Televisions are pretty ubiquitous nowadays, but there are times when you just can’t get access to one. Instead, if you have a computer monitor lying around, you can connect your PS4 to it with just a few tools.
While game consoles are popular living room devices, there are plenty of gamers who prefer to play the latest FPS at their desk in the home office. I know plenty of gamers who have a monitor for their computer, and a second monitor that they have connected to their PS4, all right there at their desk. It’s a setup that isn’t for everyone, but for those who pretty much live at their desks, it’s not a bad way to go.
Unfortunately, depending on the type of monitor that you have, connecting a PS4 to one isn’t as straightforward as a regular television.
With that said, we thought it might be a good idea to explain how you can connect your PS4 to a monitor and get all of the right tools and accessories you’ll need to get the job done. Plus, since there are so many different types of monitors, there are different configurations that you need to be aware of, but for the most part, it comes down to having just a few accessories to choose from that allow you to connect your PS4 to any computer monitor.
Before You Begin
First, before you do anything, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the connections of your PS4 and your computer monitor. Make a note of the type of connections that the PS4 uses, as well as the connections available on your computer monitor.
As for video and audio connections, the PS4 has an HDMI port and an audio optical port. While HDMI can carry both video and audio, most computer monitors don’t have built-in speakers, which means you’ll need an external audio source if you want sound. Thus, you’ll need something more than just an HDMI cable. Of course, we’ll get more into detail about this shortly.
Furthermore, many of the cheaper computer monitors don’t have HDMI, but rather DVI or VGA. This is important to note, as you’ll need an adapter to turn the HDMI port on your PS4 into one of the other video ports on your monitor.
Connecting Your PS4
The best case scenario is if your computer monitor has an HDMI port as well as built-in speakers. If so, all you’ll need is an HDMI cable. Plug one end of the cable into your PS4 and the other end into your computer monitor.
Your computer monitor may be able to play PS4 audio through its built-in speakers by just using the HDMI cable, but it’s not always possible with some monitor brands. If possible, read reviews online of your monitor to see if other users have been able to do this. Of course, you may want better-quality audio anyway, since the built-in speakers probably aren’t that good in the first place.
If your monitor doesn’t have an HDMI port, but rather a DVI or VGA connection, then you’ll need an HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable. If your monitor only has a VGA port, that means it’s probably really old and could use an upgrade anyway. You’ll see significant image quality degradation if you use VGA, and since newer monitors can be found for incredibly cheap anyway, we’d recommend getting one that comes with a newer type of connection.
In any case, audio is a little more complicated than video when connecting your PS4 to a computer monitor, because the PS4 only supports digital/optical audio out. However, there are a few ways to handle the situation, most of which require a converter box to convert the digital/optical audio to a connection that you can plug into regular speakers.
If your monitor doesn’t have built-in speakers, you’ll need an external audio source of some kind, whether it’s just a regular pair of computer speakers or even a stereo system that you can use. You’ll be plugging your PS4′s audio directly into these speakers.
However, seeing as how there are multiple ways to connect audio to your speakers based on what kind of speakers you have, we’ll run down some common situations and what type of tools you’ll need for each.
If your speakers connect using a 3.5mm headphone jack, then you’ll need a few items: a digital optical TOSLINK audio cable, a digital optical-to-RCA converter, and an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter cable. Once you have these, plug one end of the TOSLINK cable into the optical audio port on your PS4 and the other end into the converter. Next, plug the RCA adapter cable’s red and white ends into the converter, and then plug the 3.5mm male connector into your speakers.
If your external speakers connect using RCA red and white input jacks, you’ll need the digital optical TOSLINK audio cable, the digital optical-to-RCA converter, and an RCA cable. Plug all of this in like you would in the previous method, but you’ll have the red and white RCA plugs at the other end, which you then plug into your speaker system in order to get PS4 audio.
If you simply just want to use headphones, that’s probably a better option anyway, since you won’t need all of the convertor equipment and you can just plug them directly into the headphone jack on the PS4′s DualShock 4 controller. From there, you’ll want to press and hold the PS button and then change All Audio to headset.
It’s important to note that if you’re playing your PS4′s audio through the digital optical output, you’ll need to change audio settings on your PS4 in the Settings menu. From there, select Sound Settings, and then under Audio Output Settings select the type of connection you have set up for audio (digital optical audio).
However, perhaps an easier way to change this setting is to select Audio Multi-output under the Sound Settings menu, which will send audio to all connections regardless of what’s plugged in.