How to turn your monitor into a TV
Products needed: External TV tuner box; a video source (a antenna, a cable or satellite signal, a VCR or a DVD player); any computer monitor; multimedia speakers or a stereo system.
If you've ever bought a new PC that came equipped with a monitor, you may have crammed your old display into a closet, where it's languished ever since. Today, we'll show you how to give your old monitor a new life by converting it into a TV.
Before purchasing the necessary equipment, however, make sure your monitor doesn't have any standard TV inputs. If it already has an S-Video or composite input, you should be able to connect any standard A/V source without the need for additional hardware. If, like most older monitors, it's equipped with only a VGA port, you'll need to invest in an external TV tuner with a matching connection.
Step 1: Choose an analog TV tuner box.
The growing number of standalone TV tuner boxes can be divided into two categories: digital and analog. A digital tuner receives DTV and HDTV signals when attached to a compatible antenna, cable, or satellite connection. But we're sticking with an analog tuner, which receives the same UHF and VHF stations as a regular TV. Furthermore, analog boxes can interface with standard cable or satellite boxes as well as with any VCR, DVD player, or video game console.
Step 2: Connect your cable or satellite box to the external TV tuner box.
Once you've obtained your TV tuner box, the first step is to connect the video output from your cable or satellite box to the external TV tuner box's video input. Opt for an S-Video connection if both devices are so equipped, with composite video as the second choice and RF coaxial cable as the connection of last resort. If you don't have a spare cable or satellite box, you can instead plug a raw feed from your analog cable TV signal or an antenna connection directly into the external TV tuner box's RF coaxial input, but you probably won't receive as many channels.
Unless you used the RF coaxial connection, you'll also need to connect the cable or satellite box's audio output to the external TV tuner box's audio input.
Depending on the available inputs on the external TV tuner box, you can also connect additional devices such as a DVD player, a VCR, or a video game console.
Step 3: Connect the external TV tuner box to your monitor and speakers.
Next, connect the external TV tuner box's VGA output to your monitor's VGA jack. If your monitor has built-in speakers, connect the external TV tuner box's audio output to the monitor's audio input. If your monitor doesn't have built-in speakers, you can instead connect the external TV tuner box to multimedia speakers or an audio minisystem, for instance.
Step 4: Select the source.
To start using your home-brewed TV, power on the cable or satellite box, then use the external TV tuner box's remote control to select the source. To change channels, you may need to use the cable or satellite box's remote control instead. Enjoy your new system.