TV to Hifi


Standard Member
I am simply wanting to play TV sound through my HiFi. I have connected the red and white audio cables from the TV to the HiFi and selected Aux on the HiFi but no sound comes out of the HiFi? Is there some thing I am missing?

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Is the tv red and white connections inputs or outputs?. Depending on tv model, its most like to be inputs. If they are outputs you may need to play with audio setting.

So what model is the tv?


Distinguished Member
I agree, just because you have a pair of Red/White RCA-style connectors does not mean they are Outputs. If they are outputs they will be labeled as out put, or with a symbol of a Circle with an Arrow point OUT.

In the owner's manual for the TV, either there in your hand or on-line, you should be able to look and see if there are Analog Audio Outs. In some cases, this may be as simply as a Headphone out.

Also, you many need to go into your TV menus and check the Audio Settings. If nothing else, once you get sound in your stereo, you will probably want to turn the TV speakers off.

There are three potential source of sound output from a TV.

1.) The Headphone out - For sound quality this is OK, but not ideal. However, it does have the advantage that when you adjust the volume on the TV, the volume of the signal being sent to the Amp also changes. Meaning you can continue to use the TV remote control to control the volume.

This is the lowest cost method.

2.) Analog Audio Out - Most new TV do not have this feature, though a few do. In some cases, the Audio Out is found in the SCART connector, and requires a very low cost adapter (£3 to £5).

In some case, there is an output on the back of the TV that looks like a headphone out, and may contain both the Analog (which is what you are looking for) and the Optical Digital Audio Out signal. Which you get depends on the type of cable you plug in. I'll discuss Optical Digital Audio Out later.

Or the Audio Out may be in the from of a Red/White pair of RCA-Phono style connectors.

Just one small problem, the Analog (meaning not digital) Audio Out is usually FIXED, meaning the output signal does not change with changed to the volume on the TV. Rather, you use the Volume Control on the Remote Control of the amp. There are a rare few TV in which the Audio Out can be switched between FIXED and VARIABLE. Variable is just what it implies, when the TV sound level changes, the output signal to the amp changes. But the most common and most likely is FIXED, so rather that the TV volume, you control what you hear at the amp.

This probably has the best sound quality of the Analog out options.

3.) Optical Digital Audio Out - This one gets complicated, because you need a means to converts a series of number to the voltage equivalent. Digital music needs to be converted to Analog music, and this is done with a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). Just one small problem DACs cost money. If you care about sound quality then a good basic DAC is going to cost about £150, though you can get a very basic single purpose one for about £50.

The Digital Optical Out of the TV plugs into the Optical input of the DAC. The Analog output of the DAC plugs into the Analog (AUX, TAPE, similar) of the Stereo Amp.

Now this assumes your TV is relatively recent, say within the last decade. Virtually all modern TVs have a Optical Digital Audio Out. Because what is coming out is just a series of digital number, there is no way to control the volume, so again FIXED level output. You need to control the volume with the amp.

So, those are your options.

If you have a Headphone out, and you want the simplest operation with virtually no additional cost, then this is probably a workable choice.

If you can determine that you TV has a standard Analog Audio Out, this is a bit better choice.

If you are stuck with just the Optical Audio Out, then it means some money out of your pocket for a DAC. How much or how little money is based on your budget and your requirements.

Hopefully that helps.

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Standard Member
Thanks for the info guys.

I have looked at the back of the TV and your right, the red white leads are input.

There is a output headphone socket there so think that is the best solution, so have ordered a lead and hope that works.

Thanks again


Distinguished Member
I'm sure the headphone socket will work. If you need the most basic trouble free connection, it is the simplest. Though you may still have to tweak the audio in your menus a bit.

Because the Headphone out will use the TV volume control, we need to come up with a reasonable blend of the TV volume and the amp volume. Before you plug the Headphone connection in, set the TV to a typical listening volume. This set the volume on the TV. Then plug the Headphone connection is and bring up the volume on the amp until you once again have a typical listening level.

You don't want the TV too loud as it can overdrive the inputs and cause distortion. But you don't want the TV headphone output too low either or you will have to turn the amp up too high.

I'm making it sound a bit complicated, but really instinct is sufficient to guide you to get everything right.

When you start using it, if the TV has to be turn up really high, then the amp is probably too low. By contrast if you are using hardly any of the TV volume control and it seems too loud, then the amp is turned up too high.

Again, I'm making it sound complicated, but you'll get where you need to be on instinct alone.



Active Member
Whats your source for your tv signal?

Some set-top boxes have analogue outs......


Standard Member
My source is from the out of my sky box, so wouldn't be possible.

I have tried the first option of a lead from the headphone output from the TV to the HiFi and unfortunately isn't a very good sound, it's fuzzy and not loud at all.

As for option 2 I don't seem to have an output that you mention.

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Most sky HD boxes have analogue outputs which can located in different positions locations on the back depending on the brand. On my box, they are positioned in a column next to mains connection as like in the pic below. (2).JPG.

Option 2.) Analog Audio Out.
Again most TV's still have a scart connection which can be used to extract TV audio. You would need a scart adaptor like in the link below.

The drawback with this method is that you will only get audio from the inbuilt free-view (if it has that) or anything that is connected using scart and not from anything that is connected to the TV using HDMI. I.e Sky box, Blu ray, top box, etc.

If sky box has analogue Outputs, then its worth a try and i would think SQ would be better than the TV's headphone output. If there is a Audio lag, there are options in the Sky box audio setup to compensate for this. You can adjust to suit.


IMHO. I would not use the headphone output. 1 the distortion is terrible. 2 lots of tvs now use digital audio amplifiers . Most modern TV's will have no safety earth as they are what is called double insulated.. lots of audio equipment still have a saftey earth this causes lots of hum and buzz when they are inter connected.. if you must use the headphone output you need to use a isolation transformer between it and the amplifier to give galvanic isolation .. sometimes it works just fine depends on the tv and the amplifier..

Regards Ian

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