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My Acer netbook has a VGA connector for connecting to a project. It came with Windows 7 pre-installed and it has a feature in Control Panel that allows to redirect output to the projector.

My projector however receives composite video and so I am trying to use a PC VGA to S-Video AV RCA TV Out Converter Adapter Cable.

the problem is that, using this cable, this Windows 7 netbook doesn't seem to be able to output anything. So I am now wondering whether the problem is in Windows 7 or the "cable conversion".

Is it possible that Windows 7 needs additional signals in the VGA connector to properly direct video to the projector?

Where can I find more information to troubleshoot this problem?

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Interestingly, my Sony laptop (Vista) detects the external monitor more or less automatically. (I may have to go into "Graphics Properties" to do the monitor setup if the monitor is different from last time.) But I've seen others where folks had to dork around for 15 minutes to get things to work (if they did at all). –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 8 '11 at 23:27

2 Answers 2

  1. Check your Acer netbook user's manual. By default the VGA port is disabled on laptops in order to conserve battery power and reduce electromagnetic emissions. You have to explicitly enable output to the VGA port. Typically the combination of the Fn key plus one of function keys controls this on laptops. The Win7 "Connect to a Projector" applet should provide an alternate/equivalent method.

  2. The "VGA to video" adapter that you are using is not likely to accomplish what you want. Again, check your Acer netbook user's manual. You need to verify that your netbook has "TV-Out function capability through the VGA connector" (as mentioned by the adaptor's vendor twice in their description). Unless the manual states that NTSC composite video is output through the VGA connector (in addition to the VGA signals), then that adapter cannot convert VGA to composite video. You probably need a VGA-to-composite-video converter.

  3. Windows 7 has nothing to do with this issue. This is a hardware, not an OS issue.

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I think saying typically F7 is overstating things a little, I've seen it on F4, F5, F12 usually it's a case of doing fn and then the appropriate function key. The key usually has a picture of two screens next to each other or maybe lcd or crt written on it in a different colour. –  Col Aug 7 '11 at 7:51
    
Noted, and edited my text. –  sawdust Aug 8 '11 at 22:56
    
For Windows 7 Projector Wizard, it's Windows+P –  Canadian Luke Aug 8 '11 at 23:08

Standard 4-pin S-Video does not have the necessary pins for the Display Data Channel (DDC) used in VGA, so your computer cannot automatically detect and configure your projector.

On the desktop, press your right mouse button and choose "Screen resolution" from the menu. See if it shows a second display, which may be greyed-out (disabled). Then set the correct resolution for that secondary display and choose the correct mode you want in the "Multiple displays" option. Most low-end projectors can do 1024x768.

If no secondary display was listed, you need to get another cable.

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