How to Hook Up My Surround Sound & the Cable Box

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With cable television beginning to broadcast channels in high definition, you now have more options than ever before to get the best possible picture and sound quality for your home theater system. One of the best ways to enjoy the sound from your cable programs is to hook the audio up to a surround sound stereo. There are several ways to run the sound from your cable box through your surround sound, depending on the TV and the connections you want to use.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable box
  • Surround sound stereo
  • HD TV with an auxiliary sound output
  • RCA cables
  • Component video cables
  • HDMI cables

HDMI Connections

  1. Set up the television, cable box and stereo in locations that are close together. Usually a home theater system has all components in one easy-to-access cabinet.

  2. Plug an HDMI cable into the HDMI output on the cable box. Plug the other end into an HDMI input on your HDTV.

  3. Inspect your television auxiliary sound output and your surround sound stereo auxiliary input to determine if they both have RCA ports or HDMI ports. Connect the correct cable to the television output and the surround sound input.


  1. Place the television, stereo and cable box in the same configuration as in Section 1.

  2. Plug component cables into your video output on the cable box. Plug the other end of the cables into a component video input on your television.

  3. Plug RCA cables into the audio output ports of the cable box. Plug the other end of the RCA cables into the auxiliary inputs of the stereo. When you turn the television on, you will have to turn on the stereo to listen to the sound.

Tips & Warnings

  • The hookup in Section 1 will require you to have the television turned on and set to the cable input in order to listen to the sound through the stereo. Just lower the volume on the TV to get the full effect. The method in Section 2 will allow you to listen to the sound without having the picture on. This is great for listening to digital music channels you may receive as part of your cable package.



  • Photo Credit sound system image by Pavel Losevsky from

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