How to Connect a TV to a DirecTV Satellite Receiver & Surround Sound

By Robert Vaux

When connecting a DirecTV receiver and surround sound system to your television, it's important to remember that the receiver is the main component, not the TV. The signal comes in from the satellite and down to the receiver. The audio signal is then routed into the surround sound system and the video signal to the television screen. If you think of those two component as "extensions" of the DirecTV receiver, then it becomes extremely easy to connect all of them together.

Things You'll Need

  • Connecting cables

Step 1

Check the connecting ports in the back of your surround sound receiver. You should see either an HDMI port (which is thin and rectangular), a digital audio port (which can vary in shape but will be labeled "digital audio") or a pair of RCA ports (small and round with one color-coded white and one color-coded red). To connect to the DirecTV receiver you will use: the HDMI port if you have it, a digital port if you don't and the RCA ports only if there are no other options on your surround sound receiver.

Step 2

Look at the back of your TV for a similar set of connecting ports. Ideally, it will have an HDMI port as well. If it doesn't, look for an S-video port (which is large and round) or a trio of component video ports (which are smaller and color-coded green, blue and red). They both provide good video quality, though not as good as HDMI. If your TV doesn't have any of those ports, use the RCA port color-coded yellow. It should still provide a reliable signal. (Yellow RCA ports on TVs are often accompanied by two other ports color-coded white and red. Don't worry about them; they're used for audio signals in systems that aren't connected to surround sound.)

Step 3

Check the back of the DirecTV receiver for output ports corresponding to the input ports of the TV and surround sound system. They should be labeled "Out," "Audio Out," or "Video Out." Use the best type of ports available; HDMI if possible, then s-video or component video and digital audio, then RCA.

Step 4

Connect the TV and the surround sound receiver to the DirecTV receiver using the cables corresponding to the ports you have chosen. If you only have one HDMI port in your DirecTV receiver, but both your TV and surround sound have an HDMI port, connect the TV with the HDMI port and use the digital audio port for the surround sound.

Step 5

Plug in all three components and turn them on. Tune your TV to the input port connected to the DirecTV receiver using the "Input" or "Video" button on your remote. Then set your TV to "mute" or turn the volume all the way down. (You're not using the TV speakers, and if they pick up any sound, it will distort the audio balance.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Individual TVs and surround sound systems may have installation instructions unique to their brand. Read the owner's manual carefully to see if any of them apply to your system.
  • Keep the TV, DirecTV receiver and surround sound receiver turned off when connecting the cables. Otherwise, the electricity may damage some of the internal components.