How to Show Photos on Your TV

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

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  • With a standard-definition TV, use an audio/video cable with a USB connector compatible with your camera.
  • With an HDTV, use an HDMI connector (or mini HDMI), a USB-to-A/V cable, or a USB-only cable.
  • On a Smart TV connected to the internet, send photos to the TV via Wi-Fi.

This article explains how to display your digital photos on a TV.

Can I View My Photos on My TV?

An HDTV is great for showing photos. If you also shoot full-HD videos with your digital camera, an HDTV is made for displaying those types of recordings as well. No matter how perfect your HDTV may be for displaying photos and videos, though, it's utterly worthless if you can't properly connect your camera to the TV. Each camera/TV connection is a little different, so you may have to try a few different methods.

Connecting 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 works 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 it 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 can also 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. But, 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's connected to the internet, you can send photos to the television across a WiFi connection. Keep in mind that using your camera's WiFi capabilities (if it has them) will drain its battery faster.

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.

How to display photos on a TV
Having the ability to show your camera's photos on a TV requires the right equipment. Tomek Sikora / Getty Images


If you’re having problems making the camera's images appear on the TV screen, the problem could be with your TV. Try pressing the Input or TV/Video button on your remote until you find the proper A/V channel or the HDMI channel. 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.

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