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If you have a new HD cable box then I would use the RGB cables. It is a 5 cable cord with color codes of RED-GREEN-BLUE and a Red/White for audio. They will go from the output of the cable box to COMPONENT INPUT on the back of the set along with the audio in. This will give you the best possible picture and sound.
I have the same set, same problem with one of my MOTOROLA boxes, but not with another. I have a SONY TV that works fine with this new MOTO box, but the new VIZIO does not. The audio is coming through the HDMI cable just fine, and the fact that it works when you cycle power on your TV means it's the SYNC between the TV and the BOX. I have the identical problem and am taking back the MOTO box for another one. I spoke to VIZIO for about 45 minutes trying different things. They think it's the MOTOROLA box, COX (my cable company) thinks it's this particular box, who knows.
You're not getting enough signal to your cable box. You most likely have too many splitters on your cables and or your cable is not hooked up close enough to a line. Your cable guy will probably need to come out and string out a new cable line from the telephone wire, to your house, to your TV. It's typically a free service with most cable companies (at least Time Warner).
You should be able to use the input/source function on your remote to select which signal sources you want the TV to display, find out which input on the TV you have the cable box hook it up to then just select that input. Do you still have the user manual?