Flat-screen TVs are sophisticated pieces of equipment, and the sheer number of outlet jacks on their back panels can be extremely intimidating. Not to fear, however. The actual process of connecting a flat panel TV to a DVD player is extremely simple. The trick is to identify which cable outlet is right for your equipment and to know which input jack will get a signal from your DVD player. Once you know that, it's as simple as connecting a single cable or group of cables to the TV and the DVD.
Check the back of your DVD player. It will have up to three different types of outlet connections enabling it to be linked to the TV. The most ideal is an HDMI connection, which is a thin rectangular outlet marked "HDMI." It provides the highest quality signal to your flat panel TV. If your DVD player doesn't have an HDMI outlet, you can also use a standard RCA outlet. This consists of three round cable jacks labeled with a color coding. The yellow jack is for the video signal while the red and white jacks are for audio signals. Some DVD players may have an S-video outlet as well. It will be a circular jack with a number of holes. While not as effective as the HDMI jack, it provides a clearer picture than the RCA cables.
Look at the back of your flat panel TV for a series of "In" jacks corresponding to your DVD player. There may be a number of them under different labels (Input 1, Input 2, HDMI 1, HDMI 2 and Component Video are common). All of them work, however, and all can carry the DVD signal into your TV. Simply select an "In" jack that matches the DVD outlet you have selected and note the precise label.
Connect the "In" jack from the TV to the corresponding outlet on the DVD player, using the proper cable (RCA, HDMI or S-Video).
Turn on the TV and press the input button to select the jack connected to the DVD player. (The exact label for the input button will vary by model. Some will say "Input," while others will say "TV/Video" or "Signal.") A menu should pop up onscreen giving you a list of jacks in the rear of the set. Select the jack connected to the DVD player. The name of the player brand should appear on your screen.
Place a DVD in the player and watch as normal.
If you are using a stereo or a home theater system, you probably want to connect the DVD player to the receiver rather than the TV. The steps are the same for the receiver as they are for the TV. Be sure to link the receiver to the TV (using the cable type designated in the receiver's instruction manual) when you're done.
Make sure all of your components are turned off before connecting them to each other. You may get an electrical jolt otherwise.