How to Connect an HDD Recorder

Updated February 21, 2017

You finally made the leap from recording on videotape to recording digitally on a HDD recorder. It's a big move: HDD recorders allow everything from high-definition recordings to multiple language support. And, happily, connecting your HDD to your television only requires a few cables, so you can be up and recording in no time.

Unpack any cables that came with the HDD recorder. Look for a coaxial cable---this cable will be black with a gold or silver wire coming out of each end. If your television has a HDMI connection, look for an HDMI cable (it will look like a flat USB cable).

Turn off your television and disconnect the antenna or cable television input cable that is currently connected to your television. This input cable will be connected to your television's "In" jack (or similar wording; for instance, "Input" or "Ant In").

Connect the antenna or cable television input cable into the "In" jack of the HDD recorder (the wording may be "Input," "Ant In" or something similar).

Connect one end of a coaxial cable to the "Out" jack of the HDD recorder (wording may be "Output" or similar). Then connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the "In" jack of your television. If you are using a HDMI connection, connect one of the HDMI cable to the television's HDMI jack and the other end to the HDD recorder's HDMI jack.

Plug the HDD recorder's power cable into a electrical socket. Turn on the HDD unit and then turn on your television set. Follow the HDD set-up provided with the paperwork to your unit. Set your HDD recorder's tuner to "antenna" or "cable" first and then "scan for channels."


Using a HDMI or RCA connection between the HDD recorder and television will provide a clearer picture than using a coaxial cable.

Things You'll Need

  • Coaxial cable
  • HDMI cable
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.