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1.) I don't have cable(I'm a satellite guy). But I'll try to help if I can. Do you have digital cable or analog cable? I'm not sure, but I think digital cable requires a box. I don't believe you can get 5.1-sound from your TV to your receiver unless you've got an optical/coaxial/HDMI output on the back of your TV than you could run to your receiver. I'm not even sure if any TV has optical or coaxial outs???? Also if it's not digital cable, you wouldn't be able to get 5.1-sound. At least not true 5.1.

2.) You can do either. Some argue that you should always connect video directly to the back of your TV, but I personally can't tell a difference doing it either way. Try it both ways for yourself & see if you think one way is better than the other. If one way looks better to you, do it that way. I have everything going to my receiver & one video cable from my receiver to my TV. And that's why alot of people hookup their devices, including video, to their receivers.........so that they've only got one cord going to their TV. I've got HDMI running from my receiver to my TV & it's the only cord I've got going from my receiver to my TV. It helps simplify things if that's how you want it. Some TV's may only have 1-or-2 component inputs. So, if you've got 3 or 4 devices that you want to hook up with component, you would need to plug them into the receiver. If you've got the inputs and don't mind having all the extra video cables going to your TV, then feel free to do it that way. Just give it a try both ways then decide how you want it. Good luck.
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