With prices of HDTV’s falling and analog TV broadcast terminating on February 17, 2009, more consumers will be looking to buy High Definition Television sets. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you need a professional to setup your HDTV. There is nothing technical about connecting an output to an input. Unless you plan on mounting your Flat Panel HDTV on your wall, you can connect the necessary cables yourself.
Before buying an HDTV there are a few things you need to consider. (1) If you are going to use over-the-air broadcast as your source for TV viewing, make sure the HDTV you purchase has a HD tuner. (2) The HDTV you purchase should have at least three HDMI connections. HDMI connectors are what carry your HD programming (video and audio). You will need one for your cable/satellite service, one for your HD DVD player (or for one that you may purchase) and one for a future HD device or a gamming counsel if you own one.
Follow these simple steps below to start setting up your HDTV and other components:
HDTV to Over-The-Air Antenna: Before turning on your TV, be sure to connect your VHF/UHF TV antenna to the Antenna Input on the back of your TV set. Turn on your television and follow the on screen instructions for Over-The-Air Broadcast. Also have you owner’s manual handy. After answering a few questions, your TV set will now start a Channel Scan to search for available over-the-air programming. If the signal for some channels is not strong enough, your HDTV will not store them as viewable channels. This completes the Over-The-Air Broadcast setup.
HDTV to Cable/Satellite Service: If you have cable or satellite service, make sure you have a HD box from your satellite or cable provider. If you don’t you will need to call them and have your old cable box changed to an HD box. For this connection you will need a HDMI cable to connect the HDMI Output of your satellite/cable box to the HDMI Input of your television. To keep things simple, use HDMI Input#1 on your television set. An HDMI cable can be purchased at any Home Entertainment Center or Radio Shack.
HDTV to DVD Player: If you have a HD DVD player, connect the HDMI output of your DVD Player to HDMI input#2 of your HDTV. If you have an old DVD player, you will need to use the RCA audio/video outputs and connect them to a set of RCA audio/video inputs on your HDTV. If your DVD player has an S-Video jack, use this as your video connection instead of the RCA video output (yellow jack). S-Video gives you a better picture.
HDTV to VCR: If you have a VCR you want to connect to your HDTV, you will need to use another set of RCA audio/video cables. To play tapes through your VCR, connect the RCA audio/video output to a set of RCA audio/video inputs on your HDTV. To record from your HDTV (over-the-air broadcast only) connect a set of RCA audio/video outputs to your VCR audio/video inputs. For Cable or Satellite service connect audio/video outputs of your cable box to audio/video inputs of your VCR.
HDTV to Gaming Counsel: If you have a gaming counsel with a HDMI output, connect it to your HDMI input#3 on your HDTV. Refer to the owner’s manual that came with your gaming counsel for alternate ways of connecting it to your television. You should have the necessary cables that came with the gaming counsel.
Miscellaneous Components: Any other devices you may have, like a video camera, just remember its audio/video out put to audio/video input of your HDTV.
The HDMI inputs on your HDTV may not be labeled as Input#1, 2, 3,..etc. They may be labeled with the actual component name, like: cable/satellite, DVD player, …etc.
Write down what devices are connect to what inputs on your HDTV. This will make selection with your remote control easier.
Refer to your HDTV owner’s manual on how to select each device connected to your HDTV.
Before buying HDMI and RCA cables check to make sure you do not have any. Most devices come with audio/video cables.