How to Connect Cable Box to TV?

How to Connect Cable Box to TV

Cable boxes are relatively easy to connect to your TV. Just connect your cable TV wire on one end and your video and audio cables on your TV. Cable TV boxes have A/V connections ranging from RCA composite to HDMI depending on how old they are.

Digital cable boxes were made to facilitate your cable feed with the ease of operating a DVD or BD (Blu-Ray Disc) player.  You can use your remote or the remote for the box to change from channel to channel or upgrade your basic cable to a more advanced cable service with extra channels.

Before, people just plugged in the coaxial cable to their CRT TVs to get extra channels. Now, you can use a digital set top box for cable to connect to your HDTV.

How to Connect Cable Box to TV

You can use HDMI to connect a modern cable box to a modern HDTV (Full HD or Ultra HD 4K) since every HDTV nowadays supports the HDMI format.

Before, you had to use A/V cables from composite to S-video to component. Nowadays, it’s all HDMI or the different specifications of HDMI (HDMI 1.0, 1.3, or 2.1). Every generation of cable box was made with the current generation TV in mind.

Your cable options included coaxial cables wherein you need to switch to Channel 3 to view the channels, composite cables where you need to switch to Video1/Video2/AV1/AV2 input, and HDMI for HDMI1/HDMI2 input.

There are also component cables for Component/YrPbBr ports. Some cable boxes included options for S-video, SCART, and the like. They’re useful for older TVs in certain regions of the world.

Equipment Needed to Connect the Cable Box to the TV

The equipment required to establish a connection between your HDTV and digital cable box typically entails the use of three cables. They include the following:

  • Power cable for the cable box.
  • Video cable to connect the cable box to the TV (HDMI or AV).
  • Coaxial cable to connect the cable box to the wall outlet and cable TV feed.

The cable box might have a power adapter instead of a power cable depending on the model and your needs. Additionally, which video cable to use depends on which TV you’ve got.

Instructions on How to Connect

It can be as simple as connecting your cable box to your HDTV with an HDMI cable then putting or screwing in the cable TV wire unto it. The cable service technician should install available coaxial cables in your home to connect to the box from the ceiling or behind the walls. To wit:

  • Screw Coaxial Cable: Screw one end of the coaxial cable to your wall outlet with the cable TV wiring then screw the other end into the “Cable In” or “RF In” port at the back of the cable box.
  • Connect A/V Cables to Your TV and Cable Box: Connect the HDMI/component/composite cables both in the input ports of your cable box and the output ports of your HDTV or CRT TV. HDMI tend to be the most common HD cable while composite is the most common SD cable.
  • Connect Power Adapter to Wall Socket: Now connect the power adapter to your cable box and to the nearest electrical wall socket in order to power up the cable box device. The box could be as big as a DVD player or as small as a smartphone package.

Which Video Cable to Use

The back of your TV shows which video cable to use. It’s likely HDMI because it’s 2022 and everything’s HDTV flatscreen at this point in time. Some use component or RCA instead, but those are older TVs from a decade or two ago.

  • HDMI or Component: For high definition or HD video you’re likely to use HDMI cables. The HD cable box should connect to an HDTV in order to view channels in HD 720p, Full HD 1080p, or even Ultra HD 4K.
  • Coaxial or Composite: For standard definition or SD video that’s been the norm for what seems like half a century. If you have a CRT TV or an SD cable box, you’ll be using these cables. If you have an HD cable box connecting to a CRT, you can use these as alternative connections.
  • HDMI is not Available: If HDMI isn’t available, you can use the other cables to connect to other available ports on your TV. If other AV ports aren’t available on your HDTV, you can use a converter or adapter to converter your HDMI to a coaxial or composite SD port.

Naturally, when you convert the HD signals of your cable TV to SD, expect the signal to go down in quality, but not too much if you’re connecting SD cables to an SD CRT TV made to display SD signals.

You’re Likely to Use a Modern Cable Box Anyway

Cable service providers discourage subscribers from using outdated cable box tech in order to use with their services. Older tech might make perfect sense for older TVs, but even when it comes to older TVs, it’s preferable for you to use an AV to HDMI adapter for them instead.

Why use older obsolete cable boxes with older AV connections for your older TVs when you can go for the brand new digital cable boxes? Your service provider even makes it a point to replace the cable box every 5 years or so for free.

Some providers have multiple ports for their cable boxes so that they can work with non-HDMI or CRT TVs using analog component or RCA composite connections.

Take Note of the Serial Number

Before connecting the digital cable box to your HDTV, you should take note of the serial number found on the cable box’s rear for the sake of future reference. Write it down outright even. You’ll need the serial number to activate the cable box more often than not.

