How to Connect Soundbar to TV with Optical Cable

There are many ways to connect a soundbar to a TV that actually works. But today, we are going to look at how to connect a soundbar to a TV with an optical cable.

If you have had a critical look at your TV ports, you would notice an input port that is indicated “Optical”.

If you have seen it, good!. If you have not yet, then today I am sure you will see it you are to proceed with this method of connecting a soundbar to a TV.

The optical input port is one of the ways to connect your TV to a soundbar or a speaker and get high-quality sound. The purpose of this optical input is to allow for an optical cable connection in order to transmit digital signals.

So, I am sure you are reading the article because you have chosen to work with an optical cable to connect your TV to your soundbar. So keep reading…

When to Opt for an Optical Cable for Connecting Your Devices

The two most popular and better cable options for audio transmission from TV to soundbar are the HDMI and optical cables.

These cables can transmit high-res audio and work with various formats. But they work differently. As a matter of fact, HDMI is considered the best of them all.

This is because an HDMI cable is designed to be able to transmit an audio signal with fewer losses resulting in a higher quality sound than an optical cable.

Hence the reason many people opt for it. However, there are a good number of people that are still choosing to use an optical cable.

Furthermore, there are instances when using an optical cable will be much smarter, and sometimes, the only choice.

When Your TV Doesn’t have an HDMI Input

If your TV has an HDMI option, lucky you!. Some older TVs, as well as some soundbars, don’t have HDMI ports, and connecting the two devices can be problematic.

If that is the case for you, you will have to choose what is available which is the optical cable. The optical cable will also give you a good digital connection between the TV and your soundbar.

You want to Separate the Audio

In this scenario, you might want to separate the sound from the video, and to do that, you can use either the optical cable or the HDMI.

But isolating the audio sound from the digital source is a bit harder to achieve with an HDM than if you are to use optical cable. Hence optical cable is a better way to go.

You Need to Eliminate a Humming Noise

If you have a problem with any annoying humming noise that might be emitting out of your speaker. In this instance, you will need to isolate the device with an optical cable. Optical cables are designed to not generate such kind of noise.

Steps to Connect Soundbar to TV with Optical Cable

Whether you connect your TV to a soundbar or home theater system, the basic steps are similar. You can also connect it to other sources like a Blu-ray player, DVD player, or cable box.

Anyways, we are connecting a TV to the soundbar for now. This is quite straightforward and might take about 5 minutes.

Here are the steps to follow in connecting the cable.

1). Identify the optical output  port of the TV and Check if It has a Protective Cap

Check your TV and identify the optical output port. Generally, this is easy to identify because it’s mostly labeled to make it easy to identify.

Some optical ports have a protective cap for when they aren’t being used.

optical output connection ports on TV

If your TV has one of these – pull it out. Put it somewhere safe in case you stop using the optical connection in the future.

Other TVs might simply have a protective door, which will move out of the way when you push the cable in.

The same is true if you are connecting a cable box or DVD player – make sure the protective cap is removed.

2). Check the Optical Input Connection on the Soundbar

Since we will be connecting the TV to the soundbar, we need to also check for the optical input port on it.

As it is with the TV, also check to see if the optical input on the soundbar does not have the protective cap that needs to be removed or pulled aside to plug the cable in place.

3). Remove the Caps from the Optical Cable

If the cable is old, the caps may already be removed. But if they are new, then you will need to remove the plastic caps that are at the protective ends of the cord. They are located on both ends of the cable.

digital optical cable

4). Connect the Cable to Both the TV and Soundbar

To connect the TV and soundbar together with the cable, first of all, it is recommended you switch both devices off.

Then insert one end of the optical cable into the optical output port of the TV and the other end into the optical input port of the soundbar.

5). Set Up the TV and the Soundbar

After connecting the two devices, it’s time to switch back on the two devices and set them up. On both the TV and soundbar, you will have to use the remote and go to the source selection and switch the source to digital.

If you see a “D-IN” notification on the screen of the soundbar, you managed to successfully connect the soundbar to your TV with an optical cable!

Double-check to see if both connections are properly done and if you can hear the sound coming from the soundbar yet, just give it a small-time because sometimes, the audio doesn’t switch automatically when the TV is connected to the soundbar but it will start working in about a minute.

Congratulations on making your optical connection successful!.

What is the Best Way to Connect a Soundbar to a TV?

The best way to connect a soundbar to your TV is through the HDMI input. With an HDMI connection, you can easily process Dolby’s digital technology for a clear sound. Check this complete step-by-step guide on how to connect the soundbar to a TV with HDMI.

It is also the cheapest cable and it’s very simple to use. So, if audio quality is what you are after, then the best option is using an HDMI.

Additionally, an HDMI connection also enables you to stream content that uses technologies like Dolby Atmos, or DTS:X to be able to fully decode the sound that is provided by these technologies.

 That’s because other input connections like digital or analog won’t be able to deliver the crystal clear sound that HDMI ARC can.

Of all other TV to soundbar connections that exist, the best options are the HDMI and optical input connections.

Can You Use HDMI and Optical Audio at the Same Time?

This will depend on the device you are using. Most devices are able to send both send the audio through the HDMI and optical outputs at the same time.

Otherwise, if you want the audio separate, you will need to get an HDMI audio extractor to enable you to extra the audio and send it in a different format to a different device.

What If Your TV Does not have an Optical Output?

In this case, let’s say one of the devices doesn’t have an optical input. In such a situation, you will need to buy an audio adapter to convert the audio that the TV support.

You have two options; you can get an HDMI audio extractor to convert the HDMI audio to optical or coaxial digital audio to an optical converter.

Final thoughts

In a nutshell, connecting a TV to a soundbar with an optical cable isn’t all that hard or time-consuming.

With your optical connection, you can enjoy it better. An optical cable is another way to enjoy high-quality sound without an HMDI connection.

I hope this guide is helpful.


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