How to connect a Smart TV to a receiver without HDMI

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HDMI cables are not the only option for connecting audio devices to a TV, other cables are available and quite easy to install.

Connecting a smart TV to a receiver without HDMI may seem a bit difficult, but it’s very simple. HDMI has been an all-in-one audio and video solution for over 20 years. The ease of transferring audio and video content using a single cable from the TV to the receiver has made connecting devices a breeze. Simply plug the HDMI cable into the output of the TV and run the cable through the back of the receiver. The result transmits a digital video and audio signal from the TV to the receiver.

However, those who don’t have access to HDMI connections or cables will have to consider using alternatives like old fashioned audio cables. These types of cables are then fed into the input jacks of modern receivers that can accept them. Using analog or digital cables from a smart TV to a receiver gives users an alternative to HDMI. In general, there are three common solutions to choose from, and these are to use left and right RCA analog stereo cables, a single coaxial digital cable, or an optical audio cable.

Setting up a non-HDMI connection

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Provided your smart TV has RCA outputs and analog RCA stereo cables, this is probably the easiest and fastest way to connect your TV and receiver. Common RCA cables are usually white and red – the white cable is for the left channel and the red cable is for the right channel. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the colors match the output jacks of the TV behind the screen. Connect the white RCA cable to the white output and the red RCA cable to the red output. If you reverse them, the stereo signal from the Smart TV will be incorrect. Take the other end of the RCA cables and connect the white and red ends to the existing RCA input on the back of the receiver.

Before configuring the inputs on the receiver, check your TV’s menu system to make sure the sound is set to “audio output” or something similar. Access your receiver’s menu with its supplied remote control. On the front display, navigate to the receiver’s menu system and select the correct analog input. Play something on the TV to make sure the sound is now coming out of the receiver.

Alternatively, digital coaxial audio cables send a digital digital signal from the smart TV to the receiver. A digital coaxial audio cable is a single cable that makes it easy to run from the TV to the receiver’s rear input. Cable barrels are round. Connect the coaxial audio cable to the rear output jack of the smart TV and take the cable from the TV to the available input jack on the back of the receiver. Set the TV volume to “audio output” through the menu. Use your receiver’s remote control to find the coaxial audio option in the menu and select it. Audio should now play through the speakers connected to your receiver.

Finally, there is an optical audio cable and it works like a digital coaxial audio cable. Digital audio from a smart TV can be carried through an optical audio cable, and this type of cable is also commonly called TOSLINK. The ends of the cable are square. Plug the optical audio cable into the back of your smart TV and run the cable into the open optical audio input jack on the receiver. Again, select the menu option on the TV for “audio output”. Connect the optical cable to the receiver. Use the receiver’s remote control to select the correct input and play the sound of your TV to check the sound.

Connect your TV to a wireless audio source

All of the above methods are now obsolete, many modern TVs no longer offer the old ports. However, there is a way to connect TVs to an audio source, such as a soundbar, without using wires, relying on a simple Bluetooth connection. Not all TVs support this method, so users should check if their smart TV is compatible. Samsung offers a feature called SoundShare that works with its soundbars, but it also allows users to connect third-party Bluetooth speakers. The method of connecting a Bluetooth speaker varies by TV model, but usually users should go to the “Sound” menu on their TV and then select an option such as “Bluetooth Speaker”, “Bluetooth Audio” or “TV SoundConnect”.

LG TVs offer a feature called Sound Sync that allows users to connect LG TVs to LG soundbars and home theater systems. Users need to enable “LG Sound Sync Wireless” in TV settings to stream sound wirelessly. Most modern smart TVs offer Bluetooth, which allows users to connect wireless headphones, game consoles and keyboards to their TV. Not all smart TVs support audio output to Bluetooth speakers, but for those that do, wireless may be the best option.

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