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Topic: Laptop as DVD player?

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bro2dragons

1. Posted:

Hey guys. i have a fairly new laptop (got it this past May) and a very old TV. is there any way i can hook my laptop up to it to play movies? For instance, is there such a thing as a USB to AV cable? i can't seem to find one if there is. help? other ways of doing this? thanks!

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Unca_Lz

2. Posted:

Old TV? I think you're outta luck here man

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bro2dragons

3. Posted:

well, not super old. i've not checked it out particularly thoroughly, but right now, all that i KNOW that it has are the red, white and yellow AV receptors... no luck?

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theblackdragon

4. Posted:

if it has the red, white, and yellow av ports, you're in luck. what kind of ports does your laptop have?

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bro2dragons

5. Posted:

to be honest with you, i don't know what they're called. but it's the circled one from this picture, and the square one to the right.
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theblackdragon

6. Posted:

that's a 15-pin VGA port, it looks like -- something like this would be what you need. also, that 'square one to the right' looks like a port for a built-in modem, lol, and an ethernet port should be to the right of that if i'm reading the symbols correctly. no video from there :3

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bro2dragons

7. Posted:

AWESOME! that's perfect, thanks! but what's the difference between red, white, and yellow, and red, green, and blue?

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Raylax

8. Posted:

bro2dragons wrote:

AWESOME! that's perfect, thanks! but what's the difference between red, white, and yellow, and red, green, and blue?

Red, white, yellow is for two audio and one video (Red and white are the left and right speakers (possibly the other way around), yellow is the video)
Red, green and blue (known as component) is the video only, beamed in its respective red, green and blue colors. The image quality is better with component, but you'll need an additional cable for the audio.

Although, since you're going from laptop-to-TV, you'll need an additional audio cable anyway - the VGA port only outputs image, not sound. You'll need a cable for that which connects your laptop's headphone ports to your TV's red and white audio input port.

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Raylax

9. Posted:

http://www.1topstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=521 - VGA to AV cable (and S-Video if your TV has it; S-Video has slightly better video quality, I believe)
http://www.1topstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=1528 - Headphone to audio cable

I think these will be the cables you need. I'm sure someone will be able to offer a second opinion though; I think I've got my facts right on this one but can't ever be certain. I'm pretty certain VGA doesn't output sound.

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bro2dragons

10. Posted:

@Raylax: that first cable has the female end of the yellow... i need the one that plugs into my tv, right?

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bro2dragons

11. Posted:

can anybody else help?

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theblackdragon

12. Posted:

no, VGA won't output sound, but the laptop's own speakers (or the headphone jack) will still work. A pair of portable speakers would do the trick, or that second cable Raylax posted (it plugs from the headphone jack and gives you the red and white audio inputs for your TV). :3

Edited on by theblackdragon

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bro2dragons

13. Posted:

Thanks, Raylax and TBD!

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Sean_Aaron

14. Posted:

I'm sure you have a reason for using a laptop over a portable DVD player, but seriously consider the latter as you can get handset hacks for the Philips ones to make them region-free, you can have a remote and you'll get the necessary cables to do the hook-up as well.

Plus they're a lot smaller and cheaper than a laptop.

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Vendetta

15. Posted:

What Sean said, plus: I wouldn't recommend using the lappy as your go-to DVD player, as those drives, while robust for routine laptop use, are not designed to handle the abuse that home DVD players go through. You can get brand new home DVD player with hookups and remote for about 30 bucks at Best Buy. But replacing your laptop's optical drive for that kind of money? Not happening.

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theblackdragon

16. Posted:

I dunno about your laptop, V, but the one i bought in October-ish of '08 came complete with an entire entertainment suite program intending for it to be used as a DVD player, and it also came with a little remote that pops in and out of the side. I don't think i'd be too worried about burning out my drive, and if bro got his this past May, his might've also touted itself as a portable entertainment center or something and/or came with its own remote too.

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Vendetta

17. Posted:

My laptop? It doesn't have an optical drive. ;) I honestly can't recall the last time I used one for computer purposes. Network and USB flashdrives have replaced them in my environment. In any case, I get what you're saying. Still though, I tend to go for purpose-built tools. In this case, it would madden me if I were to have to choose between watching a movie and otherwise using my laptop. I can be a bit obsessive like that.

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theblackdragon

18. Posted:

Yeah, it's a pain to wait for the DVD program to load sometimes, and i get what you're saying about using unitaskers for durability instead of a jack-of-all-trades stopgap. Deciding between watching a movie and using the computer doesn't bother me, though, because we have three in this house, lol. i guess this is a case of 'your mileage may vary'. :3

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Sean_Aaron

19. Posted:

The region-free aspect is the big thing for me, but then I've got a DVD collection pretty well split between R1 and R2 and having to use a hack on a computer is a pain as opposed to just getting the remote button code off Amazon.co.uk. If you've got a single-region collection, no biggie, I'll agree.

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