What vid. output does your laptop have? Mine had vga and s-video. My tv will accept a vga directly. You'll have to figure out a way to adapt your output to whatever your computer has. There is an adapter that will take vga and turn it in to rca but it converts the signal and you can't just make one.
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If you want high definition: You will need to convert the video output from the laptop to something the tv will recognize. If you are lucky both the tv and the laptop support HDMI, in which case I recommend hooking them straight together. Don't get shafted by hdmi cable prices in box stores or electronics stores - go online. I recommend www.monoprice.com www.newegg.com or www.dealextreme.com for very reasonable prices (around 1 dollar per foot is reasonable). Box stores will charge about 5-10 dollars per foot. If your laptop has DVI out - the big white squared-edge rectangular connection, then you can use a dvi>>hdmi cable or dvi>>hdmi adapter + hdmi cable to hook them up, same as hdmi. If your tv supports DVI and the laptop has it, then use a dvi>dvi cable If your tv supports only analog (RCA jacks) the only way to get this signal is with component video (red green blue) jacks (for HD). The most reasonable way to get this is with an adapter box, as I recently learned the voltage level for rca component is not the same as rgb component used in VGA. (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Dealextreme has adapter boxes that connect between a vga port and 3-cable component video, OR s-video (800x600 max) OR composite video (crap 640x480 interlaced max). I recommend trying/researching the above options in the order listed for highest to lowest quality options.