How to Connect a Portable DVD Player to a TV

by ContributorUpdated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • TV with A/V hook-up

  • Portable DVD player

  • A/V cables

  • RF modulator

  • Coaxial cable

The versatility of a portable DVD player lies in its ability to travel easily and also perform just as well while you're at home. To make the most of this device's technological capabilities, you need to know how to use it in transit as well as connect it to your TV.

Examine your television to determine whether it is equipped with the proper A/V input/output. You should have at least one input for video and up to two for stereo audio.

Locate the proper cables to connect your DVD player's audio and video components. These are generally color-coded red or yellow with a single-prong male insert.

Insert the audio cables into your portable DVD player's audio outputs. Run the cables to your television's audio inputs. If you have a stereo television, you will find that the two inputs are labeled right and left and may be further color-coded in red (right) and white (left).

Purchase an RF modulator if your TV is not equipped with the proper A/V inputs. This additional piece of equipment is generally required for older model televisions and allows you to hook up your DVD player via a coaxial cable.

Run the A/V cables into the RF modulator as labeled. You will generally find only one input for video and one input for audio on most modulators.

Connect the RF modulator to your television with a coaxial cable. This cable will generally hook up to your television's antenna input.

Plug in the RF modulator to the power outlet and turn it on, if it is outfitted with a power switch.

Turn on your television and tune it to channel 0 or AUX (auxiliary). With the DVD player turned on, you should now see your DVD player's logo or welcome message.


Adjust your television's brightness and contrast if you find that the picture quality when playing DVDs is not adequate. Many times, the quality of the digital image from your DVD player will be limited by the type of connection you use (such as an RF modulator).


You may not be able to view all of your DVDs properly if you choose to run your portable DVD player through your VCR instead of through an RF modulator if your TV is not equipped with the proper A/V outlets.

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