How to Connect a Digital Cable Box to a Digital Receiver

by James Clark
modern tv 403 image by chrisharvey from

Digital cable brings the best available picture and sound into the living room. Most digital programming services are now transmitted in high definition, so HDTVs can take full advantage of the sharper image resolution and digital Surround Sound audio. The industry standard for connecting digital components, including a cable box and home theater receiver, is a High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) cable.The cable has six-sided plugs on both ends with 19 steel pins for transmitting high-definition video and digital audio.

Step 1

Locate the HDMI OUT jack on the back of the cable box. The jack has six sides and 19 holes arranged in three rows.

Step 2

Insert the plug on one end of an HDMI cable straight into the jack on the receiver box with the wider edge turned upright. The plug inserts only one way; don't force it in the jack.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the cable to one of the HDMI IN jacks on the digital receiver. Some receivers have as many as four HDMI jacks ordered numerically, so note which jack is used for this connection.

Step 4

Connect a second HDMI cable to the HDMI OUT jack on the receiver, and plug the other end into the HDMI IN jack on the back of the television.

Step 5

Turn on the cable box, the receiver and the television, and set the receiver selector to the HDMI input connecting to the cable box.

Press the INPUT button on the TV remote control until the digital cable box image appears on the screen.


  • Disconnect the cable box, receiver and TV from the electricity until all cables are attached.


  • Connect a Surround Sound speaker package to the receiver to enjoy the multi-channel audio that HDMI delivers. Most televisions are equipped with a pair of built-in stereo speakers, but digital cable is capable of producing up to eight channels of audio. To hear this sound, additional speakers must be connected to the receiver. The jacks for the different speakers will be labeled front left; right and center; rear left; right (for 5.1 audio systems); and side left and right (on 7.1 Surround Sound receivers), and a subwoofer OUT jack.


Photo Credits

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.

More Articles