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HDTV cable hookup: Option 1
Component Video
Component Video Cables and required Stereo Analog Audio Cables


HDTV back panel - component video and stereo audio cable hookup.

Rear Panel for HD Hookup -

For High Definition, use the green(Y), blue(Pb), red(Pr) component video and the white(L), red(R) audio jacks or use the HDMI jack.
Hookup standard VCR or DVD Recorder with the yellow video and white(L) and red(R) audio jacks.
For surround sound, use either the orange coaxial or the black optical jacks. Hookup to Audio/Video Receiver or surround sound processor.


Hookup your HD DVR cable box to HDTV with HDMI cable.

HDMI connection diagram

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HDMI is a type of cable connection that is used to transmit digital signals from a cable TV set top box, DVD player or satellite TV receiver to a high definition television. The primary benefit of the HDMI connection is that it transmits uncompressed digital audio and video in a single cable, thereby producing the highest quality video image and sound quality. The second benefit of HDMI is the reduction of cable clutter. One HDMI connection replaces 3 video connections for high definition video and 6 audio connections for high-resolution audio.

The High-Definition Multi-media Interface (HDMI) is an industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface with 5 Gbps of available bandwidth.

HDMI provides an interface between any compatible digital audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, and A/V receiver and a compatible digital audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV).

The benefits of HDMI over traditional analog connections include:

  • All-digital rendering of video without the losses associated with analog interfaces and their unnecessary digital-to-analog conversions.
  • Lower cost: a single HDMI connection replaces 3 video connections for high definition video and 6 audio connections for high-resolution audio.
  • Audio: HDMI supports multiple audio formats, from standard stereo to multi-channel surround-sound.
  • Ease-of-use: HDMI combines video and multi-channel audio into a single cable, eliminating the cost, complexity, and confusion of multiple cables currently used in A/V systems.
  • Intelligence: HDMI supports two-way communication between the video source (such as a DVD player) and the DTV, enabling new functionality.


HDMI has the capacity to support existing enhanced and high-definition video formats including 480p, 720p, 1080i, and even 1080p as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL.

The standard Type A HDMI connector has 19 pins. A higher resolution Type B HDMI connector also exists but is not yet in common use. Type B has 29 pins, allowing it to carry an expanded video channel for use with high-resolution displays. Type-B is designed to support resolutions higher than 1080i.

HDMI is backwards-compatible with the single-link Digital Visual Interface (DVI) commonly found on older HD televisions and set top devices through the use of a suitable adapter or cable, but the audio and remote control features of HDMI will not be available.

Additionally, without support for HDCP, the video quality and resolution may be downgraded by the player unit. Type B HDMI is similarly backwards-compatible with dual-link DVI.

In addition to carrying uncompressed video, HDMI is defined to carry 8-channels, of 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. HDMI can also carry compressed audio formats such as Dolby or DTS.

HDMI cable specifications are designed to use standard copper cable construction with certain levels of required performance and it is expected that HDMI cables can be expected to perform flawlessly in cables up to 15 meters in length.

The HDMI Founders include leading consumer electronics manufacturers Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Philips, Sony, Thomson (RCA), Toshiba, and Silicon Image.

Learn more at the HDMI site

HDTV cables and connections

HDTV Overview:

High definition TVs can be monitors or integrated sets, although after mid-2007 all new ones will have built-in digital TV tuners as required by law.

HDTV monitors require a HD digital tuner/receiver to receive high-def signals, whereas integrated sets have an HDTV tuner or tuners already built in. Built-in ATSC tuners receive over-the-air digital broadcasts while built-in QAM tuners receive unscrambled digital cable channels.

Some sets have NTSC tuners for traditional analog TV. No digital TVs to date have built-in digital satellite tuners. You need a box from your satellite TV provider.

Some integrated sets have a CableCARD slot. The credit-card-size CableCARD, which is furnished by your cable TV provider, lets you connect the cable feed directly to the TV without having to install a cable box. Some limitations apply and the upcoming two-way cableCARDS will not work in one-way cableCARD TV sets.

HDTV Signals

You can get HDTV signals in three ways: 

1) Over-the-air antenna (local broadcasts only), 

2) an HDTV cable TV converter box and cable TV service from a local cable TV provider such as Time Warner Cable, Cox, Comcast, etc. with digital cable and HD service.

3) an HDTV satellite receiver with HD satellite TV service from a provider such as DirecTV or Dish Network.

Off-air antennas, which provide access to local HDTV broadcasts, can be indoor or outdoor types. If your cable TV or satellite TV service doesn’t carry all of your local HDTV stations, you’ll want to add an off-air antenna so you can receive them.

HDTV cable boxes and satellite receivers are similar to their non-HD counterparts but have additional connections and features to provide high-definition programming.

Some models include a Digital Video Recorder with hard-disk drive, which gives you TiVo-like functions such as automatic recording of favorite TV shows and pausing live TV. Cable TV converters and DVRs are typically made by Motorola and Scientific Atlanta, then remarketed by your local cable TV provider to you. 

