This how-to guide should help you navigate the waters of TV technology.
Pretty much everything you want to connect to a TV these days uses the same connection: HDMI.
HDMI cables carry high-resolution images and sound over one small cable. If you bought your TV at a store, perhaps you were pushed into buying expensive HDMI cables to go with your TV.
Expensive HDMI cables offer no benefit to the average consumer. If you paid more than $1 per foot for your HDMI cables, you should consider returning them. If you bought HDMI cables in the last few years, chances are they’ll still work. If not, .
Pretty much all video sources, from game consoles to?Blu-ray players to media streamers, use HDMI cables. If you have older gear, like a DVD player, a Nintendo Wii or a VHS deck there are some older cables you need to consider. But since many newer TVs can’t connect to those older devices at all, so we’re not covering them here. If your gear has HDMI, use that instead, it’s better and easier.
If you’re got a new , you , despite what the salesperson might have told you. It is important to understand that it is not about theand ?cables themselves, but the connection (i.e. in your TV or ). The latest version of the connection is , but you don’t need to worry about that for now.?
If you’re getting a or , you still probably don’t need new cables. The exception is if you want to run them at 4K120, . In that case it’s worth learning about , which don’t cost that much more than noncertified cables.
If you bought a 4K or regular Blu-ray player to go with your new TV, it will probably autodetect what your TV wants (1080p or 2160p) and send it whichever is appropriate. The same is true for a newer streaming box or game console. For older devices, or a cable or satellite box, make sure that it’s set for 16:9 video and set to output HD.
Just because the cable box is capable of HD . You need to pay your provider for HD channels (unless they’re included in your current package), and you sometimes need to tune to the specific HD channels. For example, with my provider, channel 2 is SD, whereas channel 1002 is HD. This is also true for Netflix and other streaming services. For example, with Netflix you can only get 4K if you’re paying for the most expensive streaming tier.
You can also?, and .
If you’re trying to get sound from your TV to your soundbar or receiver, . This has to do with , which is easily the most common question topic I get about modern TVs and home theater setups. Regardless, if you bought a 4K TV, ?anyway.?
If you’re looking to connect your 4K TV to a computer, . You can also .
Once you have everything plugged in, take a moment to check your TV’s settings. Most modern TVs will ask upon initial startup if the TV is being used in a home or a store. Pick the one most appropriate to your environment (hopefully “home”; I’m not sure why you’d be living in a Best Buy).
After you run through the TV’s setup routine, you’ll want to choose thefor everyday viewing. Even if you don’t want to adjust anything else, selecting the right picture mode will go a long way in getting your TV to look its best. The CliffsNotes version? The TV will be its most accurate (in other words, most realistic) in its Movie or Cinema picture mode. It will appear brighter in its Sports or Vivid mode.
If you’re into finer adjustments, you can dive into the?. The Backlight and Contrast controls usually adjust how bright the image appears, while Brightness controls how dark the dark parts of the image look. Turning down your TV’s Sharpness control actually?. A similar simple fix is to . Yep, your TV might be cropping off the edges!
If you want to dive even deeper, check out our articles onand by using a?. And if you want to get every possible ounce of performance out of your higher-end TV, consider having it .
TVs are also susceptible to reflections so if you’re having an issue with light washing out the picture, check out . Lastly, if you’re putting your TV on a stand, check out .
Your new TV probably has even more settings and adjustments we don’t cover here, but this should get you started. And if you’re looking for something to watch, check out . Enjoy!