How do I connect my Television to my Surround Sound System?

Hopefully this isn’t as complicated as you feared. This depends on your TV and what else you will be connecting to the system. Here’s a few options for what you are trying to do.1) Direct TV Connection Option: If your television offers an audio output this will be the easiest of the connections, all you do is connect an audio cable from the TV’s audio output (white and red jacks), to the input of your choice on your receiver (TV/SAT, Video 1, AUX, etc). When you want to watch your TV through surround, you turn on your receiver to the correct input and trun on your TV, and you’re good to go. There may be an option in your TV menu as well to leave the audio output as fixed – choose this option if available, this means that as you adjust the volume on your TV, it won’t mess with the sound through the receiver.2) Using a Cable or Satellite Box: If you have a cable or satellite box connected to the TV, the sound quality will be better than coming directly from the TV. For this you will utilize the audio outputs on the back of the boxes, either Analog Audio (red and white), or a digital output (optical or digital coax). From the back of the box, connect one of the cables from the audio out (analog or digital) to your receiver to whichever input you choose, and now when you watch your cable or satellite, you will have sound from your receiver and/or your TV. (This is my preferred choice).3) Using a VCR: If your TV doesn’t have an audio output, and you’re not using a cable or satellite box this is pretty much the only other option (if you have a VCR that is). If you have a stereo VCR and your TV signal (basic cable/antenna) is running through the VCR, you will connect an Audio cable from the Audio output on the back of the VCR to whatever jack you prefer on your receiver. All you do is leave your VCR on when you want to listen to the stereo, and whatever channel the VCR is on, that sound will come through the Stereo as well.

I hope this helps in your quest, I know its a lot of information, but I like being thorough.


10 responses to “How do I connect my Television to my Surround Sound System?

  1. Ronnie L. Esparza

    This is really informative and simple. Thank you very muhc.

  2. nice and simple. what if you have your tv connected to the box or cable, your tv connected to to your home theater system and then your television also connected to your VCR. i dont know but its confusing to me.

  3. I found this very helpful. I figured out my missing step. Thanks!

  4. ive just brought a new tv as the old one packed up. i used to be able to connect tv output to stereo input via the red and white leads but since this tv only has a red/white input im stuck. i can only play sound through the tv with either an old record player or my laptop but the tv speakers dont give it justice, sounds tinny. i want to be able to connect a surround sound soon to the tv but only have one hole on the tv which is black and is called coaxil?? will this work?

    • I just made a new blog post about this. This question comes up a lot and its pretty hard to get a straight answer on.

      I’ve been asked this a lot, and there’s only one answer that allows you to use the Television digital output. There’s an adapter you can get at ( that converts the digital outputs to analog output. They are very hard to come by, but this device allows you to connect newer Digital devices to older/legacy equipment that doesn’t have digital inputs.

      The process is simple for connection as well – you connect the digital cable from your TV’s output to the adapter, then connect an analog (white and red) cable from the output side of the adapter and connect that to the AUX input on your stereo device. That’s it.

      I hope you found this helpful!


  5. i have the opposite problem, I have 3 year old TV and have bought a surround sound system which has a HDMI and optical ports. But the TV only has HDMI. I can’t work out if I can get digital TV to play via the surround sound. I’ve tried the analogue output through an audio amplifier to check i have output – which worked but was out of sink with the picture

  6. Hi, I have a Samsung , TV 2HDMI and a surround sound system LG but my problem is I can hear the sound or pic. with the DVD Home theatre but from the TV, through the sistema I can not hear it can you tell me what conections mI missing please.
    kind regards

  7. I tried it and still not getting sound from the tv to the sony theater surround. Any other advise, i’m listening.

  8. I have an isymphony 32in 1080p tv and a philips 1000w surround system. I have tried connecting the two with an hdmi and the red and white audio cables and no sound will come out the speakers. Nothing in thetv menu does anything. Will a coaxial cable make it work or am I stuck?

  9. So im trying to get my tv to play through my surround sound but i already have a connection taken up with the red and white input jacks on my audio reciever. the tv has an optical out and the reciever and optical input- however the signal coming into the tv is via and anolouge signal (i guess) being a standard tv arial. will the sound still go from the digital output of the tv to the audio unit? I dont want to buy a digital audio cable if its not going to work!! Thanking you 😉

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