Some services require you to do this online by visiting an activation page for their website. Other boxes require you to pay for a card you install into the box signifying your subscription to the cable service. It depends on your cable service provider.


Why isn’t my TV connecting to my cable box?

Reboot the TV and the Cable Box

To do this, either use your remote or the power button on the box itself. Then, wait for a few minutes to turn it back on. After that, reboot your TV. Turn off your TV and wait for a few minutes to turn it back on as well.

How do I connect my HDMI cable to my TV?

Connect the wireless display adapter into your TV’s open HDMI port and into a power outlet. Change the input source on your TV to the appropriate HDMI input. In the settings menu of your Android, open the “wireless display” application. Select your adapter from the list of available devices.

What input should my TV be on?

HDMI, or “High-Definition Media Input,” is the go-to port for all your modern devices. HDMI ports in your TV are used for both video and audio. In addition, most computers have HDMI capabilities, so you can use an HDMI cable to hook your PC up to your TV.

What channel should TV be on for cable?

TV sets sometimes need to be tuned to channel 3 for cable viewing. To view cable television programming on channel 3 of a TV set, your cable box has to be connected to the TV set using a coaxial cable. If the connection is made using AV cables, cable television programming does not show up on channel 3.

Why does my TV say no signal when HDMI is plugged in?

The “no signal error” on a TV is due to using the wrong HDMI cable, a faulty graphics driver or a damaged HDMI port.

How do I connect my HDMI cable to my set-top box?

Use HDMI to Connect Your STB to Your HDTV

  1. First, determine if your set-top box has an HDMI connection.
  2. Locate one of the HDMI ports on your HDTV.
  3. Attach one end of the HDMI cable to your HDTV and the other to your set-top box HDMI out.
  4. Turn on your HDTV and STB.
  5. Switch the input on your TV to the HDMI port you chose.

Why does my TV say no input detected?

Overview. A “No Signal”, “No Source”, or “No Input” message will appear on your TV screen if the TV is not receiving a signal from your TV box. This is often a result of either the TV box being powered off, not being properly connected to the TV, or the TV being set to the wrong input.

What source is cable TV?

Cable television is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fibre-optic cables.

Why does my TV have no signal?

Check the cable connections between the TV and your video device or receiver. Change the channel or try a different input device or movie. The received signal may be weak. If your TV uses a cable or satellite box, you may need to contact your service provider for further assistance in improving the signal strength.

How do I know if my HDMI cable is working?

Signs and Symptoms of a Bad HDMI Cable

  1. “Shooting stars” or sparkling in the picture.
  2. Fuzzy or blurry picture.
  3. No picture or intermittent picture.
  4. No sound or intermittent sound.
  5. Weird colors in the picture.
  6. Remotes don’t work.

How do I know if my HDMI port is working?

Look at the status of your HDMI port in the dialog box. If the status reads “This device is working properly,” your HDMI port is functioning. If there is a message indicating that you need to troubleshoot your device, your HDMI port is in working condition but has a problem that is likely fixable.

How do I know if my HDMI port is working on my TV?

If you’re unsure whether or not your HDMI is faulty and causing problems with your TV, you should look out for the following common symptoms.

  1. Weird Picture display including fuzzy, blurry or sparkling picture display.
  2. No picture or intermittent picture display.
  3. No sound or intermittent sound.

How do I connect my setup box?

Enable Pairing on Your Set-top Box

  1. Press the Menu button on your remote control.
  2. Use the down arrow key to scroll to Settings, press OK.
  3. Use the down arrow key to scroll to Television.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Use the right arrow key to scroll to Second Screen Devices, press OK.
  6. Ensure that Allow Second Screen Devices is set to Yes.

Which HDMI port is best for cable box?

We recommend most people stick to the HDMI 2.0a connections that are on current TVs. For higher bandwidth and advanced features, however, you will need to make sure that your HDMI cables match the format of the ports and devices you’re using.

The Ultimate Score

The type of audio/video cables to use with your digital box depends on your TV. Nowadays, it’s most HDMI. Back in the day, it could range from Component/YrPbBr ports to standard RCA composite connections. Some even support more obscure standards like S-video or SCART.

Any A/V cables used to connect your VHS/VCR, DVD player, or Blu-Ray Disc player as well as game console (from Atari to the PlayStation 5) can be used to connect a digital box to your TV.


  1. Connecting your Digital Box to a TV“, Support, Retrieved April 15, 2022
  2. Connecting Your HDTV to Your Spectrum Receiver“,, Retrieved April 15, 2022
Author: James Core

I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right CABLE AND CONVERTER for your needs.

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