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I have a 2-3 year old laptop running XBMC, and I have an HDTV that I'd like to connect it to.

The only output that the laptop has is VGA (and S-Video - I don't know if the TV supports it) .

The TV doesn't support VGA input, but takes HDMI.

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Is it worth buying a VGA-to-HDMI converter? As in this:

enter image description here

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Are there any other, cheaper options available?
There's a lot of information around the WWW, but a lot of it's outdated and it's hard to digest everything.

I know of at least one other option, and that's a USB to HDMI connection, but I don't even know what to look for or where to get started on that one. I also suspect it might be a little more complicated. If it's cheaper then it could be worth it.

EDIT
More Details:

  • Intel integrated graphics card (Intel 945 Express Chipset Family)
  • The TV supports up to 1080p resolution
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Post more details please: which graphics card? and what's the resolution of the TV? – Molly7244 Feb 8 '10 at 0:54
    
@Molly - I've added the requested details. Thanks! – Redandwhite Feb 8 '10 at 1:08
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This should work fine - the Intel 945 Express does support 1080p output as a resolution however I doubt that you will be able to play any high definition videos as it really will struggle at that resolution.

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Can I simply output the 1280x800 resolution that my laptop uses? 720p videos play just fine on that resolution – Redandwhite Feb 8 '10 at 2:23
    
Yes you can then, however for best results, you may want to check to see if your TV has a PC mode or the ability to not stretch the image and/or put a black border around it - otherwise it will look stretched and warped. – William Hilsum Feb 8 '10 at 3:53

Yes. For the best experience you'll need to convert the VGA or USB to HDMI. You could use s-video but the resolution will be limited to standard def TV quality.

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