October 12th, 2007
Now that you know what components and connections to use for your High Definition System you need to know how to properly connect everything to your home theater system . This is a very crucial part of the process because a wrong connection can cause you a problem that you may mistake as a flaw in the component itself. Connecting HD components to a TV or home theater system is not as complicated as many people think. Inputs can look intimidating but are actually very easy to figure out once you know what they are used for. There are so many different options you can choose in order to connect HD components and I obviously can't go over all of them, that would take forever. To make things easier I will go over the most commonly used approach which is through a home theater system consisting of a TV , Receiver and whatever components you are connecting to the receiver. If you are hooking components straight into your TV without a home theater system simply cut out the steps that involve the receiver and go straight to the TV. Set Up Your Home Theater System First Before you start connecting all of your components to your receiver or TV, make sure you have the basics down first. Set up all your speakers in the position you want them, connect them to the receiver , make sure your TV is plugged in and get all your components arranged in your cabinet or stand and plug them all in. Make sure again that all of your components and cables are the correct ones for your system. Once you have the basics down everything from here on out should be fairly easy. Connect your Receiver to Your TV Connect your HDMI Cables and/or Component Video Cables from the HDMI and Component Video Outputs on your Reciever to the proper Inputs on your TV. This is very important, the signal must be passed from your component to the receiver and then to the TV or you won't have a picture. Connecting with HDMI This is probably the easiest connection you will ever have to make since it only involves one cable. There are many different components that are HDMI compatible: Blu-Ray Disc Players , HD DVD Players, DVD Players and Cable/Sattelite Boxes just to name a few. An HDMI connection requires a single plug-in from your component to your receiver or TV. If you are hooking up a Blu-Ray Disc Player or similar component, simply connect the HDMI cable from the output on your Blu-Ray to one of the HDMI inputs on your receiver. If you are connecting a high definition cable box/satellite receiver you will need to connect your cable wire from the wall to the input jack on your cable/satellite box, then connect the HDMI cable from the output on your cable/satellite box to an HDMI input on your TV or receiver. The TV or Receiver will usually have an HDMI input designated for Cable/Satellite use. Connecting with HDMI is quite a simple process and should work no problem considering you connected your receiver to your TV like I talked about in the step above. Don't celebrate just yet though, you might not be totally done. Most components and some receivers require you to go to the systems menu and change the connection type manually to a component video or HDMI connection depending on what it is connected with. Make sure that you check to see if your components require you to do this. If you don't you may see a picture in a purple hazy color or no picture at all until you change the settings. Connecting with Component Video Although there are a few more connections you have to make, component video is not very hard to connect. Lets say you decide to connect your cable/satellite box and an Up-Conversion DVD player with component video. The cable/satellite box will be almost the same as the HDMI setup but with a few more connections. First connect the Component Video cable from your cable/satellite box to your receiver (make sure you match up the red, green and blue cables with the proper inputs). Then make sure that you also make an audio connection. Hopefully you inspected your cable/satellite box to see what kinds of audio connections that it has. If you have a digital audio connection I suggest using a Fiber Optic Cable or a Digital Coax Cable because they carry a cleaner digital signal, but if they aren't available Analog Audio works just fine. You only have to make one connection with audio cables, which means you dont have to go from the receiver to the TV with audio. A Few Things To Remember
- If you don't get a picture right away don't panic, you may have to manually switch your component to the video mode you want it in like Component or HDMI. Consult your owners manual.
- Not everything will be broadcast in HD, there are certain channels that your cable or satellite service will provide in High Definition but the rest will just be standard. You need a High Definition Cable/Satellite box to receive a high definition signal, regular digital cable will not broadcast high def.