How Do I Connect My Home Theater to My TV And Cable Box?

Norvan Martin
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Did you know that cable television can broadcast channels in high definition with surround sound? Now you can connect your home theater to your TV and cable box if you want to enjoy an in-depth audio and video experience. In this article, we will show you how to connect your surround sound home theater to your TV and cable box.

Since TVs come with an assortment of connection jacks, you have several ways to do this. Read on for the simplest and most efficient ones. Just plug one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI input on your HDTV. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI output on the cable box. You can also use HDMI ARC.

Let’s get into more details so we can better explain.

 Here are three of the best ways to connect your surround sound to your TV and your cable box:

1. Use Your Receiver as the Hub

You need two HDMI cables if you want to use your receiver as the hub. Once you’re ready, follow the steps below.

Use Your Receiver as the Hub Connect My Home Theater to My TV And Cable Box

  1. Insert the end of one of your HDMI cables into your TV’s HDMI ARC IN port.
  2. After that, insert the remaining end of the cable into your receiver’s HDMI ARC OUT port.
  3. Connect one end of your second HDMI cable to the cable box’s HDMI OUT port and the other end to the remaining receiver’s HDMI IN port.
  4. Use your receiver’s remote to select the right input-HDMI port that you have used to establish the connection with your cable box.
  5. Power on your TV and then select the right HDMI input.

That’s all you need to enjoy your favorite movies or TV shows if the receiver is the hub.

2. Use Your TV as the Hub

If you know how to use a receiver as the hub, you’ll find this option quite straightforward. You’ll need to pay a little attention to the process of establishing the connection, but you’ll require the same cables we’ve seen above. Here are the simple steps you should follow.

  1. Use the first HDMI cable to connect your receiver and television (TV’s ARC IN to AVR’s ARC OUT).
  2. Insert one end of the remaining HDMI cable into the cable box’s HDMI OUT port. You should insert the other into the TV’s HDMI IN port.
  3. Select the right TV input and then turn on the HDMI control.

After doing that, you can enjoy your top movies and shows as much as you want.

3. Combine HDMI and Digital Optical Connection

You’re likely concerned if you have old TVs and AVRs. They often don’t support HDMI ARC. However, you can establish the connection between your home theater, TV, and cable box by combining your digital cables with your regular HDMI cables.

  1. Use one HDMI cable to connect the cable box’s HDMI OUT port to the TV’s HDMI IN port.
  2. Using your TOSLINK cable (digital optical cable), connect your TV to the receiver.
  3. Use your TV remote to select the correct HDMI input.
  4. Go to your TV’s audio settings and select the right audio output.
  5. On your AVR, select the right audio input.
  6. Power on your TV and play your favorite content.

Most modern TV brands like the popular Samsung TVs will have HDMI and optical ports. In fact, many other lesser-known brands like Hisense and TCL may have them as well. Check out our guides on Hisense vs TCL and TCL vs Samsung to learn more.

4. Use RCA

Some older TVs and cable boxes use RCA. If this is the case for you, all you need to do is match the RCA colors on the cable box and on the TV. See below.

Use RCA connect home theater to cable box

If you want more information, please check out our article on how to connect your receiver to your TV using RCA cables.


How to Hook Up Surround Sound to TV And Cable Box Without HDMI?

Many audiophiles prefer HDMI connection to others since it offers the best sound and picture. This means if your cable box has component connections, you should first consider contacting your cable company for an upgraded box.

If your company doesn’t accept the request, you can hook up your home theater to your TV and cable box using a component connection. This method allows you to get up to a 1080p (Full HD) picture.

Here are the steps you should follow to do this:

  1. Power on your receiver and your TV: After plugging your power cable into the wall outlet, press the power buttons on the TV and the receiver.
  2. Connect your Component cable to your cable box’s component out port (it’s often located on the back.)
  3. Plug the remaining end of the component cable into any component input on the surround sound receiver’s back.
  4. Hook up the second component cable to the component video output labeled for TVs. Plug the other into the TV’s component port.
  5. On the TV remote control, press the video button repeatedly till the cable box’s video signal displays on your TV.

Note: You can use a component-to-HDMI adapter if your TV doesn’t support components out of the box. You can find one on Amazon. After plugging the adapter in, you follow the same steps for hooking up surround sound to the TV and cable box HDMI to accomplish your goal.

How to Avoid Mistakes When Connecting Your Home Theater System to your TV and Cable Box?

Since most modern TVs come with at least a single HDMI ARC port, it’s quite simple to connect your TV to your receiver. However, things can sometimes get a little complicated when connecting your receiver to your home theater system. It would be best if you considered the following to avoid this risk.

The Gauge of the Wires

You’ll require HDMI cables and some speaker wires to connect the receiver to the television. Of course, the best way to connect your AV receiver to the TV set is Audio Return Channel (HDMI ARC). It sends the audio signal to the receiver. In turn, the receiver sends the signal to your speaker system.

Ensure your wire matches your home theater’s and receiver’s capabilities.

Speaker Connection

You should be sure to connect each of your speakers to the receiver separately using a speaker cable with two wires on both ends. Connect the black and red terminals on your speaker’s backside to the red and black ones on the receiver’s back.  

In this case, as long as you connect the red wire to the red terminal on one end and do the same on the other end, you’re good to go. It’s irrelevant which of these wires is positive or negative.

Other than that, you can choose different types of connectors and clips or bare wires provided they provide a more secure and reliable connection.

What Input Should TV Be on for Cable?

If you’re using a coaxial connection, the on-screen input list for your television will most likely label it as either TV or ANTENNA.

On the back of most televisions, you’ll find a label that reads ANTENNA or a similar phrase.

When connecting a coaxial cable to an analog television, the signal will need to be on channel 3 or 4.

Why Won’t My Cable Work on My TV?

If your cable isn’t working on your TV, here are some of the ways you can try to fix the problem.

  1. The first step is to turn off the power on the TV and unplug it.
  2. Pull out the HDMI cable from either the box or the TV (doesn’t matter which).
  3. Plug the TV back in and turn it back on.
  4. Finally, plug the HDMI back into HDMI 1 and make sure the TV is on the HDMI 1 input channel.

Why Does My TV Say No Input Detected?

If your TV box is not receiving a signal from your TV box, the screen of your television might display one of these messages: “No Signal,” “No Source,” or “No Input.”

This might be caused by the TV box being switched off, unplugged from the TV, or having the wrong input selected.

Therefore, you might need to check whether it’s switched on or plugged in properly.

It’s also possible that the correct input source has not been selected for viewing content on your television screen.

To view content, use the remote control of your device and select either ‘TV’ or ‘Cable.’


You can use your receiver or TV as a hub if you have a smart TV and AV receiver that supports HDMI ARC. If it lacks this capability, combine your HDMI and your Digital Optical Connection. You should also follow the other important tips we’ve seen here to connect your home theater to your TV and cable box without any issues. That’s all you need to achieve your entertainment dream fast.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin