Thursday, March 30, 2006

Laptop to Hotel TV connection for watching DVD's

(Q) When I'm on the road, I'd like to play DVD movies on my laptop. It has a VGA output, but no composite video or S-Video output. What can I use to transmit the DVD signal from my laptop to a hotel TV?

(A) It is hard to be sure what you are going to get on a hotel TV as far as connections go. Some only seem to have a coax "F" type standard Cable TV/Antenna input. Some will have a separate A/V input. That is usually about it.

Either scenario still require you to get the audio from the laptop to the TV (unless you have some external speakers for your laptop). You will need to go from a stereo 1/8"(3.5mm) connector on the laptop to two RCA connectors for left and right stereo channels.
An iPod connection cable like this will work very well for this, it has a six foot cable:
We will soon be offering custom length mini 1/8" stereo to dual RCA cables like this at a variety of lengths with very good Belden cable and some very nice connectors.

For a TV with A/V inputs (RCA jacks for Video and Right and Left Stereo audio) you will need a VGA to Video converter box. This will take a VGA signal from the laptop and down convert it to a standard definition NTSC or PAL output on composite video or S-Video.
This would be a good sized portable adapter:
More choices:
The audio cables will go to the left/right TV audio inputs.

For a TV with a coax "F" type standard Cable TV/Antenna input:
You will first need to convert from VGA to video and audio, then modulate it to RF for the TV input. Two boxes. Not real travel friendly.
This would again be a good sized portable VGA to Video adapter:
Then you will need to take the video and audio and modulate it to an RF signal the TV will be able to "tune".
Here's an F modulator:
The audio cables will go to the left/right audio inputs on the RF modulator audio inputs.

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