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Brian in Saint Joseph, Minnesota listens on KNSI and asked: “My question is regarding a television audio system upgrade. Needless to say the flatscreen TVs come with very poor sound. The TV that I want to upgrade, doesn’t have an optical audio output or that special “USB output.” I’m kind of at a loss. If you can give me some suggestions on how to upgrade the sound on this thing, it would be greatly appreciated.”
Brian, if you already have devices that take that optical audio input that you mentioned, then an HDMI audio extractor may help you.
HDMI cables carry both audio and video, and they are very convenient in that both signals travel through a single cable.
HDMI audio extractors are relatively small boxes that split those signals into just video and just audio, and some of them do come with optical outputs.
The cost is relatively low, you can buy a 4K capable box for around $25 and they would allow you to connect your TV to just about any existing audio setup that you may already have.
If you need to buy new speakers check your TV first, if its new it almost certainly has the option to output audio to Bluetooth.
If thats the case you can look for any soundbar or home theater system that takes Bluetooth as an input and youd be all set.
There are also audio amps that will do the HDMI audio/video splitting and allow you to make a wired connection from your TV to a brand new home theater system. The costs if you go that way will be higher, but many people still prefer the surround sound from a full home theater system over that of a sound bar.
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