Getting a new TV is exciting stuff, especially with all the new technology that’s packed into TV’s now. But when it comes to setting it up, installing and plugging in all your devices it can become a bit of a chore and all the ports on the back of the TV can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re not very familiar with them.
We’ve put together a little guide below to help familiarise you with some of the things you may come across when setting up your TV. All TV makes and models are different, so you’ll definitely want to treat your user manual like your bible when you first get it, just to make sure your using your TV to its full potential, you don’t want to miss out on any cool features!
This port is used for accessing Freeview. If you have a rooftop aerial it will be wired through your wall, this wire will then fit into the TV aerial port.
You will use this port if you want to access FreeSat. If you have a satellite dish, the wire will feed through your wall, for you to plug it into this port.
This is the port used for connecting standard modern devices, it carries both video and audio. TV’s generally tend to have multiple HDMI ports, letting you hook up lots of devices. You’ll connect devices such as your DVD player, Blu-Ray player, set-top box and games consoles.
This is where older non-high definition devices connect to the TV, such as older games consoles or DVD players which don’t have a HDMI port.
You can use this port to plug a hard drive or flash drive into the TV, you can then watch media files you have stored on the device through your TV. This port can also provide power to certain devices, eliminating the need to plug them into the mains, such as an Amazon fire stick or a larger hard drive.
This is a video output port, you’ll find it more on older TV’s. It allows you to connect older computers to your TV. However it doesn’t carry over sound, you will need an additional audio cable to transfer sound from your computer to the TV. Newer TV’s and computers will be able to connect through a HDMI port.
This port carries audio. It’s ideal for media receivers that don’t have HDMI ports. You can also use it alongside a HDMI port. Let’s say you have a games console hooked up to your TV through the HDMI port which carries both video and audio, but you want the audio to come through your speaker system not the TV, this is where the optical audio port comes in, to take the audio to your speakers.
Yellow, white and red, these three little ports sit together. One is for video the other two are for audio. They are typically found on standard definition TV’s and used for connecting older devices to your TV.
Five little ports grouped together, three for video and two for audio. These guys are generally only found on High Definition TV’s and are used for connecting older devices to the TV.
Smart TV’s will require an internet connection to allow you to access all the cool stuff they have to offer. You can usually go into the TV’s settings and select your internet and enter your Wi-Fi password to get connected.
Some TV’s have Bluetooth, this makes it easy for the TV to connect to other Bluetooth devices. This could be a sound system, so you can place the speakers around your room, yet you don’t need to have wires trailing around everywhere as they link to the TV via Bluetooth.
For this bit you need to make sure you have a working aerial, as this will pick up the Freeview signal. We would recommend a rooftop aerial as they cause less problems with interference. Set-top aerials can also be used, but they tend to be a bit hit and miss. Like we said above, you need to use the aerial port in the TV to connect the rooftop aerials wire. Once plugged in, your TV will scan for channels, your user manual will tell you exactly where you need to go to complete this step.
Switching between input sources
You’ll no doubt be plugging in a few different devices to your TV, such as a set-top box, DVD player or games console. Using the “source” button on your TV remote control you can easily switch between each device.
Some TV’s have high dynamic range, this is often a mode that needs to be turned on through your TV’s settings. HDR will make pictures brighter and more illuminated than standard. You’ll see movies and such, as they were intended to be, perfect for a real cinema experience.
TV for free, through your aerial. Freeview provide the UK with over 70 standard channels and 15 HD channels.
TV requiring no subscription. FreeSat provide 200+ TV and radio channels with 14HD channels. Again through your aerial.
TV by subscription. If you choose to go for Sky, they will give you a sky box, this box will plug in to the satellite aerial wire in your wall from the satellite dish. And the Sky box will plug into your TV via a HDMI port or the SCART port if you have an older TV.
These guys provide movies and TV shows for a monthly fee. If you have a smart TV there will be an easily accessible app on the TV for you to find Netflix, check your manual. If you have an older TV then you can get Netflix through compatible streaming devices that are connected to your TV, such as a games console.
For a monthly fee Amazon will provide you with movies and TV shows. If you’ve got a smart TV, Amazon Prime should be easy to access through an app, again if you’re not sure check out your manual. If you’ve got an older TV then you can get an Amazon fire stick to access the content, the stick plugs into your HDMI port. Or you can watch through other compatible streaming devices like a games console.
For a monthly fee but with no contract required, you can watch lots of channels with Now TV. Just like the above, all you need for these guys is an internet connection and a compatible streaming device or locate them on the apps of your smart TV.