Monday, April 27, 2009

Connection to LCD TV and CRT TV

In my earlier posts, I have written about connecting the S10 to an external PC monitor and there was no problem at all. My actual experience was connecting to an LCD monitor, Acer model, X173W and the S10 automatically switched to the maximum resolution of the Acer, which was a modest 1440 x 900. I believe it would be the same if you were to connect the S10 to an external CRT monitor.

Now what about connecting to an LCD TV as oppose to the LCD monitor? More and more of us are switching to LCD TV and most of these TV comes ready with an RGB terminal or also called the PC input terminal. Can you just connect your S10 to this terminal? Since I have just got myself an LCD TV, the Sharp LC-19A35M (a modest 19 inch, you can read more about this in my other Blog here) I was able to put it to the test.

For connecting to an LCD monitor, you do not need any external cable since the connecting cable is usually already fixed internally to the LCD monitor itself at one end and you just need to connect the loose end to the S10 RGB terminal (Lenovo calls this the VGA port). However to connect to an LCD TV, you would first need to have the right connecting cable and the one for this job is a RGB to RGB cable, with male to male connectors. An example from Amazon is shown here below.

The important point to note here is that the connectors at the cable must be male to male and not male to female as this type is also available. An easy way to remember the difference between male and female is to remember that male has pins while female has holes. Isn't this simple enough? So in this case we need a cable with pins at both ends to fit into the holes at the S10 and at the LCD TV. Now with the anatomy lesson out of the way, let's move on to see how the S10 performed. (Another point to note is the length of the cable required so that it can reach the LCD TV comfortably.)

Just like in the case of connecting to an external LCD monitor, there was no problem. The S10 switched automatically to 1024 x 768 resolution (in my case) to match the most suitable resolution of the LCD TV. The Sharp LCD TV has a resolution of 1366 x 768 so the one used by the S10 was the closest usable resolution. This has an aspect ration of 4:3 and since the S10 display also emulate this resolution (when both the displays are on), you need to scroll the S10 screen to see the whole display. Remember you need to press Fn+F3 to select one or both the S10 display and the external LCD TV.

What about connecting the S10 to a normal CRT TV (not LCD TV), will it work? Yes and No. If you just connect with the VGA to RCA video cable like this one below, it will not work. This cable is meant for PC/laptop with a TV out video card and S10 does not have this so it will not work. So DO NOT BUY THIS for the S10.

To connect your S10 to a normal TV (non-LCD), you will need a VGA to Video converter like this one below. This is just an example and there are other models available. Since I have never use one before I cannot comment on the quality so users who have used this may want to comment.

For those of you already owning an LCD TV and you want to have your S10 connected to the big display, all you need is to get the RGB to RGB cable detailed above. But first check that the LCD TV has the RGB or PC input terminal. This terminal is only for the video and if you want to have the audio, you will need to have a cable to connect the earphone output on the S10 to the audio input terminal of the LCD TV. The type of cable needed will depend on the audio terminals provided by the LCD TV. For my Sharp LCD TV, the audio connection for the PC is the stereo jack so I just need a direct male to male stereo jack for this purpose. Some LCD TV may provide only the RCA audio input terminals and and to connect these you will need a cable with the stereo jack at one end and two RCA plugs at the other end. An example is shown below.

Happy big screen viewing!

Ronald Kwok


  1. Hi,
    I can't get an output image to my 47" Phillips LCD TV with my S10.
    I am using a VGA to HDMI cable, my LCD TV does not have any DVI or VGA just 4 HDMI ports.
    Any clue... why I don't see my S10 screen on the LCD TV?

  2. Hi xmarcelo,
    If you are just using the simple VGA to HDMI cables, you will not get a display since the VGA is using analogue signal while the HDMI is using digital signal. For this you will need a VGA to HDMI converter. Type in VGA to HDMI converter in the Search Amazon box on this page and you will see several models available as examples. Read the reviews and see which is suitable for you or you can get something similar elsewhere. I have not used one myself so I cannot give my comments. Make sure there is no PC input (or Analogue RGB input) on your LCD TV first; if there is, just use the simple VGA to VGA cable as detailed in my post. Good luck.

  3. Hi,

    I'd like to apologize in advance, my question is not at all related to this post. I'm looking for helpful forums on the s10 when i chanced upon your blog. it's better than any forum i've visited!

    anyway, my problem is, i recently bought my s10 (it's only around 2 months old). one day as i tried to listen to some mp3s, no sound came out. i pressed Fn+[right arrow / volume up] and a pop-up saying "Warning! Your audio device is not working properly!" came out.

    It's semi-brand new, i've never dropped it or anything. Do you think this is a hardware problem? Should I install a new driver (if so, can you point me to a blog posting instructing me how)?

    Thanks in advance!

    - Mute

  4. Hi Mute,
    Thanks for your kind words.

    You can click on My computer and under System Tasks>View System Info.
    Select the Hardware tab>Device Manager and Click Sound, video....and run troubleshooting to see if it helps.

    Or you can try to reinstall the audio driver. Go to D:drive and click Driver>Audio and run the setup.exe file which should install the Realtek HD Audio Manager.
    Good luck.

