If you have a stereo receiver, you may wish to hook it up to your DirecTV system in order to make use of its sound capabilities. It's not difficult: DirecTV designed its satellite boxes with such a connection in mind. The question is whether your stereo system supports video functions, or whether it's just set up to deliver sound. There isn't a lot of difference between the two--limited primarily to which cable goes where--but it bears mentioning before you set up your system.
For Stereos With Audio/Video Capacity
Check the "Input" cable jacks in the back of your stereo system. Ideally, there will be an HDMI jack, which is thin and rectangular. It provides the clearest possible sound and image quality. If not, then look for an S-video jack, which is round with black plastic in the center, or a component video jack, which is made up of three small, round jacks colored red, blue and green. If it doesn't have those, then look for a set of RCA jacks, which resemble the component video jacks, but are coded red, white and yellow.
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Find the "Out" jack on the back of the DirecTV receiver which matches the best possible "Input" jack on your stereo. You need matching jacks to make the connection.
Examine the "Output" cable jacks on the stereo and compare them to the "Input" jacks on the back of your TV to get a set which match up. Use HDMI if you can, then S-video or component video, then RCA connections.
Connect the "Out" jacks on the DirecTV receiver with the "Input" jacks on the stereo--taking care to note any labels with which the stereo jacks are marked. (They will likely be labeled "Cable," "DVD," or the like.)
Connect the "Output" jacks on the receiver to the "Input" jacks on the TV.
Turn all three components on . Use the Input button on your TV remote to sync the TV up to the "Input" jack connected to the stereo. Then push the button on the front of the stereo corresponding to the "Input" jack connected to the remote (the button should be labeled the same as the jack).
Turn the volume on your TV to zero and watch as normal.
For Stereos With Audio Capacity Only
Compare the "Output" jacks on the back of your DirecTV receiver to the "Input" jacks on your TV. Find the best two which match up to each other.
Connect the "Output" jacks you have selected on the DirecTV receiver with the "Input" jacks on the TV.
Find the audio "Output" jacks on your DirecTV receiver and compare them with the "Input" jacks on your stereo. It will likely be one of three types of jack: the digital audio coaxial jack, which is circular and round; the optical audio jack, which is square-ish; or the red, yellow and white RCA jacks.
Connect the matching "Output" jacks on the DirecTV receiver with the "Input" jacks on the stereo.
Turn on the stereo and push the front button corresponding to the jacks connected to the DirecTV receiver.
Turn on the TV and use the "Input" button on the remote to select the "Input" jack connected to the DirecTV receiver.
Turn the TV's volume to zero.
Turn on the DirecTV receiver. You should receive a television sound and image as normal.
If you're using S-video or component video cables to connect the DirecTV receiver to your stereo receiver, you'll need to make additional connections to get the sound. Use Steps 3 and 4 in Section 2 to do so.
Turn off all components before making the connections.