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How to Connect Camera to TV: 6 Ways (All Brands) USB, HDMI, RCA

At the end of the day, it can be pretty sweet to share your footage with family and friends. Did you know that you can connect and view your camera footage on your television?

There are 6 ways to connect your camera to a TV and watch your videos. The methods range from wired (USB, HDMI, RCA) to wireless (screen mirroring). You can also use a card reader in a pinch. And you probably already have the gear you need in your living room.

Solutions affect the following brands: Canon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, GoPro, DJI, Akaso.

connect camera to tv

6 Ways to Connect a Camera to TV

So while you can view your footage on your camera, it’s more fun to see it in the high resolution that you filmed it in. Plus, it’s easier to share with family and friends.

Here’s how to connect your camera to your television. These are general instructions and should work for most camera models. For specific brands, see more below.

1. Connect Camera to TV Using HDMI (5 Steps)

Connecting your camera via an HDMI cable is the best way.

All that you’ll need is an HDMI cable and an HDMI adapter. The adapter will connect your camera to the HDMI cable. Most cameras have a Micro HDMI port. I like this adapter.

how to connect camera to tv using hdmi cable
The HDMI setup for connecting your camera to a TV via HDMI. You’ll see the short adapter, to connect the camera to the longer HDMI cable that connects to the TV.

Here are the steps to connecting via HDMI cable.

  1. Connect to Camera. Plug the Micro HDMI to HDMI adapter into your camera. Connect the adapter to your longer HDMI cable.
  2. Connect to TV. Plug your HDMI cable into the TV.
  3. Power on both devices. Turn on your TV. Then turn on your camera.
  4. Select the correct HDMI source input on your TV. You should now see a live preview from the camera.
  5. You can navigate to the playback menu on your camera. It might show as Play, Playback, or Player. The specific menu will vary on camera brand and model.

You can now view and playback your videos and images on your TV.

For this method to work, your camera will require a micro HDMI output (port). This applies to most cameras. If your camera doesn’t have an HDMI output, try the next method.

Why is HDMI the Best Way to Connect Camera to TV? The HDMI cable transfers more data than a USB cable. You can view all metadata, including the histogram, exposure, shutter speed, ISO, date, time, and white balance.

For this method and the next, you’ll want to make sure that your battery has a decent charge. It won’t receive power while connected,

how to connect camera to tv
Here’s the interface you’ll see when you connect your camera to a tv with a USB cable.

2. Connect Camera to TV Using USB (5 Steps)

If an HDMI connection isn’t possible, using a USB cable is your second best option.

When you connect your camera via USB, it essentially turns your camera into a storage device.

This is a great method because you can use the USB cable that came with your camera. And unless you’re television is really old, it almost certainly has one (or a few) USB port(s) in the back.

how to connect camera to tv using usb

To do this, you’ll need a USB cable and a television with a USB port.

  1. Connect to Camera. Plug the USB cable into your camera. If it is too short, you can add a USB extension cable.
  2. Connect to TV. Plug your USB cable into the TV.
  3. Power on both devices. Turn on your TV. Then turn on your camera.
  4. You should see a connected message on your TV. Select “Browse” or equivalent for your brand of TV. You should now see a live preview from the camera. I tested this on my 50″ Samsung TV in my living room.
  5. You’ll need to navigate through a few subfolders, just like you would if you connected to a computer. The specific menu will vary on camera brand and model. You are likely looking for “DCIM” folder, or equivalent for your brand of camera.

You can now play back your videos and images on your TV.

how to connect camera to tv

What USB cable is needed? You will likely need a Micro-USB B or a USB-C to USB-A cable. Some older cameras might use Mini-USB (Mini-B 5 Pin) but these are much less common. To be sure, check your manual.

If you are familiar with USB connectors, you can check the access port on your camera. Most cameras do not indicate the type of USB connector needed.

3. Direct Connect the SD Card

This is a bit of a shortcut. You can avoid running cables (HDMI or USB) and just view your footage directly from your SD card.

