Not sure how to set up your new HD or UHD (also known as 4K) TV and home theater system to ensure optimal picture quality? Here are a few things to consider:
Your picture quality is limited by your signal source. If you’re not currently subscribed to HD/UHD cable or satellite service -- or if there aren’t any over-the-air HD broadcasts in your area -- then you may not be taking advantage of everything your HD/UHD TV has to offer.
When viewing content from another source (ex: Blu-ray player, video game console, or even a streaming device), your picture quality is limited by the type of cable you use. Different cable types support different maximum resolutions and not every TV accepts every type of cable.
Here are some of the most common cables you may use with your home theater system and their unique characteristics:
HDMI cables are the best option for high-definition signals, HDMI is the only type of cable that’s capable of delivering 3D and 4K content and is excellent at delivering high motion rates. HDMI cables can also help you minimize the clutter behind your home theater system since they do not require a separate, dedicated audio cable.
Digital optical audio cables are compatible to use with standard and high definition sources. Often times these types are cables are also called fiber optic cables. These cables are a great option if you are looking to connect a soundbar or source that needs to carry sound to your HDTV. This cable looks a little different than other cables due to the precision-made connector ends that ensure an ideal fit.
Coaxial cables are a basic type of connection that carries both video and audio signals. While they support both standard and high-definition video, they’re primarily intended to bring signals into your home from an outside source (cable, satellite, or antenna).
Composite cables are another type of basic connection that supports standard-definition video signals. These cables are typically colored yellow and can support video signals up to 480i. A separate cable (typically colored red and white) is required for audio.Normally you will find this type of a connection on a VCR, or an older style DVD player. Please know, most UHD TVs do not have a port for S-Video cables.
Like composite video cables, S-Video can support a maximum resolution of 480i. They’re often reported to provide a better picture than composite cables, but they aren’t capable of delivering a high-definition experience. Please know, most UHD TVs do not have a port for S-Video cables.
Component cables are an option for delivering high definition video signals up to 1080p. They’re typically color-coded green, blue, and red, and are compatible with a wide range of devices (including many older DVD players and set-top boxes). As with composite connections, a separate cable is required for audio. Additionally, not all HDTVs are able to accept 1080p signals through their component inputs – some are limited to 720p.