How to Connect Cable to the TV

If you've ever found yourself staring at the back of your cable box, perplexed at the jungle of cables you have to find the right connections for, take a step back and a deep breath. Trying to connect cable to TV may seem intimidating, but it's not as difficult as it may appear.

Analog

If your television has an analog system, you'll need to connect your main RF coax cable. Connect the RF coax cable from your wall jack to your cable port in the back of the cable box. This cable screws on to your cable box on the jack labeled “input.”

The next step is to connect your component cables or S video cable, which bring high quality video into your television. The ends of these cables are often color-coded as red, blue or green. Match the ends of these cables to the jacks labeled “input” that have the same colors.

Cable modems also use a RF coax cable to deliver high speed internet service to your home. It can be run at the same location as your cable box or another wall jack in your home.

Next, you'll need to hook up your audio connectors to your home theater receiver. These connectors are often color-coded with red and white ends. Match these ends to your audio “output” jacks.

Digital

If you have a digital television, you'll need to connect your HDMI, RCA or component cables from your cable box to your HD television. A HDMI cable is the easiest option and offers the best quality. HDMI cables transmit both video and audio. The HDMI cable is easily recognizable because of its flat and wide connector.

If you want to connect auxiliary equipment, such as a DVD player, to your television system, you'll need to connect those to the back of your television using an RCA, component cables or an HDMI cable, depending on your DVD player and the connections available on the back of your television.

Once the cables appear to be in the right connections, it's time to test the system. To view your digital cable service you will usually need to use the “input” or “source” button on your TV remote. The different video or auxiliary modes will need to be changed to view your digital cable or other devices in your system. For example, your digital cable service may be on “Video 1” and your DVD player on “Video 2”.

If you encounter any problems, consult your cable box manual. Don't be afraid to attempt to connect cable to TV on your own. Once you've mastered one cable television system, it'll give you a basic understanding of how your cable television system works, knowledge that will help if you run into any problems later on.