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HDTV - Customer Hook-up Information

What do all of these connectors do?

How do I hook up the set-top to my HDTV?

What do all of these connectors do?

Component Video

A component video output (YPbPr) is the type of connector that commonly comes with HDTV's. Component video requires 3 connections (3 cables with RCA phono-type connectors), making up the Color and Luminance (Y) portions of the signal. The tips of the cables and jacks will be red, green and blue. Unfortunately, this can be a bit confusing because computer RGB connections are colored the same way, but RGB connectors typically come with 5 cables -Red, Green, & Blue for color information, and Yellow & White for sync information. A good rule of thumb is that, if the connections are RCA phono-type (like the ones used to connect together pieces of audio stereo equipment), it is usually a component cable. Most high-end DVD players and HDTV tuners will have component connections. Note that many of these high-end DVD players also use the HDTV component inputs marked YPbPr to accommodate progressive scan formats, but these HDTV inputs may not necessarily support the required 1080i resolution necessary for HD signals. Check your HDTV and DVD owner's manual for details.

Composite Video

A Composite video output requires one RCA-type cable and can only be used for standard-definition digital or analog signals. Composite outputs all the elements of a picture signal together through one cable.


A S-Video output requires one connection via a S-Video cable and can only be used for standard-definition digital or analog signals. The S-Video cable keeps color and black and white information separate when only one S-Video cable is used.

Analog Audio

Analog audio left and right channel outputs are commonly used with stereo equipment. RCA-type cables are required to pass the analog signal from analog outputs. For non-stereo (i.e. monaural), only the left audio channel output will be used.

Digital Audio

Digital audio outputs come in two types: optical and coaxial. A fiber-optic cable is needed to transfer the digital stream from the digital optical out, while a digital coaxial output requires an RCA-type cable. Because they are both transferring a digital signal, optical and coaxial outputs should perform the same.

How do I hook up the set-top to my HDTV?
This is a typical wiring diagram for the Scientific-Atlanta set-top - there may be differences from TV to TV.

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