How to Hook Up Cable Box to TV Without HDMI? 6 Ways

To connect your TV to a receiver and watch or listen to it, you’ll need connectors like HDMI, composite video cable, component video cable, or an HDMI converter.

To accommodate a variety of connections and extenders, not all TVs provide every type of connection option. One of the most recent models has an HDMI cable, which is the most excellent option for both audio and video.

However, if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port or is outdated, you’ll need to find other ways to connect a cable box to a television.

Everyone wants more channels on their HDTV; therefore, cable boxes are becoming increasingly widespread. These cable boxes can convert the signals from many sources into an appropriate input for your television.

Even if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, there are ways around this problem. You can still use analog TVs and first-generation HDTVs without an HDMI connection.

You can use these ways to keep your cable box connected with your TV and receive an uninterrupted transmission.

Types of Cables Alternative To HDMI

Look at the bottom of your cable box. There’s a strong chance there are three different colored ports. As long as you see all the same color ports, you might use RCA cables to connect them all. If you don’t have an HDMI port, it is your best backup alternative.

Color-coded RCA cables have three prongs on each end, and they are always three-pronged at the other end. These cables’ ports will be identified as “audio/video,” “component,” or “composite.” It’s not uncommon for the ports to be labeled as “video 1,” “video 2,” etc.

  • Red, white, and yellow wires are all made up of the same material. To get a visual, you usually need to set your TV input to “video.”
  • Component cables come in three colors: green, blue, and red. The “component” input on your television is where you’ll typically plug these in.
  • If you have the option, use the green and blue component wires. Most of the time, you should slightly improve the image quality.

What Kinds of Cables Offer the Highest Possible Quality?

  • Make sure you don’t get ripped off by buying inexpensive audio/video cables! 
  • Terminals should be made of good-grade metal and solder. 
  • The thickness of the cable sleeve protects the inner strands from external interference, which is an important consideration.
  • Keeping your audio wires away from power cables will help you avoid picking up any “hum” and make your music sound as good as possible.
  • If you can’t avoid them being nearby, make sure they check at right angles with each other and not in parallel.

How to Hook Up Cable Box to TV Without HDMI

How to Hook Up Cable Box to TV With HDMI

It would be best to keep a few things in mind when trying to link your cable box to the TV without HDMI. It will be determined by your existing configuration and the alternatives available to you, such as your choice of ports and others!

By Using Composite Video Cables

A universal connector, composite cable, can be found in all audiovisual equipment. If you have a TV and a cable box that support composite video, you should choose Composite Video Cables.

Three cables are provided in this part. There are three colors: yellow, red and white. This one is for the audio segment, and the other two are for video.

Step 1: After purchasing the necessary cables, you must connect one end of the cable to the cable box and the other edge to the back of your TV. You must follow the colour and the connection.

Step 2:The composite option must be selected in the input menu on your remote after you’ve connected your devices. You may now effortlessly power up and enjoy a pleasant TV journey.

Picture Quality with Composite Cable Connection

With a composite cable connection, you won’t be able to get the same picture quality as you would from a native HDMI connection. But you’ll get 480i for NTSC and 576i for PAL, which is a watchable standard definition.

However, due to the compression required by the single yellow cable, HD information cannot be transmitted through this connection type.

Important Note: To avoid signal interference with radio frequencies, you should avoid using this older-style wire. There are still some new HD TVs that offer connectors for connecting old systems and gaming gear, even though they are considered outdated.

By Using HDMI Converter

If your TV or cable box has an HDMI port, this is the best option to use. Consequently, it will be easier to connect and deliver more excellent quality.

Items Required:

You’ll need a few items for this approach.

  • RCA cable
  • HDMI converter

How to Use an HDMI Converter to Connect a Cable Box to a Television

Step 1: Join the RCA cable ends together. When connecting to a device that does not support HDMI, you can use Component RCA or Composite RCA cords.

Step 2: Second, connect the HDMI converter to the RCA cable’s other end.

Step 3: If your cable box or TV has an HDMI port, connect to the other end of the HDMI cable.

Step 4: Connect the HDMI converter to the other side of the HDMI cable.

Step 5: To use the speakers and cable box you attached as your default outputs and inputs, turn on the television and receiver box.

Step 6: Make sure that you can listen to a clear sound and see an explicit video with your setup.

Step 7: And that’s all there is to it. You can now watch TV while using your cable box. If your TV supports VGA/USB, you can also utilize an HDMI to VGA/USB converter. Step-by-step instructions are required to complete the task.

