How to Connect HD TV to a Cable Box

By Ed Oswald

You just bought a new HDTV and signed up for the high-definition package from your cable provider. How do you connect it to your cable service? Installation should be fairly simple and take less than 10 minutes, provided you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that you can receive high-definition programming via cable.

Things You'll Need

  • HDTV
  • HD-compatible cable box
  • HDMI cable (depending on cable box)
  • Coaxial cable

Step 1

Make sure you have the correct equipment and programming package from your cable provider. The cable box must be HD compatible; boxes used for standard televisions will not receive HDTV channels. Also confirm with your cable provider that you are signed up for its HDTV package.

Step 2

Check the types of connections on your cable box. An HDMI port will look like a USB port on a computer; a DVI port will look like a serial port but with 24 holes and an h-shaped indentation to the right; component connections will be red, green and blue holes.

Step 3

Set the HDTV up in a spot where it will be close to a power outlet, the cable box and the cable jack. Keep all lines of coaxial cable as short as possible to minimize signal loss.

Step 4

Connect the coaxial cable from the wall jack to the cable box.

Step 5

Connect the HDMI cable from the output of the cable box to an HDMI input on the HDTV. Make a note of the number of the HDMI port (if applicable; some HDTVs have only one). If you are using DVI or component cables, follow the same procedure.

Step 6

Plug the power cords for both the cable box and HDTV into a power outlet, preferably also using a surge-protecter power strip. Power both devices on.

Step 7

Change the input of the HDTV to the HDMI port into which you connected the cable box. If it is a single HDMI port TV, the input will most likely be named "HDMI." If it is a multi-port TV, the ports will be numbered and you will need to cycle through them by pressing the input key on the TV or remote. Again, with DVI and other components, follow the same procedure.

Step 8

Tune to an HD channel using the remote for the cable box. Consult your cable provider's channel lineup for the number. If everything is set up properly, you should be able to view the channel in high definition. If not, repeat this tutorial from Step 3 on to troubleshoot for any mistakes.

Tips & Warnings

  • HDMI offers the best picture and sound quality and should be used if possible. If HDMI is not available, DVI connections are usually available and are a good alternative. Use component video cables as a last resort; they have the lowest picture quality of the HD-compatible cable technologies.

References & Resources