How Do You Know What Cords to Buy for Your TV?


Quick Answer

To select the appropriate cord for a television, review both the television's input options as well as the output options of the device to be connected to the television. The age and model of the television and the device impacts the number of options available.

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Full Answer

Connecting a television to a media device, such as a cable box or video game console, is often dictated by the year of manufacture. The prevailing technology of the time affects the type and number of connectors available. Most new devices use HDMI; if both the television and the device to be connected feature an HDMI port, an HDMI cable can be used to connect the two. Another common option is composite ports (sometimes called RCA ports), characterized by three colored jacks: red and white for stereo audio and yellow for video.

Generally speaking, the most recent type of connection available should be used to ensure the best quality connection. On modern devices, both HDMI and composite connectivity is featured on most TVs. Due to HDMI being a newer and vastly superior cable technology, HDMI should be selected over composite whenever possible. In the United States, the following television connectors exist, in order of quality: HDMI, Component, S-Video, composite, RF (cable).

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