Setting Up Your New HDTV

December 25th, 2006 · 100 Comments · LCD Flat Panel, Microdisplay Rear Projection, Plasma

If Santa delivered a new HDTV to your home today, use this list to help get your HDTV up, running and looking good. Please read the owner’s manual before proceeding.

1) Get it ready

If it is flat, (LCD or Plasma) the HDTV may need attachment to its table stand (if you are not wall mounting it.). This requires two or more people. Remember, NEVER LAY A FLAT TV ON ITS FACE OR BACK. HOLD IT UP (vertical) BY HAVING IT SUPPORTED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BEZEL THAT SURROUNDS THE SCREEN. TO KEEP THE SET VERTICAL HAVE SOMEONE HOLD IT UP TO KEEP IT FROM FALLING OVER UNTIL IT IS PROPERLY ATTACHED TO THE TABLE STAND. NEVER PLACE ANY PRESSURE ON THE SCREEN (SUCH AS YOU PALM) DON’T TOUCH THE SCREEN. IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH PRESSURE TO CRACK IT! If the screen cracks, the HDTV is destroyed. Always lift by it by the bottom of the outside of the bezel, you may also steady it by grabbing the edges and sides of the bezel.

2) Make sure your new HDTV is functional.

This will save you a lot of aggravation. As soon as it is unpacked and supported (such as assembling the table stand and attaching the panel properly by consulting the owner’s manual), connect the power cord to wall AC and power it up. Put the batteries in the TV remote and hit the menu button. If you get an on-screen menu of any kind the HDTV is functional. If it stays black, it is probably dead. After verifying the on-screen menu, proceed to connect the TV to your signal sources.

3) To see HDTV programs you will need one of the following depending on the related service.

A) For over-the-air reception, you need a TV antenna connected to the HDTV via the HDTV’s F type connector. If there is no F type connector on the back of the set you received an HDTV monitor, meaning there is no built-in digital tuner. You will need purchase a free standing HDTV tuner box to get the free over the air channels if it’s a tunerless HD monitor.

B) For HD Cable You will need either a HD cable box, a CableCARD (if your new HDTV has a slot know as a DCR or digital cable ready TV and you have receive the card from your cable provider) or you may connect the cable directed to the TV’s F connector to receive the unencrypted HDTV cable channels (generally the broadcast network stations) provided your new HDTV has an unencrypted QAM tuner built-in (most digital tuner sets do, you need to check the owner’s manual for inclusion and instructions to scan in the channels once connected)

C) For HD satellite reception you will need an HD satellite box and the appropriate dish already installed (check with your satellite provider for more information)

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4) To see HDTV with a HD satellite box or HD cable box you must use the component video connection (YPrPb) or HDMI or DVI connection. Oh no, you don’t have either one of these cables. Here is a tip to get you up and running till you get one. Temporarily use an audio/video cable you may have laying around (it came with your VCR, DVD player or other video component). This cable is the one that has three RCA type connectors, a yellow one, a red one and a white one at each end. Connect the yellow one to the Y output jack on the source box and the other end to the HDTVs component video Y input. Then connect the red one to the Pr output jack on the source box and the Pr input on the HDTV and finally connect the white one to the Pb jack on the HDTV and source box. Make sure all three are on the same numbered input on the HDTV (i.e. input 6 see owners manual for identification of the component video input on the HDTV) With the same numbered input selected on the HDTVs video input via the “input” button on the remote control, you will be able to see an HDTV image once you tune to an HD channel (the how to is in the owner’s manual). Not sure which channels are in HD? Use channel up on the remote, till you see a widescreen HD image (tip- make sure the HDTV’s aspect ratio you selected is the“FULL” mode and the source box is in its 1080i output mode) You will need an audio cable too, in order transfer the audio from the source box to the display (unless you are using an HDMI cable and connection).

5) Once you have your HD image on the screen, change the user picture controls. Get the set out of “Vivid” and into standard, movie or cinema (depending on the set) if you don’tt have an input named “movie” the HDTV will have one of the others and either one will produce a more accurate image. Next, turn down the contrast control to 50% or less. (I have written about setting the controls in more detail, see the archive button). Adjust the brightness control low enough to get the deepest black possible but do not bring it any lower, for it will bury the dark detail. This will require some experimentation by raising and lowering the control to you reach the ideal level. Adjust the color and tint control to produce the most natural, accurate skin tones.

