Setting up an HDMI System

Connecting HDMI equipment is easy. The number of cables you’ll need, as well as their type and length, will be determined by the complexity of your home theater system and the distance between the components. Here are a few common configurations:

Basic Home Theater—Connect Directly to Your TV

The simplest way to configure your home theater is to plug all your devices directly into the TV, as shown here:

To switch from one HDMI source to another (for instance, from your cable box to the Blu-ray player) simply use the TV’s remote control.

If you have more source devices than available input ports on your TV or if you need flexibility to add and remove mobile devices quickly, you can purchase a stand-alone HDMI switch.

Home Theater with AV Receiver

In systems that include an AV receiver, source devices are typically routed through the AV receiver to the TV, as shown here:

In this type of system, switching between HDMI source devices is controlled by the AV receiver’s input selector controls.

TIP: If your TV has a port labeled “ARC,” it supports the Audio Return Channel. This can be used to route audio from your TV to an HDMI-enabled sound bar or other audio gear.

Selecting the Right Cable

First of all, measure where you want to run your cable to make sure you get the right length. Then choose the right cable type for your needs. There are several HDMI cable types to choose from to meet your requirements. The cable type descriptions can be found here: Finding the Right Cable.

Longer Cable Runs

In complex home theater set-ups or commercial applications, components can be placed relatively far from each other. There are several solutions and technologies available for these installations which may include various types of active cables and extender transmit/receive devices. Make sure the solution supports the requirements for your installation.

Tips from the Pros

  • Make sure you are buying genuine HDMI products from Licensed Adopters or HDMI Associates.
        If you have any doubts, contact HDMI.
  • HDMI ports on your equipment are always "female,"
  • The connector plugs on the cables are always "male."
  • If you need to run cable through walls, ceilings, or floors, a 7/8" drill hole will accommodate most HDMI connectors.
  • Don’t staple directly to walls or studs; use cable cleats instead.
  • As with any electronics cable, don’t tug or manhandle the cable, or twist the connectors.