Last updated: January 3, 2017
Set-top boxes like the Apple TV and the Roku 3 are incredibly useful for the ease with which they can let you watch streaming video on your TV. Unfortunately they only include HDMI as a connection option, which makes them difficult to set up on a television that does not have an HDMI port. Fortunately you can purchase a converter box that allows you to convert from an HDMI cable to an RCA one.
The steps below will show you the products that you will need, and the steps that you will take in order to hook your Apple TV up to an older television that does not have an HDMI port.
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Using an Apple TV Without an HDMI Port
One important thing to note when you are configuring this setup is that the RCA option will only support standard definition signals. So while the source coming into the Apple TV may be in high-definition, it will be converted to standard definition before it is displayed on your TV. With that in mind you will need to purchase the following:
1 – HDMI to AV Converter (Amazon)
Once you have acquired these three items, you will be able to connect the Apple TV to your television that doesn’t have an HDMI port. Note that you will need to place this HDMI converter near a power outlet, as the USB cable that comes with it is rather short.
Step 1: Connect the HDMI cable to the port on the back of the Apple TV.
Step 2: Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI input port on the HDMI to AV converter box.
Step 3: Connect one end of the AV cable to the ports on the back of the HDMI to AV converter box.
Step 4: Connect the other end of the AV cable to the ports on your TV.
Step 5: Connect the small end of the USB cable to the USB port on the side of the HDMI converter, then insert the larger end of the USB cable into the USB power plug and plug it into a wall outlet.
Step 6: Plug in and turn on the Apple TV.
Step 7: Turn on the TV and switch it to the correct input.
Tip – If you live in the United States or Canada, then you will use the NTSC option. If you live in Europe or Asia, then you would use the PAL option.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a set-top box, but haven’t been able to make up your mind, read this article comparing the Apple TV and the Roku 3. Both of them are excellent devices, but have certain features that are more appealing to some people than others.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.