How to connect optical audio cable to TV?

When you connect fiber optic cables to your TV, it usually means connecting your TV to a cable TV connection or to an optical audio cable. Whatever the case may be, let’s dive deep into what’s entailed when you connect your TV to fiber-optic cables.

When you say you’re about to connect a fiber optic cable to your TV, most people think it’s the fiber optic cable TV type of cord you hook up to your digital cable box in order to establish a cable TV subscription service on your HDTV.

However, in this case, when we ask how to connect fiber optic cable to tv, we’re referring to audio optical cables that have fiber optics to them as well.

How to Connect Fiber Optic Cable to TV

TOSLINK has existed since the 1980s and they’ve served for decades as one of the best ways to deliver digital audio to AV receivers and various speakers, amplifiers, stereos, subwoofers, and sound equipment without compressing the sound to analog.

It indeed does serve as an impressive way to improve the audio for the movies and TV shows you watch by terrestrial TV, cable/satellite TV, or by streaming on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

When it comes to how to plug an optical cable to your TV then to your soundbar, receiver, or home theater system, it involves the following specific steps. It’s quite easy and won’t take you longer than 5 minutes to finish.

Check if the Optical Output Connector Has a Protective Cap

Some optical ports have a protective cap on them when not in use. This is true whether they’re used on TVs or DVD players as well as BD players. If your TV has a protective cap over their optical port, you have to pull the cap out to use the port.

Put it somewhere safe like a drawer or a tin can in case you’re done using the optical connection for your home cinema needs. It keeps the dust off of the port.

There are also TVs that have a protective door you have to open or move out of the way in order to push the TOSLINK cable in. Remove the cap because you won’t be able to access the port otherwise.

Find the Optical Input Connection on your Speaker

Find the optical input connection on your speaker, soundbar, home theater amplifier, or AV receiver. The other end of the TOSLINK cable requires its input jack to enter an input port on your amp or speaker. This port should have no plug or cap in place too.

If the cap is there, remove it to gain access to the port. Afterwards, just plug the TOSLINK cable into it. Make sure the connection allows for a straight cable instead of a bent or pinched wire for best results.

Connect the Optical Audio Cable to Your TV or Cable Box

Remove the protective cap on the TOSLINK cable jacks too if present. Connect one end of the optical cable to your optical output on the rear of your HDTV. Check if you’re able to match the shape of the cable’s connector with the connection of your device for a smooth plug-in motion.

The optical port has a design wherein it will only plug if you line up the jack to the port in the correct fashion. Don’t force the jack into the port, that might damage either or both of them. Just align them properly then they should snap into place.

Connect the Optical Audio Cable to Your Amplifier or Soundbar

Now connect the optical cable’s input end to your soundbar, speaker, AV receiver, home theater sound system, amplifier, subwoofer, stereo, and so forth.

Run the optical cable from the TV or cable box to your soundbar or amplifier without extreme bending of the cord or else you’ll damage the connection. A simple pinch could destroy a fiber optic cable when compared to a copper one.

Remember to Look at the Rear Every Time

The input should be at the rear of any audio device, from home theater systems to AV receivers. The input could be multiple inputs, so take note of its label when push comes to shove (AV1, AV2, and so forth). This will assist you in selecting the correct audio source later on.

Line up the connector to the shape of the input port because they only fit in one way. Like your USB cable but more finicky and smaller.

Avoid tangling the cable with the other wires or cables in your system. In other words, practice proper cable management.

Turn on Your TV or Cable Box

Turn on your TV and/or cable box. Go to your TV settings to navigate to the audio menu. Make sure the audio output selected is “digital out” or “optical out” as well as something similar. There are models of TV where the optical output works without needing to enable it on your settings.

In such cases, you should go to the audio menu disable the TV speaker. The cable box is a media source and thusly if you want sound for your cable channels you can directly hook up your AV receiver or speakers unto it.

Check the audio menu for the box in case you don’t get sound from its digital optical port. You might need to switch on the digital output when push comes to shove.

Turn on Your Soundbar or Amplifier

You might need to turn on your AV receiver, soundbar, amplifier, stereos, subwoofer, or entire home entertainment sound system to enjoy high-quality surround-sound from Dolby or DTS. Just take note that if you’re using the latest Dolby or DTS sound technology, they’ll sound better on an HDMI cable.

For the amp, select the right audio input source so that when it turns on, the optical port connection will spring to life with glorious bass and treble. Some AV systems have only one sound port or multiple digital inputs, so make sure the input you’re using gets selected when all is said and done.

The soundbar will only have one optical or TOSLINK input. It should work without selecting any other inputs.  The modern versions of this device can also go Bluetooth or Wi-FI wireless.

Q&A

How do I get audio from my TV to optical?

Plug one end of the optical digital cable into the OPTICAL DIGITAL OUT port of your TV. Plug the other end of the optical digital cable into the OPTICAL DIGITAL IN port of your soundbar. If the optical digital cable is already connected, disconnect it and then reinsert it firmly.

Do I need an optical cable to connect my soundbar to my TV?

If your TV or soundbar doesn’t have an HDMI connector, you need to use an optical cable. This small port gives your TV a new sound experience.

Do all tvs have optical audio out?

Older TV’s: RCA Cables

What is this? Most TV’s that have either 3.5 mm or wireless capability have HDMI or optical ports.

How do you connect an optical cable to a TV without a port?

If you want to connect a soundbar to the TV without HDMI or optical, you have two options: go high-tech with a wireless connection or mid-tech with 3.5 mm aux or RCA cables. You can also use an auxiliary device to convert coaxial cables to another type of connection.

