Connect Your Digital Camcorder to Your TV

Watch your home movies on a bigger screen

If you want to hook your camcorder to a television set, there are typically several ways to do so. Many modern recording devices come with multiple input/output connectors, including audio/video, HDMI, and USB. We detail how to connect your devices using all three methods below.

This information applies to televisions and camcorders from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.

How to Connect Your Camcorder to Your TV Using an A/V Cable

If your television set has video and audio inputs, you can use an A/V cable to connect it to your camcorder. The cable used in the steps below is a common style with consumer-based one-chip camcorders. One end has a yellow RCA composite video connector and yellow and white stereo audio connectors. The other end has a 1/8-inch jack, similar to a headphone jack.

On higher-end prosumer/professional three-chip camcorders, the cable is likely to feature a yellow-red-white connection on the camera. Another alternative is to use the red-white stereo cables and S-Video connection.

Here's how to connect your camcorder to your television set using an A/V cable:

  1. Locate the A/V inputs on your TV. Newer models come with the yellow-red-white connectors on the side or in the back.

    Locate composite input on TV
    Matthew Torres
  2. Attach the A/V cable to the TV. Doing this first helps ensure you have enough cable length to reach your camcorder.

    Insert the cable into the color-matching slots on the TV labeled Video In and Audio In. If you're using S-Video, disregard the yellow composite cable and attach the S-Video and red-white stereo cables to your TV.

    Attach cables to TV
    Matthew Torres
  3. Attach the A/V cable to the camcorder. If your device has the yellow-red-white or S-Video cable, attach it the same way you did on the TV—only this time match the color-coded cables to the connection labeled Audio/Video Out.

    Attach cables to camcorder
    Matthew Torres
  4. Set the camcorder to Playback Mode.

    In older camcorder models this is called VCR Mode.

  5. Turn on your television set and select the appropriate video input. If you're using an A/V cable, you likely need to use the AUX input.

  6. Begin playing the media on your camcorder.

How to Connect Your Camcorder to Your TV With HDMI

Modern camcorders come with an HDMI port so you can hook them up to modern television sets. HDMI provides superior quality over A/V, so you should use it if possible. Here's how to do it.

  1. Connect your HDMI cable to the HDMI jack on the camcorder.

  2. Connect the other end of the cable to an available HDMI input jack on your TV.

  3. Turn on the TV, if you haven't already, and set the camcorder to Playback Mode.

  4. Change the input on your TV to whichever HDMI port you're using. For example, if you plugged the camcorder into the HDMI 3 port, make sure your TV is set to the HDMI 3 input.

How to Connect Your Camcorder to Your TV or Computer With USB

If your camcorder has a USB port, you can use it to connect to a television set or computer. Here's how:

  1. Connect the USB cable to the USB jack on the camcorder.

  2. Connect the other end of the USB cable to the USB input jack on the TV or to an empty USB port on your computer.

  3. Turn on your TV or computer.

  4. Put the camcorder into Playback Mode.

  5. If you're connecting to a TV, change the input to USB so you can receive signals from the camcorder. If you're connecting to a computer, you should see a pop-up window with a list of options.