Connecting Your HDTV to Your Set-Top Box Using HDMI

Take advantage of full HD cable from your provider

Most set-top boxes (STB) these days, whether TiVo, Moxi, or cable and satellite boxes, are capable of high-definition. In order to take full advantage of the high-definition experience from your HDMI cable box, you need to change how your TV is connected.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to do. Plus, since an HDMI cable is what's used for this, which carries both audio and video signals, you only need that one cable to get everything to your HDTV.

Hdmi cable close up
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Set-top boxes work with televisions from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.

Use HDMI to Connect Your STB to Your HDTV

Let’s take a look at using HDMI to connect your STB to your HDTV so you can start enjoying the HD programming provided by your provider.

  1. First, determine if your set-top box has an HDMI connection. The HDMI port should look a bit like a flattened, misshaped USB port, and follow the same shape as the HDMI cable ends you see in the picture above.

    While most set-top boxes do have an HDMI out port, there are still some that, while HD-capable, will not support HDMI. If yours does not have one, either try upgrading to one that does or try connecting component cables to your TV.

  2. Locate one of the HDMI ports on your HDTV. If you have just one, then you have no option but to use it. However, most TVs have at least two, labeled HDMI 1 and HDMI 2.

    If it's easier to remember that the device is on HDMI 1, then go for it. It really doesn't matter which one you use so long as you remember which you choose.

  3. Attach one end of the HDMI cable to your HDTV and the other to your set-top box HDMI out.

    Make sure you don't use any other connections between the STB and the HDTV, like coax or component. It's possible that the other cables will confuse the devices and you won't see anything on the screen.

  4. Turn on your HDTV and STB.

  5. Switch the input on your TV to the HDMI port you chose. This can probably be done from the TV itself but most remotes for HDTVs have an "input" or "source" button. Press that button then choose the correct source.

    Some HDTVs won't let you select the port until you've actually made a connection, so if you skipped Step 3, make sure you connect the cable now and then try changing the input.

  6. If you’ve selected the correct input on the TV, you should be all set. You can now take the time to adjust the resolution and make any other changes needed to get the best picture.

If you want to use an A/V receiver, you can do so by using two HDMI cables, connecting everything in order and again, making sure you've set your inputs correctly. An A/V receiver will let you take full advantage of 5.1 surround sound if the channel you're watching provides it.

Each STB should have a manual (whether physical or online) that you can go through if you're having troubles setting it up. It's possible that there's some sort of misconfiguration going on and not that you're mishandling the cables. 

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