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Bought a new TV? Need some help setting up the input/output?

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Your simple guide to connecting your devices to the TV

Bought a new TV? Need some help setting up the input/output?

Wondering how to connect your TV to external devices such as amplifiers, TV Listeners, DVD players, Fire Sticks? In this blog, we talk about how you how you can set up your TV in order to watch your favourite movies and shows with volume quality that is both clear and loud.

At Sarabec, we understand that setting up your TV properly is key for the ultimate listening experience. We’ll help you choose the right settings without being weighed down by all of the new apps, features and different outputs/inputs you face when you buy a new TV or replace an existing one.

In this article, we talk about how you can get audio from digital sources like Netflix, Apple TV, FireStick, etc, and we discuss how you can set up your equipment with direct connection to Sky Q, Sky HD, & Virgin Media Set-Top Boxes via Optical Output.

Keep reading to learn about which TV audio settings you should select and which audio outputs are suitable for hearing devices, such as TV Listeners like the LA240 Loop Systems

Does Your TV Have the correct Audio Outputs for Your Needs?

First, let’s assess whether your TV has enough audio outputs for your needs. The most common TV Audio Output nowadays is Digital Optical Output, also known as SPDiF. This allows you to connect your Hearing products directly to the TV using a TOSlink Optical Lead.

Connecting directly to a Television via Digital Optical Output

Once we have finished the first step, which was to plug your device into the Digital Optical Output at the back of your TV via the Optical cable we mentioned above, you will need to make sure that the TV is set to PCM. Every TV is different, however generally speaking there are a few different settings to look out for and a few rules to follow:

  1. Go into the Audio/Sound Settings menu on the TV
  2. Search for ‘Digital Audio Output/Optical Out/Audio Output Mode/Toslink Settings’
  3. Select PCM (If available) it could also be described as ‘Normal’ or ‘Stereo’
  4. Save the setting, and at this point we always recommend that you restart your television, by turning the power off at the wall for at least 30 seconds.

NOTE: You will have received a microphone along with your equipment. Attaching this to the speaker grille of your television is an excellent back-up solution when connecting to the TV and will always guarantee sound into your system.

Setting up your equipment with direct connection to Sky Q & Sky HD Boxes via Optical

  1. Press Home on your Sky Q remote, select Settings, then select Setup
  2. Select Audio Visual, then select Digital Audio Output Optical and set it to ‘NORMAL’
  3. Press the GREEN button to save the settings
  4. Power OFF the Sky Box, leave for 30 seconds and turn back on.
  5. Leave for a further 5 minutes until the box has had chance to re‐calibrate itself and then test the system

Setting up equipment with direct connection to Virgin Media Set-Top Boxes via Optical

  1. Press Home on your remote > Select Help & Settings > Select Settings > Select Audio
  2. Switch Dolby Digital to PCM. This setting applies to both HDMI and Optical Out
  3. Power down the box for 5 minutes, restart the box, leave for a few minutes, and test the system
  4. Virgin Media 360 Boxes ONLY: Select settings>settings>

Why don't I get audio from digital sources (Netflix, Apple TV, Firestick, etc.)?

Audio coming from certain content providers or devices (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV etc.) is set to Output Dolby and not PCM by default.

To resolve this:

  1. Change the ‘Digital Audio Output’ Format in the app or device to PCM.
  2. Then try the normal audio settings within the app (Netflix, Apple TV, Fire Stick, etc.). Please bear in mind that sometimes these audio settings are only available once something is playing on screen.


  • This does NOT guarantee that you will hear the audio from these sources through your hearing equipment, but it does give the best chance.
  • When connecting directly to an external device such as SKY or Virgin Media box, you will not hear channels and smart services from the TV through the connected hearing equipment.

Useful Connection Accessories

Get the Sarabec Dolby Digital Audio decoder

£39.98 inc VAT

A clever little device which will in most cases allow you to connect any of our Television Listening systems (LA240, Sonumaxx & Earis) to any television, set top box or audio output device without needing to change the settings on the television to output PCM signals.

This is especially useful when the television or other audio source doesn't auto switch to PCM output or when you cannot find the appropriate settings in the menu systems.

Get the Sarabec Arc Converter

£39.98 inc VAT

If connecting to your television using our ARC Audio extractor then you must ensure that the HDMI socket you connect to is marked as HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC.

  • If you’re trying to connect to your television using our ARC Audio extractor, then you must ensure that the HDMI socket you connect to is marked as HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC.
  • If, after connecting your hearing equipment to the television via the ARC Audio extractor, you do not get a sound output, or the sound you get is distorted, then please change your television audio output settings to PCM, STEREO, or AUTO instead of Dolby Digital. (Some televisions auto switch this function, but the majority don’t).
  • Connection via the eARC socket will, in most cases, cut out the internal speakers from the television.

A List of Common TV Connectors

Optical/SPDIF/Digital Audio/TOSLink (Preferred connection method)

For this connection, you will generally need to manually change the TV/connected equipment audio output to PCM.


Can be used in conjunction with the HDMI ARC Audio Converter. Will usually cut out the internal speakers of the television.

PHONO/RCA (Alternative method)

Make sure that the RCA sockets are marked as Audio Output and not Audio Input when connecting.

3.5mm Audio/Headphone (Alternative method)

In most cases, using this socket will turn off the internal speakers of the television. However, many televisions have a setting which allows the speakers to remain active while this socket is in use.

At Sarabec, one of the most frequently asked questions we face is: Why isn’t my TV connecting to my hearing product? If you’ve recently purchased a new TV, you should know that not all TVs are the same. Different brands or models usually have different setup menus. So, please get in touch with us first if you need advice on TV compatibility to ensure you’ve made the right choice for your hearing needs. You can also download a PDF version of our 'Connecting your devices to the TV' guide here.


At Sarabec Ltd, the leading UK suppliers of hearing equipment, including loop systems, extra loud doorbells, phones, and other products, we aim to offer a layer of independence while supporting the day-to-day living of those with a hearing impairment.

For FREE advice on the specifications of our products, get in touch via our contact form today.

We hope you've found this blog about connecting your devices to the TV and setting up the input/output helpful. For more helpful blogs, please check out our news page.

Audio Interface Products

Dolby Digital Audio Decoder Kit

Dolby Digital Audio Decoder Kit

£29.99 INC. VAT

HDMI ARC Audio Extractor Kit

HDMI ARC Audio Extractor Kit

£39.98 INC. VAT

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