How to Set Up an HDMI Cable

By Robert Vaux

HDMI cables are used to convey high-definition digital signals. They can carry much more information than standard A/V cables and thus deliver a sharper, clearer image to your screen. Setting up an HDMI cable is no harder than setting up any other kind of A/V cables; just find the right slot and plug it in. You simply need to identify which of your components is HD-compatible, and how it can best be connected.

Things You'll Need

  • TelevisionA/V receiver (optional)DVD player, DVR box, cable box and/or Blu-ray playerMultiple HDMI cables

Step 1

Check the back of your television set for an HDMI connection. They're narrow rectangular outlets, usually marked with an HDMI logo. Count the number of HDMI outlets you have: If you have more than one, it increases your options as far as connections go.

Step 2

Examine the A/V receiver on your home theater system if you have one. If it has HDMI outlets for your components (DVD, Blu-ray player, cable or satellite box), then you can use it to route all of them to the TV. Otherwise, you need to hook up those components directly to the TV.

Step 3

Check your cable/satellite box, DVR, DVD player or Blu-ray player for HDMI outlets. Count the number of components that have them, then count the number of HDMI outlets available on either your A/V receiver or your TV. If the latter is less than the former, you need to decide which of your components you want to set up with HDMI cable.

Step 4

Insert one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI port of your DVR, Blu-ray player or DVD player. If your A/V receiver has an HDMI port, connect the other end of the cable to it. Otherwise, connect the other end to the HDMI outlet in your TV. Repeat this step with different components until all of your HDMI-compatible devices are hooked up.

Step 5

Connect a cable between the HDMI "out" port of your A/V receiver and the HDMI port of your TV. If your TV has multiple HDMI ports, note which one is connected.

Step 6

Turn on your TV, access the menu and set the signal to whichever HDMI port contains the component you wish to watch.

Step 7

Turn on the A/V receiver, if applicable, and push the button corresponding to the component you wish to watch. (Most A/V receivers have them clearly marked on the front.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Experts suggest looking for bargains when shopping for HDMI cables. Many chain stores mark up the prices considerably, because the comparatively expensive nature of HD TVs and DVRs disguise the cost of ancillary purchases. A few minutes spent searching the Internet could save you a great deal of money.
  • Always turn off all your home theater components while installing HDMI cables. Otherwise, you run the risk of a short.