Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Have you ever wanted to have an extra monitor or 2 connected to your laptop computer but you thought it couldn't be done "just because it's a laptop" or, "My laptop is too old", or too costly? The answers are, "Yes, you can add extra monitors, even if it's old and can be done cheaply!" Here's the tip: If you want extra monitors just for the convenience, try to purchase the demo model from your local electronics store. I did, and got almost 75% off the price. All laptops have either a VGA port, HDMI port or a USB port (or have a combo of at least 2 of these). The VGA port can be used direct to a second monitor. A USB port can be used for a third monitor, but you will need an external video driver for it. These can be bought for as little as $40.00 at www.frys.com.
I added two 24" monitors plus a video driver to my HP Pavillion for less than $150.00. Another tip: Look for used monitors at garage sales and such if you're not too choosey and just want the extra monitors to display web pages and info.
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'No signal' and 'unsupported signal' messages mean 1 of 2 things, either the VGA output is off(laptop) or the display resolution is set too high(laptop and desktop). Assuming the VGA cable you are using is good, try this:
Desktop: hook the computer back up too your computer monitor & set the computer to the basic VGA resolution. For windows XP, right click a blank area on the desktop, click 'properties' on the dropdown menu, click settings. Write down the numbers in the 'screen resolution' and 'color quality' boxes!
Drag the 'screen resolution' all the way down to then 'less' side. Then change the 'color quality' to the lowest setting. Click apply, then answer yes (the display will look UGLY - don't worry!!) Now connect your computer back to your projector. If it works, then the resolution you use on your desktop monitor is not supported on your projector. Experiment with different resolutions to see which one looks best on your projector. You will need to change the settings each time you switch monitor to projector.
Laptop: by default the VGA connector on your laptop is off. To turn it on, look for a blue symbol on one of your function (F1, F2, F3...) keys. It looks like an old TV with a line on both sides 'O' (F4 on HP) Press & hold the blue button (on the lower left of the keyboard, usually to the left of control ) and tap the bleu button you just found. Let go & give you're a computer a few seconds to change over. If the laptop screen goes blank, you found the correct button! The display image should now be visible. Repeat this 1 to 2 times to change it back to laptop display.
If you did not see the display on the projector, 2 other issues are possible. First, verify that the VGA output on the laptop is working - connect the laptop to a regular computer monitor & change the display resolution to the lowest settings (see desktop above), then try it again on the projector. If you cannot get an image on a computer monitor, your laptop settings may need to be adjusted in the same dialogue box as the settings. Monitor #1 is the laptop display, Monitor #2 is the external output.
Happy viewing :)
Jun 12, 2011 | Epson PowerLite S3 Multimedia Projector
Oct 30, 2009 | Sony Audio Players & Recorders
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