How To Connect A TV To A Receiver Without HDMI

Norvan Martin

Often, the easiest way to connect your digital TV to a receiver is by using an HDMI cable. However, some TVs and receivers do not have an HDMI jack. In some cases, the HDMI port may stop working on your receiver. What then can you do in such a situation? Read on to find out how to connect a TV to a receiver without HDMI. 

To connect a TV to a receiver without HDMI, you can use an RCA cable, a 5-cable component RCA video cable, a composite video cable or an HDMI converter.

Before we continue, please note that you can connect your TV to external speakers without a receiver. Check out this guide on how to do that.

HDMI is a modern digital connection type that makes it easy to connect your TV to a receiver. 

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where your TV or receiver, or worse, even both devices, do not have an HDMI jack. In this case, you must find an alternative solution to enjoy the videos playing on your receiver. 

There are four possible solutions that you can use just in case you find yourself in this crisis. You either use a single Digital Coaxial Audio cable, an optical audio cable, or analog RCA stereo cables. Likewise, you can use an HDMI converter. These are some of the methods we list in our article on how to connect an Onkyo receiver to a Samsung smart TV for example.

1. Using A Digital Coaxial Audio Cable

The single digital coaxial audio cables work by sending digitized digital signals from the TV to a receiver. This cable runs from the TV through to the back of the receiver. 

How To Connect Digital Coaxial Cable

Once you have the Digital Coaxial cable, insert its end on the barrels at the back of your TV. Ensure it is on the right output jack, then on your receiver, and then plug the other end in the input on the receiver.

From your TV, set the output to be ‘audio out’ and then select the coaxial audio from the receiver. Once you are done, audio will play from your speakers already hooked to the receiver.

2. Using an Optical Audio Cable

Optical audio cables are cables that carry audio from your TV to the receiver. It is also known as TOSLINK and always has a square end. 

How To Connect Your TV To A Receiver Using An Optical Audio Cable

First, you will have to plug the optical audio cable into your TV by inserting it at the rear jack. Once you are done, run it to your receiver and plug in the optical audio cable input jack. 

connect tv to receiver using optical cable

On your receiver, select this cable. While on your TV, set it as audio out, and on the receiver, it’s audio in. Now listen to your audio from the speakers. 

3. Using RCA Stereo Cables

Another way of connecting your TV to the receiver without HDMI is by using RCA cables. These cables are of various types, as discussed below.

Before we get to that, however, check out our article on how to connect your receiver to your TV using RCA cables

connect tv to receiver using rca cable

RCA cables, named after Radio Corporation of America, are used to transmit audio and video between the TV and a receiver. 

To learn more, check out our article on how to hook up a RCA surround sound to a HDMI TV.

Types Of RCA Cables and How To Connect Your TV To A Receiver Using An RCA Cable

The RCA cables were in use long before HDMI cables came around. They include RCA audio cables, component video cables, and composite video cables. 

· RCA Audio Cable

RCA audio cable consists of red cable and white cable, and its main work is to transmit audio from the TV to the receiver. 

·  Component Video Cables

Another set of RCA cables is a component video cable that consists of multiple channels of connectors for transmitting video. The component video cable consists of three cables, i.e., green, blue, and red.

· Composite video cables

The composite video cable is a type of RCA that consists of red, white, and yellow cables where red and yellow cables are meant for audio while yellow is for video. This type is the most common one. 

When purchasing your cables, you can either choose to buy a component video cable with three cables or buy one with five RCA cables.

If needed, you can also convert RCA to HDMI. Check this guide.

4. Using An HDMI Converter

This is another way of connecting your TV that lacks an HDMI jack and your receiver that does not allow an HDMI connection. For this to work, you need an HDMI converter from which you will connect your HDMI cable on one side and RCA to RCA cable on the other side.

The HDMI converter turns the digitalized signals into analog signals. Always ensure you use the right cables for you to avoid signal failures. 


How Do I Convert HDMI To RCA?

To make this process seamless, you will need an HDMI2AV converter. This device is small and simple to set up. It has an HDMI input on one end and an RCA output on the other.

When connecting your RCA cable at the output, make sure the yellow composite video cable, the white, and the red go to their matching color ports.

However, when you do this, some of the video properties may be lost, for instance, some of the video resolutions are lost, and you will not get high-definition video, and you will not be able to get surround sound.

Set the TV to the correct input using the TV remote or buttons. Because you have converted the input to RCA, set the TV to RCA mode. 

How To Connect TV To Receiver Without HDMI?

Now that we have seen some ways to connect your TV set and the receiver without HDMI, always ensure the cables needed are all in place, especially if you are going for RCA cables. 

Alternatively, if you choose to go for an HDMI converter, have the cables and follow the steps below. 

  1. Switch on your TV set and your receiver. This should be your first step in this process. 
  2. Secondly, plug the cable (s) and converters in their right barrels. These inputs have labels such as ‘audio’ or ‘video’ to easily guide you; please take keen note of this. Also, the cables have colors that ought to guide you. Ensure the color of the cable matches the color of the input. 
  3. At this stage, you need to change the TV speaker to an external speaker already connected. To do this process, go to settings, then the sound section on your TV, then change the speakers to external. 
  4. The last step for you is to check if the connection is made correctly. Once you are successful, add volume and listen to the sound. 

If there is no sound, then there is a mistake somewhere in your connection. Recheck for that and troubleshoot by making the necessary adjustments. If you can hear a sound, then the connection is successful. 

This is a process that looks easy and fit for DIY. Therefore, you should not panic if you have a digital television set that cannot connect to an old receiver without HDMI. 

What If I Have A Fire TV Cube?

If you have a Fire TV Cube, you can easily connect it to your Fire TV and even connect it to a receiver. To learn more, check out our article on how to connect a Fire TV Cube to a AV receiver.

How Do You Hook Up An Old Receiver To A New TV?

Since you are using a new TV that is HDMI-enabled, connect the cable box directory to the TV with an HDMI cable. Now connect audio out (if available) from the cable box to the audio in of the receiver.

If your cable box does not have audio out, use analog audio out from your TV instead to connect to the old receiver.

How Do I Connect the TV To the Receiver Directly?

To connect your TV to the receiver directly, connect a Coaxial Digital Cable, Optical Digital Cable, or Audio cable to the Audio Output jack on your TV.

Then, connect the other end of the cable to the corresponding jacks on the A/V receiver.

Check to ensure you have put the cables correctly. The audio input on your receiver may be labeled TV INPUT.

What If I Don’t Have Any Cables?

What if you don’t have any cables including HDMI, RCA or so on? In that case, you can connect your TV directly to your speakers without a receiver using various methods such as a wireless connection, powered speakers, and so on. 

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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