What is optical audio output?

Connecting an Audio receiver to the TV via a digital audio connector (optical) allows you to listen to digital sound. Connecting a device using an optical cable does not automatically turn off the TV speakers.

Is optical better than HDMI?

The major difference is that HDMI cables can pass higher resolution audio which includes formats found on Blu-ray like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master audio. Fiber optic cables won’t be able to transmit these high-res sound formats. HDMI can also pass video signals.

Is it better to connect soundbar with HDMI or optical?

The biggest difference is that HDMI can pass higher-resolution audio, including the formats found on Blu-ray: Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. These formats can’t get transmitted across optical. In terms of simplicity, HDMI also passes video signals.

How do you use an optical cable?

How to Plug in an Optical Cable

  1. Check if the Optical Output Connector Has a Protective Cap.
  2. Find the Optical Input Connection on Your Home Theater Amplifier or Soundbar.
  3. Connect the Optical Audio Cable to Your TV or Cable Box.
  4. Connect the Optical Audio Cable to Your Amplifier or Soundbar.
  5. Turn on Your TV or Cable Box.

How do I connect TV to soundbar If no HDMI ARC or optical?

How do I connect TV to soundbar If no HDMI ARC or optical?

  1. When you connect an external device to TV (without ARC) and Sound Bar, connect the HDMI cable (sold separately) from the external device to the TV. Then, connect the external device to the Sound bar using an optical cord (sold separately).
  2. If you want to connect to just the TV, then the HDMI connection is unnecessary.

Can you connect optical to HDMI?

In some cases, if your TV allows you to send two audio signals at the same time, one cable needs to transmit audio while the other will pass on the video signal. So, you can use the optical cable for the audio signal and then insert HDMI, which will transmit video.

What is optical connection on TV?

An optical digital audio connection sends stereo or 5.1 S/PDIF digital audio between devices. An everyday use for this type of connection is the digital audio output on the back of your TV. By connecting this output to an amplifier, you can quickly improve the sound of your television.

Is optical better than AUX?

Advantages of Optical Input

Even though there is not much difference in the audio quality, it is supported by most modern home theaters. When you use optical input with a surround sound system, the result is better than AUX input. It does not require any complex wiring so that the audio quality will not be compromised.

How do I connect my optical cable to my Samsung TV?

Step 1. Insert the digital optical audio cable into the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT port of the TV. Step 2. Insert the other end of the digital optical cable into the DIGITAL AUDIO IN port of your external speaker.

What if my TV does not have an optical output?

For example, if your TV only has HDMI ports and no optical output, while your soundbar only has optical and no HDMI. The adapter adds an HDMI port for the TV (ARC enabled) and an output for the optical, so you just need to plug cables from both audio devices into the adapter, and you should be good to go.

Do all tvs have an optical cable input?

Most TV’s that have either 3.5 mm or wireless capability have HDMI or optical ports. However, older TV’s will only have RCA and coaxial inputs.

How do I connect my optical digital audio cable to my LG TV?

Connect Optical Soundbar *New LG TV

Is optical cable best for audio?

If you’re looking for the best audio quality, HDMI is your choice. While an optical cable can still pass surround sound and super high-quality audio, thanks to the added bandwidth in the latest HDMI versions (2.0) you’ll be able to pass higher resolution and audio.

How do you plug in an optical cable?

How to: Hook Up Your Soundbar With An Optical Cable

Is optical good for audio?

Audio Quality

For most home entertainment systems, optical cables are going to get the job done. They support surround sound with up to 5.1 channels. That’s good enough for any soundbar.

How do optical audio cables work?

A fiber optic cable is simply several small strands of polished plastic specifically designed to transfer light. The digital audio signals are transmitted through the cable as pulses of light. They’re immune to electrical interference, and the signal holds up better over longer distances.

How do I connect my fiber optic cable to my router?

Connect your router

Connect your router’s power adapter to an outlet. Then, connect one end of an ethernet cable to your Fiber Jack, and the other end to the WAN port on your router. Your router will give an indication that it’s powered on and getting data from the Fiber Jack.

What is the difference between HDMI and HDMI ARC?

While a regular HDMI connector is only able to transmit video images, ARC has an added function that allows you to transmit audio from a TV back to the source, like a receiver or soundbar. This means you only require 1 cable in order to transmit both video and audio signals.

Can we convert HDMI to HDMI ARC?

Can the HDMI ARC Output on My TV be Used as Normal HDMI? Yes. HDMI cables are an all-in-one solution. If you plug a regular HDMI cable into the ARC port, it will act as a regular HDMI.

Do I need HDMI ARC for soundbar?

Most TVs these days have several HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) ports. However, in order to connect a soundbar, you have to make sure your TV has an HDMI ARC (audio return channel) port.

Essentially

Don’t forget that your cable box, Blu-Ray Disc player, or HDTV will need an optical output instead of just HDMI. You’ll be using that to connect to sound systems with optical audio inputs such as home theater systems, receivers, amplifiers, or soundbars.

You’ll only need one male-to-male optical digital audio or fiber optic cable (TOSLINK) to connect to your HDTV for audio-video receiver or external speaker purposes. You won’t need any tools either except perhaps cable ties to tidy up your cable management.

References:

  1. How to Connect an Optical Cable to Your TV, Soundbar, or Home Theater“, The-Home-Cinema-Guide.com, Retrieved April 18, 2022
Author: James Core

I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right CABLE AND CONVERTER for your needs.

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