How to Connect a Camcorder to a TV

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Updated February 10, 2017

When it's time to share your digital videos, you'll want to connect your camcorder to a TV. Hooking up your camcorder to the television is easy. Follow these steps to begin viewing your videos with your friends and family.

Find the inputs on your TV. Depending on your television, find either RCA jacks (red, white, yellow) or an S-video connection (a single round plug). You can also connect through your VCR but only do this if your TV does not have inputs.

Find the outputs on your camcorder. You may have to remove a panel or look in a compartment. Refer to your manual if you simply can't find it. It may look like the outputs on your TV or it may be a single jack that uses an adapter cable. It should be clearly marked.

Find the right cables. These should be included if you bought your camera new. If not, you may have to order them from your manufacturer. You can also find common adapter cables at an electronics store. S-video cables are easy to find and inexpensive, and most families have some extra RCA cables laying around.

Make the connection. Connect the cables to your camcorder first. If you are using S-video, you'll need to hook up audio too. Most cameras will have just one plug to hook up to your camcorder. Next, hook up the cable to your TV. Make sure you put all the plugs into the same input. For RCA cables, make sure you match the plugs by color to the corresponding inputs.

Choose the input on your TV. This is usually done by pushing an INPUT or VIDEO button on your remote (although some TVs use channel 3 or 4). Select the input channel that matches the jacks you plugged your camcorder into.

Play the video. Make sure your camcorder is in playback mode and view the video as if you were watching it on your LCD screen. It should appear on the screen. If it does not, continue scrolling through the input channels. Check the cable connections. If you are using the VCR, make sure the VCR is turned on and the TV is on the correct channel.

Items you will need

  • TV

  • cables

  • camcorder


Opt for S-Video if it is available, it will give you better quality. However, you'll still need to plug in the red and white RCA plugs for audio. Most TVs have alternate inputs. The front and side inputs are the most easily accessible.


Avoid going through a VCR or using an RF modulator. This will reduce the quality of your picture.