How to Show Photos on Your TV

Here's how to display your camera's photos on a television

Young girl sticking tongue out at camera with image on tv

Tomek Sikora / Getty Images

An HDTV is great for showing photos. And if you also shoot full-HD videos with your digital camera, the HDTV is made for displaying those types of recordings. 

No matter how perfect your HDTV may be for displaying photos and videos, it's utterly worthless if you can't make your camera connect properly to the TV. Each camera/TV connection is a little different, so you may have to try a few different methods for making the connection.

Connection the Camera

Displaying photos on a TV sometimes require slightly different techniques, depending on the type of TV you’re using. A standard-definition TV will work a little differently than an HDTV. Check your camera’s user manual to see how the steps required to connect your camera to a TV differ based on the type of TV.

With a standard-definition TV, you may want to use an audio/video cable to connect the TV and the camera. Not a lot of cameras ship with USB-to-A/V cables, but if yours does, you probably won’t need the red A/V connector. You also may be able to purchase a cable separately. Verify that the cable you purchase includes a USB connector that's compatible with your camera.

With an HDTV, an HDMI cable usually connects the camera to the TV. However, not every camera features an HDMI connector, meaning you may need to use a USB-to-A/V cable or a USB-only cable. In addition, some cameras need a mini-HDMI connector.

If you own a Smart TV that is connected to the internet, you may be able to send photos to the television across the Wi-Fi connection. Using your camera's Wi-Fi capabilities will drain its battery faster than through general photography usage.


If you’re having problems making the images appear on the TV screen, the problem could be with your TV. Try pressing the Input or TV/Video button on your TV remote until you find the A/V channel or the HDMI channel, which should allow your images to be displayed. In addition, you may have two or even three A/V channels or HDMI channels, depending on how many connectors your TV supports. Verify that you’re on the numbered A/V or HDMI channel that corresponds with the connection slot you’re using on the TV.

Connect an AC adapter for your camera rather than running on battery power when you're displaying photos on a TV. Otherwise, the battery could drain quickly.