How to View Photos from a Nikon D5100 on a TV

Your Nikon D5100 is equipped with a feature that allows you to play your pictures and movies on a television screen. In fact, you have three playback options:

  • Regular (standard definition) video playback: Haven’t made the leap yet to HDTV? No worries: You can set the camera to send a regular standard-definition audio and video signal to the TV. The cable you need is even provided in the D5100 camera box. (Look for the cable that has a yellow plug and a white plug at one end.)

    One hang-up to note about this option: For movies, the audio playback is monaural, even if you record sound using an external stereo microphone.

  • HDMI playback: If you have a high-definition television, you need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect the camera and television. You need a Type C mini-pin HD cable. Nikon doesn't make its own cable, so just look for a quality third-party version.

    By default, the camera decides the proper video resolution to send to the TV after you connect the two devices. But you have the option of setting a specific resolution as well. To do so, select HDMI from the Setup menu, press OK, and then choose Output Resolution. Press the Multi Selector right to access the available settings.

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  • For HDMI CEC TV sets: If your television is compatible with HDMI CEC, your D5100 enables you to use the buttons on the TV’s remote control to perform the functions of the OK button and Multi Selector during full-frame picture playback and slide shows. To make this feature work, you must enable it via the Setup menu. Again, start with the HDMI option, but this time, select Device Control and set the option to On.

You need to make one final preflight check before connecting the camera and television: Verify the status of the Video Mode setting, located just above the HDMI option on the Setup menu. You have just two options: NTSC and PAL. Select the video mode used by your part of the world. (In the United States, Canada, and Mexico, NTSC is the standard.) The mode should’ve been set at the factory to the right option for the country in which you bought your camera, but it never hurts to check.

After you select the necessary Setup menu options, grab your video cable, turn off the camera, and open the little rubber door on the left side of the camera. There you find two ports (connection slots): one for a standard audio/video (A/V) cable and one for the HDMI cable.

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The smaller plug on the A/V cable attaches to the camera. The yellow plug goes into your TV's video jack, and the white one goes into your TV’s audio jack. For HDMI playback, a single plug goes to the TV.

At this point, consult your specific TV manual to find out exactly which jacks to use to connect your camera. You also need to consult your manual to find out which channel to select for playback of signals from auxiliary input devices. Then just turn on your camera to send the signal to the TV set. If you don't have the latest and greatest HDMI CEC capability (or lost your remote), control playback using the same techniques as you normally do to view pictures on your camera monitor.

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