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No sound with Optical Cable but sound test works?! (Samsung)

by hoff70 / April 5, 2011 11:13 PM PDT

Hello, and thank you for any advice and help!

I have a new Samsung HDTV (PN50C550G1F) connected to my 6(ish) year old KOSS Home Theater system via optical cable. The whole set up is as follows:

-Dish network box hooked to TV via HDMI
-Xbox 360 hooked to tv via HDMI
-Optical cable from TV to Home Theater (for surround sound).

The home theater is a DVD player, tuner, and has Av1 & Av2. I have the AV1 channel hooked up to the tv to use the optical cable. I get no sound from the TV to the home theater when I set the TV to "external speakers." Once in awhile I hear a quick "crack" or "pop" but no sound. The red light is on in the back of the tv and home theater. Light comes from both ends of the cable.

When I go to the self test on the tv it plays music perfectly through my home theater, but when it goes back to the normal tv mode it plays no sound at all. So the sound works great for the self test but nothing for normal viewing. This tells me that the cable is good and the connection is set up correctly. Furthermore, if I plug the optical cable from my Dish box to the home theater I get sound as well (not surround because the HDMI interferes with that, but I understand this...). Regardless, the sound works which again proves the cable is good and the connection is correct.

So I am very confused as to why the tv would play the music via the self test through the home theater but not the standard tv sound. I have called Samsung and they could not help me. Someone for their level 2 support is supposed to be calling me tonight, but I would like to resolve this issue myself if possible. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!!


PS: The weirdest part is that when I first connected the optical cable 3 days ago I got sound from the tv to the home theater when I set the tv to external speakers. I then had to wire up the rest of my speakers to the home theater, but did not touch or change the optical cable. After wiring the rest of my speakers to the home theater I lost all sound from tv to home theater, again except for the self test music.

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No sound with Optical Cable but sound test works?! (Samsung)
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / April 6, 2011 8:56 AM PDT


There are a few things that you might try based on what you posted.

What are you watching that isn't passing through? The TV isn't going to act as an optical pass-through for every connected device that support 5.1. Those should be separately connected to your HT system, and if the receiver is looking for a 5.1 signal only, then it isn't going to find one, with the exception of the tuner with a 5.1 broadcast.

If the test tone is working, then post what kind of devices you're using that aren't passing audio. The Dish/cable/sat boxes will generally allow you to pass 5.1 optically, even though there is HDMI connected, if that's the device you're going to be using most with surround sound. The audio settings in that device (Dish, for example) would have to be changed to reflect both optical output and 5.1. But it can usually be done.


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Follow up
by hoff70 / April 6, 2011 10:17 AM PDT

I have the dish box connected to the tv via hdmi and xbox connected to the tv via hdmi. I have the HT connected to the tv via optical cable. I watch DVD on the xbox and want the sound to come out of the HT system. I also want the tv (sat broadcast) to come out of the HT as well.

It makes no sense that the sound test works between the tv and HT but when the tv switches back to normal sat broadcast there is no sound. Also no sound when the xbox is turned on. Those 2 devices are connected to the tv but I want the tv to send the audio to the HT via the optical cable. There should be no reason why it won't.

Samsung level 2 tech support could not help me, 2 different people tried. There must be something everyone is missing... I need help to find it. Thanks in advance.

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Take a look at Onkyo connections.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2011 10:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Follow up

You find this setup: AV source -> HT -> HDTV

You are attempting AV source -> HDTV -> HT

And found it doesn't work. I read you see no reason why it won't work and I hope you can take a moment to see how most Onkyo systems are connected. Maybe you will insist on a fix but we see the posts continue from folk that keep trying it another way.

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by hoff70 / April 6, 2011 11:55 AM PDT


I appreciate your reply but you are asking me to look at an Onkyo system which is not what I have. I don't see what that has to do with my situation. If it is not possible to connect the components in the manner that I am attempting then I would like to know why the music for the sound test plays beautifully from the tv to the HT? Why would the sound test work and not the normal tv sound??

If this is the case and every component need to be connected to the HT individually (dish, xbox, etc), why does the tv even have an optical port?? What purpose would this even serve if it is not possible to send sound directly from the tv to the HT?


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I'm sorry it didn't help you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2011 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Explaination

I know you don't have the Onkyo. But to look for examples of hookups that work I chose some name and then we can compare.

Sorry but let's let you have time to ponder this.

As to your question why the optical port, if this unit has an ATSC Tuner then it is doing the decode and we'll be using that optical.

Hope this helps,

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by hoff70 / April 6, 2011 10:53 PM PDT


I am still not sure what the use for the optical port would be on the tv if every other component is supposed to be directly connected to the HT system. If the dish box is directly connected to the HT, the TV in essence wouldn't even be producing audio, just video. Why then is there even an optical port on the tv? If the tv is not capable of producing sound through a home theater system.

My question still remains: why would the sound during the sound test play perfectly from the tv to HT but not is normal tv mode? Nothing is changing on the HT end, only the tv switching back from sound test to normal viewing. Samsung support tried to blame it on my HT system but it has nothing to do with that.

There has to be something missing here...

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I feel that you may need
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2011 1:34 AM PDT
In reply to: ...

To talk to some home theater designer. Your reply from Samsung above gave you the answer but you seem to have dismissed it.

Since you don't want this to be true, we'll have to wait till it sinks in. Yes I hear you want it to work as you hooked up, but when you are ready to chat about the other configurations, I'm sure folk here will help you.

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What about this...
by hoff70 / April 7, 2011 3:05 AM PDT

...thought I am not satisfied with still not knowing why my current connections will not work, how about this:

If I buy a blu-ray player and connect it to the TV via HDMI and also to my HT via optical, will that work? Will this hopefully allow me to use the surround sound capability of my HT while still sending the picture to the TV?

If this will work I may just go that route. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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If you do that, you'll discover another common issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2011 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: What about this...

q. If I buy a blu-ray player and connect it to the TV via HDMI and also to my HT via optical, will that work? Will this hopefully allow me to use the surround sound capability of my HT while still sending the picture to the TV?

a. Yes. But you will may encounter lip sync issues unless the components have a way to adjust for that.

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by hoff70 / April 7, 2011 9:59 AM PDT

Well I did buy a blu ray today on eBay, now I wait.

I don't understand Bob, if this is also an issue then how in the world are you supposed to hook up a HDTV and home theater?? Seems there is no good answer according to your responses. According to the manual of the blu ray i bought, you can hook it to the tv via hdmi and to the home theater via optical. I hope this finally works. The blu ray is also a Samsung.

Here's hoping for quality and not frustration.

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Actually we covered this above.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2011 10:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Wow...

We hook it up as noted above. But many have to try the other ways with some successes and a lot of failures.

You might have avoided the bluray player for the test run if that DVD player had optical out.

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