Article ID : 00027070 / Last Modified : 03/29/2019

My TV Doesn't Output Sound Through the Optical Output

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The optical jack is designed to output sound when the content you are watching contains digital audio (PCM or Dolby Digital® technology). This feature is available on certain digital broadcasts and streaming video, and isn't supported on standard cable or analog stations.

If the content doesn't contain a digital audio signal, then no sound can be heard through this connection. A secondary analog connection can be used to pass the audio signal in this situation.

Sound sent to the TV through an HDMI® connection, or other input, may not output through the optical jack. In this case, the optical jack from the source device (Blu-ray Disc™ player, DVD player, etc.) should be connected directly to the home theater, or stereo system to get the sound.

Possible Causes

  • The connected home theater system, audio receiver, or sound bar isn't set to properly decode the digital signal.
  • Your TV isn't set to a digital channel, or playing content that is encoded in 5.1 audio.
  • The optical cable isn't securely connected.
  • The optical cable may be faulty.
  • Your TV may require a system software (firmware) update. Downloads are posted on your model support page.
  • The connected third party sound bar, or home theater system may not be compatible with your TV.
  • For KDL-xxR550C, and KDL-xxW650D models, the Digital Audio Out setting isn't set to PCM.

Troubleshoot No Sound Through the Optical Output

Check if sound can be heard using the optical output after trying each step.

  1. Set the home theater or stereo system to the appropriate input, and mode for the optical connection.
  2. Securely connect one end of the optical digital cable to the optical out on your TV. Connect the other end to the optical in on your home theater or stereo system.

    Note: The optical cable works properly if you see red light on both ends.

  3. Try changing the channel on your TV to another digital broadcast.
  4. Go into the Sound, or Speakers menu of the TV, and select External Speakers, or Audio System.
    • Some TVs require that the internal speakers be turned off before outputting the audio signal to another device. This step turns off the internal speakers.
  5. Update your TV to it's latest system firmware.
  6. Replace the optical cable.
  7. If the issue still occurs, disconnect the optical cable, and use an analog connection to output the sound from the TV to the audio system.

    Note: If using a source device (such as a cable set-top box, satellite receiver, or DVR) to get the signal to the TV, you may also be able to connect this device to the audio receiver using an optical connection. The image below provides an example of this type of connection:

    Source optical out

  8. Perform a factory reset .
  9. For the KDL-xxR550C, and KDL-xxW650D series, set the following:
    1. On the supplied remote, press the HOME button.
    2. Select Settings.
    3. Select Preferences.
    4. Select Setup.
    5. Select AV Setup.
    6. Select Digital Audio Out.
    7. Set it to PCM.