Can I watch cable on a Roku TV?

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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TLC Roku TV is an award-winning television that offers pristine video and audio quality and all the benefits of a Roku streaming platform. Although it has various advantages, people do not know if they can connect their cable box to this modern TV.

If you're one of those who still haven't cut the cord, don't worry. Roku TVs are no different from regular TVs when it comes to connectivity. If you have a cable subscription and a cable box (or just a coax) at home, you can easily hook it up to your TV. This article explains how to connect the two.



First things first: connecting the cable box with Roku TV

To connect Roku TV to your cable box, you will need to pay attention to the audio and video input of both devices. Your Roku TV has different input ports located on its left or right side (depending on the series) and it includes several HDMI ports (including Arc), a USB port, a coaxial port and an AV-IN input with an adapter.

First, you will need to check your decoder and see what input is required. If you have an old device, you will probably need an AV-IN input with an adapter. On the other hand, newer devices use either coaxial cable or HDMI input. None of these cords are supplied with the TV, and if you did not receive them in your cable box package, you will need to purchase them.

If you have the option of choosing between the HDMI cable and the coaxial cable, you should opt for an HDMI. This is the easiest way to connect the two devices. Moreover, it offers the best audio and video quality.



Make sure you have a Roku TV remote and use it to turn off the TV. Then connect the two devices with the appropriate cable. Once done, you need to move on to the next step.

Cable access with Roku TV – HDMI

When you connect the two devices with an HDMI cable, it should be extremely easy to access cable TV. Turn on the cable TV, then use the remote to turn on the Roku TV. Then follow these steps:

  1. Press the "Home" button on the remote to access the Roku home screen.
  2. Navigate to the quick access menu on the right using the arrow keys on your remote.
  3. Highlight the 'HDMI 1' card.
  4. Press the "OK" button on your remote. This should display the content from the set-top box, and you can use your Roku TV remote to browse channels just like you would on your regular TV.

If your decoder is powered on and the cables are plugged in, everything should be working fine. If you don't see the image, turn on both devices and check if the cables are properly connected. Then turn them on and try again.

Access Cable with Roku TV – Coaxial Cable

If your set-top box requires coaxial cable to connect to Roku TV, the method is slightly different than above. Follow these steps:

  1. Plug the coaxial cable into the cable box and your Roku TV.
  2. Turn on the Roku TV.
  3. Press the "Home" button on your Roku remote.
  4. Use the arrow keys on your remote to access the "Antenna" card.
  5. Press "OK" to confirm.
  6. Select “Start searching for channels” to configure the cable antenna and search for all available channels.
  7. Choose 'No, channels 3 and 4 are not required' on the next screen.
  8. Wait for the TV to search for all available channels.

Once the scan is complete, the TV will inform you of the number of channels it has found, letting you know that the decoder is set up correctly. As long as your cable box is connected to your Roku TV, you will be able to access it through the "Antenna" card.



Cable Access with Roku TV - Audio/Video IN

Today, most receivers and set-top boxes do not use the AV-IN input to transfer media from the device to the TV screen. However, if you have an older cable box, you'll probably need to use those cables instead of HDMI or coaxial. Luckily, all Roku TVs have AV-IN ports on the back of the device.

To connect devices via the AV inputs, you will need composite AV cables. These cables contain three different plugs on each end. Each socket is colored differently and represents a different input:


  1. Yellow is for video.
  2. White or black is for left channel audio.
  3. Red is for right channel audio.

Follow these steps to connect the devices:

  1. Turn off your Roku TV.
  2. Plug the plugs into the ports of the corresponding color (yellow plug into the yellow port and so on).
  3. Switch on the television.
  4. Press the "Home" button on your remote to access the home screen.
    If you've hooked everything up correctly and the TV has recognized the set-top box, your AV card will show a small preview of what's currently on the cable screen.
  5. Use the arrow keys on your Roku remote to navigate to AV.
  6. Press the "OK" button on the remote control.

Perfect quality – Multiple devices

As you now appreciate, anyone can easily connect Roku TV to a cable box using one of the available cable ports. The process is no different from connecting another TV to a cable or satellite receiver, and at the same time it provides a clear picture and much better sound (especially if you connect it to an HDMI port).


With the variety of ports available, you can connect multiple devices to your Roku TV. For example, you can connect a cable box with a coaxial cable, while you connect a Chromecast or another streaming platform into a USB port. Each offers you countless high-definition content.

Have you successfully connected your Roku TV to cable? Are you satisfied with the quality? Share your experience in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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