How to connect a DVD player to a TV

DVD Player and TVYou have a new DVD player and are wondering how best to connect it to your TV. Here are some simple steps on how to connect your DVD player to a Television.

First, you need to decide which cable to connect to your Television. If you have an HDTV then I would recommend using component video cable or an HDMI cable. The HDMI cable carries both sound and video. Component cable only carries video. Both support high definition video. If you have a standard television then I would recommend using an S-Video cable before using a composite video cable. If you selected Component, S-video, or Composite video connections, then you will need to connect audio cables as well.

TV Inputs

Second, always connect an output to an input. For example, you need to connect a cable between your DVD player output to your television’s input. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make. They connect an input to an input or an output to an output. This will not break your television or DVD player, but you will not get a picture from this improper connection.

Third, you need to make sure your television video source is selected to the proper input. Meaning, you need to tell your telvision which of the multiple inputs on the back of your television you want to use. They are usually labeled by input number. For example, in the TV input picture above, you can see HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 inputs. If you connected an HDMI cable from your DVD player output to the HDMI 1 input on your HDTV, then you would toggle the input (or video) button on your television remote until your connected to HDMI 1. I find it best to turn on the DVD player so you can see a picture on the television screen when you select the correct input source.

DVD Player Outputs

Fourth, you need to connect the sound to your television or your stereo receiver. Follow the same principles as above. Most DVD players will have 3 sound output options. One, will be optical, another will be digital, and the last will be red & white analog RCA outputs. I find that most people cannot tell the difference between the optical and coaxial digital sound selections. I think the digital coaxial is the best option as you can use a standard RCA cable which is cheaper than the optical cable. I recommend using the digital sound output options over the RCA analog (red & white) option. Again, you always connect the DVD sound output to your television or receiver input. If you used an HDMI input connection on your television then the sound is already connected as HDMI carries both sound and video. If you connected your DVD sound output to your stereo receiver input then you will have to select the proper input. If you used RCA (red & white) analog then there will be a specific input number you select on your receiver. Optical and digital sound is a bit trickier to select. There is usually a digital sound input button on the receiver. After selecting your video source on your receiver you need to “tell” the receiver to connect the digital sound to that specific video source. Again, the easiest way to do this is turn on the DVD player with a DVD in it and push play. This way as you select the different audio options on your receiver or television there is sound coming through and your will hear when you get the correct connection.

In summary, always connect the output of your DVD player to an input of your television using a specific cable. Then you need to select the proper input source on your television (or receiver) to see the picture. The same principle also applies for the sound choices.


21 Responses to How to connect a DVD player to a TV

  1. Gelda Madden says:

    Please can you tell me what I am doing wrong? When trying to watch DVDs the picture is divided into 4 and flashes. The sound is fine. Kind regards
    Gelda Madden

  2. sylvia noller says:

    I have a 11 year old tv, my new blu ray box, is a 2012 model, it has the rca cables on it, It has digital out, and a connection for a lan cable for internet, but my tv does not have a lan connection, so I am only able to play movies, but not internet, how can I get the internet?

  3. Rick Willbanks says:

    How do i connect an older Symphonic dvd player to a new flat screen RCA television

  4. I have a Phillips DVD player connected to a Sanyo TV. and no sound or some when volume is on max. Have checked and rechecked out and in connections, picture is great! Have red and white coming out of DVD to video 2 for audio. and yellow for video. Cord set has Green, Blue and Red so I plugged those in also. in Y Pb and Pr.

  5. Grace says:

    I purchased a Sony wireless DVD/Blu-ray player recently. Can I connect it to my Sony TV without having an internet connection. I just want to watch movies from the player on my TV.

  6. Mary says:

    I have an older Magnavox VCR, DVD player that worked fine with an old TV I bought a new Vizio Smart TV and don’t know how to hook it up, there is also a cable box involved. Also what do I need in the way of connecting cables eg. Audio video etc. appreciate your help

  7. Biobiocem says:

    If there is not a label or you don’t know what input to use, leave the DVD player on and test each input for 5-10 seconds to see where the video appears.

  8. Les. and Lynne says:

    Why is there sound volume difference, when switching from DVD to TV ?.

    The volume is louder when on TV than when on the DVD when using the DVD remote.

    Thanks for your help.


  9. Howard Miller says:

    I am connecting a Sony DVD Blu-ray to an older (2008) Panasonic Plasma using the HDMI connectors. No picture displays after selecting all possible inputs. Same problem with a Zenith (2005) plasma but the screen flashes green every 5 seconds. Is HDMI not backwards compatible??
    What else could be wrong?

  10. Sherry says:

    how do i bypass or fix ports on tv that dvd is to connect to is broken

  11. Maryjean Hancock says:

    i have a very old tv with two yellow ports of that say video and sound, can i hook up a dvd player to this?

  12. linesy says:

    I got a dvd player for my kids that only has a HDMI output (which I didn’t realize until I got home) and my kids TV is a reasonably new Sony but only has composite and component inputs into the TV. How can we get this to work please?

  13. Mike Williams says:

    I can connect my philips dvd player to my tv set using the scart cable. However when it plays, the volume is not controllable either by the tv remote or the humax remote. The volume is too loud but I cannot reduce it.
    Any ideas ?

  14. sandy says:

    Have a DVD with HDMI connection but older TV has only component connection available. What is needed to hook up DVD to TV?

  15. Jill says:

    I have connected my Sanyo HDTV to my RCA 5 disc HDMI unit with a new HDMI cable. The picture is fine but there is no sound! What can I try to correct this?

  16. Oscar says:

    My Digital Television has has no RGB, but it has extra HDMI connector, a LAN, and a single RGB port. Which cable will I have to buy to make the magic mic work on my Digital connection?

    • Jason says:

      As I understand it the magic mic has composite video (yellow) and analog stereo input (red & white). Most TVs have a composite input (yellow, white, and red).

  17. Jen says:

    I want to hook a DVD player up to an old standard TV. The problem is this old television doesn’t have auxiliary inputs. I checked the DVD player output, and it does work with a newer TV, but that one has additional auxiliary inputs. Is there anything I can do or buy to connect this DVD player to my old television?

    • Jason says:

      Yes. You will need to by a RF modulator which will convert the DVD output to an RF connection jack. This will allow you two convert the DVD output to and RF signal which will allow you to watch the DVD movie on channel 3 of your television. This RF modulator can be purchased from Walmart, Bestbuy, or online.

  18. Blaine says:

    I have a DVI input and no HDMI input. How do I connect my Blu-ray DVD player to my HDTV using a DVI input?

    • Jason says:

      There is a DVI to HDMI connector you can by from BestBuy, Walmart, or similar store that converts DVI to HDMI. This way you can use your HDMI output of your DVD Player and convert it to DVI and connect it to your television. In doing this you loose the sound option of the HDMI so you will have to connect the digital sound output of your DVD player to your television or stereo receiver.

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