6) Sit back and enjoy the HDTV experience. Have a Happy Holiday.

Copyright 2006 HD Guru (sm) All rights reserved


100 Comments so far ↓

  • George

    I have an Element 39″ Full HD Digital LCD TV. I tried the quick check method described. I have nothing attached to the tv other than the power. I turned in on and the Power led went from red to blue. The screen has a blue haze to it. But, no menu! After a few minutes the power goes off.

  • Elaineq

    I have bought a Philips 26″ commercial flat TV LCD HDTV
    When hooking up ps3 or wii, we get only a black & white picture?
    When we pull up menu, we cannot move up or down?

  • Elaineq

    Bought a Philips commercial flat TV LCD HDTV monitor 26″.
    We are hooking up the ps3 and wii, we can get a picture but it is in black & white. What are we doing wrong?
    Also, we can bring up the menu, but it won’t let us move up and down in it?

  • Anita Gleeson

    We have a new samsung series 7 and have connected it to DVD recorder. When playback occurs of recording it is not in sync. Any idea how to fix this. Seemed to have tried everything so far . Thank you. Greetings from Australia .rtedhome 1869

  • hit

    where is hdmi port in panasonic viera th-l32c8dx

  • Shawn

    I just got a Samsung 55″ HD TV and I am not happy with it. The picture looks like tape not film, as if it was recorded using a camcorder. Right now we do not have it set up for HD with no HD cable box or any input for HD. When we do, will even standard def look right or is SD always going to be screwed up?

  • Andy

    I have new Sony 40EX401 LCD HD 1080P TV and Dish network. I have problem with my dish remote. It works during day but at night it will not change channels using the Dish Network Remote. (IR).
    This started with change of TV.
    Second problem is that I have the TV connected by an HDMI cable to Direct TV box and Tv has no sound on certain channels, always with non-HD ch.
    Any suggestions please?

  • luciano

    i have a viera lcd with 2 hdmi ports that i use for my direct tv hd and the home teatre. How can i hook up my new ps3 via hdmi if i dont have any ports left?

  • V. Mehta

    My inquiry is similar to Girish Maheta’s. I have bought the same TV, and I am struggling to find any information on it. I would like all of the questions Mr. Maheta posed to be answered because my needs are very similar to his. Thank you.

    Sorry, I have no information on HDTV models sold in India. May I suggest you contact Panasonic India customer service there.

    HD Guru

  • Girish Maheta

    I have recently purchased 32” Panasonic TH-L32C8DX LCD. It has a resolution of 1328x 768. On front “HD” written. It has 5 input- 1 coaxial connector for Cable, 1 AV1 with 3 RC (1 Video & 2 Audio), 1 AV2 with 3 RC (1 Video & 2 Audio) and component video connection (YPrPb) and 15 pin connector for PC.
    I connected Tatasky box with coaxial cable to TV and with 1 RC pin (video) to AV1 of TV. I have Philips home theatre with DVD player (with USB port) which connected to TV with component video connection (YPrPb) to AV2 of TV. DVD player also has one HDMI connector. Tatasky box’s audio out (2 RC) is connected with DVD player’s audio in (2 RC) for sound.
    Now I want guidance for
    1. Is all connections are OK?
    2. In TV I am not able to change display setting to HD, it shows SD and not high lighted to change.
    3. I downloaded some 1080p and 720p video files on USB but I can’t understand whether it plays true HD or not?
    4. There is no information available on net even official website of Panasonic for the Panasonic model TH-L32C8DX; I only can see the information about TH-L32C8D or TH-L32C8. Why it is so?
    Pl. help me.
    Girish Maheta

  • Matt

    I recently bought a 32″ sony bravia. i use it mostly for my xbox 360 and i cant seem to get it just right. The coclors seem kinda washy and the black leaves streaks sometimes. Am i being to picky or is there a way to fix this?

  • tori

    Hello there,
    I just purchased a 42″ Panasonic Viera G10 and am trying to get my Xbox 360 to run on it. I have it all connected up right and set to HDTV but I can only hear the sound when I run it. Is there a setting I need to change on the tv to get it to work? Also the Xbox works on regular tv settings but I really want to use the HDTV option.

