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connect optical audio speakers to tv with no optical audio

Discussion in 'Audio' started by thuhobbit, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. thuhobbit

    thuhobbit

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    Oct 30, 2014
    so i am new to this. i recently bought a Bose CineMate GS Series II digital home theater speaker system, along with my Avol tv. The tv has no optical audio port for it, so i cannot connect it directly to the tv like i would like to. I am looking for a solution, but nobody i know has any expertise on this subject.

    i was looking at getting an AV reciever, but again i do not know how i would set it up to make all of the sound run through my speakers, let alone which one to even get. i have a budget of about $300. if anyone can help me out with some solutions and diagrams i would greatly appreciate it.

    here is the set up i would like to create:

    Xbox 360, DVD player/blue ray, and possibly laptop computer all hooked up to AV reciever
    speakers play audio from any of the electronic devices when selected
     
  2. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Are you sure it only takes an optical connection?

    This info from Amazon indicates otherwise:

    And the picture of the interface box shows a white and red RCA jack, standard for line level audio input.

    Bob
     
  3. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Please elaborate OP.
    Are you attempting to get 5.1 or 7.1 audio?
    If so, there are devices that convert a digital coax to an optical line. This would be your ticket.
    Otherwise you are stuck using the White/Red audio RCA plugs and an 'emulated' surround sound.
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Gryd3,

    It is not surround sound, just two speakers and a subwoofer. The RCA jacks should work fine for input.

    Thuhobbit,

    Does you TV have RCA audio out jacks? If so, just connect them to the jacks on the interface box.

    Bob
     
    Gryd3 likes this.
  5. thuhobbit

    thuhobbit

    2
    0
    Oct 30, 2014
    it does, but for some reason my tv doesnt have that either...it came with some crappy headphone jack for an adaptor to the rca. then i have to hook the bose into the adaptor. when i do this, i really loud humming sound comes out of the speakers.
     
  6. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    The loud humming is most likely caused by a ground loop or a cabling problem.
    Cheap audio adaptors, or cables have little to no shielding and pick up the humming which is usually the frequency of your mains.
    Try a better quality audio cable, or different sources... ie, if your using a 'headphone' plug from the TV, try plugging it in to your phone or iPod and see if the humming persists. This would rule out the shielding problem, and would leave you with a ground-loop problem. The resolution for the ground problem is buying a ground loop isolator. Look at some electronics and audio shops for this.
    The resolution for the shielding problem is using better quality undamaged cables/adaptors.
     
  7. BobK

    BobK

    7,609
    1,648
    Jan 5, 2010
    Are the TV and the Bose plugged into the same outlet? If not, try that.

    Bob
     
  8. JT_3k

    JT_3k

    6
    1
    Nov 5, 2014
    You can easily and simply buy an RCA ground loop isolator which (in conjunction with the RCA - 3.5mm cable) should solve the hum. Really we need to know what connections the TV has and similar for the stereo kit. You can purchase an analog - digital converter but that's overkill really and my not resolve the buzz/hum. I would also suggest trying a different RCA - 3.5mm cable as that's often an issue, preferably of a different design to ensure it seats differently (hopefully properly).

    ****However****
    [long answer alert]

    I've been doing 'good' AV on a budget for a while now and would advise a slightly different route. As a side note, I know 'good' is a perception but when I refer to that I mean a reasonable amount of volume (enough to bother the neigbors - not that I intend to), sufficient quality to hear fairly accurate sound reproduction (I'm not talking audiophile levels - just roughly level tonal response without crackling) and (for me) decent seperation in terms of sounds in my 5.1 system being placed roughly where they should, especially when using DTS input like blu-ray or similar.

    Sadly, as you've already purchased the Bose system, you've kinda started on that road and it's immensely difficult to get that to play ball well with an AV reciever. Bose stuff is designed to be a closed ecosystem and whilst the quality is high, the amps and speakers are highly tuned to each other. Removing their speakers and attaching them to the AV reciever would likely give a poor sound. I do say this without intending to upset or provoke and I do love Bose kit for clarity and reproduction - it is a 'good' system. I would relegate it to other duties, return it or sell it.

    In your situation, I'd buy a used 5.1 AV amp from eBay to start. You have $300 and should be able to get something well within the bounds of workable for half that or just below, particularly if it's local and for pickup only. Ideally? Something 2-5yrs old with 3 or more HDMI inputs, 5 direct speaker outputs, a subwoofer pre-out and try to get something from someone like Yamaha, Sony, Onkyo or similar. Try to find one where the rear channels are not considerably under-amped as this will make a big difference with movies. Add some used 'eBay special' floorstanding speakers and shell out on a decent-ish used centre speaker with the rest of your budget. Throw in a cheap used active sub and you've potential for something 'good'.

    My setup is static and similar to that. I upgrade stuff slowly as it starts to annoy me. The amp was changed from a 10yr old $150 to a fairly new $250 unit three years ago as the seperation wasn't perfect and the first amp didn't have HDMI. The rear speakers just after as my old ones didn't offer a straight enough frequency response (lacking in bass response) and most recently I've changed the sound card in the PC that's connected so my DTS/ProLogic signals are passed through properly rather than being 'downmixed' to two channels by the PC and upmixed by the amp 'guessing' where the sounds should go - this has given a massive improvement.

    If you're looking for something 'good' but want to stick with 2.1, you'd be fine to do as above but leave off the rear speakers. Just don't try to mix the Bose and a non-Bose AV amp as this will provide very poor sound, plus with the Bose kit being quite pricey, would really be a massive waste of money! If you could get the AV amp to 'feed' the Bose, likelihood is that the delay in sound would be untenable - with lip-sync to the TV being a major issue.

    Hope that doesn't offend!
     
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