How to Connect a DVD Player to a TV

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

TV, DVD
It's easy to connect a DVD player to a TV set. Yurdakul/Getty Images

There's no need to wait in long lines, pay a fortune for tickets and popcorn and sit in a noisy theater just to watch high-quality movies. With a DVD player, you can enjoy your favorite movies without any expensive hassles or distractions. In just a few moments, you can take the DVD player out of the box, connect it to your TV and sit back to watch a show. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to connect a DVD player to a TV.

  1. Unplug your TV and DVD player.
  2. Set the DVD player on a shelf near the TV. Make sure the DVD cables will reach the TV from the shelf you choose. Because the player has a motor inside, it creates heat. Placing the DVD on top of or underneath other devices may cause overheating [source: Fleischmann].
  3. Connect your DVD player with the included cables. Use the best choice for your type of TV. If you have an HDMI connector, that will give you the best picture and sound. Depending on your setup, you may need to use a composite cable instead, which is the one with the red, white, and yellow plugs on each end.
  4. Whichever cable you use, plug one end into the DVD player, and the other into the corresponding port in the TV. If you are using the composite cable, plug the other end of the cord into the terminals on the DVD player marked Line Out. Be sure to insert the plugs into the terminals with corresponding colors. The red and white plugs are for sound, the yellow is for video.
  5. Plug the DVD player's power cord into an electrical outlet in the wall. Always plug in the power cord after you have connected all the other plugs. Connecting the electricity first may set the TV channels incorrectly. Plug in the TV and turn it on also [source: Sony].
  6. Once you have turned everything on and set the TV channel to view the DVD player output, refer to the user manual to change the language display on the DVD home screen, if necessary.
  7. If your DVD player has a clock, check that the clock is set correctly. If the clock doesn't set itself, refer to the user manual to manually change the time [source: Sony].
  8. Insert a DVD into the player to see if your connection was successful. Remember that DVDs often come with menus, so most of them will not play automatically. You must use the remote control to select the desired options [source: Fleischmann].

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Originally Published: Jun 16, 2011

Connect DVD Player to TV FAQ

Can you connect an old DVD player to a new TV?
Yes, you can connect an old DVD player to a new TV as long as your DVD player and TV have either HDMI ports or audio and video ports. Some old DVD players have both so you shouldn't have any problem hooking it up with your new TV.
How do I connect my DVD player to my HDMI TV without using the HDMI port?
If you can't use the HDMI port of your TV to connect the DVD player, you'll need a composite cable. This is the cable with red, white and yellow plugs at both ends.
How do I connect my TV to my DVD player?
To connect your TV to your DVD player, plug the included cables (HDMI and/or composite cable) into both the player and the TV ports. Then, make sure the TV and DVD player are both plugged in and turn them on. Insert a DVD to test it out.
What cables do you need to connect a DVD player to a TV?
Newer DVD players typically come with an HDMI cable, which you can simply plug into the TV and DVD player. However, older models may come with a composite cable. To use this, connect the red, white and yellow plugs into their respective ports on both devices.
What channel should my TV be on to display the output of my DVD player?
DVD players do not display output on a channel like some VCRs. Instead, they show up on one of the inputs, such as HDMI or Component.

Lots More Information

  • Fleischmann, Mark. "How to Connect a DVD Player," Sept. 9, 2003 (March 13, 2019) https://web.archive.org/web/20121128162309/http:/www.crutchfield.com/ISEO-ralscspd/learn/reviews/20030909/dvd_connect.html
  • Sony. "Operating Instructions for DVD Player/Video Cassette Recorder" 2004 (March 13, 2019) https://www.docs.sony.com/release/SLVD251P.pdf

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