And you can avoid problems with missing cables or compatibility issues by directly inserting your memory card into your TV.

how to view camera footage on tv

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Remove your SD card or microSD card.
  2. Insert your memory card. Put your microSD card into an SD card adapter or a microSD card reader. If you have an SD card, you can use the Anker card reader to connect your camera footage to your TV. I like the Anker card reader, because it accepts both SD and microSD cards.
  3. Insert the card adapter into an open USB port.

Some televisions have an SD card slot. In this case, you won’t need a USB adapter. You can insert the card directly into your television.

Even if your TV has an SD card slot, it’s a good idea to pick up one of these 2-in-1 card readers. They work great for connecting to any computer or television.

4. Screen Mirroring and Video Cast

There are a few ways to mirror your screen – and footage to a television. Most cameras don’t have the capability to screen mirror to your TV.

If your camera doesn’t have that capability, here’s how to mirror/cast your footage to a television.

  • Upload your footage to your laptop or computer. Cast the images and footage from that device. You can use Apple AirPlay or Chromecast to display your footage wirelessly to your larger screen.
  • Cast directly from your mobile device. Some cameras will save your footage to it’s own memory. If it’s on your phone, you can cast it wirelessly to your televsion.

Here’s how to connect your camera to a computer. And here’s how to fix connection problems.

So while most cameras don’t have the ability to screen mirror directly, there are exceptions.

The exception is Android or Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac), and Chromebooks. These can be mirrored to another screen, Roku, Fire TV, Nintendo (Switch, WiiU), Sony Playstation, and Mac. These devices and also be mirrored to Samsung, LG, and Sony TVs.

Screen Mirroring vs Video Casting: Here are the differences:

If your device doesn’t have the capacity to screen mirror or videocast, you can use an app like the Screen Mirroring App or Video & TV Cast App.

5. Use Composite RCA to HDMI Cable

Some older televisions don’t have an HDMI port. You might be able to use an RCA cable to connect your camera to a TV.

For this to work, you’ll want a composite (3-ended cable) of red, yellow, and white ends. These will match to the corresponding colored ports on your TV. The other end of this cable must be HDMI. If it isn’t the correct HDMI connector, you can purchase an adapter.

Make sure to find an HDMI to RCA cable. Some are RCA to HDMI and these won’t work for this purpose.

You can also find RCA to USB cables, which is helpful if you don’t have a USB port but have RCA ports.

6. Use Your Computer Monitor

A final method is to use your computer monitor.

This is a great option if your television is too old and doesn’t have HDMI or USB ports.

It can also work great if your TV doesn’t have the best resolution. Typically, monitors have more pixels per inch than a standard TV.

You can connect your camera to your computer monitor via HDMI, screen mirroring, or USB. Of course, many of the methods of connecting your camera to a computer will apply in this scenario.

6 Brands: Connecting Your Camera to a TV

Using the above 6 methods will successfully connect most cameras to a TV. But sometimes, a camera brand will have specific requirements or details.

Here is a summary of how to connect six specific camera brands to a television.

Connect Canon Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Connect Sony Camera to a TV (4 Ways)

Most Sony cameras come with both micro HDMI and micro USB ports which can both connect to your TV.

And many Sony cameras also feature wireless connectivity to your phone or iPad via their Imaging Edge app. This can broadcast your footage to your television.

Here is our full guide: 4 Ways to Connect Sony Camera to a TV

Connect Olympus Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Connect Panasonic Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Connect Nikon Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Connect GoPro to a TV

My favorite way to view GoPro footage on my TV is with an HDMI cable.

We first wrote about connecting a GoPro to a TV back in April 2020. This is a pretty popular feature, especially given the size of the tiny screen on the GoPro camera.

It’s hard for more than one other person to see the footage – and even then, it’s minuscule. Especially when compared with sharing to a 55″ 4K television where everyone can see.

More reading: GoPro HDMI Guide: 7 Things to Know

Connect DJI Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Connect Akaso Camera to a TV

In progress. Will be published in the coming days.

Your Turn

How did it go for you? Were you able to successfully connect your camera to a TV? Have a question? Or maybe a tip to share? Join me in the comments below!