how to connect a dvd player to an old tv

In this post, you will learn how to connect a DVD player to an old TV in a few simple steps.

We made sure to simplify all steps and make our guide accessible for all users regardless of their TV model and DVD player.

The general way to connect a DVD player to an old TV, you must find yourself a modulator jack labeled either to TV or output. Plug-in your RCA yellow color video cable to the corresponding, yellow-colored input and turn on both the DVD and modulator box.

If you’re interested in this process in more detail, we’ve designed a step-by-step tutorial to help you cover everything you need.

How Do I Connect A DVD Player To An Old TV In 6 Steps?

connect a dvd player to an old tv

To successfully connect a DVD to almost ANY old TV model, you must pay attention to the source inputs.

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If the TV doesn’t have an entry that matches your DVD output cable, then you may have to buy a specific converter box to help you connect both devices.

Before making any purchases let’s first find out if your TV and DVD can connect without any additions.

Step #1 Check for Video Component Cable (RCA)

Take a look at the output cable of your DVD and the inputs of your TV. Most DVDs have a video component cable (RCA) output and if your TV supports it, the only thing you need is the cable itself.

How To Connect Video Component Cable (RCA)?

Almost any TV (even old) has an input for video component cable (RCA).

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It is a component cable separating audio on two different cables as well as third for video:

  • Yellow – Transmits video.
  • Red/White – Transmits audio.

The only concern would be if your DVD supports RCA output. If it does simply locate the inputs on the back of your TV. Plug the aligning color in the dedicated input and you should be ready.

If your DVD doesn’t have any outputs for video component cable, then you will be prompted to purchase an RF to RCA modulator in order to connect both devices.

This modulator basically takes the signal from the RF output of your DVD and converts it for RCA transmission that can connect to your TV.

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Important: The rest of the steps apply only if your DVD does NOT support an RCA output and you’ll be using a modulator.

Step #2 Establish Modulator Connection With TV

If you’re here we assume that your DVD does not support RCA and you’ll be using an RF to RCA converter/modulator.

The connection is pretty simple, and we’ve separated it into 3 steps:

  1. First, divide the modulator’s cables and determine which one is the modulator’s jack.
  2. Unplug your TV and connect its power adapter into the modulator’s jack.
  3. Wait for a few minutes and try booting your TV.

Note: If your TV works, then the modulator is functional.

In any other circumstance, you will be looking for the fault in the modulator if you’re certain that your TV is functional.

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Step #3 Connect DVD Video Cable

Many people are still asking how to connect a DVD player to an old TV simply because they always get this step wrong, so pay close attention!

Once there is a connection between your TV and RCA modulator, this is the part where the DVD kicks in.

You should locate the yellow-colored video cable coming out of your TV and connect it in the “video in” or yellow color “input” slot within the modulator you have connected and NOT in the DVD!

This will transmit only the video your DVD produces, and you will be able to view the picture for now by selecting the right source on your TV.

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Note: Note that depending on how old your TV is, there could either be a “video in” or “input” slot. You can distinguish the input slot by the yellow-colored ring around the port.

Next, you will learn how to connect the audio, which is the easy part.

Step #4 Connect DVD Audio Cables

In this step, you will be plugging one or two cables depending on the design of your DVD.

Locate the red and white cables coming out of your TV and then locate the ports on your modulator, labeled as “video in” or “input”.

Unlike with the video cables, you must first plug the white cable into the “audio in” port.

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If you have both of the cables and you’ve already connected the white RCA into the “audio in” on your RCA to RF converter, simply connect the red one into another “input” port.

Note: There is a situation where the ports on your modulator may not be colored in a pattern.

In that case, you will be looking for a label above or underneath the ports, where it will be written “right” and “left”. The red cable usually goes into the right port and the white into the left.

Step #5 Setup Inspection

That was pretty much everything related to the hardware. Now you will be testing out if everything works.

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To inspect, simply turn on both your DVD player and the modulator box and determine whether they are working or not.

Make sure you have double-checked everything in the cable part and if something doesn’t work reconnect everything from scratch.

What people often get wrong is the connection between the modulator RF and their DVD.

The cable coming from the RF modulator should be connected to the RF output of your DVD. It should be labeled RF OUT, just above the port, so make sure not to get it wrong.

Step #6 Set TV Channel

The last thing you will be doing is setting the TV to a channel indicated within the modulator’s instruction manual.

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Since both of your TV and modulator must be working on the same frequency, you will have to use channels to set this up.

In most cases, your TV will have to be set to channel 3 for the modulator to work. Rarely channels 2 and 4 are needed.

To connect a DVD to an old TV, you can use the standard RCA cable which almost any TV supports. In case your DVD does not have an RCA output you can use the RF output in combination with RF to the RCA convertor to establish a video/audio connection.

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Bottom Line

Now that you’re familiar with how to connect a DVD player to an old TV, you should be capable of executing this operation by yourself.

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After all, connecting a DVD player to an old TV might be a great way to put this aged device into use after all that time.

Nicole B