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Connecting a TV or Monitor to your Windows 7 PC using HDMI

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This document pertains to HP or Compaq PCs with Windows 7 and an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connector for connecting a monitor or TV.
The steps in this document apply to computers with the latest NVIDIA GeForce or ATI Radeon drivers available at the time of writing. If the steps do not match the software on your computer, visit the NVIDIA Driver Downloads page (in English) or the ATI Graphics Drivers & Software download page (in English) and get the latest driver.
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 7 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 7 to hear sound through the display (as described in Selecting HDMI as the default audio device in Windows 7 ). 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:To view 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 7

Use the following steps to activate HDMI sound on your Windows 7 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 one of the following, if present:
    • NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    • ATI High Definition Audio
    • Realtek HDMI Output
    Figure 4: NVIDIA HDMI Output selection
    Image of Playback tab with NVIDIA HDMI Output selection
    Figure 5: ATI HDMI Output selection
    Image of Playback tab with ATI HDMI Output selection
    Realtek HDMI Output selectionImage of Playback tab with Realtek HDMI Output selection
  4. Click Set Default .
  5. Click Apply .
  6. Click OK to close the window. This completes the steps to activate HDMI sound.

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 NVIDIA Control Panel .
    Figure 7: Opening NVIDIA Control Panel
    Opening NVIDIA Control Panel
    The NVIDIA Control Panel opens.
  2. Click the plus sign (+ ) next to Video & Television , then click Change the signal or HD format .
    Figure 8: Change the Signal or HD Format
    Change the Signal or HD Format window in NVIDIA Control Panel
  3. From the drop-down list, select HDMI - high definition televisions .
  4. Select the signal format that matches the highest format the monitor or television can display.
  5. From the left side of NVIDIA Control Panel, click the plus sign (+ ) next to Display , then click Change Resolution .
    Figure 9: Change resolution for NVIDIA
    NVIDIA Control Panel Change resolution window
  6. Select the display resolution, color quality, and refresh rate.
  7. Click Apply to save the changes.
  8. You can also use the NVIDIA Control Panel to change other graphics card settings:
    • 3D Settings: For games and 3D applications
    • Display settings:
      • Flat Panel Scaling
      • Color
      • Rotation
      • Custom Resolutions
      • 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.
      • Digital color format: Selects the format, if supported by the display, for visual color saturation (pure black).
      • Image size
NOTE:You may need to adjust the settings on your television to view the screen in wide-screen (16:9) mode.
For more information, click Help in the screen toolbar or see 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 ATI Catalyst Control Center .
  2. Click Graphics , and then click Desktops & Displays .
    Figure 10: ATI Catalyst Control Center
    ATI Catalyst Control Center
  3. Click the Mode tab, if not already selected.
    Figure 11: Desktop Properties
    ATI Catalyst Control Center Desktop Properties window
  4. Under Desktop area, click the plus sign (+ ) next to HDTV , then select an HDTV resolution.
  5. Adjust the color quality, refresh rate, and rotation as needed.
  6. Click Apply .
NOTE:You may need to adjust the settings on your television to view the screen in wide-screen (16:9) mode.
For more information, click Help in the 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 7 to hear sound through the display (as described in Selecting HDMI as the default audio device in Windows 7 ). 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 7. 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 7.

Figure 12: A 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 13: 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.