How to Connect Dish Network to a Surround Sound System

By Joe Fletcher

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Receiver or television with digital output

  • Digital audio cable

The most difficult part of hooking up a surround sound system to your Dish Network is purchasing the right equipment. Since you already have a surround sound system, connecting is easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. With a few easy steps, you'll enjoy surround sound for all your favorite shows and sporting events in no time.

Check your connections. Not all Dish Network cable boxes offer the same audio outputs. You need a digital output to enjoy true surround sound. You're looking for a coaxial, optical or even an HDMI output on the cable box. Also check to make sure there is a compatible input on your home theater receiver.

Purchase the appropriate cable. You will want either a coaxial or optical cable for audio only or two HDMI cables to handle both audio and video.

Connect the digital audio output to an audio input labeled "Cable" or "TV" on your receiver with the cable you purchased. If you used HDMI, connect the HDMI from the cable box to the receiver and then from the receiver's "HDMI Out" port to the television.

Connect audio through the TV. If your cable box doesn't have a digital output, you have a few options. The quickest option would be to connect the cable box to the TV, using standard white coaxial cable from the "Cable Out" or "Out to TV" jack on the cable box. Then use the digital output on your TV, assuming there is one, to send the audio to your home theater receiver. Alternately, contact Dish Network to discuss getting a cable box equipped with a digital output. If you connect using the red and white analog outputs on the cable box, you won't get true surround sound with independent channels, but you can still use this connection for a simulated surround sound.