Canon Rebel T3i: How to View Your Photos on a TV - dummies

Canon Rebel T3i: How to View Your Photos on a TV

By Julie Adair King

Your Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera 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 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. For this option, no added cable investment is needed because the cable you need is included with the camera. It’s the one that has three plugs (one yellow, one red, and one white) at one end.

  • HDTV playback: If you have a high-definition television, you can set the camera to high-def playback. However, you need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect the camera and television; the Canon part number you need is HDMI cable HTC-100. Do not use the HDMI port with anything other than the HDMI HTC-100 cable or a quality equivalent.

  • For HDMI CEC TV sets: If your television is compatible with HDMI CEC, your Rebel T3i enables you to use the TV’s remote control to rule your playback operations. You can put the camera on the coffee table and sit back with your normal remote in hand to entertain family and friends with your genius. To make this operation work, you must enable it on Playback Menu 1.


Before you begin connecting your camera to your TV, you may need to adjust one camera setting, Video System, which is found on Setup Menu 2. 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 camera should have shipped from the factory with the right setting selected, but it never hurts to double-check.

With the right cable in hand and the camera turned off, open the little rubber door that covers the video-out ports (it’s the door closest to the back of the camera). The camera has two ports (connection slots): one for a standard audio/video (A/V) signal and one for the HDMI signal. The A/V port is the same one you use to connect the camera via USB for picture download.


The smaller plug on the A/V cable attaches to the camera. For A/V playback, your cable has three plugs at the other end: Put the yellow one into your TV’s video jack and the red and white ones into your TV’s stereo audio jacks. For HDMI playback, a single plug goes to the TV.

At this point, consult your TV manual to find out exactly which of its 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.

After you sort out that issue, 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), you can control playback using the same camera controls as you normally do to view pictures on your camera monitor.