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How to Connect a Playstation 2 (PS2) to a Computer Monitor (LCD)

This guide will show you how to connect your Playstation 2 to your computer monitor and easily switch between the two on the fly.

HDMI is not covered, but there are now HDMI switch boxes you can get, which will be a little simpler as long as your monitor has an HDMI input.

Some things to know before you start

When talking about audio and video signals, it is best to get familiar with some common terminology:

  • A/V: Audio and video.
  • Source: Where the video or audio signal originates from. This can be the computer or the Playstation 2. These devices send A/V signals to the inputs of the VGA box, monitor, or sound system depending on how you setup your system.
  • Input and output: The signal that a device receives is the input, and the signal that is sends out is the output. The VGA box has inputs to receive signals from the PC and PS2, and outputs to send signals to the monitor and sound system.

Depending on the quality of the VGA box, Playstation 2 games may look a little fuzzy on a computer monitor. This is in part due to the differences in resolution as well as the quality of the VGA box. From my experience it is best to sit several feet away from the monitor, as you would a TV, for the best viewing experience.

VGA Switch Box

The VGA box takes the component video signal from the Playstation 2 and converts it to an analog VGA signal for the computer monitor. It also takes the component audio left and right signals and adapts it to a 3.5mm audio cable which is the most common plug-in type for low and mid-range audio systems.

In terms of what is needed in a VGA switch box, you won't need anything fancy. There are many VGA boxes that offer several ports to hook up many different devices. At a minimum, make sure the VGA box has an analog VGA monitor input and output, an analog 3.5mm audio input and output, component video input, and a switch that allows you to switch between the PS2 and PC inputs on the fly.

Most VGA boxes are powered by USB, but some are also powered by a normal power plug. I prefer USB powered ones since my computer is always on and there are plenty of free USB ports on the back of my computer. Naturally if you intend to make the PS2 and monitor stand alone, you will want to get a wall-outlet powered VGA box.

There are many different companies that make VGA boxes, and I can't really recommend any in particular. As a guide, don't get one that is too cheap, and if there are product reviews available, use those to help locate a good one. Make sure you don't confuse a KVM switch with a VGA switch, as you will probably find quite a few of those.

Hooking it up

The first thing you will want to do is determine if your monitor is plugged in using an analog VGA (D-SUB) connection, or a digital DVI connection. Use the image below to determine what you have, as they have distinctly different styles of plugs:

Follow the section below that corresponds to your connection type.


With a VGA monitor connection, the monitor will plug directly into the output of the VGA box, and an additional VGA cable (which should come with the VGA box) will plug from the computer to the input of the VGA box. When switching input sources, the VGA will change which signal is going to the monitor (either from the PC or the PS2). Simple enough, right?

The chart below assumes that your audio system or speakers are currently connected via a single 3.5mm analog "mini" cable. I will cover later in this section how to hook up your sound system if you use a digital cable or a surround sound system.

The VGA box should have come with a male-to-male 3.5mm audio cable, which will be used to connect from the PC to the VGA box. Your sound system, which currently plugs into the back of your PC, will now plug directly into the VGA box. When switching input sources, the VGA box will change which signal goes to the sound system.


Most VGA boxes only offer analog VGA monitor support, but there is an easy way around that. If your monitor has a DVI port then it likely also has a VGA port (you will see a white DVI and a blue VGA port likely on the back side of your monitor, next to each other). There should also be a button on your monitor, or an option inside the menu, to switch sources, from analog to digital.

You will want to plug an analog VGA cable from the VGA box to the VGA port on your monitor, and then plug a digital DVI cable from your computer to the DVI port on your monitor. You are essentially bypassing the video switching of the VGA box.

You could of course just use analog VGA and follow the chart above, however if your monitor and computer have DVI support, it is highly recommended to use it as it generally results in better quality.

Surround sound

Now if your sound system regularly connects to your PC with a digital coax/optical cable, or you have 3 analog 3.5mm cables (for a 5.1 surround for example), things will get a little more complicated. If your sound system has multiple input sources, you can use both digital and analog and use the sound system controls to switch between them. For example, I have a 5.1 Logitech Z-5500 sound system, which has both direct analog inputs as well as digital (coax and optical) inputs. I connect the 3 analog cables from the Z-5500 controller to my computer, and a digital optical cable from the controller to my PS2. When I want to play PS2 I press the Source button on the controller to change the source from analog direct to digital optical.

Another option is to just unplug the sound cable from your computer and plug it into the VGA box or the PS2. But you will have to unplug and replug everything back in when you're done.

Final words

I hope my guide has been of some help. If it seems complicated, don't worry as things will become clear once you start handling the wires and getting a feel for what goes where.
Last Updated  Dec 17, 2011
Tags  guide, tutorial
Published By  Nick Vogt


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