegs play on an "overlay" method and can only play on one monitor at the same time, thus, you have to decide which monitor you want the video overlay to play in...and since the idea is to watch the video on your TV, you thus have to make the TV the primary monitor.
2.6 If you have the SAVAGE graphics card you need to do the following on the display tab - go to the settings tab. There's a drop down menu with 2 monitors, select the first one. Click on the advanced button. There's a tab titled "s3 duo vue". Choose that tab, and click on the tv option. If you do not follow these steps you'll get a message from the savage image card control stating "You must activate the tv first." NOTE: To use the TV as the primary display with the dual display function, you need to enable the settings every time you start your computer. Also, the IBM ThinkPad T20, T21, T22 and T23 systems do not support dual display running Microsoft Windows 2000 unless there's a 2nd PCI card installed on the ThinkPad Dock.
3. Click OK to close window.
3.1 Click OK to apply the changes
NOTE: The S-Video to RCA Adapter must be attached to the unit or the TV option will be grayed out.
4. When the DVD player was showing the movie, the TV will display it, but the monitor window will be black unless you have dual display capability on your computer.
5. Your TV may just happen to be able to support the
1024 x 768 pixel resolution that the computer may be set to, however, if you lower the resolution to 800 x 600 the movie will probably play much smoother without any noticeable drop in picture quality.
6. Video Formats. You need to make sure that the video format selected on your computer is the same as the video format required for your television. There are some computers that are sold in the USA with PAL-B as the default video format; you need to change it to NTSC-M for TVs in North and South America. There are basically three television video formats, NTSC, PAL and SECAM. NTSC is used in Canada, Japan (NTSC-J), USA, Mexico, Central and South America. PAL is used in most European Countries, Australia and New Zealand. SECAM is primarily used in France and the old soviet republics.
Here's a tip from a Daniel W. of the UK that needed to change the setting from NTSC to PAL on a Toshiba Satellite running Win XP-home with an Intel Graphics card; if the video setting is not changed, the tele will only display black and white since the video format in the UK is PAL: "To find the correct tab to change the s-video options: Display properties; Settings menu; Advanced; Intel Graphics menu; Graphics Properties; Devices menu; Television menu; then change NTSC to PAL - Problem solved!"
Here's another tip from a customer that was getting black and white on a TP T23 running Win 2000 after installing the W2K Service Pack 3: "To try and remedy the lack of color problem, I installed an older version of the video driver, letting Microsft pick this. I then downloaded IBM's newer driver. I now get color TV out. However, it may be that deliberately switching to PAL (apply) and then switching back to NTSC (apply) fixed the problem."
The moral of the story is that if you are in a country that has PAL video you may need to select PAL as the video format, apply, then select NTSC, apply, and then switch back to PAL and apply again. Does anyone know why this switching is required? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post the answer here.
A few words about resolution. Remember that your monitor's VGA resolution and TV resolution is measured differently since they are different standards and were meant to be seen at different distances. If "pixel resolution" was used to measure TV (NTSC) video then the approximate resolution of a regular TV would be 448x480. Your TV does not need to have higher resolution since it was not meant to be seen as close as your monitor. Regular TV was meant to be seen from a viewing ratio (viewing distance to picture height) of 4-to-1. An HDTV usually has a larger screen size and thus requires higher resolution, since the viewing ratio is about 3:1. You may have to re-arrange your TV viewing distance if you get an HDTV - since it's not going to look good if you just plop it in the same spot as your analog TV; you have to adjust the viewing distance.
Higher resolution is nice, just remember that your eyes are also part of the equation and higher pixel resolution is probably not necessary or desirable since your eyes can only resolve detail at a certain distance. Just try watching your computer's VGA monitor from the same distance that you watch your TV and you'll see what I mean. "Hey, Honey, now that we got the HDTV, can we get a bigger TV room? The HDTV don't look too good from here."
I welcome any edits or other suggestions that you may have.