Conversion from digital to analog for earphones not working.

dahermit

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Sep 29, 2015
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I have a Panasonic Viera flat screen TV with only (of course), optical audio output (PMC optical signals) to which I want to connect headphones (I am very hard of hearing...my wife is not). I have connected my TV to a converter that takes a Toslink cable and converts it to RCA audio. To that have connected a "Y" cable that converts the RCA jacks to 3.5mm to which to plug in headphones. However, all I get is a rapidly pulsing noise.
What I have tried already: Tried moving the device away from electrical interference. I have plugged the power supply for the converter into a surge protector, not a wall outlet. I have shut off the TV's speakers. I have tried other TV channels...all the same. I have gone to setup and shut Surround Sound off. Everything I have tried has had no effect...no sound, just pulsing noise.
Any solutions or suggestions?
 

kanewolf

Judicious
Moderator


That are MANY types of devices out there. If you could post a web link (address) to the adapter you purchased it would be easier to see what might be wrong.

It seems like, from your description, that you are still just getting the digital signal in your headphones. You need an adapter that will convert from digital to analog.

This article -- http://www.soundsupport.biz/2011/11/27/how-to-connect-headphones-to-a-tv-with-only-digital-audio-connectors/ has descriptions and pictures ...
 

dahermit

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Sep 29, 2015
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I suspect that as per a previous respnse to my question, that the converter may not be working, I have ordered another Toslink to RCA converter. If it is a faulty converter, that should solve my problem, if it does not, at least then I know the problem lies with something relative to the TV (settings or digital signal), itself. For $13.00 or so bucks, it seems a logical way to go. The new converter will be here about Monday and I will post back here with the results.

 

dahermit

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Sep 29, 2015
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Addendum: Still waiting for the new converter. However, reading the TV's manual I came across this: "When an ATSC channel is selected, the output from the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT jack will be Dolby Digital. When and NTSC channel is selected, the output will be PCM."
The article states that in order for the conversion scheme to work, the output has to be PCM. I do not know, and my manual does not tell me what ATSC or NTSC is or how to change it. Can someone explain what those abbreviations mean and ideally, how to change from ATSC to NTSC.
 

kanewolf

Judicious
Moderator


ATSC is HD digital signal -- NTSC is standard def analog signal.

That is probably your problem. When you are watching a HD channel then the output is in the wrong format for the cheapo converter to work. The article I linked to had an amazon link for a converter that DOES support Dolby decode -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008U23F3E?tag=thewire06-20&linkCode=as2&creative=374929&camp=211189
 
kanewolf is correct about the adapter but there are other issues. The adapter does have a stereo mini plug output but probably doesn't have enough power to drive headphones. Also here is no way to control the volume since the optical out is fixed on the TV.
Sp you will need a headphone amplifier too, Maybe wireless headphones would make sense for you.
http://www.4homespeakers.com/wireless-tv-headphones.html?gclid=CMCdu7vUocgCFVcSHwodiEgPnw
 

dahermit

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Sep 29, 2015
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Whoa! "...you will need a headphone amplifier too..." Now what-where does a person get that and how much does that cost?
The new device came in (the one suggested as the one that would surely work, and it does not...just that same pulsing static noise). The adapter I purchasedhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008U23F3E?tag=thewire06-20&linkCode=as2&creative=374929&camp=211189 If others have had success driving headphones without an amplifier, why does mine not work? There is a headphone jack on it after all. Before I get expensive headphones and an amplifier so that I can control volume, or wireless I want to be sure it works albeit, poorly.

Addendum: I tried connecting my wireless headphones by plugging in their powered transmitter via their Red/White RCA jacks into the RCA jacks on the new digital signal-to-analog converter and I still just got that same pulsing static on the wireless headphones.

Still more: I have connected the digital optical cable to a home theater system and confirmed that one of its speakers produces the expected audio. However, the Home Theater that I have does not have any RCA Audio out, so I still cannot use headphones. So, it would seem that just connecting a optical cable to a optical to RCA/headphone converter has been over-stated as a way of connecting headphones to a TV that has no RCA output jacks, but only has optical audio output. At this point, it would appear that those who posted that the optical audio cable output has to go to an amplifier were correct and that there is no real cheap method.
 

dahermit

Estimable
Sep 29, 2015
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Unfortunately, after connecting the Toslink optical cable to my just-arrived headphone amplifier, I still get that same pulsing static on my headphones. Note that when I connect the optical cable to the home theater system, the sound works fine. What am I doing wrong here? Why no sound to the headphones?
 

dahermit

Estimable
Sep 29, 2015
12
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4,560
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For anyone else with the same problem, I solved it by buying a Sony DAV S300 VCR/amplifer. It has a volume control and an earphone jack. I ran the optical digital cable to it from the T.V. and it is working fine. However, my hearing loss is in the higher frequencies so the current crop of headphones being biased towards bass, is a problem.
 

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