watching tv on my pc monitor

10 May 2012
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United Kingdom
My 22" PC monitor only has one VGA slot and a Power connection - no HDMI slot. If I use a "VGA to HDMI" conversion unit and connect an HDMI cable to my TV, will I be able to watch TV ? As far as sound is concerned I have wireless headphones and will be able to hear ok.
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It would need to be a hdmi to vga - not as you wrote it.
Some work, some don't
They aren't generally bi-directional
What do you hope to use as the TV tuner? If it's another TV as you seem to be suggesting then you're out of luck. One TV can't act as a source for another screen. You need a Freeview receiver or some other device to act as a tuner.

The second issue is the spec of the monitor.

UK TV is broadcast at 50Hz. VGA was designed with 60Hz signal in mind. If your monitor doesn't list 50Hz as an acceptable refresh rate then the monitor won't display a signal.

Next, you have progressive versus interlaced pictures. PC signals are progressive. TV signals are interlaced. The two are not directly compatible. You would need something to convert one to the other: interlaced to progressive.

Finally, scaling: UK TV uses two resolutions. HD is 1920x1080i pixels. This can be converted to 1920x1080p, and when it is it's a valid VGA resolution, or it is at 60Hz at least. The other resolution used is for standard definition TV. That is 720x576i. This one doesn't match any VGA resolution even if converted to progressive and output at 60Hz. Depending on the capabilities of your monitor, you could get anything from a blank screen with an Out of Sync message, or a small picture window in the centre of the screen, or a scaled up image.

Come back to us with what you plan to use as a tuner, the make and model of the monitor, and what you have seen as a HDMI to VGA convertor.

Or alternatively, go buy a secondhand 22" TV from your local classified ads/Facebook selling groups for £20-£30.

If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then do the decent thing and click the THANKS button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
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Many thanks both of you for replying and in response to Tigercubrider - point taken!

However, with regard to Lucid's reply it would seem there is little likelihood of my being able to watch tv on my PC but nevertheless I will respond as follows:-
1. I do have a freeview Humax box with an HDMI cable which I had intended to connect to my VGA socket via the above connector.
2. I have no idea what progressive verses interlaced pictures means so I very much regret that I am unable to answer.
3. I do not know if my monitor will accept 50Hz signals or not or if it will receive 730x576 as I have no manual. However, if you feel there is a glimmer of hope that this will work regardless, details of my monitor is as follows:- Make "IOC" (not AOC) model e2343, screen size LED 23" (Not 22" after all). I have no other information, sorry.

I very much appreciate the trouble you have taken to reply in such detail but from the information you have supplied, together with my replies, it would seem there is little hope of my being successful in this. It was simply that I will be shortly be scrapping my old desktop PC and going over to a laptop and it just seemed a pity not to be able to make use of a perfectly good monitor. Thank you.
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Thanks for the extra info @Bernie9927

I can't find anything listed for monitors made by IOC at all. Plenty by AOC (a well known monitor brand), and with a model number as specific as e2343 then Google keeps homing in on the AOC product.

If it turns out after all that this is in fact an AOC monitor, then I can tell you for sure that you're flogging a dead horse.There's nothing in the list of supported resolutions that gets close enough to 50Hz to make this worth the cost and effort of converting interlaced to progressive scan.

VGA 640x480@60Hz
VGA 640x480@72Hz
VGA 640x480@75Hz
SVGA 800x600@56Hz
SVGA 800x600@60Hz
SVGA 800x600@72Hz
SVGA 800x600@75Hz
XGA 1024x768@60Hz
XGA 1024x768@70Hz
XGA 1024x768@75Hz
SXGA 1280x1024@60Hz
SXGA 1280x1024@75Hz
WXGA+ 1440x900@60Hz
WXGA+ 1440x900@60Hz
WSXGA 1680x1050@60Hz
WUXGA 1920x1080@60Hz

However, don't despair. You can still use this monotor to watch TV, but just not in the way you originally intended. Here are two options that both start from the same core position...

Nearly all laptops have a connection for an external monitor. With some, it's a VGA socket. With others, it's HDMI. There are those laptops that use DisplayPort. The AOC e2343 has socket connections for VGA and DVI. This latter connector is a forerunner of HDMI, they're both digital, and so it's directly compatible with HDMI with nothing more than a simple HDMI to DVI cable.

VGA is easy, just get a VGA to VGA cable and you're in business.

DisplayPort is a digital connector standard, but via various powered adapters it can be configured to connect with VGA, DVI or HDMI.

Once you've sorted out a connection, there are a few different ways that it's possible to send an image to the secondary PC monitor. The simplest way to explain them is: Clone, Extend, Replace.

Clone simply replicates what you see on the laptop screen on the second monitor so that they both display the same image simultaneously. The catch is that if the laptop screen resolution is different from the monitors screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels then one of the images is probably going to look poor. Usually it's the external monitor.

Extend provides additional desktop space on the second monitor screen. Sometimes I use this when I'm working on a project that requires several programme windows to be open at the same time.

Replace sends the display signal to the external monitor only. In other words, the laptop screen goes blank, and everything appears on the external monitor for as log as it is connected. This is the mode I would recommend.

It's possible to cycle through these modes and back to "laptop screen only" by holding down the Function key (Fn) and the appropriate F key that has a monitor screen symbol on it.

Now that you have something going on with the external monitor, then it's time to put a TV signal on the screen.

Forget using the Freeview tuner. As you have now discovered, that's not a practical solution. Instead, we need either to use online streamed/catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All-4 etc, or have some sort of device that plugs in the the USB port of the laptop and which incorporates a TV tuner. Doing it this way, the laptop's processing power is used to handle the signal conversion from what is broadcast to something compatible with the monitor's signal requirements. The device we are talking about is a USB tuner card for DVB-T2 Freeview HD. Something along the lines of this Geniatech device for £28 would do the job. (not a specific recommendation; more of a general idea of the sort of tech required)

There are pros and cons with both.

Streaming services are easily accessible, but you're limited to the streams that they provide, so channel hopping requires starting up and closing the various apps. However, as long as you have a TV licence, and a decent data allowance on your broadband package then there are no additional set-up fees and the apps are simple enough to run.

The USB tuner card makes your PC work like a regular TV. There's a cost for the hardware, but running this doesn't use any bandwidth or data allowance from your broadband package, and you don't need a fast service. As long as you have an aerial cable connected to an operating aerial on the roof or in the loft then you should get the same full TV service as you would with a regular TV. There may even be an option to record programmes. However, set-up can be a little involved, so be prepared for that.

.... and that's about it.

If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then do the decent thing and click the THANKS button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
Thank you so much Lucid. It will take me a while to read and understand everything you have mentioned but as soon as I get a Laptop, I will have a go. As soon as I do, I will tackle the PC Monitor as you have suggested but nevertheless when I do I will, out of courtesy to you, let you know what transpires. It may take a while but just bear with me because I am a bit hopeless when it comes to things TV and Monitors. Once again, many thanks.
Hello Lucid. I decided in the end not to embark on converting my monitor to accept tv signals, as it just seemed too much hassle at my age to try to do so and as you say, I can easily buy a tv if I really needed one but I still thank you for explaining it all to me. In the end, I decided to use the PC monitor alongside my newly purchased laptop via a vga to hdmi cable, providing me with a larger picture, albeit with a reduced resolution to 1024 x 768 to make it compatible with my laptop's res, which I shall use for watching films etc.

Many thanks


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