With the new technology of High Definition TV, you can hook your TV set up to your computer. Once you have it set up, you can do all kinds of crazy stuff with your HDTV. Imagine surfing the web on your giant, high resolution HDTV, or playing your favorite computer games with it.
But first let's talk about how you get it set up. There are several options for hooking up your PC to HDTV, depending on what kind of TV you have. This article will introduce the different ways to do it.
On your HDTV panel, you might see the red, green and blue ports. These are for the regular RGB (red-green-blue) cables, that you might have used before. You'll need some kind of connector to hook the cables up to your computer. The signal has to be changed before you can use it. For this, you'll have to get something like a VGA connector that would connect to your computer's graphic card.
If your computer and HDTV have component ports built into them, you can use a simpler connection. You still need a VGA connector, but you can connect it directly with a component cable.
With cables, your HDTV will be fairly limited. For instance, you can't get over-the-air broadcasts. If you'd like to use your HDTV to play on the Web, a cable will do just fine. But, to get over-the-air broadcasts on your computer, you'll have to get an HDTV PC card.
Many stations are adding more High Definition broadcasts to their programming, and you need an HDTV card to get them on your PC. There are many brands available, such as ATI's HDTV Wonder Card. It's easy to install and costs a little over a hundred dollars. If you want all the options available, this is probably the best way to go.
With some cards, you can record shows on your computer when you aren't home, like with a programmable VCR. It depends on the card; some older models are just decoders. If you get one that is recordable, it can be used to store shows on your computer. Streaming broadcasts are saved in .avi format, and saved programs are .tp.
You need 8.7 gigabytes of memory available on your computer for each hour of broadcasting.
Since High Definition TVs can be used to watch regular, standard programming, you can also watch standard analog programming on your computer if you have the card. In the same way, you can record regular analog programming, but it may use a different program to view it.
Another cool thing that you can do with your card is screen captures. It works best if you pause the HDTV. Just stop the video until you get the shot you want, and you can save it.
Whether you want to play your favorite video games on your new HDTV, or get HDTV programming on your PC, there is an option for you.