  • rose

    i have a 37″ vizio hdtv and, so far, basic comcast cable box. stations come in fine.
    I have a Denon hd cd/dvd player connected via hdmi cable to tv. however, when i put in a dvd all i get is audio, no picture.

    what do i need to do to get picture when playing a dvd?


    Hard to say. Could be the TV or the DVD player.

    First, I would check the DVD players owner’s manual. You may need to select the HDMI output (and resolution) of the player as it may default to another output connector such as component video, if not manually changed. Also, make sure the output resolution of the DVD player is set to one that is compatible with your TV (start with 1080i it will always work with any HDTV). Contact Denon customer service if you have problems selecting the HDMI output. I am sure they can walk you through it.

    HD Guru

  • meshari

    how do you set up a dvd player to an element electonic t.v.

  • wes

    I just bought an insignia lcd 42″ and the xbox i have hooked up looks great, and even my old digital cable box looked decent. When I hooked up the hd/pvr to it (into component 1) it has blue lines that slowly scroll up the screen. It doesn’t do this with regualar cable nor the xbox. Would the cables provided be the problem or is it the box itself?

  • jay

    I have a phillips 42 lcd 1080p hdtv. I wanna hook up my ps3 through hdmi is that the best way. Also I would like to hook the tv up to my macbook laptop top what cables do I need to complete that installation? 1 last thing I dont watch too much tv mainly bluray movies n ps3 games my cable service is standard no hd what do I need to do do get the best possible picture without upgrading cable service. Component hook up?

  • A McCormick

    My new sony full hd tv is a good picture on hd channels but on all other channels peoples faces are covered in small squares when first appearing but then go to normal after a few seconds,how can I rectify this. The set was fairly expensive so I presume it is something I have or have not done properly on set up.

  • Jason

    Hey thanks for the info,about cracking a flat screen but unfortunatly its a little too late.I have a small crack on the left side of my 32 ich phillips hd,with rainbow lines running up and down on it.I was just curious is there any way that could be fix or should i really trash it.It still comes on and u can actually watch tv but u just got a crack and lines running everywhere.Is there any way i can fix it and what price range do u think it would cost me if i did.. Thanks for the help Jason

  • Darryl Warren

    Thanks for the advice! Means a lot to this luddite here. You just made my day and I’m now watching soccer in HD! Thanks HD Guru!

  • Nichole

    We have a Toshiba 50HMX96 DLP and recently purchased an LG-BD390. When we pause a DVD, there is a humming noise through the TV. Before this DVD player, we had a Toshiba DVD player hooked up with no problem. To replace it, we purchased an Insignia Blu-Ray player and it caused the same humming noise. We returned it thinking it was a problem between Insignia and Toshiba…salesperson agreed they’d never heard of this before and recommended the LG player. Well…same problem, so are you aware of this and is there a solution?



    I have an 82 inch TV and i need help hooking up my tv HD satilite box and SONY Surround sound

  • francesca


    I bought a 42 inch samsung plasma tv on boxing day and today I had my cable provider come and install my HD box. It looks fantastic, however after he left i went to watch a blueray disk to find it unplugged and not working. I looked at the back of my tv and all the of connection ports are filled with cables for the HD cable box. The only two free ports are HDMI ports. My question how do i connect my blueray player back? Am i going to have to unplug my HD cable box every time??! I am so frustrated! I was also going to by a speaker system and a wii today however it looks like i wont be able to connect them unless im missing something. Thank you for your help…i need it!

  • krista

    i hooked up my ps3 to our tv, and not the screen seems to cut off on the if the channel we watch is TLC, and the logo is at the bottom right of the screen, the “LC” will be off the side and you cant see it…what did i do wrong?

  • Terri

    I just bought a Visio HD 1080p tv. I have basic comcast cable. We went through the entire process of programming and setting it up. The channels come in fine. When you turn the tv off for a period of time and then back on, the tv has blue vertical lines and no picture but it does have sound. What is going on? Is it a bad tv or do I have to have comcast come out.

