How to Play a TV Through a Projector

By Anthony Oster

Connect your TV to a projector to enlarge your video presentations.
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Whether you are trying to include multimedia into your presentations or trying to wow your customers with a large-screen video screening, the ability to connect your TV to a projector is solely dependent on your TV's output capabilities. Check your owner's manual or the back of your TV for "Video Out" connectors. Common ways to transmit video from one device to another can include HDMI, S-Video, composite video and component video connections. If your TV does not have a video-out component, your cable box, DVR, VCR, or Blu-ray player will.

Locate the connections on the back of your TV labeled "Video Out." Each available type of video out connection available will be marked indicating what type of cable must be used to connect your TV to your projector. If your TV does not have any labeled connections that can transmit video out to another device, consider using a cable box, DVR or VCR to project live television, or a DVD or Blu-ray player to project presentations saved in the DVD or Blu-ray format.

Locate the "Video In" connections on the back of your projector. Because projectors are designed to work with a wide array of media devices, there may be more available methods to connect to your projector than your TV or other media device has to offer. Compare the available video out options from your TV to the available video in options on your projector to determine which type of cable connection to make.

Connect your TV to your projector by plugging the corresponding cable from the TV's "Video Out" component to your projector's "Video In" component. If you have multiple possible connections, opt for the highest-quality first. HDMI cables provide the best-quality image and sound, followed by component video, S-video, composite video, and finally coaxial video. Coaxial cable must be screwed into the device, while all other connection types may be pushed into their corresponding connectors.

Select the input source on your projector that corresponds with the type of cable connection that you used to connect your TV to the projector. If you used an HDMI cable, select "HDMI" on your projector, whereas if you connected using component video, select "Component Video" on your projector. Some projectors will auto-detect the signal for you and select the appropriate source.


The composite, component and S-video cable types all split the audio signal from the video signal. When connecting your TV to a projector using one of these connection types, you will also need to connect your TV's "Audio Out" to the projector's "Audio In" components. Audio cables will always be red and white, while your video cable may be yellow if using composite video, black if using S-video, or a combination of red, blue and green for component video.


Check all local, state and federal laws regarding screening television broadcasts or movies on DVD or Blu-ray for commercial uses.