With the advent of high-definition television, more channels are being broadcast in digital surround sound. Route the sound coming from your TV (or attached cable box) through your combination DVD player/home-theater receiver and have normal programming in multi-speaker stereo surround sound. All you need to do is hook audio cables up to the correct inputs on each device.
Examine the back of both your television and your combination DVD player/home theater stereo receiver to see what types of outputs are available on your television. Older TVs may only have a composite audio cable out (two audio cables, one red and one white), while newer TVs use coaxial (yellow) cables or HDMI (black) cables. Then, compare the outputs on your TV to the inputs you have available on your combination DVD player/receiver.
Purchase the appropriate audio cable to make the connection. In order of audio quality, you should try first for HDMI, then coaxial, then composite. Each of these cables will work to route the TV sound through your combination DVD player/receiver. You don't have to buy all three--just buy the highest quality one that is available to you.
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Plug one end of the audio cable of your choice into the output on your TV, and the other into the "TV IN" input on your combination DVD player/receiver. Note that in the case of composite audio cables, you'll be using two separate cables--one white and one red.
Switch your combination DVD player/receiver to the "TV" input and turn on your television. The sound from your TV will now be routed through your DVD player/receiver.