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Use only the hdmi cord to hook it up and go to menu on the tv and select hdmi for hook up and you should get a picture. Make sure your cable cord is the only cord running to the cable box , you don't need any other cord.
The best picture would be HDMI, but as you stated the cable box is not HDMI. The next best connection is component cables (red,green,blue) from video output of cable box to video input of TV. You will also need RCA audio cables (red and white) from audio output of cable box to audio input of TV. I hope this helps.
you said you are using composite cables..? that means you have some kind of cable box ? if you want to get HD channels you have to use a HD box that is supplied by the cable company.. the HD cable box then has to connect to the tv with component cables (green,blue, red cables) or HDMI cable.. to send the HD signal to the television.
I found that since the Panasonic TH50PZ80U TV has only 2 HDMI ports on the back of the TV, the best solution for me was to use component (red, blue, green) cables to connect the Home Theatre to the TV. I suppose I/you could connect the home theatre to the HDMI port on the front panel, but I don't want cables hanging out the front of the TV (personal preference). Unfortunately, I am no longer able to use the VIERA Link functionality available by connecting all Panasonic components to each other using HDMI cables, but I feel it's a small price to pay for the incredible picture quality acheived by using the HDMI cable to connect the HD Cable Box to the TV. I may yet be able to control everything using the HD Cable Box remote, but I haven't gotten that far yet but I've got Comcast coming on Saturday and hopefully they can let me know if this is possible: let me know if you have a solution.
So here are the components and the cable types used to connect:
HD Cable Box to TV: HDMI cable & Optical Audio cable
Home Theatre to TV: Red, Blue & Green component cables
Have the same problem with a 532H - but here is what I did to resolve the issue:
1) Click your Menu button on the TV remote.
2) Go to Screen (click the right button)
3) Go to Main Picture Source (click the right button)
4) Select HDMI (click the Menu button when done)
When I hooked up my HD cable box using an HDMI cable, I had to go into the cable screen menus and select HDMI output. You may have to do something similar when using an S-video cable. Your DVD recorder doesn't seem to have an HDMI input, so you'll have to use the S-video or (worst case) composite video (red, white, yellow cords). Your cable box may also be scrambling the signal so that you can't record. That may be why you can record by bypassing the cable box.
Some Hdmi signals are not working with some tvs at this time. It is a fighting battle that tv techs are dealing withe everyday. At this point the tv manufactutre will tell us what I am about to tell you. Hook up the composite and wait for a firmware upgrade to fix this. A perfect way to see this is a problem between cable box and tv and not just your tv is to plug in a dvd player with hdmi out if it works firmware will need to be developed if not your tv needs to be exchanged or a new main board.
My best guess would be that the resolution settings on your reciever are set too high(It's putting out an HD signal the TV can't display) Plug in through Composite or component the the box and resolve this through you Cable box's menu, then reconnect the HDMI cable.