Tcl digital audio out

Tcl digital audio out DEFAULT

It is possible to have an optical cable and a HDMI cable from the ARC input on a TCL 55P set attached to an A/V receiver simultaneously, but you will only get sound from either one or the other, depending upon what settings are enabled for CEC and ARC in the TV and in the receiver.  With CEC and ARC enabled on both TV and receiver, sound from the TV and its Roku applications comes through HDMI; when CEC and ARC are disabled, sound comes through the optical cable to the same receiver source input (TV= AV4 on my Yamaha receiver).  CEC is a prerequisite for ARC (you can have CEC control without ARC, but not ARC without CEC control being enabled). CEC and ARC is a dicey proposition depending upon the particular pieces of equipment being connected (works for some equipment combinations, but not reliably for others).  I attached optical first, then HDMI/ARC just to experiment, and verified the current source of TV sound by disconnecting either the optical cable or the HDMI cable from the receiver. In normal operation both cables are attached from TV to receiver.

It's the CEC function through a HDMI connection that would allow the soundbar to power on with the TV.  CEC control is not possible with just an optical connection.

tcl roku tv optical output

Every single electrical device, whether it be a laptop, mobile phone, desktop computer, or television, needs some sort-of electrical wiring to function properly.

In the realm of audio inputs/output, we have the analog audio outputs that consist of RCA, surround sound, Mini-stereo, RF coaxial, speaker wire, and XLR output. The second category is digital audio outputs, which consist of Displayport, SPDIF coaxial, USB audio, HDMI, and Toslink. Toslink is the official name used to identify the optical audio output port (Toslink port) or the input wire (Toslink cable) of an electrical device.

TCL Roku TV Optical Output

A standard TCL Roku TV has three different audio outputs, a millimeter jack (analog audio output), a digital optical out (Toslink), and at least three HDMI ports.

The Digital Optical Audio Out standard was introduced by Toshiba in The standard was originally created to use with compact disk players, which is why &#;digital optical audio out&#; is often termed as TOSLINK or Toshiba-link.

Most of the wires/cables used by a TCL Roku TV for audio input/output send/receive data using electrical signals. As mentioned above, TCL Roku TV has three different audio outputs.  Analog and HDMI outputs that use electrical signals to transfer audio/video data and &#;digital optical audio out&#; that uses optical fiber to transfer audio data only.

How to find the TCL Roku TV optical output?

According to TCL, every single one of their TCL Roku TVs has digital optical audio out. The optical-output is located on the back of a TCL Roku TV and marked with a white-color box that says, &#;Digital Audio Out (Optical).&#;

The optical output has a unique, U-shaped indention that glows in a bright red color. All of these symbols and indicators make it easier to identify, locate, and use a TCL Roku TV&#;s optical output.

Is it necessary to use a TCL Roku TV&#;s optical output?

The &#;digital optical audio out&#; standard was created in , meaning it has been in development for more than thirty-five years. But why is it that the HDMI cable, invented in , is more popular than the digital optical audio out standard? The reason is simple, HDMI can support both audio and video input/output, HDMI supports high-resolution audio formats like DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, HDMI supports multi-channel audio at multi-sampling rates in one cable, lastly, HDMI provides higher bandwidth than SPDIF coaxial and optical fiber cables. But even though the TCL Roku TV&#;s optical output cannot, in no way, compete with its HDMI port for video systems. The optical-output port still has some use when paired with TCL Roku TV&#;s audio system.

The TCL Roku TV&#;s optical output is still capable of carrying up to high-resolution channels. The TCL Roku TV&#;s optical output does not support high-resolution audio formats. But its audio format quality is still better than the analog audio output&#;s format quality.

If the TV has a free optical output port, you can use it to connect older audio gears to your TCL Roku TV.

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If you are looking to learn more about TCL Roku TV optical audio out settings, without having to dig deep into the manufacturer’s documentation, you’ve found the right post.

All the movies and TV shows that are accessible through Roku streamers now come with surround audio.

Here we will unveil everything about the Digital Optical Audio Out (S/PDIF) in detail and let you know how you can use it.

There is a lot to discuss today so shall we get started?

The Digital Optical Audio Out of your Roku TV is used to output audio for surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital or DTS. Since some soundbars and AVRs do not support HDMI inputs you can still use the optical audio out.

To do so you will need a TOSLINK optical cable which is not provided in the box.

