How To Connect TV To Receiver Without HDMI

An HDMI cable is commonly the best option for connecting your TV to a receiver. In the event that you don’t have an HDMI jack on either your TV, receiver or both, you may be looking for other ways to connect the two. Fortunately, there are alternatives to HDMI…

How do you connect a television to a receiver that does not have HDMI? A composite cable, a 5-cable component RCA video cable, or an HDMI converter that works with the input alternative you have can be used to connect audio and video.

It doesn’t matter if your TV or your receiver doesn’t have HDMI connections. You can use an RCA cable and/or a converter to connect them to each other. The sound from your TV and into your sound system is never more than a few cords away.

connect tv without hdmi

What Is HDMI?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and it allows you to watch and listen to high-definition video and audio through a single cable or port.

Instead of tangles of distinct video and audio cables, the HDMI cable does the job neatly and simply.

If you don’t have an HDMI connection, it’s not the end of the world; there are a few other options to get you connected.

From Apple

Connection and Cable Options to Know First

The cables you’ll require will be determined by the accessible inputs on your receiver and the converter (if any) you’ll be using. Because there isn’t a standard set of audio output jacks for TVs, it might be one or a mix of them.

It’s critical that your transmitter has at least one non-HDMI input, such as a coaxial digital input, an optical digital input, or auxiliary (“AUX”) inputs.

In addition to HDMI, your TV may contain the following features:

Optical Digital Output: An analog signal must be changed back to a digital one at some point. To connect to receivers with this type of input, you can use an optical cable. Instead of electrical bits, light pulses are used to transmit signals.

RCA Jacks: The sound is non-digital and can be boosted instantly by a receiver, hence the name analog signal outputs. An RCA audio cable is inexpensive and simple to use. A 3.5mm (1/8 inch) headphone jack is found on some televisions. For them, a 3.5mm to RCA adaptor cable can be used.

Coaxial Digital output: The digital audio signal is carried via electrical bits via a single RCA-style jack that connects to an RCA cable. It’s worth noting that you can’t use it with a receiver’s analog RCA AUX inputs.

The connectors described above can be used with either a normal or a smart TV, depending on the model.

HDMI and HDMI ARC Explained

The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard has been around for over 15 years in consumer devices. It’s changed over time, becoming more adaptable and, unfortunately, sometimes difficult to comprehend.

Here’s a straightforward explanation:

The original (earlier) HDMI protocol only transmitted video to external devices, not audio. If your TV or cable box doesn’t have an HDMI ARC port (just an original HDMI port), you’ll have to connect sound through one of the other available outputs.

The ARC (Audio Return Channel) standard was built to facilitate sound and video to be carried on the same cable. It’s been around for a while, having been introduced in the HDMI 1.4 version. Up to 5.1 surround sound can be sent over HDMI ARC.

HDMI eARC is basically an update to the ARC standard, capable of carrying up to 7.1 surround sound or high-quality digital audio for music, among other minor benefits.

The good news is that, because HDMI ARC has been around since 2009, it’s very probable that your TV or other devices have it. As you’ll see, this also means you’ll have a wonderful alternative for a receiver/home entertainment system that doesn’t have an HDMI input jack.

From Samsung

Digital Vs Analog Audio Jacks Explained

The way digital outputs work is that they send audio in a digital format that is made up of bits of information. Modern AV receivers equipped with these types of inputs are capable of decoding the digital signal and amplifying it to drive speakers.

You’ll need a digital to analog (RCA) converter box to perform the job, as they give an RCA compliant output pair. An older receiver or a regular home stereo amplifier won’t be able to do it.

Analog jacks are a non-digital output that can be amplified by any compatible receiver or amplifier with auxiliary, DVD, or CD inputs to drive speakers. Self-powered speakers with analog outputs can also be used.

Considerations For A Connection That Isn’t HDMI

To begin, determine what types of ports you have. This will assist you in selecting a simple alternative option based on your kit’s supporting ports.

The majority of devices without HDMI connectors use traditional red, white, and yellow video plugs, which are identical to RCA ports. There could also be ports that are blue, green, or red. These are additional video connectors that provide a higher level of video quality.

Options for Using RCA Cables

There are a variety of RCA cables with various connectors accessible, including composite RCA cables with a video channel, the classic red and white RCA cable, and component RCA cables with three different video cables.

Basic RCA Audio Cables

A standard RCA audio cable has two connectors: one red and one white. Because this RCA cable solely carries sound, it can be used to link your TV and receiver via the RCA ports. Simply connect the red and white cables to the corresponding red and white jacks. Any store that sells tech items will have a basic RCA audio cable for under $10.

