How To Connect Soundbar To TV With Optical Cable ?

Most soundbars have an easy installation process. The package includes an optical digital-audio cable for connecting the soundbar to a television. It is a simple and hassle-free process. You can also use HDMI (High Definition Multi-media Interface) to connect the soundbar to a TV, if there is provision for HDMI.

HDMI is an audio/video interface used for connecting digital devices like televisions, set top boxes, Blu-ray players, DVDs and projectors. Digital audio can be conducted from one device to another through both optical and HDMI. They are both capable of supporting multi-channel Dolby Digital sound and perform better than the red and white analog cables. However, HDMI has a slight advantage over optical cable. HDMI can transmit HD audio like DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD found on Blu-ray. HDMI also prevents signal loss due to analog conversion thereby passing uncompressed digital data.

But optical digital audio cable delivers comparable sound quality and is a good alternative if your soundbar lacks HDMI. In most optical set-ups, the sound is as good as with HDMI.  

If you are connecting external devices like game consoles, Blu-ray players, etc to your TV, the job of the soundbar is basically to enhance the sound output and make it better than the TV speakers. This digital data is supplied to the soundbar via the optical digital audio cable.

If your soundbar has one HDMI IN input and one HDMI OUT output, it means you can connect one external device through HDMI. If your television has multiple HDMI ports, you can connect multiple external devices and then connect the TV to the soundbar using an optical cable.

Now check the guidelines to connect soundbar to TV with optical cable :

Every soundbar has at least one digital optical input (TOSLINK). In the following steps, we will explain the important steps to connect a soundbar with television using optical cable.

  • The first step is to check the optical cable ends thoroughly. Check the ends which should plugged into the television & the soundbar end.

Check ends of the connecting optical cable

  • Remove the protective plastic caps fitted on the ends of the optical cable and check the cable as shown in the following images.

Open the plastic cover from the optical cable end

Open and check the optical cable end

  • Now once you are ready with the optical cable, check the ports in your television marked for Digital Audio Out ( Optical ). This port emits optical signal which can be used to pass on to a speaker or soundbar or compatible device.

Digital Optical Out In Television

  • Plug in the optical cable or jack in this Digital Audio Out port of your television.

Plug in the optical cable to the Digital Optical Out in the Television

  • Now plug in the other side of the optical cable in the soundbar port marked as Digital Audio In ( Optical ).

Plug optical cable to Soundbar input

  • Make sure that you connected from the Optical Out of the TV to the Optical In of the soundbar as mentioned above and not the opposite way around. This means that the digital data will flow out of the digital device (TV) and feed the soundbar to produce or emit sound. If you do the opposite the connection will not work.
  •  In this way, you can make sure that all audio data will pass into the soundbar. For instance, if you connect any other external device (digital data source) to the TV and then connect your soundbar to the TV using an optical cable, all audio files from such devices will get transmitted to the soundbar via the TV and the soundbar will project that audio. In other words, when you connect devices like satellite receivers, game consoles and set top boxes, the digital audio data will flow into the soundbar. For this you have to link the external device to the TV with the help of an audio cum video cable like HDMI and insert the cable into the IN jack of the TV so that the TV receives the audio and video data. So, one end of the HDMI cable will be inserted into the HDMI OUT port of the external device and the other end will be plugged into the HDMI IN jack at the back of the television.
  • Once this is done, switch on the power on the external device, TV and soundbar.
  • Now press the Source button on the remote that controls the soundbar. Set your soundbar to digital IN. The display on the front panel of the soundbar will show D-IN to indicate this.

Selecting source using soundbar remote control

  • Now adjust the source on the television to the HDMI you wish to receive, view or listen to. The way this works is the digital audio and video data flows from the external source to the television through HDMI and from there it flows into the soundbar via optical cable.

Television Menu to select source

Selecting source from TV

Selecting Source for Soundbar

 

  • In case you do not receive audio after establishing the above connection, check if the TV audio system (TV speakers) is turned off to ensure that audio data is being directed to the soundbar speakers. Depending on the TV brand, you can turn off your TV’s speakers by going to Settings, then Audio, then Speaker Select or Mute or Internal Mute.

Conclusion:

Connecting a soundbar to a TV with an optical cable is very simple. It does not require any special technological knowledge. Most soundbar systems carry detailed guidelines on how to connect it to a TV. We recommend reading the instructions available in the included setup manual in case you need further assistance.

For best soundbar companion for your TV, check this. Get a list of top affordable soundbar here. Check our comprehensive discussion on what is best – Soundbar Or Surround Sound ?

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