How to Hook Up a Portable DVD Player to a TV

By Editorial Team

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Connector cable

  • Coaxial cable converter

While portable DVD players are nice on their own, they can also be hooked up to a TV set in order to enjoy the DVD without straining your eyes at a small screen. Portable DVD players are just as easy to connect to modern televisions as their stationary counterparts, and they produce equally good picture quality.

Locate the input jacks on the TV. The jacks, also known as hook-ups, are usually located in the back of the TV. Some newer and high-end models include a set of jacks located on the side or the front of the TV in order to temporarily hook up a device such as a portable DVD player. Many TV sets have the jacks color-coded in yellow, white and red.

Buy a converter if the TV set does not have the now-standard input jacks. Retailers, such as Radioshack, carry a selection (see Resources below). Many older televisions do not have these input jacks, and they may instead have a coaxial cable link that requires a coaxial cable converter in order to receive signals from your portable DVD player. If you are unsure of what type of connecting cable to use to hook up your DVD player, consult a sales clerk at your local electronics store.

Locate the output jacks on the portable DVD player. Given the size of most portable DVD players, these jacks should be easily located and are usually found on the back of the device. They are very similar to a TV's jacks, and they are also color-coded yellow, red and white in order to avoid confusion.

Use a cable to connect the jack on the TV and portable DVD player to each other. While a cable with 3 connectors on each end will provide the maximum video quality, a 2-pronged cable will also provide video and monophonic sound.

Insert a DVD in the portable DVD player and push "Play." If you have connected the right input jacks to the right portions of the cable, the picture should be visible and the audio should be heard. If only the video is coming through the TV set, simply switch which plug is in which audio jack.

Rearrange the connection of the jacks if necessary. Play the DVD in the DVD player again, and repeat the process until the DVD picture appears on the TV screen. After you are done, enjoy the movie.


Make sure your portable DVD player comes with a cable that can hook it to a TV set. If your DVD player doesn't come with one, see about borrowing a cable from a VCR or stereo connected to the TV set. If all else fails, a suitable connecting cable can be bought cheaply at any electronics store, such as Best Buy (see Resources below).