Connecting laptop to TV and to surround sound using HDMI and digital audio cable with some issues


Sep 25, 2016
Been doing my research here for a while, but just can't find the right answer. Hoping to find some clues here...

The current connection with my Samsung smart TV being the middle man.
Toshiba laptop ---> HDMI ---> Samsung smart TV
DirecTV receiver ---> HDMI ---> Samsung smart TV
Samsung receiver (receiver+DVD player combined) ---> HDMI(ARC) & digital audio cable (optical) ---> Samsung smart TV

#1: When I play DVD, 5.1 channel speakers all work great. So all speakers are hooked up well.
#2. When I play a movie on my laptop, my TV shows video/image, but my Samsung receiver plays only "2 channel speakers" (front left and right).
#3: When I watch cable TV via DirecTV receiver, my Samsung receiver also plays only "2 channel speakers" (front left and right).
#4: If I turn off my Samsung receiver, my TV plays both video/image and sound.
#5: Whether or not I connect the digital audio cable between my TV and Samsung receiver (of course, HDMI is still hooked up), I find no difference. Does this cable do any good?

My goal is to make 5.1 channel speakers work when I play a movie on laptop or watch cable TV as well. Is there anything wrong with my connection or set up?

I appreciate any advice that may help get this resolved!
I would rather bet on suspicion that your "HT in a Box" just does not process ARC in 5.1. Check both YV and HT specs (or with their tech support) to see whether surround sound is supported over ARC.

If your HT has optical input (which I doubt), audio extractor as suggested by @americanaudiophile should work.