I have my PC hooked up to the TV via HDMI cable, so I basically use it as a large monitor to watch Netflix and stuff. I'm currently looking to buy a soundbar for the TV. What type of cable makes the most sense in this scenario? The options are:
Digital coaxial in
Digital optical in
Audio In (3.5mm)
Another model also has HDMI, but it's more expensive and I'm trying to save some money.
HDMI ARC (both TV and SB must support) provides the highest bandwidth for uncompressed DTS-MASTER etc.
Optical next most popular good for plain ole 5.1.
Not every HDTV has ARC.
ARC is preferred because if the HDTV has it and the sound bar has it you can just connect them (and power) then it should just "work" instead of your HDTV speakers. That includes the VOLUME CONTROL on your HDTV.
If it doesn't have ARC then it's much more complicated. We must know the EXACT MODEL of HDTV or at least if it has an ARC solution.
*since you don't mention ARC for the SOUNDBAR I'll assume it doesn't have it... (your HDTV may not as well but that would be ideal if both did as I said).
USB? I'm not clear what that is even for.
Digital optical in (TOSLINK) is probably the best option. Hard to say as the 3.5mm output uses the HDTV DAC and the digital input uses the sound bars DAC so it depends which is better but generally speaking I'd use DIGITAL as that can avoid some added NOISE.
**Unfortunately as I said you may end up needing to use a REMOTE CONTROL for volume with that soundbar unless your HDTV can disable its speakers and still control the output volume.
My HDTV doesn't work that way. No volume control with the HDTV remote if I use external speakers. I'm also guessing the HDTV speakers SHOULD auto-disable but if they don't turn them off yourself in the HDTV setup.