How to Connect Set Top Boxes

By Contributing Writer

Set top boxes are required by most cable providers to allow for their digital signal or high definition programming to be viewed in the home. Set top boxes can also be used to allow for recording programming with a digital video recorder (DVR) unit. Despite the name, set top boxes nowadays are not set on top of the television. Due to their size and the size of the television, set top boxes are usually set off to the side of the television or in a TV stand. Use this "How-to" article as a guide on how to connect set top boxes.

Things You'll Need

  • Television
  • Set top box
  • Coax (or coaxial) cable
  • RCA cable

How to Connect Set Top Boxes

Step 1

Place the set top box in the location that you will use it from. This location will determine the lengths of cables that you will need to connect the box to a cable source and the television.

Step 2

Connect the coaxial cable from the cable outlet in the wall into the input on the set top box.

Step 3

Plug one end of the RCA cable (available in various lengths, it has yellow, white and red plugs) into the output on the set top box and plug the other end into the input on the television.

Step 4

Power the set top box on and turn the television to the correct input (such as AV1 or AV2) to begin viewing the content available on the set top box. You may have to manually change the input on the television to match the input that the set top box was plugged into.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some set top boxes may require a phone line connection for DVR activities.
  • Setting the television on top of the set top box is not advised as obstructing the vents on the set top box could lead to overheating and failure of the box.