How to Play a Windows Media Video WMV File on a TV

By Techwalla Contributor

So you have a great video file in WMV format and you want to view it on your great new HDTV? Windows Media Video files work with Windows Media Player and compatible programs. Windows users may find that cherished home-movies are in WMV format. Instructional videos, free and paid, sometimes come in WMV format. Several methods exist for viewing these files on your TV, depending on your computer model and available TV accessories.

Things You'll Need

  • Xbox 360 (optional)
  • PC
  • Television
  • DVD player with WMV support (optional)
  • Laptop (optional)

Step 1

Connect your computer directly to the TV. Some computers include a video out capability. Check your computer and TV manual for the video-in and -out settings. Purchase the appropriate cable to connect your computer to the TV and use it as a second monitor to view the WMV video and other content.

Step 2

Copy the WMV file to a USB drive and play it on the Xbox 360 Dashboard. The Xbox 360 is compatible with WMV files. Copy the files to a USB stick or external drive to transfer them.

Step 3

Copy the files to a DVD. Some DVD players include WMV compatibility. Check your DVD's manual to see what video formats your DVD player supports. DVDs with WMV support won't require any conversion, copy the files to a data DVD for playback.

Step 4

Download and install Windows Live Movie Maker. At the time of publication this program is available for free. It lets you use one or more WMV videos to create a complete movie, then burn that movie to a DVD for playback on any DVD player.

Tips & Warnings

  • An Xbox 360 will play more formats with the most recent update and makes it very convenient to watch movies on.
  • Some DVD players allow you to burn DVD's (or use a usb drive) with the WMV file on it, this is easy to do.
  • Many older television sets do not display PC images properly, but you could lower your PC's native resolution to improve television images.
  • Burning a DVD with WMV files is illegal if the WMV file is protected with DRM (Digital Rights Management).
  • Watching DRM WMV files without a license is illegal.
  • WMV files often have higher resolutions then some older televisions support. You may need to resample a video to have it work which could take a significant amount of time.
  • If you connect your pc to your tv you may need to run audio cables from your sound card to your television.
  • Make sure all your equipment is designed to allow the connection you are using and that it operates at the correct voltage/current/ or resistance rating. In general the manuals of the devices will offer guidance on connections if they are possible.