By Using Component Video Cables

Component video offers the maximum resolution achievable with an analog video signal. It can support videos with resolutions of 480p, 576p, 720p, and 1080p, respectively. If you want to use component video, your TV needs to have input for component video.

  • You most certainly have component video input if you own a flat-panel analog television, which may be identified by the silver frame that surrounds the screen.
  • The component video cable will feature several cables designed only for video, while two additional wires will be for audio. 
  • These wires can be red, green, or blue, while the audio cables are white and red. Other possible colors are blue and green. These three ports transmit the video signal. 
  • You will want two additional cables to connect the red and white audio channels.
  • Plug these cords into the two cable boxes and your television, and you’re done.
  • After completing this, turn on your television, navigate to the input option, and then choose Component as the source.

By Using an HDMI to RCA Converter

If your TV doesn’t have a component video jack, you can use an HDMI to RCA converter. Cables from HDMI to RCA are not the same thing. This cable, as seen below, does not have a converter feature and will not work.

  • An HDMI to RCA converter is similar to an HDMI to component video converter in that it converts between HDMI and RCA. It is the only way to get a picture in RCA.
  • A PAL/NTSC switcher is included in the HDMI to AV converter’s package. The converter can be powered using the provided USB power cable.
  • You may set up the device in a matter of minutes. To use this converter, connect the HDMI wire from your cable box to the HDMI input on the converter, and join the RCA cables from the converter to the RCA inputs on your television.

By Using a Digital-to-Analog Converter 

Go through an electronics store with a photo of your TV’s ports. Request an HDMI adaptor for your TV and provide the snapshot of your ports to the person who assists you. You will give a splitter or adapter for you to connect your TV and cable box.

  • The adapters used to be cumbersome and complex, but they’re tiny and easy to use these days. 
  • Connect the RCA or HDMI wires to the adaptor at your cable box. A second cable is then run from the adaptor to your television. 
  • Component RCA cables are the most common choice for this task.
  • Small boxes with an RCA and an HDMI connector are commonly used as these converters. 
  • However, there is a wide range of options available. DVI to RCA converters and HDMI to DVI converters are readily available.

By Using RF Connector

It is your final hope of avoiding the expense of a new television. An RF connector port may be present in an older television set. Cable boxes that provide this feature are readily available.

  • RF connectors can be attached to both ends of a single copper wire.
  • A copper pin is in the center of the wire, making it a coaxial cable.
  • A third end of the wire should be attached behind your television.
  • Connect the cable box’s other end.
  • Turn on the television and set your receiver. 

Is There a Reason Why HDMI Is So Widely Used?

These outdated cable setups will provide you with a picture, but they will not be in high resolution. HDMI stands for the high-definition multimedia interface, so that’s your best bet if you’re looking for the highest visual quality. When sent over the cables, it does not compress the audio, so you get a better TV listening experience.

In terms of HDMI streaming quality, you can now watch channels in almost 4K resolution with the support of an HDMI cable. However, it doesn’t end there; it enhances the audio, giving you a satisfying audiovisual experience.

There is no risk of misinterpretation because the HDMI connection has video and audio transmission circuits. To get the most outstanding picture, you’ll need an HDMI cable. Free HDMI cables are sometimes available from your cable provider, so inquire. You can also buy one for $5-10 at any appliance store.

Frequently Asked Question

Does Cable Box Need HDMI?

Cable boxes can be linked to HDTVs using either HDMI or component connections. Audio and video can be streamed from the same source using an HDMI cable, whereas component cables are made up of three independent video wires (red, green, and blue).

Can I Watch Tv Without HDMI Cable?

Miracast is a software application that may wirelessly stream material from any device or display it to another screen. With Miracast, you don’t need an HDMI cable or a Smart TV to stream movies from your phone to your big screen.

How Do I Hook Up My DIRECTV Box Without HDMI?

Unplug it when connecting your RCA wire to your receiver’s A/V outputs. Your TV’s A/V input ports will be able to accept the cable ends you’ve joined.


Connecting cable boxes to a TV that does not have an HDMI port is relatively straightforward. Therefore, all that is necessary of you is to proceed in the manner described above.

Inspecting the TV’s and cable box’s connector sides is critical, however. You’ll need to buy a connector based on your needs and follow the instructions to attach it to your device.

Ensure that the length of the cables you purchase is adequate for the distance between the devices you intend to connect. Plug the cords in, as even the tiniest disconnection can negatively affect your sound.