Solving the Samsung HDTV “PC input is greyed out” Problem


A customer recently returned one of our VGA with Audio specialty PC to TV cables because he couldn’t get it to work.  With the cable plugged into his Samsung Series3 330 (LN32A330J1DXZA) HDTV the “PC” source was unavailable for selection (commonly described as “greyed out”).  This is a common problem with Samsung HDTVs because you cannot select a video source that the unit does not detect.

I have often read about this problem with Samsung HDTVs.  However this case piqued my interest because I have the exact same model Samsung HDTV and the exact same VGA cable and mine works just fine.  So now I can rule out the possibility that there is something wrong with the HDTV and the cable.  The problem must be with the PC.  Just in case, I called Samsung to see if a firmware update was available for this model HDTV.  It turns out there is not; so our HDTVs must be the same and I can in fact rule out the HDTV and the VGA cable.

To say that something is wrong with the HDTV is not technically correct.  It’s just that the Samsung HDTV wants to confirm that a PC is in fact connected to it prior to letting a user select the “PC” input mode.  Other HDTVs may or may not work like this.  The problem, it turns out, is in how PCs and/or graphics controllers interact with the VGA connector (also known as the d-sub 15 connector).  Here’s some tips on how to correct the problem; if all else fails, I”ll show you how to fool your Samsung HDTV into thinking a PC is attached.

This customer’s particular PC was a Sony brand laptop with an Nvidea graphics adapter.  So here’s what I recommend:

1. Check that your VGA cable has all 15 pins (3 rows of 5).  Some cheap cables may not.  If you find that your VGA cable does not have 15 pins, order a new VGA with Audio PC to TV cable.

2. Update your graphics driver.  You’ll need to visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website to find, download and install the latest driver.

3. Test your cable.  If no luck continue . . .

4. Update your PC BIOS (built-in operating system).  You’ll have to visit your PC manufacturer’s website and look for a “downloads and/or drivers” link.  In addition to updating your BIOS, check for any other files that you can update.  For example, this customer has a Sony VAIO VGN-FS780/W laptop.  Sony lists the following updates available for download:  BIOS, FIRMWARE, and Sony Utilities DLL update.  The description for the DLL update states “This utility updates the Sony® Utilities DLL for the Sony VAIO® to version and addresses an issue where the computer is unable to use certain monitors.”

Here’s some links to check for drivers and/or software updates:

5. Make sure to reboot your PC after installing new drivers.  Otherwise they may not take effect.  Test you cable again.  If no luck . . .

6. Unfortunately if you’re on this step then your PC is not providing the correct signal to your HDTV.  So I’ve discovered that what the Samsung HDTV is looking for is a ground signal on pin#10.  Take a look at the picture below.  Plug the VGA cable into your HDTV and use a paper clip to short pin #10 to the casing on your VGA connector. As soon as the #10 pin is connected to the ground, the “PC” input option on your HDTV will light up and you will be able to select it.  Once selected, you can connect the cable to your PC and configure your graphics properties as detailed in our PC to TV cable installation guide.

VGA (d-sub 15) connector

VGA (d-sub 15) connector

You can take a look at the VGA pinout developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association to see what pins do what.  VESA was created because of ”the phenomenal growth of graphics capabilities for personal computers and the resulting proliferation of non-compatible products. . . .”  If the “PC” input is not available for selection on your Samsung HDTV, it is probably because your PC manufacturer has not grounded pin #10, identified as “Sync Ground.”  Please contact them and ask why?

The VGA standard now supports EDID (Extended Display Identification Data).  This means that your HDTV can actually “talk” to your PC and identify it’s properties (manufacturer, resolutions supported, etc.)  You can easily download and run a free software utility that lets you see if your monitor (or HDTV) is communicating with your PC.  It’s called Monitor Asset Manager and it is made available by EnTech Taiwan.

As always, we’d like to hear from you.  If you discover any useful tidbits of information please email us and we’ll be sure to pass it along to the next guy:

* * * VIDEO ADDED JULY 21, 2009 * * *


176 Responses to “Solving the Samsung HDTV “PC input is greyed out” Problem”

  1. Jack says:

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a Samsung T260HD ? I shorted out pin #10, which got my PC selection okay, but the monitor is still not recognized …… “Check Signal Cable” is on the screen. Now What ?

  2. admin says:

    For everybody asking about the “Check Signal Cable” message - this might mean that your TV does not recognize your PC’s resolution. Check your TV user manual to see what resolutions are supported. Try changing your PC resolution to a common one such as 1024 x 768. For assistance with changing your PC resolution, see our Installation Guide.

  3. BJ says:

    Mine was working and now all of a sudden it grayed out the PC connect??
    The PC connect should not be grayed out even if no cable is connected.
    Samsung Model HL-T6756W

  4. gerado says:

    Thanks buddy it totally worked. keep up the good work helping folks with their TV’s. what worked was downloading latest intel drivers.

  5. Pepe Luis says:

    Hi I did followed the directions to ground pin 10 on my VGA cable going to PC. Unfurtunatelly on the TV input menu did not highlight the PC option. Does anybody have a suggestion for SAMSUNG HDTV, it would be so nice to be able to get it done.

    I did the grounding of pin 10 touching the casing with a paper clip.

  6. admin says:

    It won’t be grayed out on newer models. But if you have an older model it might be. Check to see if Samsung has released a software update for your model. Perhaps you cable has gone bad? Or are you using a different PC?

