Home Theater Connection Guide

A simple guide to show what kinds of cable and jack are available, and how they should be used.

In the last month and a half, we did quite a few AV receivers, plus there are some new ones from Onkyo and Denon. TVs have started featuring 4 HDMI slots and we have so any choices like BigTV and Tata Sky PLus that increase our list of Digital connections besides the regular PS3 and DVD player. Then there are multi-room setups, the list goes on... The AV receiver is the hub of all Home Theater systems; take one look at the back panel and you will realize the numerous possibilities of connecting and routing things to it. In this simple guide, we will outline a few explanations of the connections and names of different slots and jacks that are used in the AV receiver.

 Home Theater Connection Guide

Think of the AV receivers as the central terminus of signals, and most importantly one must realize that signals pass both ways, that is both audio and video signals can come in and out of the receiver. Sometimes the signals are decoded/amplified or sometimes they just pass through unprocessed. Both situations will be encountered, and in our AV test lab, we have a Harman Kardon AVR, which I will be referring to throughout. Please refer to pics to make things simpler.

The main connections used these days are HDMI, component video, optical, coaxial for digital audio, and of course we have old school analog connections for video and audio, in the form of single, double or triple RCA plugs.

Flatscreen TV, Projector
This one is the easiest, and generally should be done first. One point I would like to make here is that it is always recommended to connect your TV also to the AV receiver. Many people directly connect the DVD/Blu ray player to the TV, which is fine but sometimes the AV receiver’s upscaling/processing

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