Connect Your HD Video Source Using an HDMI Cable in 5 Steps

How to Attach High-Resolution Components to Your TV

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High-definition components are a home video fanatic's best friend because they're the only way to get the best possible picture out of your TV. These high-def components include Blu-ray players, DVD players, gaming systems, and cable and satellite receivers. You connect any of them to your television using a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable.

Why HDMI?

A single HDMI cable carries both video and audio signals, which makes hookup particularly easy. Also, many high-definition components only deliver HD ​video resolution of 1080p when connected with an HDMI cable. HDMI accommodates resolutions from 480i up to 4K.

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Getting Started With HDMI

A standard HDMI output. Forrest Hartman

Find the HDMI output ​for your high-definition video source. For the purpose of illustration, these photos show a cable box, but the output looks similar on a Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, or any other high-definition source.​

It's best to unplug both the component and the television or at least power them down when making new connections.

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Plug One End of the HDMI Cable Into the Video Source

Plug one end of your HDMI cable into your video source. Forrest Hartman

When you plug in the HDMI cable, it should plug in easily. Do not force it. If you're having trouble, you may have the connector upside down.

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Find an HDMI Input on Your TV

Standard HDMI input on a television. Forrest Hartman

You may have several HDMI inputs on your TV, so choose the one you want to use with this particular component. If you've never made an HDMI connection before, HDMI 1 is usually the best choice.

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Plug the Other End of the HDMI Cable Into Your TV

Plug the HDMI cable into your television. Forrest Hartman

As before, when you plug in the HDMI cable, it should plug in easily. Do not force it. If you're having trouble, you may have the connector upside down.

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Choose the Input Source

A completed HDMI connection. Forrest Hartman

On first use, your television will almost certainly require you to choose the input source that you ran the cable to. If you used HDMI 1, select that option on your TV. For more information, see the manual for your specific television.