Composite Video Cables

Composite RCA cables were often employed for the similar reason before HDMI cables took over – linking both video and audio from part to part. The red, white, and yellow connector cables are standard.

A composite video cable has a yellow RCA connection with white and red RCA analog audio connectors. Since only one connection is required to connect video, it is termed a composite video cable. Composite video cables can also be found in any store that sells electronics. On Amazon, cables like the Cmple Composite Video Cables come in a variety of lengths.

Component Video Cables

In contrast to a composite video cable, which utilizes just one channel of connectors/cables to convey a video signal, a component video cable employs many streams of connectors/cables to communicate a video signal. For video transmission, three cables are used: green, blue, and red.

You can either get a component video cable that has only these three cables or one that includes five RCA components in addition to the two audio connectors: the red and white cables. Use the 5 RCA component video cable to send audio from your TV to your receiver.

Using An HDMI Converter

Another option for connecting your two parts is to use a converter. In order to attach your HDMI to HDMI cable, you need a converter. You can connect your RCA to RCA cable on the other side with a converter, too.

As long as you have the proper connections to connect the two, you should be able to properly transform your digital signal to an analog signal. Convertors like the LiNKFOR 1080P HDMI to Component Converter (available on Amazon) are also reasonably priced.

How To Connect a TV & A Receiver Without An HDMI Cable

To connect your TV and receiver without using HDMI, it’s critical to determine the cable(s) you’ll need based on the ports on your devices. You can begin once you have your cable(s) and/or converter.

1) Turn on your television and your receiver

To begin, turn on both the TV and the receiver.

2) Connect the cable(s) and/or the converter

Make sure they’re plugged into the correct inputs. ‘Audio,’ ‘Component,’ and ‘Composite’ are all terms used to describe them. When deciding where to plug in which cable, remember to utilize the colors as a guideline.

3) Set the Default Speaker on the TV to the External Speakers You’ve Connected

The specific procedure will vary depending on your TV, but it is usually found in the sound area of the main settings. You’ll switch the main speaker on your TV from the internal speaker to the external speaker you just installed.

4) Check out your setup

Turn increase the volume to see if you can hear anything now that everything is linked. The connection has been made and you’re ready to go if you can now hear the music and/or dialogue from the video you’re watching. Simply unhook the cords to sever the connection if you want to use a different receiver or TV.

How to Connect a TV to a Receiver Without HDMI - The Home Theater DIY
From Home Theater DIY

Frequently Asked Questions

1) If my TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, what should I do?

You can use a switch box or an adapter if your TV does not have an HDMI connector. These devices help the signal reach the television.

2) How can I convert my analog TV to HDMI?

3) Although analog televisions lack HDMI connectivity, they can be turned to smart televisions by following these simple steps:

  • You’ll need an HDMI cable, which you’ll connect to the transmitter at one end. The HDMI to RCA converter box can be inserted into the opposite end of the cable.
  • Take a red RCA cable and plug it into the converter box’s red RC port. Attach the opposite end of the cable to the analog TV’s red RCA jack.
  • Connect the white RCA cable to the converter’s white RCA port in the same way as the red RCA cable.
  • Carry out the same procedure using the yellow RCA cable.
  • Connect the converter box’s included power cord to the converter unit’s power jack. The power cord can be plugged into a standard socket or a power strip.
  • Make sure your HDMI to RCA converter is turned on.
  • Using the remote control, change the video input channel on your TV to A/V.

4) Is it possible to convert an RCA wire to an HDMI cable?

An RCA to HDMI converter box can be used to convert RCA to HDMI. The adapter connects to the HDMI device or monitor through the three RCA connections. For a secure connection, you’ll need an HDMI cable.

The conversion is straightforward and adjusts the output from 720p to 1080p HD. Because RCA is an analog standard, it cannot accommodate HD, hence the converter output may be soundless or blurry.

5) What is the difference between an RCA to HDMI connection and an HDMI to RCA connection?

The key distinction between HDMI to RCA and RCA to HDMI is that HDMI transmits digital data whereas RCA transmits analog data. As a result, HDMI to RCA converts HD signals to analog signals, whereas RCA to HDMI converts analog signals to HD signals.

The HDMI converter transmits signals in the same way that a computer transmits data to another computer. Signals are transmitted through RCA converters using a variety of voltages.

HDMI converters are capable of carrying both audio and video signals via a single connection. The RCA converter, on the other hand, requires a video component in order to transfer audio.


Don’t be dismayed if you can’t connect your TV and receiver using a standard HDMI to HDMI connection (more on HDMI cables in our guide). You’ll be able to successfully connect your TV and receiver for a higher-quality home audio experience if you use one of the available options above.

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