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How Do I Hook Up... my high definition TV?
January 11th, 2008 by Joe Chianese

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Hooking up your HDTV

Now that you've become familiar with the various inputs and outputs you can use to connect your high definition TV, let's get it setup.

Hook up your Cable or Satellite Box

If you have cable or satellite, you'll have a few different options for connecting your receiver (cable or satellite box) to your HDTV.

The best option is HDMI or DVI. If you have HDMI on both the box and the TV, use it. It should carry your sound and video. If it doesn't carry the audio to the TV, use red and white composite cables for the audio (box's output to TV's input that matches the HDMI connection).

For DVI, you'll have to use the composite audio cables since DVI is video-only.

Note that if your box has one of these connections and the TV has another (ex., HDMI on one and DVI on the other), you can buy an HDMI-to-DVI adapter or HDMI-to-DVI cable. If you do this, you'll always need to use composite audio cables because the connection is limited to the abilities of DVI (no audio and video in the same cable).

Without either of the digital connections available, you'll want to use component video. You really can't use anything less for high definition video. Keep in mind that again you'll need to use composite audio cables for your audio. Component video will still give you true high definition up to 1080p, but HDMI and DVI will end up giving you a clearer picture. Component video is good, but its still analog.

Hook up your HDTV Antenna

If you're using an HDTV antenna, chances are it will connect only one way. Usually, this is with a regular coaxial cable, just like the one you'd use to connect to a cable box. You would plug it into the antenna input on your TV (usually ANT 1). This way, you can pick up all the local channels in HD (which vary depending where you live and how strong the antenna is).

Some HDTV antennas are powered and unpowered. If they are powered, you'll connect them to your TV and a power outlet. Powered antennas will pick up a signal better. There are also more expensive but more efficient antennas available that range in quality. They are available in both indoor and outdoor types. Depending on your needs, you may buy one or the other, but an outdoor antenna will always pick up the best signal.

No Box, No Antenna, Just Cable

If you don't have a cable box, satellite service, or an antenna, but you have basic cable, just plug the cable line into your antenna input. This will enable basic cable channels, but you won't receive high definition channels or any special features from the cable service. This is the lowest quality option available and is not recommended for an HDTV.

Now that you've got your TV connected, you may be interested in hooking up your DVD player, surround sound receiver, or other devices. Click below to continue reading.

>>Next: Beyond your HDTV (3)

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Enjoy Your Home Theater - Get it Hooked Up with!