Digital camcorders have captured many precious family moments over the years. It is unfortunate that more people do not take the time to view their digital video footage at home. For many, it is just not pleasant to watch a video on the camcorder's tiny LCD screen, or for others, it is just too much trouble to transfer all of those videos to a computer or DVD for viewing.
While these are both options for viewing your videos, there is another more attractive alternative that is simple and straightforward - playing your camcorder through your TV.
Almost all camcorders, even if not purchased recently, provide a way to connect into a television. Most even come with a cord or cords that give you everything that you need to connect to a TV. If not, don't give up hope. There still might be a way to connect your camcorder.
Make the Connection
First, examine your camcorder to determine what kind of outputs that it supports. You may have to open up a compartment or two to find the outputs because they are not exposed on the outside of the camera. Depending upon the model, the camcorder will use one or several types of outputs. Specifically, you need an output for audio and video.
The most common audio and video output for camcorders combines the two into a single output. For this type of connection, the cable required has a single 1/8" plug on one end and three RCA connectors on the other - one for video (usually yellow), one for the right audio channel (usually red), and one for the left audio channel (usually white). If your camcorder did not come with a cable or you lost it, one can usually be purchased at a local retail store.
To make the connection, plug the single connector on one end of the cable into the camcorder's audio/video output and the three connectors on the other end of the cable into the television's input. Use the front convenience jacks on your television for the simplest connection. If those are not available, look for an open input on the side or back of the TV. When connecting the cords, be sure to match the color of the cable to the corresponding colors on the TV plugs (red, white, yellow).
One step up from the RCA jacks for video is an S-Video connection. If your camcorder supports S-Video (sometimes labeled S-Vid), it might be worth using this connection instead because the video quality is better. An S-Video cable replaces the video portion of the RCA jack above, so there is no need to plug in the yellow jack if you use the S-Video cable. However, the audio portion of the RCA jacks must remain plugged in to get any sound. Make sure that you connect the S-Video cable on the TV on the same input as the RCA jacks for audio. For example, if your RCA jacks were plugged into 'Aux', then plug the S-Video connection into 'Aux' also.
S-Video cables are inexpensive and readily available at many consumer electronics stores. You may even already have one that you are not using from another device that you purchased, so check around first before purchasing a new one. Also, check the type of connection on the camcorder for your S-Video output before you buy a cable. The output should be the same type of connection as the input on the TV. If not, your camcorder has a non-standard S-Video cable and you will probably need to purchase the cable from the manufacturer.
Last update: 12:09 PM Wednesday, May 23, 2007