The other half of buying cords is to make sure they fit your TV or amplifier. Here are the most common connectors:
- Coax Connectors are found on most TVs and may be your only option on older TVs. Coax connectors on your TV are metal screw plugs with a plastic middle and a single round hole.To generate a coaxial signal from your computer's digital signal, you need a special piece of hardware called an RF modulator, which cost between $15 and $30. You will connect the modulator to your TV using coax cable and your computer to the modulator using S-Video. You also need to connect your computer audio to the modulator using a 1/8-inch (3.5mm) to RCA cord which costs about $4.If you live in the U.S. or Canada, I suggest buying an RF modulator from Radio Shack. The staff there can help you find exactly what you need.
- S-Video is found on most modern TVs. See the PC video section above for a description of what it looks like. Any computer can convert to S-Video, but S-Video only supports standard definition video, so it's not a great option for high-definition TVs. S-Video does not carry audio signals, so you need to use a separate RCA or optical TOSLINK audio cord.
- DVI is found on some TVs. See the PC video section above for a description of what it looks like. It carries high-definition video but not any audio, so you need a separate RCA or optical TOSLINK audio cord.
- HDMI is found on all high-definition TVs. See the PC video section above for a description of what it looks like. It carries both audio and video signals, so you don't need any additional cords if your computer can put both video and audio on the same cord. (If you use an adapter, you may need to use separate optical audio cords). This is the easiest way to connect your computer to your TV. See the picture below.