How to Connect an Older TV to Cable (5 Steps)

by Ashley Leonard
coaxial cable connection image by Michael Shake from

You want the latest cable system, but you don't want to sacrifice your old television in the process. This scenario can be frustrating. Unfortunately for consumers, the older television sets don't have the necessary inputs to include a cable box or cable system. However, there is equipment available that can allow for a cable box to connect to an older television. These types of television connectors are available at various electronic stores and are relatively easy to install.

Step 1

Purchase the RF modulator at an electronics store. The modulator is used to connect your older television to cable.

Step 2

Plug the RF modulator in a power outlet near your television. It is best to plug it near the television to allow for easy access.

Step 3

Connect your television to the RF modulator by inserting the one-prong cord that is on back of your television. Insert the cord in the slot on the modulator that reads, "To TV." On older televisions, this cord is the only cord in the back.

Step 4

Connect one end of the white one-prong cable to the cable box and the other end in the RF modulator. Connect it into the modulator in the slot the reads, "ANT IN." Usually, the cables are provided by the cable company--the technician uses them upon installation. This particular cable may run along the side of the wall to your cable box.

Turn on the cable box and the television set. Everything should be working properly. On the RF modulator, choose the channel for the television (either channel 3 or 4). The modulator turns on when you plug it in.


Photo Credits

  • coaxial cable connection image by Michael Shake from

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Ashley Leonard has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on and various other websites. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marymount Manhattan College.

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