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Are you using the VGA port or one of the HDMI ports? Are you using an HDMI to DVI cable? (then check if you have Single-link or Dual-link DVI; the cables are not interchangeable when you create the adapter in the cable.) Make sure the TV is on (and pointing to the desired input although it will possibly go into a power-savings mode) before turning on the laptop.
It is more likely to be an issue on the computer side. Make sure your BIOS and device manager have the video port turned on. (Many will disable the device for power-savings.) You may need to reboot after seeing a message about the drivers being loaded when the computer sees the laptop. Once the port is active, Win7 and Vista let you change the video output if you click on the Desktop (anywhere without an icon or program window) and choose Screen Resolution. Then look for a line about multiple monitors and choose how you want the monitors to display.
Set the TV input to PC (that's ViewSonic's term for the VGA port).
Setting the computer to output to the PC may depend on your OS (XP, Vista). Reboot the computer after connecting the monitor and see if new hardware is found. Reboot again if you have a flickering screen. In Vista, right clicking on the desktop brings up various video and desktop options. Choose Screen Resolution and look for the multiple monitors line. Click Apply and OK after setting your desired output. In the Screen Resolution window you should see two monitor boxes (labeled 1 and 2) if the computer sees the monitor.
If the second monitor is not showing up (no new hardware found), check your BIOS and device drivers to see if you need to enable or update the drivers for the VGA port. Check your manual for the BIOS (often it is click F1 or F2 before the OS loads; it's often tricky timing and I have to try repeatedly). Device manager will have a red x if the port is disabled; the exclamation point (yellow triangle) indicates driver issues.
I realize this is nearly a year after you posted your questions but I hope it will help the next person searching for answers on this TV.
if the tv accepts 640 x 480 via DVI lead in safe mode, then as long as the tv is set to work in conjunction with the same resolution as your pc by the pc to DVI setting, it must be your pc's graphics driver that is the problem, as in safe mode the graphics vga driver only is loaded and not the advanced graphics options and resolutions, so enabling you to view on an external monitor.
You should be able to right click on your desktop, then graphics properties and select either clone/dual or monitor.
If this option does not show then you need to go into your graphics cards properties and ensure that an external screen or multiple display; is enabled, depending on your graphics driver.