How to Use HDMI Cable to Bypass Pay TV

By James Clark

HDMI (high definition media interface) is an audio-video protocol for sending digital signals, typically to an HDTV set through a cable. A single HDMI cable carries high-definition video signals and eight audio channels. With an HDMI cable and a high-definition source signal, you can bypass pay TV to enjoy free HD television programming. Connecting to an antenna for receiving broadcast signals is one option to pay TV. Even if you have a pay TV service, you can still watch free HD programming from other sources because virtually all HDTVs have multiple HDMI jacks.

Things You'll Need

  • HDTV
  • HDMI cable
  • HD antenna with HDMI jack

Step 1

Turn off the power to your HDTV set.

Step 2

Connect the HDMI cable from the jack at the base of your HD antenna to any unused HDMI port on the TV set. Most HDTVs have two or more ports on the back panel and some models also have ports along the edge of the cabinet.

Step 3

Turn on the power to the TV and press the "Menu" button on the supplied remote control to access the channel scan/programming function. Highlight this option with the appropriate arrow key and press the 'OK" or "Enter" button to load the free HD channels that your antenna can pick up.

Step 4

Press the video selector button on the TV remote control to switch between free HD programming and pay TV, if you are also connected with a cable or satellite service provider. Pressing the video button (which may be labeled "Input," "Source," or "TV/Video," for example) switches the jack connection from your antenna to your pay TV source.