How to Connect Your HDTV to Your Home Entertainment System

If you have just purchased your first HDTV or you are on your second or third unit, there are steps you can take when connecting your HDTV to your home entertainment system that will help to ensure your new system will perform at its best.  Although there is more involved with today’s home entertainment systems thanks to Internet TV and new streaming devices, the time you invest to make sure everything is connected properly will provide you with hours of quality entertainment.  Here are a few suggestions on how to properly connect your HDTV to get the most out of your home entertainment system.

HD Video Cables

Many people who purchase an HDTV do not end up enjoying the unit to its fullest potential due to improper connectivity.  When your HDTV is not connected properly you may think you are watching a high definition display when actually your HDTV is not performing at its optimum capability.

If you connect an HDTV with a standard cable you will not receive the sharp high definition display despite the fact that your unit is high definition and you have purchased HD from your cable television provider.  Instead, you should make sure that you are using an HDMI cable which handles both video and audio.  You will also need one HDMI cable for each device you are connecting to your home entertainment system to ensure high definition viewing.  An HDMI cable will also be compatible with a 3D television if you ever decide to upgrade.

Connecting Your HDTV to Other Devices

If you have a high speed broadband connection you have more options in terms of the types of devices you can connect to your HDTV.  With high speed Internet that allows for streaming video it is no longer about simply connecting a DVD player or VCR.  Instead, you can obtain access to thousands of movies, TV programs, news stations, and radio by accessing Internet TV through sources such as Hulu and Netflix.

  • HDTV to PC: One of the ways you can enjoy Internet TV without having to watch programs on your computer screen is to connect your HDTV to your PC.  This allows you to watch high definition programs on the big screen with access to a countless variety of programs and entertainment.

Connecting your HDTV to your PC can easily be achieved using the HDMI cable we described earlier.  Plug the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable into the HDMI input port on your HDTV and then connect the other end into your laptop PC.  Once you have established the connection press the Input button on your remote control device to choose the PC option from the menu.

If you are using the Windows operating system it is necessary to click on Start from the main toolbar and then choose Control Panel from the menu.  Under Appearance and Personalization click on Adjust Screen Resolution and then choose the monitor that is labeled with 2.  Click on Extend the desktop onto this monitor and then choose Apply and click OK.

At this point you should be able to see the desktop of your PC appear on the screen of your HDTV.  Make sure the sound on your PC is turned on as well as the sound on your television.  Then all you have to do is open your browser to connect to the Internet and logon to an Internet TV resource such as Netflix or Hulu and browse for television programs you want to view.

  • HDTV to Blu-ray Player:  A Blu-ray player is a device that allows you to watch DVDs in high definition. Blu-ray players provide a higher quality viewing experience than your standard DVD player.  In order to connect your HDTV to a Blu-ray player you must use an HDMI cable in order to achieve high definition quality.

 Plug one end of the HDMI cable into your HDTV and then connect the opposite end into the HDMI port on your Blu-ray player.  Once the HDMI cable is connected on both devices press the Input button on your television remote and choose HDMI. Insert a Blu-ray disk and power up the Blu-ray player and then follow the menu instructions which appear on your HDTV screen.

  •  HDTV to Xbox:  If you want to add a high definition gaming system to your home entertainment system you can connect your HDTV to an Xbox.  This is accomplished by using an HDMI cable to ensure high definition viewing.  Sometimes Xbox only includes a standard component cable which will not provide HD so you may be required to purchase a separate HDMI cable that is designed for use with Xbox.

Plug one end of the HDMI cable into your HDTV with the power activated on your television.  Make sure the power is off on your Xbox device and then plug the other end of the HDTV cable into your Xbox.  Press the Input button on your television remote and then activate the power on the Xbox device.  Choose System Settings from the menu that appears on your HDTV screen and then set the options that correlate with your HDTV.

As you can see, the basic fundamentals of connecting your HDTV to a home entertainment system are similar for each device.  However, it is a good idea to also check the user manual for each device since the setup for different makes and models of devices can vary.

Also, you may have to adjust the display settings on your HDTV to get the most out of your high definition viewing experience.  Chances are your HDTV will be configured with default settings which are usually pretty decent but, depending upon the device you are using with your home entertainment system and the lighting in the room, you can adjust these settings to enhance the quality of the display.

The newer HDTV units are being built similar to a large PC monitor and have Internet capability built into the unit.  This allows you to connect your HDTV directly to your Internet connection in your home.  Internet-enabled TVs allow you to save money on your cable bill and provide you with access to a wide range of movies, TV shows, and even videos on YouTube.  As a result of the release of newer HDTVs, many people are opting to eliminate their cable TV service in exchange for a broader range of entertainment from the Internet and at a much lower cost.

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