TLC’s Roku Smart TVs are award-winning TVs that deliver impeccable video and audio quality and all the benefits of a Roku streaming platform. Although they have several advantages, people are not sure if they can connect their cable box to these modern televisions.
If you are one of those who have not yet cut the cord, you should not worry. Roku TVs don’t differ from regular TVs when it comes to connectivity. If you have a cable subscription and a cable box (or just a coaxial cable) at home, you can easily connect it to your Roku TV. This article will explain how to connect the two.
How to connect the cable box to a Roku TV
To connect a Roku TV to your cable box, pay attention to the audio and video inputs of both devices. Your Roku TV has multiple input ports located on its left or right side (depending on series), and includes multiple HDMI ports (including Arc), USB port (s), a “Coaxial In” port, and an “AV-IN” with adapter. Of course, each model may differ slightly, but those inputs are what you mainly get.
- Check your cable box and see what input is required. If you have an older device, you probably need an “AV-IN” input with an adapter. On the other hand, newer devices use a coaxial cable or an HDMI input (the best option).
- Make sure you have a Roku TV remote (usually comes with Roku TVs) and use it to turn off the TV.
- Connect the two devices with the appropriate cable.
- Turn the TV back on to confirm a successful connection.
Cable access with a Roku TV using HDMI
By connecting the cable box and the Roku TV, it should be easy to access the cable TV. Turn on the cable TV and then use the remote to turn on the Roku TV. Then follow these steps:
- press the “Home” on the remote control to access the Roku home screen.
- Navigate to «Quick access menu» clockwise using the arrow keys on your remote control.
- Highlight the «HDMI 1» lock on screen.
- press the «OK» on your remote. This should display the content from the cable box, and you may be able to use your Roku TV’s remote to navigate channels, but sometimes the cable box uses a special remote control.
When your cable box is turned on and the cables are plugged in, everything should work fine. If you cannot see the image, turn on both devices and check if the connectors are properly connected. Then turn them on and try again.
Accessing Cable with a Roku TV Using a Coaxial Cable
If your cable box requires a coaxial cable to connect to the Roku TV, the method is slightly different than using an HDMI connection. Follow these steps:
- Plug the coaxial cable into the cable box and into the “Coaxial In” on your Roku TV.
- Turn on the Roku TV.
- Hit the “Home” on your Roku remote.
- Use the arrow keys on your remote to navigate to the “Antenna” card / block.
- Please select «OK» using the remote control to confirm.
- Choose “Start searching for channels” to configure the cable box tuner (or cable signal over coaxial without box) and find all available channels.
- Choose “No, channels 3 and 4 are not required” if you are using coaxial cable without a cable box (digital over coaxial channels found by the digital TV tuner). Choose “Yes” if your cable box uses a coaxial output (delivers a non-HD analog RF signal to channel 3 or 4 on the TV).
- Wait for the TV to search for all available channels.
After the search is complete, the TV will notify you of how many channels it found and notify you that the cable box was set up correctly. As long as your cable box is connected to your Roku TV, you can access it through the “Antenna” card / block.
Take note that Cable boxes with a “TV Out” coaxial connection still handle channel tuning.. Regardless of what is selected on the box, the signal is transmitted to the TV via “analog” channel 3 or 4 and is NOT high definition. These cable boxes are older versions, but some semi-older models still offer the coaxial output.
You can always upgrade your cable box through your service provider to ditch the old analog channel 3/4 output to the TV and use an HDMI cable instead!
Cable access with a Roku TV using RCA audio / video inputs
Today, most cable boxes and receivers do not use RCA AV-IN inputs to transfer media from the device to the TV screen. However, if you have an older cable box, you will probably need to use these cables instead of HDMI or coaxial. Fortunately, all Roku TVs have at least one set of RCA AV-IN ports on the back of the device.
To connect the devices via AV inputs, you will need composite AV cables (RCA A / V cables, NOT components), which are the old-fashioned red, white, and yellow cables. These cables contain three different colored male plugs on each end. Each connector has a different color to represent each specific input:
- The yellow RCA connector is for video.
- The white RCA connector is for left channel audio.
- The red RCA connector is for right channel audio.
Follow these steps to connect the devices:
- Turn off your Roku TV.
- Plug the RCA plugs into the A / V ports with the corresponding color (yellow plug into the yellow port and so on).
- Turn on the tv.
- press the “Home” on the remote control to access the home screen.
- If you connected everything correctly and the TV recognized the cable box, your AV card / block will show a small preview of what is currently on the cable screen.
- Use the arrow keys on your Roku remote to navigate to AV, then press the «OK» to start the AV screen.
Perfect quality – various devices
As you can see, anyone can easily connect their Roku TV to a cable box using one of the available cable ports. The process is no different from connecting any other TV to a cable or satellite receiver, and at the same time it provides a clear picture and much better audio when using HDMI. Of course, HDMI-CEC offers the ability to make connected devices talk to each other or adjust the TV volume with the device’s remote to do cool things like turn on both devices simultaneously.
Thanks to the variety of ports available, you can connect various devices to your Roku TV. For example, you can connect a cable box with a coaxial cable while connecting a Chromecast or other streaming platform to a USB port; each brings you countless high definition content.
By understanding the various input options on your Roku TV, you can tailor your cable box connection to allow for other devices too!