    By the symptoms you describe it sounds like the Vizio. You can verify by connecting to another source such as a Blu-ray or DVD player. If the same thing happens it rules out the cable .

    HD Guru

  • Tom Hunter

    Hi, I am trying to figure out how to get HD on my tv from both a HDDVR and PS3 at the same time without having to change HDMI cables to each time due to only having 1 HDMI input on my tv.
    TV is a 60″ Philips Dolby projection that is 3 to 4 yrs old. I just realized that the tv only had 1 input for HD.
    I have only had the PS3 hooked up before in HD and just got a HDDVR and can’t get both hooked up in HD without having to switch out cables when using one or the other (HDDVR or PS3)

    You need an external HDMI switcher. There’s an inexpensive 3-Port HDMI switch, on Amazon (Link) from IO gear for $26.19. We have not tested it, however, reviews say it works fine with PS3 and other components (just not with XBox 360).

    HD Guru

  • chad

    I just bought a new 1080p lg tv. I have comcast as a cable provider and I am only recieving a 720p signal from the hd channels and in my living room on the sony bravia it recieves a 1080i signal on the same channels…i have tried to adjust settings on my lg and couldnt figure it out. Do I have to get this corrected through my tv or comcast?

  • Black Shadow

    Dear Guru, I have a 46 inch Toshiba LCD TV.I just traded a HD Scientific Atlanta cable box,which worked great,for a SA DVR box from charter cable Co.Now I can no longer operate the DVR without turning off the TV? The cable repairman told me the signal from the TV was stronger than the signal from the DVR box and was overriding the signal.What can I do to fix this problem other than contact Toshiba to fix,if they even will fix the problem? Please give me your expert advice,Thanks!

  • john

    dear guru
    just purchased a new hitachi lcd 47″ tv and am having trouble hooking up the bose 3 2 1 home theater. It is an older bose, AV series. Help

  • Mike

    Hi, I have a 42in Toshiba LCD tv which I purchased at best buy 3 weeks ago. I brought it home and set it up and everything worked fine. Last week I had my cable converter box changed because I was getting a 114 error message while trying to use video on demand but everything else worked. He setup the box an everything worked well until I turned the tv off and back on. Now i cannot change the channels. He replaced the box today and I have the same problem with a second box. I discovered that if it turn off the tv and leave the converter box on, the channels change. What should I do?

  • rob

    i have a 42 inch panasonic plasma tv that i bought over a year ago. I cannot get my HD stations to work at all. I have them cut off on the sides and from top to bottem, can you please help me. Right now i have the cablevision HD clables but i do have a HDMI cable. Not sur ehow to program tv

  • Craig

    I recently purchased a 47″ 1080p LCD by Philips. I need some help connecting my TV, the digital cable box (Which does have an HDMI output), and a Playstation 3. I understand that the concept is pretty easy and it requires an HDMI cable but my question is how many cables do I need with those 3 variables and is that the only cable I need since I am not connecting anything to a receiver? Also, can you recommend a certain brand of HDMI cable? I only need about a 3ft cord or so.

  • Jack

    … to add to my previous question >>> I have a comcast HDMI cable box connected to the TV with an HDMI cable. Even when viewing an HD program, the display indicates a 480i display format???

  • Jack

    Just set up my new Sharp LC46D64U one week ago. Although this set is advertised as a 1080p display format, all I ever get for a display format is 480i. How can I set this TV to display in 1080p format? Thank you.

  • David

    Hey i have a 32″ Samsung LCD tv. All my HD channels are fine but my normal channels have the sides cut off and i am on 16:9 once i switch to 4:3 they go away but is there like an option to keep it that way for the normal channels because everytime i want to switch to a normal channel it has the sides cut off and i have to manually change it everytime it doesn’t do it automatically and it gets really annoying.

  • Darrell

    i presently have a 50″ panosonic plasma tv, direct tv box (not HD), sony dvd recorder. I just purchased a Panosonic 35 Blu-Ray that i will replace the dvd recorder. How and Can i hook it up with a hdmi cable (the direct tv box is not hdmi access). please help.

