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My new Laptop doesn't have s-video out. However, it has a connector for a 2nd monitor.

A local shop has told me that its very simple, all I need to do is get a connector from the monitor out to the TV in. They priced this at about 15$.

Is this true, or is there more to this then they are telling me?

Edit: This may make a difference - the purpose of this is to view videos from my computer - not to use it as a different monitor.

EDIT: This is the response from my computer local retailer:

"Thankfully there are a ton of options now a days for this. A simple vga to s-video or rca adapter does NOT work - this only works on a few nvidia desktop cards made from 1997 to 2005. You can:

  1. buy a converter like or - cheap, easy, inexpensive solution, available on ebay and elsewhere for ~ $35-$85.

  2. buy an expensive t60 docking unit, which includes a converter and has a vga out.

  3. Use a television that has VGA input - most TVs manufactured in the past 5 or 6 years have one."

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is more to this than they are telling you. The cheap cable will only work if the chipset in your laptop supports outputting a composite video signal on one of the output leads. Not all graphics cards support this.

If yours does not, you will need a more expensive converter (~$100?) to convert the signal.

There is more information in the discussion here.

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Thanks. Lots of interesting info. Perhaps I missed it, but how can I find out if my chip set supports it? – Xavierjazz Sep 25 '09 at 2:41
Xavierjazz, I don't know a good way. I'd guess that a laptop that did support it would say so somewhere in the docs or on the maker's website. Or check the docs for the specific video card. If the local shop will let you return the $15 connector if it doesn't work, then you could just try it. – bmb Sep 25 '09 at 20:17
@bmb - thanks. 15char? is this enough? – Xavierjazz Sep 26 '09 at 5:07
@bmb. I asked another question on this SuperUsers:… which was a direct step from your answer. I believe I have researched the correct answer. The +1 was from me. Thanks so much. – Xavierjazz Oct 1 '09 at 3:19

Typically, something similar to this will suffice, as long as your card can handle it (sometimes there seem to be signal issues).

And, if your card doesn't support it, you won't be out much cash.

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You might also want to check your TV. Many LCD TVs sold today have VGA, HDMI, and other PC type connectors so that they can be used as a monitor.

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Thankssssssssssssssssss. – Xavierjazz Oct 3 '09 at 3:19

Converter boxes (figure 1) are a reliable, compatible, and inexpensive way to allow you to convert a VGA signal to composite. They have connectors for a VGA monitor, an S-Video TV/VCR/etc., and a composite (RCA) TV/VCR/etc. They usually let you connect all three and have them display the image from the computer at the same time. This is actually quite a nice feature because most video-cards are limited to only two of their three (or more) outputs at a time.

They can be had on eBay for under as $14 (they're usually about $10-$20 more on Amazon). The only gotcha (other than that they are relatively cheap things and take forever to ship from China) is that they usually top out at 1280x1024. If you want one that supports higher resolutions, you need to specifically search for that, but even then, you can get a better converter for under $25.

Some of the more expensive ones even come with remote-controls (figure 2).

Figure 1: Typical VGA to TV converter box

VGA to TV converter box

Figure 2: Converter with remote control

Converter with remote

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