Connect one end to the TV optical input and the other end to your soundbar or whatever device you’re planning to listen to audio with.

Even though it sounds really an issue at first glance, you may stumble upon a variety of issues that we are going to discuss in a moment.

TCL Roku TV Optical Audio Out Settings Explained

There are not many settings you can play with when it comes to digital optical audio output.

By pressing the Home button on your remote and navigating the Settings, you should be able to see a tab labeled “Audio”.

There you can choose between HDMI and S/PDIF, for optical audio out.

You can press on “Auto Detect” in order for your TV to detect if there is an optical output.


Some applications & channels such as Netflix might not use the optical output by default.

Specifically for Netflix, you might need to select the “English ()” under the “Audio and Subtitles” tab.

More About Formats

Different devices such as soundbars, AVRs, and TVs usually support different audio formats.

Some may be able to decode only Dolby Digital Plus, others Dolby Digital (Dolby D) or Dolby ATMOS.

To understand which formats are supported for your specific device, navigate to the user manual or the dedicated customer service.

Some applications are set to use a default decoder, and if your TV settings are set to use another decoder you might have audio issues.

Now when you know where to look for the digital optical audio out, let’s see how to connect it.

How To Set Up TCL TV Roku Optical Audio Output?

Most Roku TVs have such an output port and if your’s does not have, then the best way to go would be with the HDMI.

If so, don’t get discouraged, later in the post, we’ve prepared a list of steps to get the best results of your HDMI out, but first, we shall focus on setting up digital audio output.

As we already mentioned, with the Digital Optical Audio Output you will be able to enjoy more audio formats.

Now it is time to show you how to set it up.


For this tutorial, we are going to use a soundbar as an example.

If you’re trying to connect an AVR, feel free to apply the methods below confidently.

There are two possible occasions. Either your soundbar does not have any HDMI ports or you’re just trying to get better audio by outputting it through the optical audio out.

Regardless of your case, we got you covered under our next heading so without further ado, let’s jump right in.

How To Connect Optical Audio Out?

If there are no HDMI inputs on your soundbar or AVR, but there is an optical input here is how to connect it to your Roku TV.

For this step, you will need a TOSLINK optical cable, which is the recommended one by the Roku TV User Guide.


Whether you’re using a Roku TV or an external Roku device, the steps below will help you connect your optical audio out.

  • Connect the optical cable to the optical output of your Roku TV
  • Connect the other end of the optical cable to the optical input of your soundbar/receiver

Video will still pass through your HDMI if your device is connected to an HDMI port of your TV, but now the audio shall pass through the optical cable.

At this point, your surround sound installation should be working and if you’re having any issues keep reading as down below we will proceed with troubleshooting well-known issues.

TCL Roku TV Optical Out Not Working?

Once the Roku TCL TV optical audio out is connected you might be having trouble with one of two things.

Either you don’t hear audio or your video disappeared after connecting the optical audio.

If this is the case, you don’t need to worry as we got you covered with a few troubleshooting steps below.

You Don’t Hear Audio

If there is no audio coming through the optical output of your Roku TV, follow the steps bellow

  • Take your Roku remote and press the Home button
  • Navigate to Settings and then select Audio
  • Instead of choosing “Auto Detect” select a setting that matches your TV/AVR or soundbar capabilities

You can check which audio formats are supported in your device user manual/documentation.

The other way around would be to contact your manufacturer and ask for more information.


It is really important to ensure your device’s optical (or S/PDIF) audio out is assigned to the correct audio input source.

Learn how to assign an audio source for your specific device and if it is even supported.

You Don’t See Video

If you don’t see video on connecting your optical audio out, here are a few things to ensure before you jump to conclusions.

  • If you are running video through a soundbar or AVR, check if the right input is selected
  • Ensure that the correct input is selected on your TV
  • Inspect all cable functionality (ensure that all connections are secured and they are firmly attached to the rightful ports

It is highly unlikely for the video issue to be related to the optical out, so if the issue continues, we recommend disconnecting everything and starting over.

You might have connected something wrong in efforts to troubleshoot the issue.

Roku TCL TV Optical Audio Out…

If you have followed our setup guide and troubleshooting methods and the issue is still there, you can try contacting both the Roku customer support and your audio device manufacturer.

Hopefully one of these instances will come up with an idea that is still not spread across the technical communities online.

In general, there is nothing much that can go wrong, but there is always the possibility of a faulty hardware part, which can hardly be fixed at home.

