PS3 without a HDTV

PS3 without a HDTV

PS3 without a HDTV

PS3 without HDTV! The nerve you say, but rest assure I’m not referring to the use of a standard television set. Having made the successful leap to a ‘next-gen’ console with the purchase of my PS3 a week ago, I plan to continue with a Xbox 360 in a few months, and if I can find one a Wii! And even though it’s not as vitally bad an experience some would lead you to believe, a small 20′ SDTV screen and s-video cables will get your gaming on, which is by far more important :) . However, having said that I knew I was missing something far superior that only an HD screen could grant me.

Due to my current situation I was unable to hook up my new PS3 to my beloved Samsung 42″ DLP HDTV tele, and as previously mentioned was reduced to playing it on a standard 20″ Apex through s-video cables’ for shame! Now to be fair playing PS3/Xbox 360 on a standard set isn’t all that bad, granted the fact that you’re using s-video cables and not the supplied composite cables you received with your PS3. The ‘next-gen’ experience was definitely there just not as smooth and bleeding edge as it should be. Realizing this I sought out ways to get my PS3 on my only HD display in my room, and since I didn’t want to spend needless money on a new HDTV set it was an obvious choice and thankfully a much cheaper alternative to connect the PS3 to my PC monitor which can easily handle 720p. So what do you need to do if you’re in my situation? Follow these simple steps to HD gaming bliss.


This tutorial is for LCD displays, but the same can be done with CRT monitors but with more expense since you will need to purchase a component to VGA box and component cables (which I will explain in an upcoming article). And just to let you be aware, Sony hasn’t released a similar VGA cable that Microsoft so gracefully did, which would make this entire process much simpler, but I digress.

10 steps to HD Bliss

  • 1. Be sure that your particular model is HDCP compliant (it actually needs to state this ;) ) if it’s not then the PS3 will not show up on your screen simply because it uses Blu-ray disks which are HDCP enabled.
  • 2. Pick up an HDMI to DVI cable for no more than $10 or less because anything above isn’t necessary to get your gaming on, especially since you won’t be setting up your PS3 across the room.
  • 3. You will need your original PS3 cables (yes they have some use) for audio along side with y-adapter or cable to convert from RCA red and white to a 3.5mm female input. You might have a tough time finding that particular adapter/cable around so you will need to purchase one with a 3.5mm male plug which can be purchased from any electronics retailer such as Radio Shack/The Source for no more that $7 or less. (You may also need a female coupler to plug in your headphones or PC speakers which I’ve done and that will cost around $3)
  • 4. Once you’re setup and ready to go, plug your composite yellow video cable into a standard television and your HDMI to DVI cable from your PS3 to your monitor.
  • 5. Browse to display settings from you PS3 xmb (cross media bar) and choose HDMI as your output.
  • 6. Click right on your controller once and your SDTV should go blank
  • 7. Immediately unplug your yellow composite cable and switch your monitor’s source to digital output if it wasn’t already, you should now see the PS3 xmb on your monitor yay!
  • 8. Choose the resolution your monitor supports, which is usually up to 720p (1280×720) for 20′ or less monitors. If you have a monitor that supports resolutions up to 1920×1080 then you can select 1080i/1080p as well. If your monitor doesn’t support this resolution you will receive an ‘out of range’ error if applied. If that happens wait for 30secs and your PS3 will revert back to the last working display.
  • 9. Now since HDMI carries sound and DVI does not, you’ll need to switch your audio source back to A/V multi in your sound settings>audio output settings as it was switched to HDMI by default
  • 10. You can now plug your headphones or speakers into the y-cable setup you assembled earlier and you should now be sound enabled. You can also avoid the previous step if you use an optical output, but you will need an audio receiver around.

That’s basically all that needs to be done, it take a few minutes providing you have everything you need and it’s worth the effort since it will save you hundreds of dollars on purchasing a new HDTV. And between you and me, the monitor is still superior to many expensive television sets out there ;)

What you will need

What you need

Screenshots

PS3 without a HDTV
{click to view larger image}

Until next time

Related Links
Monoprice.com (if you’re an online shopper, you can buy all you need for under $10 minus s/h)

About the Author

Tito A. Belgrave is currently employed as a Character Artist at Ubisoft Toronto. He's also an avid freelance game journalist.