How To Connect Speakers To TV Successfully
The built-in speakers of television are simply not enough to give you a great TV or movie experience. Most of the time, the dialogues are unclear, and the dramatic sounds are not convincing enough.
For this reason, you should use external speakers or sound system. This article aims to teach you how to connect speakers to TV using different methods.
First, you should decide what kind of speakers you will use. You can have simple computer speakers, a home theater or stereo system, or a soundbar. After choosing your speakers, find out what kind of connection it uses.
Read this guide to help you how to connect them to the TV.
Common Types Of Connection
Connection depends on the kind of speakers and TV you have. Some devices offer different connection options, while others may only give you one option. Here are the different types of connections between TV and other components.
Nowadays, this is the go-to connection for high-definition AV transmission because it is convenient. Most televisions today have at least 3 HDMI inputs. You can also find them in many home theater receivers.
- It's a single cable that transmits very clear digital video and audio. Rather than having multiple cables for different functions, you get one that does it all.
- HDMI is the most convenient and widely available. It’s a common choice because it is used in game consoles, blu-ray players and other AV receivers.
- High-quality performance
- Unlike old cables, HDMI transmits uncompressed audio and video data. It accommodates high-resolution videos and audiopile-pleasing sound.
Component Video Inputs
This was what older generation televisions use, but you can still find at least one set in newer televisions. It's only for videos and it receives RCA connectors. Some cable boxes, DVD players, and other components still use these inputs.
Composite Video Inputs
This input receives yellow RCA connectors, and it’s even older than the component video inputs. It sends video signals from DVD players, older Blu-ray disc players, cable boxes and other home theater receivers. Though they are old, you may still be able to find them in some new devices.
Optical Digital Audio
This cabling system uses fiber optic cables and laser light to send digital audio signals between devices. It's one of the many options you can connect your speakers to your TV. This connection only carries audio data, so you will need a separate connection for video, like component or composite cables.
People usually use an optical audio connection when an HDMI port isn't available on their components. The HDMI is popular because it offers all-in-one features and doesn’t need more cables.
Another older way to get a signal into television is with an RF connection. It has a small hole where you can plug in coaxial cable. You can still use it to connect antennas to get free over-the-air TV.
This allows you to connect a USB storage device so you can play music, show photos or videos, and watch movies. However, make sure that the file you want to play on the TV is compatible.
Connecting speakers can be as easy as plugging the jack into the input. The input can come in different sizes but the most common one is a 3.5mm jack.
5-Way Binding Post
This is a terminal for wire found on speakers, amplifiers, and receivers. They can accept bare wire, pin connectors, spade connectors, banana plugs and dual-banana plugs.
AV Cables And Connectors
These are sometimes called phono connectors and they carry audio and visual signals. Most of the time, they are red and white, but sometimes it's also red and black. You can use them to connect VCRs or DVD players to a TV or stereo receivers.
They come in pairs and two connectors on both ends of the cable. The red one is for the right stereo and the white or black one is for the left stereo.
75-Ohm Coaxial Cable
Some cable boxes, modems, and satellite receivers use this because it allows for a high-speed data and AV signal transmission.
Optical Digital Cable / Optical Audio Cable
This is the cable you use for optical audio connections. It uses light energy to transmit audio signals from one device to another.
Another common type of audio cable is the speaker wire which comes with or without a connector. It also comes in different thickness, from 12 gauge to 18 gauge.
As a general rule, the longer the wire run, the thicker the gauge should be. Anything over 50-60 feet should have a 12 gauge wire.
SPEAKER WIRE CONNECTOR TIPS
For easier connection, add speaker wire connectors at the end of the wire. They also make plugging and unplugging easier than just a bare wire. The three main kinds of speaker wire connectors are:
A pin connector is angled and straight at the end of the wire. They work best with five-way binding posts.
Spade lugs are U-shaped connectors that go around the plastic nut. To use it, just slide the open end over the post and hook around the binding post.
Banana plugs are much like a pin connector, but they are fat in the middle. This "fat" part gives a tighter and more secure fit to the binding post.
Connecting Computer Speakers To TV
It may not be the ultimate sound system but it’s still a lot better than the TV’s built-in speakers. It gives more volume and clarity to the audios.
