A Quickie Setup Guide For Your New TV

You just brought home that new TV, but it’s nothing like the old one. There are a few things you could get wrong that would just spoil the entire HD effect and that’s the reason for purchasing an HDTV in the first place. Here’s an easy guide to setting up your HDTV.


The cables for HDTVs have changed significantly and require a little understanding. HDMI is the cable of choice and is possibly the only one you can use anyway. It delivers high-resolution images and sound to the TV and would have more than likely been packaged with it. Hopefully, you were not pressured into purchasing an expensive one because all HDMI cables are the same. They essentially pick up and transfer the HD signal from your cable or satellite box to your screen. The only other means of getting that done is by using component cables which are the red, green, and blue (or Y, Pb, and Pr) attachments used for delivering video content to your screen. You would then have to get something like a matched pair of analog audio cables for the sound.

The assumption here is that you have upgraded your gear so you can hook up your set to a high-definition source. That includes a Blu-ray and is really the best thing to do (it is best to use a Blu-ray even with the old gear). As long you have upgraded your gear to go along with your new set, HDMI is possibly all you’ll be able to find.

Set the Source Resolution to Match Your TV

In case you have not upgraded your gear – prepare your DVD player for your new TV by going to its setup menus and setting its image output to 16×9 (4×3 is good for older players). You will get a better performance from your set when you match the aspect ratio to your new set. The same is true for an old cable or satellite box – set it to 16×9. For those with HD capabilities, set the output to 1080i, which works for most people and the resolution is equivalent to 1080p.

As best as you can, match the resolution of your source to the capabilities of your TV. In cases where the source allows you to choose from a number of resolutions, note the ones your TV supports. If HD channels were not a part of your package, you will need to pay to get them and then tune to those specific stations.

setting up your HDTV

Adjust the Screen Format (Aspect Ratio)

The aim here is to get the wide format of the screen to fit the source perfectly or you will end up with a screen that is not completely full.

* Ensure the source is set to widescreen (16:9) format mode.

* Adjust the aspect ratio control (this is the feature that allows zooming, cropping, and stretching to display the image properly). You can find the aspect ratio controls on both the source and the TV.

The simpler way is to skip through the modes on your TV and select the one that does not become distorted when the set is fed a high-def source. You can access the modes by repeatedly pressing the aspect ratio button. They may be listed as Native, Dot-by-dot, Just Scan, and Full Pixel.

You can also enhance your TV time by dimming your lights or watching in a dark room. If you keep the lights on, avoid having it reflect from the screen. These practical tips will not only help you get your HDTV up and running in a short time, but they will also help you to get the best picture quality from your HD set.

Mackenzie Bramall is a recent college graduate who writes on a variety of topics. She loves writing about things that matter to everyday people’s lives. Click here to learn about satellite television offers from Direct2TV.com.


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Sarah Park - February 5, 2013

Very helpful guide. Of course, we want to enjoy the new HDTV to the fullest. But I am just wondering, isn’t the format already set upon buying?


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