Question Best way to hook up surround sound system to TV and PC

Oct 29, 2020
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So I use my PC for everything, and TV as a primary monitor (though I have a secondary monitor for school stuff).

  • New TV is samsung 4K HDR, with HDMI and an ARC input.
  • PC GPU is GTX 1060, with two HDMI output.
  • I bought a second-hand 5.1 LG home theatre system, which has a blue-ray player as a receiver that has HDMI output.
So it will be a few days before I can pick up the surround sound system, but I am sure that there will be technical issues involved like with everything else. Also I have never owned a surround sound system before, only a simple soundbar with amp (which never really worked as well as it should, because I think it was defaulting to 2-channel as I could only connect it to TV and not PC).

Anyway, I am just try to consider the best way to add this surround sound set up to my PC-TV arrangement and experience true 5.1 sound. I'm not very experienced with sound systems, and it looks like an HDMI ARC connection would simplify this procedure, though the sound system is somewhat older than the ARC standard, so I don't think I can just connect it straight to TV ARC input?

I was also looking at audio extractors on Amazon, because I feel like they somehow hold the answer, though I am not 100% sure of how they work exactly. And most of them look like junk, to be honest. So what would be the best way to set all of this up? And also, should I be connecting the surround sound HDMI output to the PC (GPU or motherboard?), or should it be going to the TV, which is getting the sound from PC HDMI output?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Since you did not list the LG system you got we have no idea how you can connect things to it. Generally those all-in one systems are limited in numbers of their linputs and outputs.

The simple answer is the computer HDMI output goes to the home theater input, home theater HDMI output goes to the TV HDMI in. Should all work. Nothing fancy or too much thinking is really needed. One thing that may put a wrench in all this, did you make sure the home theater can take and pass through a 4k signal to the TV from the computer? You may be limited to a 30hz refresh rate at 4k if you have an old HDMI standard on it or it may not work at all properly. 30hz is pretty bad for a computer display, will have screen artifacts during motion.
 
The simple answer is the computer HDMI output goes to the home theater input, home theater HDMI output goes to the TV HDMI in. Should all work.
That's one way.

Another way:
PC HDMI out to TV HDMI in and
LG Home Theater HDMI out (must support ARC) to TV HDMI in (ARC).

This way 4k signal from PC goes directly to TV and TV passes only sound to LG Home theatre. Also you can play BluRay disks on LG Home theatre.
 
Oct 29, 2020
4
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10
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Since you did not list the LG system you got we have no idea how you can connect things to it. Generally those all-in one systems are limited in numbers of their linputs and outputs.

The simple answer is the computer HDMI output goes to the home theater input, home theater HDMI output goes to the TV HDMI in. Should all work. Nothing fancy or too much thinking is really needed. One thing that may put a wrench in all this, did you make sure the home theater can take and pass through a 4k signal to the TV from the computer? You may be limited to a 30hz refresh rate at 4k if you have an old HDMI standard on it or it may not work at all properly. 30hz is pretty bad for a computer display, will have screen artifacts during motion.
As I said, the DVD player it all connects to only has an HDMI output. There is no HDMI input. It is an HT963PA model.
 
Oct 29, 2020
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That's one way.

Another way:
PC HDMI out to TV HDMI in and
LG Home Theater HDMI out (must support ARC) to TV HDMI in (ARC).

This way 4k signal from PC goes directly to TV and TV passes only sound to LG Home theatre. Also you can play BluRay disks on LG Home theatre.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I am asking: if I can just run a cord from the TV to the receiver. There really isn't much for output on this receiver, aside from an HDMI out and optical in.

For some reason, there is no optical output on my PC. TV does support optical however, and dolby digital and whatnot. So would it be enough to hook up the TV to the receiver via optical?

Also, TV has some additional settings for SPDIF; is this the same as thing as the optical connection in this instance?
 
Oct 29, 2020
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So I set everything up, turns out the receiver (DVD player) is older than I thought. HDMI from DVD player to TV displays the DVD player screen. Optical into DVD player from TV does connect the speakers, although only to the two tower speakers (2 channel). PC only wants to send 2-channel sound to the TV, so I can't really get around that.

My best way to proceed at this point is probably to find a way to connect the optical to the PC directly. Since my PC does not have any optical outs, I ordered a soundcard that does (Sound Blaster Z), which according to reviews, is commonly purchased for this purpose.

I find it difficult to believe that you require some fancy pants $500+ 4K receiver with multiple HDMI/ARC connections to make this possible. I feel like the sound card should work, though a little unsure about how it would work in conjunction with NVIDIA GPU video output.
 
Sep 13, 2020
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Use the arc channel hdmi or you may have hdcp and hdr issues if you pass through the reciever.

Arc ttohdmi to arc output on avr. Pc and any other device to a separate hdmi port on tv. Turn arc on on the TV and the receiver, look in the manual for what input to set the reciever to mine is tv.
 
...I was also looking at audio extractors on Amazon, because I feel like they somehow hold the answer, though I am not 100% sure of how they work exactly. And most of them look like junk, to be honest. So what would be the best way to set all of this up? And also, should I be connecting the surround sound HDMI output to the PC (GPU or motherboard?), or should it be going to the TV, which is getting the sound from PC HDMI output?
Since your LG is crippled, and your TV does not have optical output this is the only way - The HDMI audio extractor will just give you the optical spdif output you need for your LG, just checked they are between $15 ~ $25

I have a similar situation with my Vizio / PC setup, my PC gpu HDMI out to TV, optical out on TV to my old trusty Onkyo optical in - 5.1 works very well (once I set my digital audio out to "bitstream" on the TV)

Also remember, web browsers will not decode the audio so you will be stuck with stereo output, where VLC and HTPC apps will decode the surround properly...

...My best way to proceed at this point is probably to find a way to connect the optical to the PC directly. Since my PC does not have any optical outs, I ordered a soundcard that does (Sound Blaster Z), which according to reviews, is commonly purchased for this purpose...
EDIT - Missed this, this will also work to get your optical out to the LG, albeit a bit expensive however will be far better than your on-board sound, and if you use headphones try out the SBX v-surround it is quite good.
 
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