Nowadays, most TVs have a headphone jack that matches your computer speakers. You can simply plug it in and connect the speakers into an AC adaptor outlet. Turn it on and you’ve got yourself an upgrade to your TV's speakers.
Connecting Soundbar To TV
A soundbar is another way that you can improve your audio-visual experience at home. What it is is in the name itself basically, a bar or box that gives off a sound. They are external speakers you can connect to your TV to improve the audio.
With the right type of soundbar, you can get rich sound, much like what a full sound system can give. One of the good things about it is that it doesn't take so much space and it doesn't need a lot of wiring.
There are four possible ways you can connect a soundbar to your television. They are RCA cable connection, headphone jack, audio return channel, or optical audio connection. The method you choose, of course, depends on the TV and soundbar you use. Many devices may have the different options available.
First, plug the RCA cable into the soundbar; white end of the cable should go into the white port and red end to the red port. Second, on the back of the television, locate the red and white audio input. Match and plug the RCA cable accordingly.
For this method, you will need a cable that has a red and white RCA on one end, and a headphone/stereo jack on the other. One advantage of this method is that you may be able to control the soundbar volume with the TV remote.
- Plug in the red and white RCA on the soundbar accordingly.
- Locate the headphone jack on the TV, then plug in the other end of the cable.
Optical Audio Connection
First, check if this option is available on your soundbar and TV. If it is, then you can proceed with plugging one end of the cable in the soundbar, and the other end on the TV.
Audio Return Channel
ARC (Audio Return Channel) uses HDMI cables and ports. It allows you to send audio from the TV to the soundbar. It's available in many of today's TVs and soundbars and it removes the hassle of many wires.
To connect with ARC, first, plug the HDMI cable into the ARC port of the soundbar. Then, plug the other end into the TV where it says ARC, HDMI 1 or 2, depending on the manufacturer.
Connecting Home Theater Or Stereo Systems To TV
The first thing you want to do is check your TV’s input and output ports. Input jacks receive signals, while output jacks send signals from your TV to the sound system. With today’s newer televisions and sound systems, you may have these connection options: HDMI, RCA, and optical audio.
If it’s necessary, connect all the speakers to each other and the control system first. Make sure the cables are in their right places. Then, decide which method you’d like to use to connect it to the TV.
For RCA connections, plug the red and white ends into the home theater system and the other ends to the TV. With HDMI, simply plug the cables in the places. For optical digital audio, connect it accordingly from the sound system component to the TV.
After you set up your speakers to the TV, check if everything is working right. If there are many cables involved, don't be discouraged if you don't get it right the first time.
If Nothing Turns On
- Check the power connections. If it’s plugged into a surge protector, check if it is connected into the wall socket and if the switch is on.
No TV Reception
- Is your antenna, cable box, or satellite box properly connected to the TV?
- Is it on the right port?
- If you are using a coaxial cable, make sure you secure it properly.
Poor Quality Photos
- This could be a result of an improper cable connection or a bad cable. Try using another cable to see if the quality improves. If so, then the problem may have been the cable.
HDMI Connection Isn't Working
Let's say you have a DVD player, game console, or another component connected via HDMI, but it's not working.
- Are the components on?
- Check for faulty cables that may be causing this problem.
- Make sure the HDMI connections are secure.
The Audio Doesn't Sound Right.
- Check the connection between the speakers and make sure they are correct and secure.
- Since there are so many ports, it's easy to accidentally plug a cable in the wrong place. Read the labels and match accordingly.
- Make sure the power source is on and that the components are plugged properly.
Additional Tips For Connecting Speakers Or Sound System To TV
Setting up your TV and external audio source can be overwhelming especially if you have no idea about all the cables, inputs and outputs.
However, it's not all that difficult, especially because manufacturers have already simplified a lot of it for the buyers. For instance, they have come up with HDMI connections which eliminate a lot of cables and complicated connections.
When you set up your TV and AV system, familiarize yourself with the components by reading the manual. There should be instructions and guidelines in the manual.
If, after troubleshooting, you are still seeing or hearing some problems, then there may be a defect in one of your components. To be sure, then you might have to call for help for support.
Connecting speakers to your TV isn’t that difficult. There are labels and instructions in the manual, and it’s mostly a matter of matching one end to another. It gets frustrating when there are many cables involved.
There are different ways to connect speakers to a TV and it depends on the components involved. Common connections use HDMI, optical digital, and RCA connection.
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