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How to Connect a DVD Player to a Flat TV

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 2/28/2010

If you have a standalone DVD player (without any type of receiver) and a flat screen TV, connecting them to each other is easy. Just follow the steps in our article.

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    Connections

    If you have read our article about Home Theater Cables and Connections, you already have a working knowledge of what connections you have on your DVD player and your flat screen TV. We will not go into details of the different connection types in this article, but will go over the various ways to connect a DVD player to a flat screen TV.

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    HDMI to HDMI: Modern DVD & DivX Players

    DVD Player with HDMI Connection 

    Modern DVD and DivX players have HDMI connections. The DVD players also have support for upscaling, which is increasing the resolution of your DVD to 1920x1080 or 1366x768. Although the upscaling technology is new, the results are more than good in many players and close to perfect in some. If you have recently purchased such a DVD/DivX player, the best way to connect the two devices is through the HDMI connections.

    The image on the left shows a DVD/DivX player with HDMI connection. The HDMI port is the leftmost connection.

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    YPbPr to YPbPr

    If neither your DVD player nor your flat screen TV has an HDMI connection, but they do have YPbPr connections, we are still in a good shape. Although the YPbPr connection is an analog connection, the results will be good provided the cable quality is good, such as the Belkin PureAV cable. YPbPr is a digital video connection, so the resulting images are almost lossless, which means all of the original quality remains.

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    S-Video to S-Video

    This is another connection possibility. However, S-Video connections have different numbers of pins. Some have four while others have seven. Before you go out and purchase an S-Video cable, make sure to check how many pins you have in your flat screen TV as well as your DVD player. If you do not check this out, the cable you purchased may be useless.

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    RCA to RCA

    RCA to RCA will possibly be the most common connection. It is as easy as plugging the red, yellow and white connections to the appropriate sockets in both your DVD player and your flat screen TV, and you are ready to go. However if your flat screen TV does not have an RCA connection, or you prefer to use another connection, you do have other options.

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    RCA to S-Video or RCA to VGA

    RCA to S-Video Cable 

    All flat screen TVs have S-Video and VGA sockets. (If you have one that has neither, please send us a photo; this will be more than interesting!) However, to connect RCA to S-Video or RCA to VGA requires a different type of cable. You can look for such cables where computer hardware is sold, since both of these cables are used for connecting computers to TVs via the graphics card's TV-out connection.

    RCA to VGA is another option to connect your DVD player to your flat TV. However, if you are also thinking about connecting your PC or laptop computer to the TV, it is better not to go with this option because you will have to swap the cables on the TV each time you plug in a different device.

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    Sound

    All of the connections above carry only stereo sound; you will not be able to receive surround sound from your flat TV, because the bottom line is the TV has only two speakers. As you remember, in the beginning of our article we have stated that both our DVD player and our TV is “standalone," meaning that we do not have any type of receiver. We just connect the DVD to our flat TV and receive sound from the TV's speakers.

    If you want to go for surround sound, you have to go with a receiver as well as a 5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker set and upgrade your home theater. If that is not what you have in mind, then the sound you will receive will be stereo.