  7. admin says:

    Try a different cable:

  8. james says:

    To be honest with you guys the fact that you have to do this every time you want to use your pc through your TV its not worth it I had the same problem i have 2 lcd tvs one is the samsung 40inch and an lg 37inch the lg works no problem samsung is a nightmare my advise DON’T BUY SAMSUNG GOODS THEY ARE RUBBISH the samsung tv i have at the moment i had to fork out £150 for the power button to be fixed my warranty had just run out i googled problems with samsung tvs and guess what the first thing was i saw yes power button failure STAYAWAY FROM SAMSUNG

  9. Sirius says:

    I have Samsung LCD TV model no LA22A450C1 and i am trying to connect Dell vostro 1510, but my problem is let alone PC mode even AV is greyed out.
    Can u please help me out?
    If u can drop a mail to my mail id it would def help!!

  10. s.k says:

    hey thanx ur idea works of grounding pin #10

  11. Brian B says:

    This works on Samsung HD DLP TV’s perfectly. The problem most are experiencing that are reporting it as NOT working is a cabling issue. Many cables that physically have all or most pins actually do not have some pins connected within the cable. I have fully tested a box full of various VGA cables using a multimeters continuity test and was surprised at the number of them that had no pin 10 function even though it was present at both ends. Even cables with pins left out still had pins present with no connectivity. Out of a total of 12 VGA cables that had a pin 10 present only 3 actually had connectivity. There is no way to know if a VGA cable that you purchase is going to have all pins wired unless the packaging states it. This makes having a tester or multimeter essential in these situations. Don’t have one? Odds are you have a friend or relative that does. Ask! Hope this info helps some of you solve your connectivity problems. Best of luck.

  12. Chris says:

    Do not beat yourselves up. This is just a flaw that Samsung does not want to admit has a bad part in tvs. First, all options should be available on TV weather plugged into or not. Samsung is trying to shorten you source menu when you go from one to the other. I prefer to have my items work.


    Laptop, VGA and 3 TVs

    Laptop using vga cable to 42″ sony lcd TV - works no changes needed to TV. Sources only available when plugged into…

    Laptop using same vga to 42″ Vizio TV works no changes needed to TV Sources always available…

    Laptop using same vga cable to 40″ Samsung does not work. PC source greyed out. Sources only available when plugged into…

    *** Here is the kicker. The Lenovo Laptop with ATI Catalyst recognizes a Samsung TV pluged in! The TV just rejects the signal. There are currently 10000 plus logs of same behaviour from Samsung on CNet. If you think the TV is bad, you should buy a bluray player and look at the weird things that happen on Samsungs only when playing certain DVDs like Prince of Persia or Tangled. Only BluRays that ruin your experience by skipping or replaying chapters. Like the TVs it is due to the smart features they try and build in. If they fail constantly they aren’t very smart. And like GM never try and own up to the problem. I recommend 1000s of TVs, Computers and Entertainment devices every year. Samsung is no longer on the list!!

  13. It is the excellent solution. This trick has helped me to solve problems i had with my samsung lcd tv.

  14. Epic Potato says:

    BIOS stands for Basic Input/ Output System and is run when the PC starts up.

  15. Manav says:

    In the source list ,AV mode is grayed out in Samsung Series4.Can someone please suggest how can I fix that.
    Thanks much..

  16. Richard Evans says:

    I found another fix to the Greyed-Out PC on my Samsung LA40S8 2007 model!! (after trying all these things, but no go. even bios updates, and driver updates!)
    So…, After getting into the factory menu (pressing INFO, MENU, MUTE, POWER), go to OPTION BYTE, go to “PC Ident” and select OFF. Worked to get my PC source available, by taking the ‘PC identification’ skills off the TV’s lame brain :)

  17. jeremy says:

    I’ve tried all possible configurations and nothing works with my Samsung TV. The cable works on other tv’s and laptops when connected. Trying to trick the tv doesn’t work either.The problem is definitely sourced to the Samsung TV not recognizing the PC.

    Is there a master reset for the tv?

    I only use the 42″ tv for watching movies when connected to my laptop so it looks like I have about 30 kilos of useless plastic hanging on my wall unfortunately!

    If there is any updated info that can help I would be super appreciative if you can let me know!

  18. Abhijeet says:

    have a dell vostro 1014 and series 6 samsung hdtv with 4 hdmi inputs.
    I am connecting it with VGA but ‘pc’ is not lit even after shorting the no 10.
    really hate the samsung tv…

  19. Fernando Durbán says:

    I have the TV samsung LN46A650A1F and Notebook Sony Vaio VGN-CR420e and no communicate! The pin 10 with paper clip it’s works! I update all the drivers and bios firmware. Anyone have any solutions to the problem?

  20. sathish says:

    how to ground pins

  21. Zack Evans says:

    In reply to Richard Evans (no relation) - sir, you rock. I hadn’t even thought of looking for a factory menu.

    The picture is fine for me by the way, no quality problems at all.

  22. Juana says:

    Big up Thanx to Richard Evans., the solution u suggested worked for us. Had to learn how to manoeuvre into the service/factory menu, as it was a first, but finally patience paid off. Hoorah !!!! thanks a lot for sharing. :)
    Juana & Nicolas

  23. Chris M says:

    Hi. I have the Samsung 46″ HD Ready TV. Again PC is grayed out. I have tried the Pin 10 ground out - But it don’t work.? I’ve tried the cable in another Samsung TV and it works fine. Any ideas help - I’d really really appreciate it.? Cheers, Chris.

  24. Ste Moon says:

    Just want to echo what Zack Evans said…. factory menu solves this problem permanently, without shorting pins and all that messing around.


  25. ryan says:

    DUDE YOU ARE MY HERO. I was struggling with this problem for a month and your short-out Pin10 trick worked in 5 seconds. THANK YOU!

  26. Drang says:

    I found out, that my cable doesn’t conduct at pin 10, soo… I short-circuited #10 to the ground at the tv input (witch ~1cm of 0,3mm copper cable). Now the PC mode is always active and working.

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