How to use TV Out on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

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TV Out is one of the coolest things you can do with a 5800, it lets you watch videos, play games, listen to music or any other phone function through a normal television set. It's very easy to use, and this tutorial tells you how to use it.


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How to use TV Out on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The 5800 has a TV Out function which can be used to connect the phone to an ordinary television set. This can be very useful for things like viewing photos and videos, but you can also use it for any other phone function including web browsing, games, e-mail etc. It also lets you listen to music on the phone through your television's sound system, or even watch videos on the TV's screen (though these won't be as high quality as dedicated TV videos).

When you're viewing photos or videos through the Gallery application, the TV Out works in a special mode so what you see on the TV screen may not be the same as what you see on the phone. For example when you're watching a video, the phone's screen is dedicated entirely to playback controls while the television screen just shows the clean video.

The TV Out cable that comes with the 5800 has a 3.5mm pin at one end and three colour-coded plugs at the other. These are called "composite" plugs, and there are three of them because one carries the picture, and the other two carry the stereo sound.


The 5800's TV Out cable plugged into a television set

This is what the TV Out cable looks like when it's plugged into a television set.


How to set up TV Out on the 5800

Setting up TV Out is very easy indeed: just plug the TV Out cable's 3.5mm pin into the phone's headphone socket, and then plug the cable's colour-coded plugs into your television's composite sockets with each plug matching its same-coloured socket. Make sure the composite plugs are firmly in their sockets, as they can be quite stiff the first time you plug them in. Also make sure you don't mix up white plugs and yellow plugs, they look very similar in dim light.

Some TV sets may not come with composite sockets, but you can buy a SCART-composite adaptor which allows you to plug composite plugs into a SCART socket. These adaptors can be bought very cheaply on sites such as Amazon or eBay, expect to pay about 10 euros or 10 US dollars.

After you've connected the phone to your television, the phone may ask you about modes when you plug in the cable, just pick "TV Out".

You may have to put the TV into "AV" mode in order to see the phone's signal. You may also have to adjust your television's aspect ratio (aka picture size aka screen shape) setting so that the phone's picture isn't distorted. Both AV and aspect ratio should be explained in your television's manual, and they can usually be accessed from the TV's on-screen menu system.


Composite to SCART adaptor

If your television set doesn't have any composite sockets, you can buy a composite-to-SCART adaptor from electronics shops and eBay.


Recording from your phone with TV Out

You can make direct video recordings of your phone's activity using TV Out, by plugging the composite plugs into a DVD recorder or camcorder, or by buying a special adaptor that lets you plug the TV Out cable into a PC's USB port.

These recordings can be uploaded to YouTube (or wherever) to show something on your phone, for example playing a particular game or using a piece of software.



Bounce running on the 5800 through TV Out

The game Bounce Touch, running on a 5800 and displayed on a large screen through a TV Out cable.


Click here for a complete list of All About Symbian's Nokia 5800 XpressMusic tutorials