How to Hook Up a Cable Box to a Samsung HDTV
By Robert Vaux
Updated September 28, 2017
Items you will need
A Samsung HDTV is designed to hook up to your cable or satellite box very readily. It can be intimidating, however, both because of the comparative newness of the technology and because of the number of different cable outlets involved. In truth, it's very simple to hook up the cable box to a Samsung HDTV. You just need to match the best quality cable compatible to both machines by comparing their respective cable jacks.
Examine the back of the your cable box and the back of your Samsung HDTV. Note which cable jacks are of an identical size and color. Those are the ones that can be used to connect the two devices. Samsung HDTVs cluster all the jacks in a single panel near the power cord.
Look at the square rectangular boxes labeled "HDMI In." These are for high-definition multimedia interface cables--combination A/V cables that provide the highest possible image and sound clarity. Look at the back of your cable box for an identical jack labeled "HDMI Out." If you see one, connect the two jacks using an HDMI cable. If you don't, you need to use another set of cables to hook up your cable box.
Check for a series of three round jacks labeled "Component In" and color coded in red, green and blue. These are component video jacks, which provide a good HD picture, but not as good as HDMI. If your cable box has an identical set of "Out" jacks, use them to connect the two components.
Look for a pair of red and white jacks (possibly connected to a yellow one). These are audio RCA jacks. If you're using component video cables to hook up your cable box, you will need to hook these two up as well: Component video cables don't provide sound. Any cable box that uses component video cables should also have "Out" jacks for RCA audio cables.
Find the raised circular jack with a pinhole in the center of a milky white plastic interior. This is the coaxial jack. Samsung HDTVs label them "Ant In." Every cable box should have a corresponding jack labeled "Out" or "Ant Out." If none of the other cable jacks on the cable box match, use a length of coaxial cable to connect the TV to the cable box through these two jacks. You can also use this connection to hook the TV directly to the wall cable.
Turn on your TV and cable box, and set the TV to the input jack connected to the cable box. You can do this by pushing the Menu button on the remote, scrolling down to the "Input" option and pushing "Enter." That will let you cycle through the various input options, labeled by cable type (HDMI, component video). Press "Enter" again when you reach the right component, then exit the menu. You should now be able to watch TV as normal.
Once the cable box is hooked up, don't change channels using the Samsung. Only use the cable box to switch between stations (otherwise, you'll get snow or a black screen).