How to Hook Up Digital Cable to Surround Sound

Hooking your cable box up to surround sound is easy to do and merely requires purchasing the correct cable to connect with. There are three options that you'll need to decide between based upon the connections that you have available: HDMI, optical and digital coaxial.

Step

Check your cable box for the type of output(s) available. You're looking specifically for a digital connection. If you don't have a digital connection, you won't be getting true surround sound. HDMI is the best option and the only one that supports 7.1 surround sound. Optical and coaxial are comparable and will support 5.1 formats.

Step

Compare the output that you found with the input on your home theater receiver. Hopefully, you'll have a matching input to use. If not, certain adapters are available, such as coaxial to optical, that will enable you to connect.

Step

Purchase the necessary cable and/or adapter. An HDMI cable will require two cables: one for video and one for audio.

Step

Shut the components off. Plug one end of the cable into the output on the cable box and one end into the input on your receiver. When using HDMI, run the second HDMI cable from the receiver's output to the television's input to direct the video to the TV.

Step

Switch the receiver to the designated input, turn on your television and test out your system.