Connecting computer to LCD Television.  Use DVI input or VGA?

Posted on 2012-08-14
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
My mom is elderly and cannot see her computer monitor (24") anymore.  I have ordered a 40" LCD television to connect to her computer so she can still see to use the computer.  I connected her 40" Plasma TV to her computer to do a temporary test and it worked well, but the Windows Desktop didn't look quite right, with some icons placed on top of each other.  As a whole though, it made the difference between never using a computer again or being able to carry on as before.  The LCD television I have ordered has both HDMI and VGA inputs.  Her onboard video has DVI and VGA outputs.  I have a DVI to HDMI adapter, what I used for the temporary test.  Guess I should use the VGA input instead of the HDMI on the television?  Would it be easier to get a resolution setting that looked good?  Thanks for your time.  You will do your good deed for the day to assist me.
Question by:257Roberts
    LVL 39

    Accepted Solution

    My recommendation:  Buy a video card that has HDMI . . . you'll get the best quality.

    They also make a DVI to HDMI adapter that can be bought as a second option:

    Barring that it won't matter if you use the VGA or DVI output . . . the input will still be VGA so it's up to the TV.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Use the DVI output of the PC along with the adapter. That is usually the only supported connection (VGA to HDMI isn't supported usually). Or as mentioned above get a HDMI card for the PC. Then when connected and depending on the OS and video card you are using you will be able to set the resolution so it uses the TV's optimal resolution.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Anthony Russo
    If I could make a somewhat different suggestion. A 24" monitor on a desk would be pretty equivalent to a 40" LCD TV at a bit more of a distance. If you just lower the resolution on the 24" so things are bigger, and use accessibility options in Windows for larger fonts, I think the 24" might be good and a more comfortable screen for your mother to use. If the TV is right in front of her she will have plenty of neck workout looking at the whole thing.

    Just a thought to try some other options. Otherwise I'd get an inexpensive video card with HDMI out for simplicity and best quality.

    Best of luck.
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    VGA and HDMI should both work well for a 40" LCD - I use VGA at home on a 50" screen, and it looks great.  There should be no difference between DVI and HDMI, as they are pin-compatible; HDMI includes digital audio, if that is important (but your PC has to be outputting via HDMI).

    You will need to match the desktop resolution with the TV in order to get the best results.  If the TV normally displays full HD 1920x1080, your desktop should be the same.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks, I used the DVI output with the DVI to HDMI converter.  I am thinking of getting the video card with HDMI and see if the quality is better.  It is pretty good as it is and my mom is SO HAPPY, she can see to email her friends again.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    I know this is solved however there is no difference in video quality between DVI and HDMI. They both carry a digital signal (1s and 0s). The difference between the two are that HDMI also carries audio and the connectors are different.
    You won't get better quality video from a HDMI video card just by virtue of it having a HDMI connector instead of DVI. This is why we have DVI to HDMI cables, it simply converts the connector type. The signal remains unchanged.
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    by:Kyle Abrahams
    The above statement is <mostly> true.  

    There's a newer technology (High speed HDMI) That can support greater resolutions.

    See this for more info:

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