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Connecting a Monitor or TV to Your PC Using HDMI (Windows Vista)

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This document pertains to HP or Compaq PCs with Windows Vista and an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connector for connecting a monitor or TV.
You can connect a monitor or television to your computer as the primary display (monitor) or as the secondary display. This document describes how to connect a television to your Windows Vista computer using an HDMI connection on an NVIDIA GeForce or ATI Radeon graphics card in the computer, and how to use the card software to adjust settings.
Figure 1: An HDMI cable connector
Image of the plug on an HDMI cable
Figure 2: An HDMI connector
Image of an HDMI connector
The graphics card in your computer may have more than one connector. Most graphics cards support connecting one or two displays at a time.
Figure 3: HDMI connector on an example graphics card
Image of an HDMI connector on an example graphics card, which has three connectors
When you use HDMI to connect your display, you need to adjust some settings through Windows Vista to hear sound through the display (as described in Selecting HDMI as the default audio device in Windows Vista ). Because of this, HP recommends that you connect analog speakers to the computer Audio Line Out connector if you want to hear sound during the initial setup of the computer.

How to connect a monitor or TV using an HDMI connection

NOTE:If you are viewing 1080P or higher video definition, use a category 2 HDMI cable.
If your display does not have an HDMI connector, see My display does not have an HDMI connector. in the Troubleshooting section.
To connect the display using an HDMI connection (and HDMI cable):
  1. Shut down the computer. Turn off the monitor or TV.
  2. Connect an HDMI cable to the computer and to the display.
  3. Turn on the display, and select the HDMI input as the input source to view.
  4. Turn on the computer.

Selecting HDMI as the default audio device in Windows Vista

Use the following steps to activate HDMI sound on your Windows Vista computer:
NOTE:If you ever need to recover the computer operating system by using the Recovery Manager, repeat this procedure to activate sound for the HDMI connector.
  1. Right-click the Volume icon (white speaker) on the taskbar.
  2. Click Playback Devices .
    The Sound window opens.
  3. On the Playback tab, click Digital Output Device (HDMI) if it is present. If it is not present, click Realtek HDMI Output .
    Figure 4: Digital Output Device (HDMI) selection
    Image of Playback tab with Digital Output Device (HDMI) selection
    Figure 5: Realtek HDMI Output selection
    Image of Playback tab with Realtek HDMI Output selection
  4. Click Set Default .
  5. Click Apply .
  6. Do one of the following:
    • If you used Digital Output Device (HDMI) , click OK to close the window. This completes the steps to activate HDMI sound for this option. Continue with Using the graphics card software to adjust settings .
    • If you used Realtek HDMI Output , continue with step 7.
  7. Double-click Realtek HDMI Output .
    The Properties window opens.
  8. Click the Supported Formats tab.
  9. Place a check in the 48.0 KHz check box, and ensure that there is no check in the Dolby Digital check box and all other check boxes.
    Figure 6: Supported Formats settings in the Realtek HDMI Output Properties window
    Image of Supported Formats settings in the Realtek HDMI Output Properties window
    NOTE:For most displays to play back audio, the sample rate must be 48.0 KHz.
  10. Click OK to apply the changes and close the window. This completes the steps to activate HDMI sound for this option.

Using the graphics card software to adjust settings

By using the graphics card software, you can adjust the display and the HDMI signal to create a better viewing experience on your display.
NOTE:Connect the display to the computer before you open the graphics card software.
To open the graphics card software, right-click an empty area of the computer desktop, and then click the NVIDIA or ATI graphics card software item in the menu:

NVIDIA graphics card adjustment

Use the NVIDIA Control Panel software to adjust settings for an NVIDIA graphics card.
Use these steps to open and use the NVIDIA graphics card software:
  1. To open the graphics card software, right-click an empty area of the computer desktop, and then click the NVIDIA graphics card software item in the menu: nVidia Display or NVIDIA Control Panel .
  2. The NVIDIA software window opens. Perform one of the following that matches the graphics card software:
    • Click Display or Video & Television .
      NOTE:Video & Television appears only when a digital television is connected to the graphics card before the graphics card software is opened.
    • Click nView Display Settings , and then select the monitor or TV in Current display .
      NOTE:nView Display Settings appears only when more than one display is connected to the graphics card before the graphics card software is opened.
  3. Click a selection, make adjustments or changes, and then click Apply .
    These are the NVIDIA Control Panel software settings for the graphics card:
    • 3D Settings: For games and 3D applications
    • Display settings:
      • Resolution, color quality, and refresh rate
      • Color
      • Scale
      • Rotation
      • Mode for multiple displays
    • Video & Television settings:
      • Video color: Adjusts the color for a fine-tuned image or specific uses.
      • Video image quality: Adjusts image edge enhancement and noise reduction for smooth video playback.
      • Image size
      • Digital color format: Selects the format, if supported by the display, for visual color saturation (pure black).
      • Signal format: Selects the signal format for a standard TV or HDTV (high definition television). Also, selects the high definition format.
      Figure 7: Example Change the Signal or HD Format selection screen
      Image of an example Change the Signal or HD Format selection screen
For more information, click Help in the screen toolbar or refer to the NVIDIA home Web site .

ATI graphics card adjustment

Use the ATI software to adjust settings for the graphics card.
To open and use the ATI graphics card software:
  1. To open the graphics card software, right-click an empty area of the computer desktop, and then click the ATI graphics card software item in the menu: ATI Catalyst Control Center or ATI CCC .
  2. Select Basic and click Next .
    Figure 8: Example ATI Catalyst Control Center opening wizard screen
    Image of example ATI Catalyst Control Center opening wizard screen
  3. Follow the instructions to set up the display and select options.
    Figure 9: Example ATI Catalyst Control Center setting selection screen
    Image of example ATI Catalyst Control Center setting selection screen
For more information, click Help in the screen toolbar or refer to the ATI Products home Web site .

Troubleshooting

SymptomSolution
No sound
  • When you use HDMI to connect your display, you need to adjust some settings through Windows Vista to hear sound through the display (as described in Selecting HDMI as the default audio device in Windows Vista ). Because of this, HP recommends that you connect analog speakers to the computer Audio Line Out connector if you want to hear sound during the initial setup of the computer.
  • If you used a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect the display, DVI does not carry an audio signal. To hear sound through the display, you must connect the computer Audio Line Out connector to the DVI Audio In connector on the display. Also, do not select HDMI as the default audio device in Windows Vista. See My display does not have an HDMI connector. below.
No picture
  • Check that the display is connected to the computer and turned on.
  • Select HDMI as the input source on the display (or DVI input, if you are using a DVI-to-HDMI adapter).
  • If using multiple displays, check the graphics card specifications to ensure it supports the display types and numbers which you connected. Most cards do not support connecting more than two displays at a time.
Image resolution, position, size, or color is wrong.Change the Windows display settings to match the resolution of the display, see Using the graphics card software to adjust settings .
The display does not appear as a device in graphics software.If you connected the monitor or TV after the software was opened, close the software and open it again. Most software does not recognize a display added or attached after the software is opened.
Picture quality issues.Use an HDMI cable five meters (16 feet) or less in length. Longer distances can result in signal degradation and possible loss in audio and video quality. For longer distances, or for viewing 1080P or higher video definition, use a higher quality cable (Category 2) or a signal amplifier.
My display does not have an HDMI connector.You can use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter with a DVI cable (or an HDMI cable). However, DVI does not carry an audio signal. To hear sound through the display, you must connect the computer Audio Line Out connector to the DVI Audio In connector on the monitor or TV. Also, do not select HDMI as the default audio device in Windows Vista.

Figure 10: An DVI-to-HDMI adapter and the two connectors it supports
Image of an HDMI connector, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, and a DVI connector

Figure 11: Connecting the analog audio cable to the computer and the display
Image of connecting an analog audio cable to the computer Audio Line Out connector and the display DVI Audio In connector

Related Support

NOTE:One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside of the HP Web site.