How to connect a DVD player to a TV

You 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.

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.

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.