How to Connect Cable TV to a Surround Sound System

by James Clark
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Cable TV signals include multi-channel audio when the programs are recorded in surround sound. To take advantage of this listening experience, you'll need to connect your cable box to a surround sound receiver using either HDMI, digital optical or coaxial cables. High-definition cable boxes typically include all three connection types, so choosing the right cable may come down to matching the available ports on your surround sound receiver. The actual connections take only seconds.

Step 1

Shut off the power to the cable box and the surround sound receiver to prevent a sudden signal surge from potentially damaging the receiver.

Step 2

Line up the shape of the plug on the audio cable with the matching jack on the cable box and push the plug straight in.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the cable to the labeled input on the back of the surround-sound receiver.

Connect a video cable from the output on the cable TV box if you did not use HDMI. Insert the plug at the other end of the video cable into the corresponding jack on the TV.


  • HDMI is a convenient connection because it offers the highest quality digital picture and sound in a single cable. Using digital coaxial or optical for surround sound also requires a separate video cable.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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