VGA Connector Guide
- the Port and Cable Explained

A VGA connector is found on many AV components, and is mainly used for connecting computers with your equipment.

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Here we look at this connection type and consider its use.

What does the connector on the device look like?

VGA Connector

The VGA connection on your device looks like this.

It is a female 15-pin D-sub port.

The 'D' shape ensures that VGA cables will only fit one way round. It is often coloured blue or black.

VGA Cable

What does the cable look like?

A VGA cable looks like this.

It will have a male 15-pin D-sub connector.

What does it do?

A VGA connector on your AV equipment is normally there for you to connect your PC or laptop.

This connection type will usually be designed to receive an analog RGB signal from a connected device - which is the type of signal that you get from a computer. It supports standard-definition and high-definition resolutions.

It does not transmit audio signals and so a separate audio connection will be required to hear any audio.

The standard 15-pin D-Sub connector is common on many computers, and therefore you can use VGA to VGA cables to send a computer image to your TV screen.

When should I use it?

If you want to connect your PC or laptop to your TV.

However, if your computer or laptop has a DVI or HDMI output then it would usually be better to connect using this type of connection.

If your output device only has a VGA port, or you have no spare DVI or HDMI inputs, then then a VGA connector like this should still give you a good image.

What else can you tell me?

To get a sharp computer image on the TV screen, you will need to ensure that you set the output resolution of the computer to match the native resolution of the TV. The image will appear stretched or blurred if you don't do this.

Also, depending on the native resolution of your TV and the output capabilities of the graphics card in your computer, you may not be able to fill the whole screen with a sharp image as the output resolution may not match the TV exactly.

If you are using a laptop, then you will usually need to press a combination of keys to send the image to the TV - for example function + F7. This will vary between models and so consult your manual.

VGA to HDTV

Sending a computer image to your television is more difficult if you have a VGA port on your computer, but you don't have a VGA connection on your TV. You cannot connect VGA to component, or VGA to HDMI, as these connections require different types of video signals. You will have to buy a converter box if you need to do this and these can be expensive.

You may be able to use s-video connectors if both of your devices has one of these, although the image quality won't be as good.



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