You can turn a monitor into a new or old TV in a very simple way. Depending on the video connection, you may need some specific items, such as adapters, to enable audio and video transmission. But even old-fashioned tube monitors can be used as TVs.

You can turn any computer monitor into a TV, from the modern HDMI-enabled to the older ones that use DVI ports and / or legacy VGA. The point you really have to worry about is sound output if your monitor doesn’t have a built-in monitor, but even that is easy to get around.

You can use two methods: with a digital converter used on older TVs or a computer converter, which depends on a PC.

Method 1: Using an External Antenna and Digital TV Converter

If you have only the monitor and want to give it a new life as a TV.

You will need:

  • A monitor of any model, with or without built-in sound;
  • A digital TV converter;
  • One UHF antenna;
  • A coaxial cable long enough to connect the converter to the antenna.

The digital TV converter is the most important component. It will capture the digital TV signal and convert it for use on unprepared devices, such as old TVs and monitors, which usually do not have the built-in receiver.

The converter has, among the output connections, an HDMI port, as well as stereo audio RCA (red and white) connections, used in TVs in conjunction with the composite video port (yellow).

  • Some converters also have component video output, but we will not use it.
  • Digital converter / how to turn monitor to tv
  • Depending on your monitor connection, you may need some extra items:
  • HDMI port and built-in sound: You do n’t need anything else;
  • HDMI port, no sound: A two-way RCA cable (green and red) x auxiliary P2, male or female (depends on where you intend to connect the sound output);
  • DVI Port: An HDMI / DVI adapter with P2 audio output (comes with a P2 / P2 cable). This type of adapter usually needs a power source;
  • VGA Port: An HDMI / VGA adapter with P2 audio output (also accompanied by a P2 / P2 cable).
  • HDMI / VGA and HDMI / DVI adapters and 2xRCA / P2 cable / how to turn monitor into tv
  • From left to the right: HDMI / VGA adapter, HDMI / DVI adapter and 2xRCA / P2 cable
  • If your monitor has a DVI port and you do not want to use a power adapter, you can use a simple HDMI / DVI and 2xRCA / P2 cable to transmit audio.

The P2 cable will depend on where you plan to turn the sound on: if you are going to use a standard computer speaker kit, you will need either a 2xRCA / P2 female or a P2 female / P2 male. If you opt for a stereo, you will need either a 2xRCA / P2 male or a common P2 / P2 with both male tips.

Now, let’s get to work:

  • Install the UHF antenna normally and plug one end of the coaxial cable into it;
  • Connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the antenna connection of the digital TV converter;
  • Connect the HDMI cable to the converter and the other end to the monitor or adapter, depending on the video connection present;
  • If your monitor has a DVI or HDMI port, connect the sound output via P2 cable to the audio device you intend to use;
  • Turn on the monitor and digital TV converter;
  • With the remote control of the converter, make initial setup and channel search.
  • And ready.

Method 2: Using a USB Converter with Internal Antenna ( Windows and MacOS)

USB digital tv converter for PC

An example of a USB digital TV converter with built-in UHF antenna

If you do not have a spare monitor, you can still watch TV through your PC or Mac with a USB digital TV converter, which uses an internal antenna. These devices come with channel management software to relay channels, but their operation is basically the same as a traditional converter.

In general, the installation method is as follows:

  • Connect the converter to a USB port;
  • Install the drivers and the driver program that came with the device;
  • Start the program and configure the channels. That simple