Best way to connect PC to TV about 30 feet away?

#1 Posted by BBAlpert (1448 posts) -

Hey duders, I've been thinking about hooking up my PC to my TV so I can play from the couch like Vinny and Brad always talk about, but I'm not sure the best way to do it. I know that there is at least one specific arrangement of cables and adapters I can use, but I'm not sure what the most cost-effective way would be.

Situation: A PC with 2 DVI out ports and whatever the standard is for basic audio (3.5 mm I think?), approximately 30-35 feet away from a TV with inputs for HDMI, DVI with RCA audio, and I think optical audio.

I'm trying to price out my options on Monoprice, but I can't decide what combination of cables, lengths, and adapters to go with, considering what components I already have, which are:

  • Short-medium DVI cable
  • An RCA-to-3.5 adapter (which I don't think really works for any of these combinations)
  • Short-medium RCA cables
  • Short 3.5 mm audio cable
  • A short-medium HDMI cable
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable (that only does video, audio needs to be hooked up separately)

Some ideas so far:

  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable and 35-40 foot 3.5 mm audio cable with a 3.5-to-RCA adapter at the end
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable, 35-40 foot RCA audio cable, a short 3.5 mm audio cable, and a 3.5-to-RCA adapter
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable, 20 foot 3.5 mm audio cable, a 20 foot RCA audio cable, and a 3.5-to-RCA adapter in the middle
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable and 35-40 foot (whatever combination of lengths for 3.5 mm to RCA), a short HDMI cable, and a DVI+RCA-to-HDMI converter
  • A short DVI cable and short (whatever combination of lengths for 3.5 mm to RCA), a 35-40 foot HDMI cable, and a DVI+RCA-to-HDMI converter
  • 20 foot DVI, audio, and HDMI cables with converter in the middle
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable, an HDMI extension cable, and whatever 35-40 foot long audio cables
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable, a DVI extension cable, and whatever 35-40 foot long audio cables
  • Whatever hypothetical way of getting audio and video across CAT5 or CAT6 that Ryan talked about in last week's podcast.

Any thoughts?

#2 Edited by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

I'm trying to price out my options on Monoprice, but I can't decide what combination of cables, lengths, and adapters to go with, considering what components I already have, which are:

  • Short-medium DVI cable
  • An RCA-to-3.5 adapter (which I don't think really works for any of these combinations)
  • Short-medium RCA cables
  • Short 3.5 mm audio cable
  • A short-medium HDMI cable
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable (that only does video, audio needs to be hooked up separately)

Some ideas so far:

  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable and 35-40 foot 3.5 mm audio cable with a 3.5-to-RCA adapter at the end
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable, 35-40 foot RCA audio cable, a short 3.5 mm audio cable, and a 3.5-to-RCA adapter
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable, 20 foot 3.5 mm audio cable, a 20 foot RCA audio cable, and a 3.5-to-RCA adapter in the middle
  • A 35-40 foot DVI cable and 35-40 foot (whatever combination of lengths for 3.5 mm to RCA), a short HDMI cable, and a DVI+RCA-to-HDMI converter
  • A short DVI cable and short (whatever combination of lengths for 3.5 mm to RCA), a 35-40 foot HDMI cable, and a DVI+RCA-to-HDMI converter
  • 20 foot DVI, audio, and HDMI cables with converter in the middle
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable, an HDMI extension cable, and whatever 35-40 foot long audio cables
  • A short DVI-HDMI cable, a DVI extension cable, and whatever 35-40 foot long audio cables
  • Whatever hypothetical way of getting audio and video across CAT5 or CAT6 that Ryan talked about in last week's podcast.

Any thoughts?

What the hell is all this? o.O

Get a DVI/HDMI adapter, connect the DVI cable to your PC and a 30 foot long HDMI cable to your TV, use the adapter to connect the two cables together and voila! You get audio and video! Unless I'm missing something here?

Edit: Ah, silly me, you can't get audio from a DVI port can you? I dunno about sound but you can probably get a long audio cable that has an audio end (for the PC and mp3 player etc..) and the yellow audio end for TVs.

#3 Posted by AndrewB (7593 posts) -

DVI -> DVI

Digital audio cable (there's a huuuuge chance your integrated audio has one of these ports... I haven't seen one that doesn't in years).

And failing that, just stick with the analog RCA male-male cable, which I'm sure will be cheaper, but will only ever offer stereo sound on inferior integrated audio hardware decoders.

#4 Edited by mortal_sb (527 posts) -

I've got a 10 meter (~32feet) HDMI cable running from my PC (560ti) to my TV (LG plasma) and that's it. Paid like 10€ / 15$ for it. picture and sound quality are aces.

#5 Edited by BBAlpert (1448 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Yeah, I guess I was making this more complicated than it needs to be by throwing the audio cable variables in. However I get the audio hooked up, those cables are all pretty cheap. It's really more of a question whether I want to spend $20-40 on a long enough HDMI cable or $20-40 bucks on a long enough DVI cable.

@AndrewB said:

Digital audio cable (there's a huuuuge chance your integrated audio has one of these ports... I haven't seen one that doesn't in years).

I didn't think that my computer had one of those ports, but it's probably much more likely that it does and I just didn't notice/recognize it. I'll have to check on that.

Thanks guys!

#6 Edited by BBAlpert (1448 posts) -

@mortal_sb said:

I've got a 10 meter (~32feet) HDMI cable running from my PC (560ti) to my TV (LG plasma) and that's it. Paid like 10€ / 15$ for it. picture and sound quality are aces.

That would be the easiest option, but I don't think my video card has an HDMI out. Then again, I may just have overlooked it. I'll check for that too when I go and see if there's a digital audio port.

Edit: Aha! It turns out my card has a mini-HDMI port that I never even realized was there (it blended in because it had a little gray plastic plug to keep dust out). This simplifies things greatly!

#7 Posted by mortal_sb (527 posts) -

@BBAlpert:

oh, my mistake: i have a DVI to HDMI cable!

#8 Edited by EXTomar (4690 posts) -

Move the computer under the TV. Seriously, HTPC cases are not exotic or hard to come by these days and look like a piece of stereo equipment.

#9 Posted by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -

A 30ft HDMI cable. Problem solved, problem staying solved.

#10 Posted by bybeach (4793 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

A 30ft HDMI cable. Problem solved, problem staying solved.

That would be nice, my TV limits me to a vga in and says I can't use the hdmi-in for PC. So DVI to VGA. It was the sound killing me,I was using the standard red and white(forget what they are called) and was developing real bad chatter. And as it turned out, inferior for the home theator to deal with. I ended up just a few days ago using the optical out on the pc to my home theator(12 ft) and cured that problem totally. And my home theator sounds ...right! But I do not know if there is a max length to optical, and I sure would not buy the expensive brand I did. If it's tv, it would need optical in...I have 3 in on my pioneer home theator, now all used.

#11 Posted by Amafi (705 posts) -

I'm running a 10m DVI (pc) to HDMI (tv) cable and I get sound across it just fine.

Nvidia gtx570 I know supports it, and I'm fairly certain newer AMD cards do as well. Not sure when it started though, but with anything recent it shouldn't be an issue.

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