Sound quality using an HDMI cable should be an improved experience over previous cables. One cable carries both the audio and the video, doing the job of several component video and analog audio cables. Most televisions and audio/video accessories manufactured today (as of April 2011) are HDMI compatible. HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) cables are made, as the name suggests, specifically for high definition content.
Connecting an HDMI Cable
Connecting an HDMI cable is uncomplicated in relation to cables of the past. Since there is only one cable with one connector on each end, there is no guesswork. The HDMI port is clearly labeled on most devices, and even if there is not a label visible, there is only one cable with the size and shape of the HDMI connector so it is difficult to place it in the wrong slot -- unlike RCA cables, for example, which are the same size and shape for audio and video and may or may not be color coded.
Multiple HDMI Ports
Some televisions have more than one available HDMI port. When connecting a DVD player, for example, take note of which port you use on the television, such as HDMI 1 or HDMI 2, etc. and choose the correct input channel (1 or 2) when watching the DVD player; if you fail to do so, you may suffer playback problems, such as poor or missing picture, static or missing sound, or black and white when you should see color. Depending on the type of television you have there may be a button on the remote which says "source" or "tv/video." Refer to your owner's manual for instructions on selecting input channels.
Read the Manual
If you have a playback problem and have checked connections and cables and haven't found a solution, read the manual for each device. Not all devices which are HDMI compatible and have HDMI ports that transmit audio over an HDMI cable. Some receivers have HDMI pass-through which will send the audio to your set but not to externally linked speakers. And cables connected to a DVI port will only transmit video; you will still need separate audio cables.
Check the Cable
If you have correctly connected the HDMI cable and you have selected the correct input -- sometimes it helps to scroll through all of them to be sure -- and have verified in the manual that the device uses HDMI for sound, and there is no sound on your television, you could have a bad cable. Cables do go bad, and this is easy to check. Just replace the cable with a different one and see if the problem persists.
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