• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Does HDMI carry 5.1 sound via SKY HD?


Established Member
My set up is:
TV Samsung LE-46F86BD
Sky+ HD
Cambridge DTT3500 Speaker system.

I have the Sky and PS3 connected to the TV via HDMI cables. With an optical cable going from the TV to the DTT3500.

I've since read HDMI cables don't carry 5.1 sound!!

Does my set up give the best I will be able to get or should I have the sky and PS3 go directly to the DTT3500 bypassing the TV.
Obviously I'd need to get some kind of 2 optical cables into 1 box (any suggestions?)

Here is the back of the DTT3500 if it helps.

Mod Comment: Please don't hotline to images without permission from the hosting site

Last edited by a moderator:


Established Member
HDMI can carry 5.1 or 7.1, 2.1 etc etc - it depends what's being put into it, and what the receiving end will accept.

The sky HD box is notorious for not outputting 5.1 via HDMI - just stereo. If you want 5.1 then you have to connect the box to the amplifier via an optical digital link.

In your current setup the best you'll get out of the TV, from sky, is stereo.


Distinguished Member
HDMI cables carry sound but the earlier Sky HD boxes couldn't transmit the 5.1 sound over HDMI, hence the optical connection.
As far as I know this hasn't been implemented in the later boxes but check.


Prominent Member
Its not very common for TVs to pass 5.1 audio through from HDMI to optical. Usually then, you're better off connecting your equipemt direct to the sound system. As already pointed out, Sky+HD boxes don't output 5.1 audio over HDMI anyway.

Hopefully you have a Sky+HD box with a digital coaxial output (original boxes didn't have this) and can connect that direct to the coaxial in on the DTT3500. This will allow you to then connect the PS3 direct to the separate optical in on the DTT3500 with an optical cable.

Only if you have an older Sky+HD box without a digital coaxial out will you need an optical switch!


Established Member
Thanks guys for the words of wisdom, very informative.
I have a new (to me anyway) Samsung Sky HD+ box installed last week that has digital coax. So after Broadz comment I had a look and it indeed has digital Coax so I can do as you suggest Stevie.

Cheers guys.

The latest video from AVForums

CES 2023 Round Up: New TV Lineups for 2023 from LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Hisense & TCL
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom