Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TECHNOLOGY: Watch Indie Soaps on your Nice Big TV in Five Cheap, Easy Steps

With well over one hundred quality indie soaps represented in our Indie Series of the Week Poll, and only a handful of daytime classics left, now is the time to experience what the Webisode World has to offer. Our Indie Series Network (ISN) Web Series Guide, and the nominee list from the 2011 WLS Indie Soap Awards can help you discover some new favorites.

Most of these shows are fantastic. Some are hilarious or touching; others are kinda scary. All of them are just as addictive and fun as your favorite daytime or primetime soap.

But, alas, you can't watch them in your living room on your nice big flat panel TV. And sharing shocking or touching moments with friends and loved ones is what makes us soap fans. Let's face it—gathering around a laptop screen get's tiresome—and fast. How can we watch awesome, free Indie Soaps, from the web, on our TV? For less than ten bucks? Is it possible?

Yes it is! It's so easy, in fact, you'll be shocked you never connected your computer to your television before. Here's a step by step guide to show you how to watch quality Indie Soaps in your bedroom, den, or living room—on that nice big screen!

In five easy steps:
1.Go to Amazon.com and buy this (see photo). They call it the HD15-Monitor-Cable-Ferrite-Black. As of this post, it's less than five dollars!

2.Somewhere on your laptop or PC tower you will find a round, kind-of trapezoidal nub with fifteen holes (three rows of three) in it. Plug one end of the cable (doesn't matter which!) into this nub. (In most laptops or netbooks it's somewhere around the edge of the base. In most towers it's in the back.)

3.Now, look for the same little rounded trapezoid in the back of your flat screen. There's a good chance it's in a groove, and a good chance it's facing down. A flashlight might make it easier to locate. When you find it, plug the other end of the cable into the TV.

4.If the TV is off, turn it on. Make sure the computer is on too. Now, you make the magic happen. If you have an “aux” or “rgb” button on your TV or remote, press it. Your desktop is now on TV! If you have an “input” button, press that one and wait—if you don't see your desktop, press it again. Repeat until you find the right input setting—usually, again, “aux” or “rgb.”

5.If you want, once you see your computer screen on your TV, you can right click on the “wallpaper” background and adjust the display settings to optimize your viewing experience. Usually this is optional. Either way—you can now watch Internet video on the big screen!

Behold! The Internet Indie Soap can now be viewed just like any old TV show. So what are you waiting for? Invite some friends over, and take turns sharing your favorite online videos! Enjoy!

Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a staff contributor at welovesoaps.com writing theater and web series reviews as well as other in-depth features. To contact Kevin, email kevin@welovesoaps.com.


  1. For MacBooks, you need an adapter for the HDMI cord:

  2. Hello, what about the audio. Isn't this just a video input?

  3. Good question, msiscoe!
    If you just connect your laptop and TV as described, you'll still hear the sound exactly as you would have before (through the computer). Of course, once you have the nice big picture, you're going to want big sound--human nature, right? =)
    You could use headphones, but that's not very fun. So, I suggest you get an inexpensive stereo-audio cord like this http://amzn.to/SoundCord and first connect one end to the headphone hole of your laptop (or the green-circled "audio line out" hole in the back of your tower).
    Stick the other end into a pair of available red and white holes in the back of your stereo receiver and set the receiver to the appropriate input (I would use tape or aux). With luck, you'll have nice, big surround sound.
    Bonus: you can also stick the laptop-end of the cord into your ipod or even your smartphone and play your mp3's nice and loud! Enjoy!