Chapter 13 : How to Set Up Your HDTV

While buying an HDTV for your home, you must also know what the prerequisites of setting up a new HDTV in your room are. The following detail will help you with the basics of the set up process for your HDTV.

Basic of the Setup process

Following are some of the basic considerations before you finally setup your new HDTV in your room.

Screen Size and Room Size

Match the screen size of your new HDTV set with the size of the room. Make sure that the setup allows you to sit at a comfortable viewing distance. You should be neither too close nor too far from the TV. A comfortable viewing distance is about twice the diagonal screen size, and one and half times if your HDTV is a front projection type. For example, for a 40-inch screen, the comfortable viewing distance is approximately six and a half feet.

Room Lighting

The room light plays a very important role on the viewing quality of your HDTV. Make sure that you have placed your HDTV at a place where in daytime windows do not shine light onto the screen of the TV. Make sure that the reflection of lamps or bulbs do not appear on the TV screen during the night or when the room is illuminated.

Getting To the Source

Monitors and integrated sets are the two varieties of High-definition televisions. Integrated sets come with a built-in HDTV tuner, while monitors require an outbound digital tuner to receive high definition signals. A few years ago, monitors were more common, but the recent trend is favoring integrated sets.

There are three ways to get HDTV signals – via an off-air antenna, an HDTV cable box, or an HDTV satellite receiver.

Off-Air Antennas

Off-air antennas come in indoor and outdoor version, and provide access to local HDTV broadcast. You must know what kind of antenna you require, and where to locate the antenna in relation to your house.

  • If you live in a house that is surrounded by taller buildings, you require a medium or large directional antenna on your roof.
  • For a multistory house, a smaller multi-directional antenna will do.
  • If your apartment building does not allow you to have an outdoor antenna, you have no other option but to use an indoor antenna.

HDTV Cable Boxes and Satellite Receivers

They are special cable boxes and satellite receivers, which have additional connections and features to provide high-def programming. Some new models come with even a hard disk drive, using which you can play and pause live television programs, and record your favorite TV shows.

Integrated Sets and Cablecard Slots

CableCard are as small as a credit card. You can get it from your cable provider. You can connect it directly to the TV, and once connected, you do not need to install an additional cable box to tune in your subscribed premium channels. However, if your cable or satellite service does not catch all of the local HDTV stations, you would have to use an off-air antenna to receive those signals.

Connection between HDTV Tuner and Monitor

There are many options to make the video connection between an HDTV tuner and the monitor.

  • You can connect component-video cables from the set-top tuner box to the TV. This is the most common option.
  • You can connect the cables to an A/V receiver and then make a component-video connection from the receiver to the TV. If you want to use the receiver to switch between other component-video sources, like your DVD player, this option is a better one.


Make sure that the receiver can handle wider bandwidth of HDTV signals, or you will lose picture detail. Also, make sure your installation hardware such as cables, splitters, and other components such as signal amplifiers can handle the full HDTV bandwidth. The bandwidth of your hardware must be at least 110 MHz.

HDTV Tuner and TV Display Format

After connecting the tuner, you need to set it according to the TV display format. Depending on the native resolution of your set, you can select 720p or 1080i output. If you have a flat panel LCD or a Plasma TV, the native resolution may be different. Make sure that you know what the display format of your HDTV is.


  • For a surround sound audio setup, run either an optical or a coaxial digital audio cable from the cable box or satellite receiver to the A/V receiver.
  • If A/V receiver is not available, you can connect the tuner and TV using standard analog stereo inputs and outputs.

Cable and Satellite Installations

Your set-top box will need to be configured and activated, so you may require professional assistance to install that for you. If you have a satellite hook up, you need an 18–20 inch dish to receive HDTV signals. You need a larger, elliptical dish for a direct TV.

The Final Touch

After you are through with all the setup process, you have one more thing to do. You need to run a first-time setup on your HDTV. Use your remote control, select onscreen menus, set audio output options, scan channels, and do some cable tuning. Your HDTV is set and ready for viewing. Happy Viewing!

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