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TV Optical Out to PC audio in


Standard Member
Hi people, hopefully you can help.

My TV currently just uses its own built in speakers. However it does have a digital optical audio out socket. I was wondering if (and how) I can connect this to my PC which in turn is already connected to 5.1 speakers.

Is it possible to just have an optical to 3.5mm jack cable and run the tv output into the PCs mic input?

Or is there another way which would preserve/allow use of actual 5.1 surround sound. I would be happy with just getting the audio from the speakers but obviously surround sound would be a great bonus.

Sorry if my info is lacking.


Prominent Member
When you ask for an 'optical to 3.5mm jack cable', do you mean a cable to connect TOSLINK optical to the smaller 3.5mm optical connector? If so, then yes you can.

If you want something to connect TOSLINK to 3.5mm analogue stereo, then you'd need an actual DAC rather than a cable. Anything putting audio into a 3.5mm stereo input won't give you 'actual 5.1 surround sound' (as encoded on a DVD or some advanced TV formats), but 5.1 processors (and I assume 5.1 soundcards) can upmix stereo to a decent approximation of 5.1.

What 5.1 speakers are you using? Are they connected to the PC digitally? What inputs and outputs does your sound card have?


Standard Member
Ah, yes I mean to 3.5mm analogue... I'm guessing a DAC would be a much more costly approach.

I wrote my question while at work so I'm probably not best poised to answer your questions too well I apologise. The speakers get their input from 3 analogue 3.5mm outputs (motherboard not a dedicated soundcard - though the motherboard does do 5.1 surround sound perfectly well).

I guess the only solution is a DAC or to upgrade my speakers and/or sound card :(


Prominent Member
Ok. Well your onboard sound card is probably giving you 5.1 output for 5.1 input sources. So there's no telling how good a job it'll do of upmixing stereo to 5.1.
If you just want to get some sound from the TV to your surround speakers, then maybe use a stereo analogue output from the TV (headphone out should do if there's no dedicated line-out) and see how you get on.

What's amplifying your speakers? I assume you're sending the 6 analogue feeds to some kind of amp which then sends high level output to the sats and sub. Does this amp not have another input? (or the amp could be built into the sub if it's a cheaper package)

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Keep in mind that the Optical out from the TV may only provide a stereo signal even if there is a 5.1 stream in the broadcast channel you are viewing via the TV’s inbuilt tuner.

Being Optical doesn’t guarantee its Outputting a 5.1 signal as often the Optical Out on TV’s is limited to 2.0 (stereo) only.

As audioenthusiast says some info on your 5.1 system (and TV) will enable folk to better advise on a suitable connectivity plan.



Standard Member
Thanks guys.

I don't mind so much if I cant achieve 5.1, I would be happy with just getting the audio to run through the speakers at all for now :).

The amp is built in and doesnt have other inputs unfortunately.

I'll get home, have a proper look at my kit and post back :), thanks for the replies so far, much appreciated

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