First off, you will need a laptop to participate in this exercise. If you don’t already own one, this ASUS 2nd Generation hunk of awesome is only 549.99. That’s a pretty epic deal, considering it comes with 8 GB of RAM, a 640 GB hard drive, and a dual-core Intel CPU running at 2.3 Ghz. If you could go back in time to 1946, this computer would be more powerful than every other computer on Earth combined. Plus, it’s so tough that you can duct-tape it to your head and use it as a bike helmet. Anticipating that someone may take that last comment literally, do not duct-tape an ASUS laptop to your head and use it as a bike helmet. Alright. Moving on.
First, let’s determine what kind of video input your TV has. It’ll either have a VGA input, an S-Video input, a DVI input, or an HDMI input. If it has none of those, check its value on eBay -- it may be a valuable antique.
If you bought that ASUS like I recommended, you’ll find its HDMI output pretty easily. Next, you’ll need an HDMI cable. This forty foot Startech is so awesome that it's actually plated with gold. When you’re not using it to connect your laptop to your TV, you can wear it to the club. FYI, do not actually wear your forty foot Startech cable to the club. It is a high-tech piece of connectivity. It is not a blinged-out rope of awesome. I rely on the word “awesome” entirely too much.
Okay. So you’ve got a TV with an HDMI input. You’ve got a laptop with an HDMI output. You’ve got a cable. What should you do next?
If you said “hook up the TV to the laptop using the cable,” you're right.
It's time to turn on your TV. Hit the menu button on its remote control. Toggle through your television’s video inputs until you find the one labeled “HDMI”. If your television has more than one HDMI input, do a little check-see and make sure you’ve selected the right one.
Now, turn on your laptop. If you’re using Windows 7, it’ll figure out pretty quickly that you’ve hooked up your HDMI cable all by itself, and start sending video to your external source. A few of you out there may still be using Windows XP. That’s cool. Me and Windows XP used to hang out back in the day. Go to the mall together. Play vids. Whatevs.
The trick for XP users is to locate the video toggle switch on your laptop. Check the function keys at the top of your keyboard. Find the one with a picture of two monitors, separated by a vertical line. Push that thing until you’re good to go.
If you have to use a VGA cable to participate in this exercise, don’t sweat it. Just select all the text in this blog, hit Control-C, open up a new document in Microsoft Office, hit Control-V, then do a find/replace where you swap the term “HDMI” for “VGA”. Got DVI? Same story.
If you have to use S-Video, you may not wish to participate in this exercise. In fact, you may wish to begin crying uncontrollably. Don’t. Just get an incredibly old TV. One that has an S-Video input. Now, you can use your incredibly old setup to watch incredibly old movies. I’d recommend the Grapes of Wrath, mostly because Henry Fonda is the best actor ever. The speech he gives at the end gets me all misty, every time.
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