Bottom Line

We hope our post was capable of explaining the TCL Roku TV optical audio out settings in detail and how to configure them.

You can always find more information about the digital optical audio output settings in the manufacturer’s documentation corresponding to your device.

If you find this post informative and helpful you will certainly find something interesting to read in our blog.

Don’t miss it out!

Read Next:Want to find a way to hide Roku Channels?

Nicole B

Nicole B

A tech expert and has huge industry experience. His expertise in solving Tech issues is well appreciated.

Nicole B

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Solved! TCL tv audio

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Out tcl digital audio

What Audio Equipment Can I Connect to My TCL TV?

Steven Spielberg once said, “I’ve always been of the belief that our ears lead our eyes to where the story lives.” 

Home theater enthusiasts know this to be true, as some of the best experiences in your home come from the audio that accompanies the movie. From an emotional soundtrack to an explosive car chase, right down to getting up to answer your home phone, only to realize that the phone ringing is a sound effect from the movie you’re watching and is not actually in your house. All those experiences contribute to making a great home set up even more entertaining.

Another famous Hollywood director, when talking about the sound you get with today’s flat-panel TVs, was quoted as saying, “It’s called ‘Tele-VISION,’ not ‘Tele-HEARING” (OK…that quote was actually me😊). 

Today’s super thin TVs deliver a truly AMAZING picture while looking equally stylish on a stand or mounted on the wall. Still, they present a limited performance envelope if you wish to truly get an immersive audio experience.

Often, I get asked the big picture question, “Can my TCL TV hook up to such-and-such model sound bar/receiver?” To summarize, I have never had a scenario where a customer had a piece of audio equipment that didn’t have some type of connection to which our TVs can connect and improve the experience. That being said, there is a difference between connecting something so that it works and getting something to get the best experience you can get.

For this next section, let’s assume that we are buying a new TCL TV and we need some new audio gear to go with it. I’ll go over the connections available on your TCL Smart TV that will get you enveloped in sound in no time. In ascending order of performance:

Analog Audio Output

All TCL TVs have an ANALOG AUDIO OUTPUT in the form of a mm jack.  With this, you can send analog audio to headphones, a sound bar, or a home receiver. Note you may need an adapter cable to go from mm to RCA L/R audio…only a couple of bucks. The limitations here are that you will only get stereo sound and it being analog instead of digital.

Digital Optical Out

Next up the performance ladder is a DIGITAL OPTICAL OUT, again, available on all TCL TVs.  With this, you will not only get digital audio quality but if you have a compatible sound bar or home theater set up, you’ll get true surround sound – up to Dolby Digital Plus. This means you’ll get sound in front, alongside, and behind you! With proper speaker placement, nearly everything you watch, including TV shows, movies, and video games, can take advantage of this added level of performance.


When it comes to your home audio setup, our most recommended option is also the simplest – HDMI ARC/eARC. Connecting your sound bar to your TCL TV via the Audio Return Channel (the “e” stands for “enhanced”) allows one remote to rule them (couldn’t resist). With an ARC/eARC connection, your TCL TV remote or any programmed universal remote will control the volume and TV seamlessly. And let’s be honest, using only one wire will help clean up that tragedy you call “cable management.” Our new 5-Series and 6-Series could help there too thanks to built-in cable management… just sayin’.

In addition to getting Dolby Digital Plus from our 3- and 4-Series of TVs using HDMI ARC, our award-winning 5-Series and 6-Series TVs will pass through the most exciting innovation in home theater since Dolby Stereo: Dolby Atmos! 

Cue up a movie on Vudu or Netflix or pop in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, and buckle up.  Among the many benefits that Dolby Atmos offers, my favorite is object-based tracking. But, Bruce, what is object-based tracking? Good question, Bruce! Object-based tracking is the ability to identify and track an object as it moves across the screen. It’s like the system says, “Hey! Follow the sound of that bullet as it ricochets around the room. Even above you!” It’s awesome!  

Well, there you have it, the full rundown of audio connections on your TCL TV. We are proud that we have a solution for nearly every conceivable home system set up, from the very basic to the most discerning home theater enthusiast’s systems.

There is still more information out there to learn about audio-visual setups, but that’s for a different day. But now, the AMAZING picture your TCL delivers will be complemented by great sound, allowing you to get the full cinema-like experience you deserve!*

*Popcorn and sticky floors not included.


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