She must have had a different TV then. There is no way you can simply plug a HDMI cable into an older TV that has no HDMI port. Maybe she had a HDMI->RCA converter, but those are expensive and don't work very well.
If her TV really does predate HDMI, it's seriously time to buy a new TV. Just get a good brand, such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, or if you're on a budget, Vizio.