Motorola and Scientific Atlanta are two primary manufacturers of cable TV decoder boxes.

Front panel

Back panel

HDTV Cables

HDTV brings an unprecedented level of detail and color to your TV viewing experience. In order to get true HDTV (720p or 1080i/1080p resolution), you need to connect your HD digital cable TV or HD satellite TV box to your HDTV with a HDMI, DVI, or Component video cable.

These cables come in standard lengths from 3 feet up to 50 feet. (You can go up to 300 feet with a fiber optic cable extension but the cost is high.)

HDMI is usually your best video connection, typically outperforming component video because there is no analog-to-digital conversion process, it's a pure, all-digital connection. HDMI can also carry multi-channel audio, so you get razor-sharp picture and pristine audio all in one cable.

High-definition video cables usually have 24k gold contacts, heavy-duty shielding and the highest-quality materials and construction to help ensure the most accurate data transfer and best HDTV picture.


There are many options for making the video connection between an HDTV tuner and HD monitor. One way is component-video cables from the set-top tuner box to the TV. Or you could instead run the cables to an A/V receiver and then make a component-video connection from the receiver to the TV. This is more convenient if you want to use the receiver to switch between other component-video sources, like a DVD player.

When making high-def component-video connections through a receiver, make sure the receiver can handle the wider bandwidth of HDTV signals, or you’ll lose picture detail. Also, make sure your installation hardware —cables, splitters, and other components such as signal amplifiers — can handle the full HDTV bandwidth. 

Some HDTV tuners have a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) output, which provides an all-digital video connection. Your HDTV monitor also has to have a DVI input, and it’s a good idea to make sure it’s compliant with the HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) copy-protection scheme. HDCP uses a transmitter and receiver with encryption at each end to pass programs from a tuner to a TV. 

An upgraded version of DVI, the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connector, which can handle both digital audio and video, is another option.

Don't overpay for your HDMI cables
HDMI cable at the APPLE store for $19.95

Some HDTV tuners and sets also include an analog VGA jack for connection to a computer. 

Once you connect the tuner, you’ll need to set it to match your TV’s display format. There will be a switch or menu option for selecting 720p or 1080i output, depending on your set’s native resolution. Flat-panel LCD and plasma TVs often have a different native resolution — such as 1,024 x 768 — in which case the set will convert the signal as needed. 

Surround Sound 
If you have an A/V receiver, run either an optical or coaxial digital audio cable from the digital cable TV box or HD satellite receiver to the A/V receiver for 5.1-channel surround sound. If you don’t have an A/V receiver, connect the tuner and TV using standard analog stereo inputs and outputs. Note that in addition to the high-def video, the HDTV signal includes Dolby Digital audio — in 5.1 channels if that’s how it was broadcast, or else in Dolby Digital stereo.

With a satellite TV hookup, you’ll also need an 18- to 20-inch dish to receive HDTV. If you already have satellite service, you’ll at least need a new HD receiver. With DirecTV, you’ll also need a larger, elliptical dish.

See over 100 Hookup Diagrams
HDTV basic setup and diagrams

What is the big picture regarding HDTV?
You need a High-Def digital TV with 720p, 1080i, or 1080p resolution. Display Technologies include:
Plasma , LCD, DLP, CRT, LCOS
Your old standard analog TV will not work for HD. But you can still use your old analog TV set and VCR for down-converted signals.
Signal source  
• Broadcast HDTV Free, but few channels.
Most large cities currently broadcast some shows in HD.
• Cable HDTV $$ Local digital cable.
Added cost for digital cable and HD service.
• Satellite HDTV $$ DirecTV, DishNetwork
Tuner Most HDTVs now have built-in tuners but Cable TV and Satellite TV providers encrypt their digital signals so an appropriate box is required to unscramble them.
Broadcast DTV / HDTV ATSC tuner required.
Digital Cable TV Cable decoder box required.
HD capable box required for HD.
Digital Satellite TV Satellite decoder box required.
Cables High Definition capable
• HDMI to HDMI Carries digital video and digital audio.
• HDMI to DVI Digital video only.
• DVI to DVI Digital video only.
• Component video Analog video only.
• Analog audio RCA phono (stereo)
• Digital audio
for Dolby Digital 5.1
SPDIF coax or optical
(surround sound)

Cables Types and descriptions

HDMI was developed to meet the demand for high-definition video and audio. With the release of HD content, traditional ways to connect consumer electronics devices fall short of delivering the ultimate high-definition viewing and listening experience. To address this issue, leading consumer electronics manufacturers gathered to develop a next-generation digital interface that would meet the requirements for consumer electronics products today and in the future.

The use of HDMI to connect all of your high-definition devices, displays and components will enable you to maximize your home theater system and experience digital content the way it was intended.

Backed by the industry's biggest names, the all-digital HDMI will enable true high-definition, audio/video content for consumers. Hollywood studios, cable and satellite operators, and consumer electronics manufacturers have rallied behind this standard that delivers on the long-awaited promises of HDTV.

