Connecting digital audio of PC to soundbar from HDMI output to Optical input

chris_sansum

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Sep 20, 2017
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Hi all,

I have recently bought a Dell XPS 8920 PC. I also have a standalone Blu-Ray player (Sony BDP-S490), and want to use both through my new Acer H257HU monitor. I have connected the PC to the monitor using the DVI sockets, and the Blu-Ray to the monitor using the HDMI sockets, which works fine.

Now I have just bought a soundbar (Orbitsound M9), and want to connect PC and Blu-Ray player to it by the best way possible. The soundbar has Aux in (2 x phono) and Optical input, 1/8" stereo jack input, plus also Bluetooth.

I have connected the Blu-Ray directly to the soundbar via 2 x phono cables, which sounds great. I have connected the PC audio out to the soundbar via the 1/8" jacks, which sounds ok, but I'm wondering whether there is a way to connect PC to the soundbar digitally, and whether it will sound better? The PC has no Optical output. Since the HDMI socket is still free on the PC, is there some way that I can send the PC's digital audio from the HDMI socket on the PC to the Optical input on the soundbar? And is it worth the effort of finding a way to transmit a digital audio signal instead of using the 1/8 analogue jacks on PC/soundbar?

The PC is this one: http://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/desktops-and-all-in-ones/xps-tower/spd/xps-8920-desktop/cdx89201 - Ports and slots can be seen under Tech Specs.

As an aside, I have tried using the optical cable to connect between Blu-Ray and Soundbar, but I am getting white noise. Guess this is likely to mean a problem with either the Blu-Ray player or Soundbar optical output/input or the cable. I did get it to work once, but every other time has resulted in white noise. I'll need to find another device with an optical output to troubleshoot this.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated, as I am new to all of this!

Thanks in advance,

Chris
 

chris_sansum

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Sep 20, 2017
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I managed to solve the 'white noise' issue. This was a matter of going into the Blu-Ray player's audio settings and changing a couple of settings to 'PCM'. I will do some comparisons between outputting from the phono sockets on the Blu-Ray player, and sending it out of the Optical output, to see which sounds best.

So the remaining question is whether there is some way to send a digital audio signal out of the PC, and whether this would result in a noticeably improved sound quality compared to sending the sound out of the 1/8" jack output.

Thanks again for any help!

Chris
 
You can get HDMI audio extractor - a device with HDMI input, HDMI output, and optical digital output. You will need another HDMI-to-DVI cable to connect to your monitor, then switch audio and video on the PC side to go thru HDMI. But getting an USB soundcard with optical out could be a cheaper alternative.

As for whether you will get better sound via optical than via aux - compare the sound you're getting with from your BD player.
 

chris_sansum

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Sep 20, 2017
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Thanks all. Seems simplest to just use the 1/8" analogue jacks on PC and soundbar. Sound quality seems fine, so I'll probably stick with that, and send the optical cable from Blu-Ray to soundbar. Setup seems good for what I want.
 
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