Connect Your Digital Camcorder To Your TV

01
of 09

Locate Equipment

Camcorder with audio-video cable
Locate your digital camcorder and audio-video cable. Matthew Torres

The only equipment needed for this project is a digital camcorder, audio/video cable, DV tape, and television. Remote controls are optional.

The audio/video cable used in this demonstration is a common style with consumer-based one-chip camcorders. One end will feature a yellow RCA composite video and red-white stereo audio connection. The other end will have a 1/8" jack, similar to a headphone jack.

On higher end prosumer/professional 3-chip camcorders, it's 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.

All connections will be considered when discussing Step 4: Attaching Cables To Camcorder.

02
of 09

Locate Input On TV

Locate composite input on TV
Pictured is the side of a TV with necessary inputs. Matthew Torres

Most newer models will come with the yellow-red-white connection in front or on the side like shown in the picture above. If you don't see a connection in front or on the side, check the back of the TV for one. If you don't have one, consider purchasing an RF modulator to convert the yellow-red-white signal to RF or coaxial.

If you see a connection in the back, but have something plugged into it - unplug the current connection and move to Step 3.

Notice a black cable already plugged into the television. That is the S-Video connection and is usually located near the yellow-red-white inputs. The cable on the television has nothing to do with this lesson, so please disregard.

03
of 09

Attach Cables To TV

Attach cables to TV
Attach cables to TV. Matthew Torres

There are two reasons you want to attach all cables to the TV first.

  1. Make sure you have enough length on the cable to reach from the TV to your camcorder.
  2. In case the cable isn't long enough, you don't want to pull the cable toward the TV once it's plugged into the camcorder because it might pull the camcorder off the table or shelf it's resting on, thus causing possible damage.

Once you realize you have enough length in the cable, insert the cable into the color-matching slots on the TV labeled 'video in' and 'audio in'. If you are using S-Video, disregard the yellow composite cable. Attach the S-Video and red-white stereo cables to your TV .

04
of 09

Attach Cables To Camcorder

Attach cables to camcorder
Attach cables to camcorder. Matthew Torres

In the picture, notice the 1/8" jack being pushed into the slot labeled 'Audio/Video Out' on the camcorder. It's that simple.

On camcorders with the yellow-red-white or S-Video cable, attach them the same way you did on the TV - only, this time, match the color-coded cables to the connection labeled 'Audio/Video Out'.

05
of 09

Turn On Television

Turn on television
Turn on television. Matthew Torres
Easy enough! But don't worry about changing channels just yet. There's a couple of steps you'll want to do first.
06
of 09

Turn Camcorder To VCR Mode

Turn Camcorder To VCR Mode
Turn Camcorder To VCR Mode. Matthew Torres

On the panel where you turn your camcorder on to record video, you'll notice another option allowing you to playback what you recorded. On many camcorders, the button will be labeled "VCR' or 'Playback', but if yours doesn't say those words, don't panic - just look for a function similar to a VCR or playback feature.

07
of 09

Insert Tape, Rewind, and Hit Play

Insert tapr, rewind, hit play
Insert tape, rewind, hit play. Matthew Torres

Before you watch your home movies, you'll want to make sure the tape is rewound. Of course, that's just a personal preference. If you are just scanning through the tape to locate a short clip, disregard the rewinding. The main point is to know you have video playing when moving forward to Step 8.

You'll know if you have video when you hit play, and a recorded image starts playing in your viewfinder or LCD screen on the camcorder.

08
of 09

Turn TV To Aux Channel

Turn TV to Aux channel
Turn TV to Aux channel. Matthew Torres

All televisions with yellow-red-white or S-Video inputs have an auxiliary channel. You should be able to find it by turning the TV to channel 3, and pressing the 'channel down' button on your remote control or TV until you see the video playing from your camcorder. It should only take a couple of presses to find the auxiliary channel.

If your TV is auto-programmed to cable or satellite, there's a good chance you won't have the option of pressing the channel down button to find your aux channel because the TV won't have it in its memory. Find your remote control and press the TV/Video button until you see your home movie.

The reason you waited until now to tune into your auxiliary channel is because it simplifies finding the right channel for your home video playback. If you have an image on your camcorder but not on your TV, something's wrong, right?

Just to be clear, you will be on the correct channel when you see the video playing from your camcorder on your TV.

09
of 09

Watch Your Home Video On Your TV

Watch your home video on your TV
Watch your home video on your TV. Matthew Torres

Now that you have everything connected properly, just remember this step-by-step tutorial the next time you want to watch a video from your digital camcorder on your TV.