How to Play Music From a Computer Through Your TV

By Mark Morris

Most of us keep the bulk of our music collection in digital format these days. Playing it back is typically a private affair best experienced through ear buds. From time to time you just have to share the latest find from iTunes, and using your television's surround sound is a great way to do it. Bridging the gap between computer and television will require an audio cable with a stereo mini plug split into two RCA jacks.

Things You'll Need

  • Television
  • Computer
  • Audio cable
  • Audio files

Step 1

Purchase your audio cable: if your television is older, it may not have the jacks you need. In this case you will also require an RF converter. This is the small box you probably use to plug in your DVD player. You can get both from Radio Shack, Best Buy or your local electronics retailer. Get the longest cable available to make connecting to the TV easier.

Step 2

Locate the audio inputs on your television. Most newer TVs have composite ins (a series of three white, yellow and red RCA jacks) on the front and back of the unit. If you have a DVD or Blueray player, it is probably plugged into a set of these.

Step 3

Set the computer close enough to the television to be reached by your composite audio cable. Boot up your computer and bring up your favorite media player. For Windows Media Player go to “Start,” select “All Programs” then choose “Windows Media Player” from the list of programs. Locate and open the playlist or audio file you would like to play. Other media players will open similarly: just select the program you wish to use from the "All Programs" list.

Step 4

Plug the mini plug end of your audio cable into the headphone jack on your computer. For desktops this is typically on the back. There may also be an additional jack on the front of the computer. On laptops the jack will most likely be located on the front or side of the computer. Plug the two red and white RCA jacks into the corresponding jacks on the television.

Step 5

Turn the television on and use the video mode button to select the inputs where the RCA jacks of your audio cables are plugged in. If you are unsure, consult your owner's manual. Manufacturers' websites are also good sources of information.

Step 6

Start the audio file in your media player. Adjust the volume and tone and sit back and enjoy your music.

Step 7

Plug the computer into the RF converter and attach it to your cable TV jack for televisions with no composite audio "In" jacks. Make sure to set the channel selector and television to the same channel.