  5. Hi again,

    Thanks for your advice! My sound now works fine. I went to system tasks, it turns out my Realtek HD Audio was disabled, so I enabled it. Then I went to Control Panel and increased the volume.

    A last follow-up question, if I may. Although I now have sound, pressing fn+right_arrow still gives the pop-up "Your audio device is not working properly". The shortcut volume keys don't work (even though i already have sound). Would re-installing help?

    Thank you, mr. Kwok!

  6. The Function shortcut keys utility are hidden in the Lenovo Energy Management programme. Please refer to my latest post. Hope it works for you.

  7. Thank you. It did!

    - Mute

  8. Thank you for your review and help. I have not bought the S10 yet because I want to make sure it will work for me. I want to use the computer in my craft room hooked to a television/monitor (Vizio VA19L) that I also have not bought.

    I want to use the S10 to be used for the highway as a DVD player and in home for whatever. Can I record tv shows on the S10 from a tv connected to it or do I have to have a external capture board? If so, will the S10 work with the external capture board and the television connected to it at the same time? I know having both is redundant but I want the monitor for the larger screen and I want to be able to record the shows for the highway trips.

    Do you know the difference between the S610 and the S610-2 and the S610-e?

    Will this computer work with an external DVD?

  9. Perfect, just what I was looking for. Thanks for the info!!

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Hi Christian,
    Thanks for viewing and do share your experience here. Cheers.

  12. Hi Ronald

    Thanks for the blog on connecting Lenovo S10 to my TV. I am having a small problem, connected the notebook via VGA leads to the TV, Can see the screen saver but not the icons, Starts up OK and can see the commands as it loads but no icons. If I play media player I can see it on the notebook but not the TV, any suggestions?


  13. Hi Martin,
    you might have somehow checked the box "Extend my windows desktop...." in one of the options. Refer to my earlier post, "Using external monitor....." on Jan 20 for details. Uncheck this box and try again. Regards.

  14. Hi every1. Good blog.
    I need help. I jus brought a VGA to RGB cable. However when i connect to my TV which has a RGB conponent input, my tv screen still show "no signal" message.
    I had pressed Fn+F3, but still has this issues.
    Did i miss out any settings.?

    I am using Lenovo S10 (10.1 inch)

    Mr. Kwok.
    Is it possible to steps-by-steps teach me what to do. (As i am a com-noobies).

    Appreciated. Thanks =)

    From: Bao

  15. Hi Bao, I believe you are using the simple VGA to RGB component cable and just like the simple VGA to S-video cable mentioned above in my post, it will not work since you need to have a VGA to video converter, an example is mentioned in my post. You can google or search in amazon to find one that suits your budget. But if you are planning to upgrade to a LCD TV or HDTV soon, there's no point spending on this video converter and you just need a simple VGA to VGA cable. Hope this helps.

  16. Hi,

    I love your blog, it's very imformative! I am however having a little problem following this. I have bought both wires (M.M cable and the audio one which I'm still waiting for) and i've connected them in but my T.v hasnt picked it up yet, but my lenovo has. I have a samsung t.v and when i click on the menu options to try activate this, i only get the option of clicking on Component (which is used for my xox360) AV (used for my nintendo wii) then ext.1 ext.2 and HDMI and DTV which is used to watch the channels. I can see PC in the option but I can't click on it :-(
    I would appreciate any help with this, I must be going wrong somewhere stupidly (I'm a PC n00bie)


  17. I presume your samsung is a HDTV and the easiest way to connect to your Lenovo is to use the VGA to VGA cable to connect to your PC in at the samsung for the video. For audio, just use a simple male to male stereo jack from your headphone out of the Lenovo to the PC audio in at the samsung. Usually you cannot select an input source at the HDTV unless there is a connection, hence you can't click on the PC option. Hope this helps.

  18. Hi Ronald, yes my Samsung is a HDTV. I will try this as soon as I recieve the cables, thank you for the response :-)


  19. Hi Ronald, I wish to buy the Ideapad S10 to watch 1080p videos on mi full hd lcd LG tv 42", I´ve read another post and I know that I have to buy a VGA to HDMI converter, but i want to know if the graphic card can play hd videos.

    And I have n64 emulators, can I play it?


  20. I have Plasma TV Installation and the cable conection is tata sky because both is the best and they provide best programs which we like .

  21. Emulador,

    You cannot play 1080p HD content with the S-10, or most Netbooks. Though Atom is a powerful chip, it has its limitations, and HD video is one of them. Now, you can play offline 720p video, if you use K-Lite or Media Player Classic, not Windows Media Player.

    Now, Atom will play SD video without problem, as it requires less load on the Atom processor.

    If you want to use a portable computer for HD video, then a larger notebook might be better suited for you.

    As for a converter, monoprice has a VGA/RCA to HDMI converter that will take the VGA video data, and the Right/Left RCA sound data, and will output both signals thru single HDMI to your HDTV.

  22. i use vga male to male cable to connect my samsung 36”tv,but presding fn f3 i getting black screen on my tv. wats the problem?

  23. Hey,
    I tried to connect the Lenovo s10 to my tv using a vga to vga cable. this same cable works just fine on my HP, but when I connect the lenovo I get no signal. help

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