Recently, I had a big power surge problem involving both my brand new laptop and my less than two years old TV. Two total looses.
My main concern is that I don't really understand what happened and, thereof, can't see a way to prevent it in the future.
Here's the story :
I bought a few weeks ago an HP notebook with an S-Video output. I used my laptop (on battery and AC power) a week and a half before trying the S-Video output and did not have a single problem.
So, someday, I decided it was time to try to connect my laptop on my TV by using the S-Video output. I bought a S-Video-to-RCA cable at Radioshack because I thought it would be more practical to have my laptop connected to the front RCA jacks of my TV.
As soon as the contact was made, both my laptop and TV went off and I could smell a light odour of burnt electronic components. The TV did not seem to be damaged because I could turn it on almost immediately. As for the laptop, I simply had to reinsert the battery to make it start.
Maybe it was very stupid, but I thought that the problem could be the cheap RadioShack cable. So I decided to buy a true S-Video cable.
For my second try, I choose to not plug the laptop into the AC outlet and just use the battery. After connecting the laptop to the TV, all I see is a black screen. By the way, I did not feel like there was a power surge problem this time.
Days later, I really wanted to make my S-Video port work. So, I downloaded the latest devices drivers for my graphic card and gave the S-Video output a new try with the laptop connected to the AC outlet. Not a good idea.
Again, as soon as the contact was made, both my laptop and TV went off and I could smell a strong odour of burnt electronic components. This time the damage was terrible. Both my laptop and TV are completely fried. There is just no way to make'em work anymore.
So my questions are :1) What happened ? 2) How could I prevent this kind of surge ? 3) Should I never try to connect a laptop to a TV ?
I made a diagram of my living room electrical setup. You can see it at this URL :I don't think that the problem is from my TV since it is almost new and because it never fried my DVD player or VCR. I guess the problem comes from my laptop, but I still don't really understand.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really need to understand since I don't know much about electricity.
Thank you very much.
(By the way, I am very sorry for the poor English. It is not my language.)