Can I Pass 5.1 Sound from My TV’s HDMI Input to its Optical Output?

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Q Is Samsung’s 2016 Ultra HDTV line capable of passing a 5.1 surround sound signal received from an HDMI input to a Sonos Playbar system via its optical digital audio output? I’ve heard that only Sony and Vizio TVs provide this 5.1 passthrough capability.—Glenn Patton / via e-mail

A It’s true that Sony and Vizio TVs routinely provide passthrough of 5.1 audio from their optical digital audio output. The track record for other brands is more spotty. However, in his recent review of Samsung’s 65KS9800 UHDTV, a 2016 model, Tom Norton was able to confirm 5.1 Dolby Digital, but not 5.1 DTS, passthrough from the set’s optical output. This news bodes well for 5.1 Dolby Digital output capability from the rest of the Samsung 2016 UHDTV line.

joshr's picture

I had to access the service menu on my LG to turn on the feature allowing it to pass through dolby digital through the optical digital out. Not difficult. But, it took a while to figure out and most of the technical support at LG didn't understand the problem. It is easy to change on your own if you have a phone or tablet with remote capability and buy an app that allows you to access the service menu.