HDMI Optical Extension System 

Fiber-optic interconnection of digital audio/video HDTV data, complying with HDMI enables long-distance transmission of crystal clear quality data of integrated HDTV systems. The HDMI is an industry standard of digital audio/video transmission protocol, supporting TMDS (Transit Minimized Differential Signal) graphic transmission and implementing DDC (Display Data Control) for CPU to identify displays and fulfill encryption/decryption for HDCP (High Definition Contents Protection).

It can simply extend over the limits of copper wire extension without any distribution amplifier or repeater. In addition, the products could offer a benefit to make EMI much lower in the TMDS high-speed transmission.


What is HDMI?

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is the first industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, or A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV), over a single cable.

HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports up to 8-channel digital audio, with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

How do consumers benefit from HDMI?

The HDMI digital interconnect provides:

  1. Superior, uncompressed digital video and audio quality
  2. A single cable and user-friendly connector that replaces the maze of cabling behind the entertainment center
  3. Integrated remote control
  4. A popular interface enabling the transmission of high-definition content. HDMI facilitates the availability of digital content from major motion picture producers.

What are the advantages of HDMI over analog interfaces such as composite video, S-Video and component video?

HDMI transfers uncompressed digital audio and video for the highest image quality.

All-Digital: HDMI ensures an all-digital rendering of video without the losses associated with analog interfaces and their unnecessary digital-to-analog conversions.

Audio: HDMI supports multiple audio formats, from standard stereo to multi-channel surround-sound.

Ease-of-use: HDMI combines video and multi-channel audio into a single cable, eliminating the cost, complexity, and confusion of multiple cables currently used in A/V systems.

Intelligence: HDMI supports two-way communication between the video source (such as a DVD player) and the DTV, enabling new functionality.

What types of video does HDMI support?

HDMI has the capacity to support existing high-definition video formats (720p, 1080i, and 1080p). It also has the flexibility to support enhanced definition formats such as 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL.

Does HDMI support Dolby 5.1 audio and high-resolution audio formats?

Yes. From the start, HDMI was defined to carry 8-channels, of 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio, which exceeds all current consumer media formats. In addition, HDMI can carry any flavor of compressed audio format such as Dolby or DTS. (Such compressed formats are the only multi-channel or high-resolution audio formats that can be carried across the older S/PDIF or AES/EBU interfaces.) The fact that the vast majority of HDMI products shipped are two-channel TVs that don’t support more than two-channel audio doesn’t make this any less the case. Most existing HDMI sources can output any compressed stream, and the newer sources can output uncompressed 6-channel, 96kHz audio from a DVD-Audio disk. There are many A/V receivers on the market that can accept and process the 6- or 8-channel audio from HDMI and more are expected to be available.

Will HDMI support SACD?

Since the introduction of the initial HDMI 1.0 specification, the HDMI 1.1 specification supporting DVD-Audio has already been introduced. There is no technical reason why HDMI could not support SACD. HDMI 1.3 increases its single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps). HDMI 1.3 supports up to 1440p resolution. It is the prerogative of each manufacturer to take advantage of these audio and video capabilities. None of these audio or video formats are mandatory in any particular gear.

Does HDMI accommodate long cable lengths?
Yes. HDMI technology has been designed to use standard copper cable construction at long lengths. In order to allow cable manufacturers to improve their products through the use of new technologies, HDMI specifies the required performance of a cable but does not specify a maximum cable length. Cable manufacturers are expected to sell reasonably priced copper cables at lengths of up to 15 meters. As semiconductor technology improves, even longer stretches can be reached with fiber optic cables, and with active cable technologies such as amplifiers or repeaters.

How do I connect my HDTV which only has one HDMI input to all my HDMI signal sources? 

Answer: use a HDMI switch box.




Analog TV




Aspect Ratio


4:3 or 16:9

4:3 or 16:9


Pixels per line

450 (equiv.)

708 - 720

708 - 720

1280 (720p)
1920 (1080i)

Active lines/picture




720p, 1080i, 1080p

Total number of pixels

253,000 +/-



921,600 (720p) 2,073,600 (1080i)

Progressive Scan





Interlaced Scan









60 (720p)
30 (1080i)


2 channel - stereo

2 channel digital

5.1 channel surround

5.1 channel surround

Broadcast Formats

1 Analog

12 Digital formats

12 Digital formats

18 Digital formats


HDTV cable hookup

High-Definition TV (HDTV) can be connected to:

1) HD digital cable TV converter box or 
2) HD satellite TV tuner or 
3) HDTV broadcast over the air (OTA) received with an antenna and HD tuner, 

using at least four different connection options for High-Definition viewing 
depending on which connectors your components have available.

These options are as follows:

1. Component video - 3 RCA video cables: (red, green, blue) plus 2 RCA audio cables: (red, white)

DVI - 1 DVI cable for video and 2 RCA audio cables

HDMI - 1 HDMI cable (video and audio)

For surround sound, use a RCA digital audio or optical digital audio cable connected to a audio/video receiver with Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, amplifier and 6 loudspeakers.

see Audio Video connections

NEXT --  Option 2: DVI

see also:
Audio Video Connections

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Video Connections Diagrams

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