Question Optical audio out from TV, or HDMI switch with audio extractor?


Active Member
Hi all. I am soon going to buy a TV, and I have got an old 5.1 sound system (Philips MX5700D). The sound system isn't HD ready, but it has a digital coax input.

The setup will be:
  • Philips MX5700D 5.1
  • Likely to be either Samsung KU6500 or Panasonic DX700B
  • Xbox One
  • Blu ray player
As far as I can see, there are 3 options for connecting up:

  1. Connect the optical out from the TV to the 5.1 via an optical to coaxial box (~£10), hopefully feeding the 5.1 digital through the TV from all sources, changing automatically.
  2. Buy a 4 into 1 HDMI switch which extracts the audio from my sources and connects via coax to the 5.1 system - also using the ARC from the TV for its sound. (~30).
  3. Use a remote optical switch (though the Blu Ray only has coax out, so it would require various signal changes etc. Probably also ~£30 and the least convenient.
Are there any errors with what I've said above, and would any options give me an advantage over the others (convenience and price aside)? Thanks!

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
1. The only 'error' is the assumption that using an Optical connection means you have a 5.1 signal!

Many TV's are configured such that the TV only accepts a Stereo audio (2.0) signal from external Sources connected via HDMI - which means any External Sources can only ever be Output from the TV HDMI (ARC) or Optical as a 2.0 signal.*

*even where the TV Outputs 5.1 from ARC or Optical from its onboard Tuner or Streaming Apps.

If you plan to use the TV as the switching Hub ensure the TV can pass 5.1 from External Sources.

2. Will require an ARC enabled HDMI Switch and remember that ARC requires that you enable HDMI CEC control and some combinations of kit may not play nice and you are then better to revert to Optical or Coaxial from the Sources or extracted from the Source HDMI feed.



Active Member
Thanks for the information. I asked in the television forum, and was told that both of these TVs will feed a 5.1 system through to optical. I cannot find it in spec sheets anywhere though - I guess I'll just have to have a go, and if it doesn't work try the other options.

I didn't realise that about CEC, thanks again!
Most TV spec sheets will say that they feed through 5.1 through optical but that is usually just referring to the inbuilt tuner and SMart TV functions not from external inputs.

Try that first though, but next best would be a good quality HDMI switch with optical/coax output though you would lose the output from the TVs tuner and Apps unless you use ARC.

Maybe better to invest in a new Surround system with HDMI inputs


Active Member
Okay, it's worth a go for £10. I may require the converter in other setups anyway.

I agree that a new AV receiver would be the way to go, but I'm going to wait a while until I can afford to spend a decent amount on it. (Although the Acoustic Energy Aego Sound3ar is tempting because I like my Aego Ms so much)

Similar threads

Top Bottom