Can the average person really hook up a new TV?

We just bought a new TV this afternoon. It’s a Smart TV so it can even connect to the internet. But we’ve just spent the past couple of hours trying to get it hooked up to our cable provider and we’ve given up. We were actually able to get it to recognize our wireless internet, so we can watch streaming Netflix, but we can’t seem to make all the connections between the TV, the DVD player, and the cable box. We’re waiting now for someone to come over and do it for us.

Is this an age thing? I’m 66, my husband is 71, but we’re both reasonably computer savvy, not total fossils. Should we just turn ourselves in at the nearest old folks’ home?

Well, if it isn’t an age thing it must be an intelligence one. :wink:

I’m sorry to say, but hooking up a TV should be very easy today. It shouldn’t be anything but hooking up HDMI cables.


Usually these issues arise when people try to cheap out and use alternate hookups from older equipment.

Do you have a new cable box with HDMI cable connections? If so then you should be using that system. If that is properly done, then it must be on your cable provider or the TV settings.

It’s not cheaping out to want to use a perfectly good, older DVR/VCR/Stereo System/etc. When I bought a new TV last year, there was no way I was going to also drop another $2K+ to replace my perfectly good high-end older receiver and 6 speaker system. And yeah, it was a major pain to get it all working together. I can definitely sympathize with the OP.

Not really what I meant.

For example, if the TV had HDMI as it’s primary input, then trying to get around buying a cable by using older hookups can cause problems. The software in the tv can’t figure out where the signal is coming from, it thinks your cable is a dvd player or a video game. Worse yet, those inputs may not be able to carry the HD signal that newer boxes and TV’s want to use. If that is case, then call your cable company to get a new box with HDMI outputs and buy the bloody cable.

If this isn’t the problem, then there is something more serious going on that we would need more info to resolve.

Well, I’m feeling a little less stupid now. We gave up and called the store for help. A couple of young guys came over and although they were able to get the cable going, they couldn’t get the DVD working. We’re going to the cable provider tomorrow to get an updated box, and the guys are coming back tomorrow, after doing some more research on the DVD player, to give it another try. So at least it’s not totally an age issue. And the young guys kept shaking their heads and saying, “It shouldn’t be this hard”

Didn’t they give you a DVD that shows how to do it?

<Golf clap>

What this board needs is a remote slapping device! But then I probably wouldn’t be able to figure out how to hook it up.

When I got my new TV, I already knew how I was going to hook it up. Connect my DVR and my Blu-Ray directly to the TV using HDMI, then connect the TV to the AV receiver using RCA. It should all feed through perfectly.

Except it didn’t. For some reason my TV does not throughput audio. It will play the internal TV tuner’s audio, but that’s all.

The only way to fix it was to get a new AV receiver, plug all the HDMIs into that, and then feed that to the TV. So it cost me an extra $400 for the new receiver, replacing a perfectly working but obsolete one, just to get everything working reliably. It was unintuitive and a ridiculous rigmarole.

Having said that, ever since it’s worked very reliably.

To be honest, hooking up a new tv can be quite complicated. I’m a 26 year old guy who has tons of AV equipment and games to hook up, and it can be annoying and easy to skip something, pass over something, etc. There are generally just so many inputs and outputs on tvs these days that it can be fairly complicated.

So I am sympathetic to you and I don’t think it’s just an age/intelligence thing. It does get a bit easier the more you do it, like anything, but even I still make mistakes when I have to unhook everything and hook everything up.

And then of course you have to add in getting your TV online these days, learning how to navigate the smart menu, tying all your netflix, hulu and whatever else accounts to it… it can be really complicated!

Interestingly, the one thing we were able to do on our own before the young guys came out was to get our wireless internet connection made and get Netflix set up.

Looks like there is a matter here of equipment makers presuming that we will, indeed, run everything via HDMI through an AV receiver of the same vintage as the TV set with the appropriate configuration, and not even bother attempting conventional connections unless we’re a real AV geeks.

Maybe they realized a lot of people would refuse to pay for HDMI cables and AV tuners if they could use conventional ports quite satisfactorily for most things you do with a TV. I don’t need Brian Williams in HD Surround sound and I don’t need HD 3D for the *Daria *box set…

I’d say setting up a new TV nowadays is easier than it ever was. There may be more steps involved, and they’re different, but back in the old days, there were no onscreen menus, no ‘quick start guides’ - it was just wires and dials - if it didn’t work, you pretty much had to be an electrician to figure out why.

I can’t really discern what the problem might be from what I’ve read.

Some people have mentioned hooking up older video devices that don’t have HDMI connectors. This can be a problem. It seems that every TV currently being made comes with a single dual-purpose composite/component jack. If you need to hook up two non-HDMI units, that’s obviously a problem. Buying something like this could be the solution.

It is a load of BS that TV makers are trying to force HDMI on the public, oh you’re having trouble? Well just make sure everything you’re using is less than a year old!:rolleyes:

In theory yes. But in practice no, people don’t educate themselves and generally have no reason to except on the rare occasion that they get a new TV or move their TV.

I’d really say it’s easier to hook up a computer than a TV, with a computer generally each cable can fit in only one port. On a new TV however there are many ports and you have to figure out which set of ports to use; composite, HDMI, component, or whatever. My grandparents-in-law hooked their new TV up using composite cables, it worked fine but wasn’t HD. I switched it to component cables (red green blue) and now they have HD and noticed the difference.

I also think a lot of people never made the digital antenna transition and won’t because they don’t understand what to do. On a TV with a digital tuner it’s easy, plug in an antenna and have the TV do a channel scan. But I just don’t see it happening for a lot of people, and they’re missing out on free network and local HD programming.

While the physcial hook-up is made simpler these days, it’s the navigation of virtual menus to get everything communicating properly that can get really confusing.
When the TV, blu-ray player, and cable box all have their own on-screen menus and settings things start to overlap and get confussing.

I think it’s just an age thing. Hooking up a/v components is a cinch for us geeks that grew up doing it, and always have. You, OTOH, probably just haven’t had to very much, so you’re just not used to the skillet and hardware.

Until just recently, my elderly neighbor would call me at least every other day with the same problem. Her remote from the cable company was set to turn on her TV and cable box with the push of one button. Invariably, one of them wouldn’t turn on, so she’d hit the button again. Now, the box would come on, but the TV would turn off. She never was able to comprehend the problem, and certainly couldn’t fix it, but I always blamed genetics rather than age. I’ve been trying to teach women computer and electronic things for years with no success!:smiley:

write down all steps and procedures. settings can be lost sometimes unexpectedly and they need to be redone.