  • mark

    I purchased an HDTV and when I connected it to a non HDTV cablebox I lost all of the other TVs in the house and I cant get anything to work
    Cablevision technicians have been unable to fix the problem
    The minute I attached my toshiba 52 HDTV I somehow blew the cable in the entire house including optimum online internet reception
    The cable company said that I have excellent cable input at all TVS and cant explain why I dont get reception on old and new TVs..they are stumped – something about the signal in is good but the return isnt? any ideas/

  • renee

    Just adding to my previous question. I have a Kenwood vr-507 surround sound receiver that has digital, coaxial and analog audio input connections. Will this work with a new hdtv? If so please explain how. I an also connecting an hd cable box, dvd, vcr and xbox 360. THANKS!!!!!

  • renee

    Help! I purchased a 47″ full hd 1080p LG tv for my family for Christmas. We have a Kenwood surround system, a Pioneer DVD player a Magnavox VCR and an Xbox 360 elite that we want to all be connected so the surround works for everything. I am totally lost. Could you please advise this old woman step by step so I can get this ready for Christmas? Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I hope your holiday is truely exceptional!!!

  • sean jethva

    hello.. i have an element 42” plasma and a sony surround sound 5.1 dolby receiver.. now i just got the comcast hd receiver and i also have my ps3 as well i have an optical cable hooked up to the tv to the receiver and red white and yellow wires to the tv to the receiver as well .. and all the wires needed to be from the hd box to the tv are hooked up so how can i get 5.1 surround sound from my surround sound receiver??

  • Paul

    My XBR 6 which is hooked up to satellite always reverts back to cable/TV when turned off…what is happening ? What can I do to do solve the problem.The manual is not all that specific. Cheers

  • Sui Chung

    Hi I have a Samsung 1080p 50 inch plasma and I have been trying to connect my Wii to it on both the component input and the scart but cannot get it to work. Am I missing something?

  • JIM

    one more.. not sure how I changed settings .. but hi def now in letterbox

  • JIM

    further to my last message, the Non HD channels fill the screen. and the HD play in either letter box or with bar on top and below.

    settings – tv -wide mode: full
    tv – 4:30 default : normal
    tv -auto wide – on

    setting box – picture format 1080i
    picture size – normal

    the tv seems to ovveride any set top box settings thx again

  • JIM

    I cannot seem to get the hi def picture to fill the screen of my 26″ sony bravia. I’ve set up a number of HD tvs and set top boxes over time and just can’t figure out what I am not doing correctly… 1080 is how picture is coming off set top box. This is my first experience with LCD set. other sets are rear screen lcds. but should not make a difference. I have tv set to full screen. set to set to 1080.. pls help

  • Marcia

    I have a Samsung DLP TV early model(HLM507WX1XAA] is Direct TV’s HDTV service compatible. This unit has no HDMI input but does have a DVI input.

  • Shawn

    I am having the same problem as Trinity. We bought the Bose V20 and the Sony Blu Ray S350 and I keep getting 2.0 sound too. I was thinking of just hooking everything up to the new TV- Sony Bravia XBR and use the Bose System as the sound through the TV. I am not sure if that will work. I want to make sure I am using the HSDMI also.

  • Trinity

    I just purchased the Bose Lifestyle V30. I am trying to hook up my Sony Blue Ray S350 through the Bose system with an HDMI Cable. I am only getting 2.0 sound instead of 5.1. I called Bose and they suggested that I run an optical cable instead of the HDMI. It does give me the 5.1 sound. Does anyone know another way to fix this while still using my HDMI cable. The bose guy said that the HDMI cable is not outputing at 5.1. Is this correct?

  • chuck

    I have HDTV with comcast cable box and surround sound system I can watch the HDTV and use the surround sound but when I want to watch a DVD I
    hook the surround sound to the YPB inputs on the
    HDTV but I get a hum and when I go back to watch
    just TV if I unhook the YPB the hum goes away
    but I seem to need the YPB inputs to view or hear
    anything for the DVD. The DVD is part of the receiver I use for the Surround sound. Any idea
    why I have the Hum in my speakers
    Thanks Chuck

  • Ken

    I would like to connect my TV to my Home Theater, but the TV only has a SPDIF connection and the HT only has a RCA input, is there some equipment that will connect these?


    can I connect dvd cable and satelite together to mine hdtv using yust ahdmi cable

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