How to connect a TV to a stereo system

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Aina Prat Blasi
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This article teaches you how connect a television to a stereo system. Keep in mind that most speakers can't connect to your TV without some kind of additional amplifier or receiver.


Turning off and unplugging your TV is important before connecting speakers or audio equipment. Find your TV's audio output slots, look for at least one of the following options on the back or side of the TV.



  • RCA - A red circular door and a white circular door. RCA is known as "analog" audio.
  • Optic - A square (sometimes hexagonal) door. Optical audio is known as "digital" audio.
  • Headphones - The standard 3,5mm jack used for most headphones. You will usually see an image of a pair of headphones above this port.
  • HDMI - Typically used for combined audio and video. Some stereo receivers connect via HDMI.

Check your speaker input type, your individual speakers will almost always have RCA inputs, with the left speaker using a white input and the right speaker having a red input instead.

If you're connecting a stereo soundbar system, your speaker set will likely have an optical input. It is not necessary to use an audio receiver with a soundbar.


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How to connect a TV to a stereo system

Check your receiver's input type Unless you are using a soundbar or computer speakers with your TV, you need to use a stereo receiver (or amplifier) ​​to connect to your TV. Your receiver will have at least one of the following inputs:

  • RCA
  • optics
  • HDMI

Determine whether or not you need an adapter, for example, if your receiver only has an optical input and your TV only has RCA outputs, you will need an RCA-Optical adapter. This also applies to TVs that only have headphone outputs, as you can purchase a headphone-to-RCA adapter.




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Connect a TV to a stereo system. Buy cables you don't have usually you can find RCA, optical, HDMI and headphone cables and their accessories online, you can also find them in stores that sell electronic gadgets.

Now you need to arrange the speakers in the room which will help you fully appreciate how much wire you need, allowing you to adjust the speakers as needed before connecting everything. If you are connecting more than two speakers, you need to connect the speakers together with the speaker cable before proceeding.


Connect your speakers to the receiver skip this step if you are connecting a soundbar. To connect the speakers to the receiver:

  • Connect the white RCA cable to the white port on the back of the left speaker, then plug it into a white port on the back of the receiver.
  • Connect the red RCA cable to the red port on the back of the right speaker, then connect it to a red port below or next to the white port on the back of the receiver.

Connect the speakers to a power source, if necessary if you are setting up a soundbar or subwoofer, you will need to connect the power cable that came with the speakers to the rear, side or front of the speaker in question and then connect the other end to a power outlet. (e.g. a wall outlet or surge protector).


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Connect a TV to a stereo system, connect one end of the receiver's optical or HDMI cable to the port indicated on the back of the receiver, then plug the other end of the cable into the optical or HDMI port on the TV.



  • If your receiver is old enough, you could use RCA cables to connect it to your TV.
  • If you are using an adapter (for example, for a headphone jack), connect it to the TV before connecting the other ends of the cables.

Plug the stereo receiver into a power source, this can be a wall outlet or surge protector. Make sure the power cord is firmly connected to the power outlet and to the receiver.

Connect a TV to a stereo system. Plug the TV back in and turn it on your stereo system is now ready. You may need to change the TV's audio output to use the speakers. This is usually achieved by pressing the button Menu on the TV or remote control, by navigating to the “Audio” section and changing the default output from the TV speakers to the current output (for example, “HDMI”).


Further Reading:

  • How to connect the phone to the car stereo - iPhone and Android
  • How to connect the digital video camera to the TV
  • How to connect the computer to the TV with an HDMI cable
  • How to connect PC to TV
  • 6 solutions for when the TV won't turn on

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