well, generally optical is 2.0 stereo UNLESS specifically noted that it supports compressed dolby sound over optical.
optical can only pass 2 channels uncompressed audio though can do 5.1 compressed if both your source device and destination device support it. many higher end devices do while many lower end devices do not.
Sooo... i don't know much about home theatre, audio devices ecc., so I'm gonna just follow what you suggest... all I want is a real 5.1. Now I have an HDMI cable and an optical audio cable, but I can buy other cables if needed. So what do you suggest I should do/buy?
does the home theater and your tv both support hdmi ARC (audio return channel) ? if so you could use hdmi to take audio from your tv and send it to the home theater and use a hdmi from your pc to tv (which then goes to the home theater) to get audio. assuming of course you have hdmi ARC support on those two devices
well, if you do not have ARC and if the optical on your unit doesnt support 5.1 then there is no way to get 5.1 (other than to use a whole different receiver unit which DOES support this). since its brand new, thats not really an option.
the hdmi cable is likely an output correct? i'm guessing you have a HTIB unit and the box you showed us a picture of is the back of the dvd/br player correct? this would be an output only (unless it had ARC). i cant read the photo at all so assuming its an output only.
i'm more worried about your home theater connectivity at the moment than your pc.
it seems like you have hdmi, 3.5mm, optical and coax. not sure if your motherboard supports 5.1 out of the optical though. what matters most at this point though is that your home theater doesnt seem capable of receiving a surround sound input.
i mean if you already have it out of the box and are using it, you could TRY to see if you get 5.1 via the optical but i'm doubtful. if its still all packed up sealed in the box you might want to just think about a different model with better options for connectivity. your call.
I've already installed it... Well, my priority was 5.1 on Blu Ray discs and I have that. Then I wandered if I could connect the home theatre to the pc, that is only an option for me, the feature I really wanted is that mentioned above, so if I can't do that that's not a big problem Are you sure that not even by buying something like a cable adapter, converter or other devices I don't even know I can't have that 5.1? If I can't have it that way, maybe there's something else I can do. I don't have the manual at hand right now but I remember having read something like "establish a home network and play video, music, Ec. Directly from your pc". Now it's very late in Italy (yeah, I'm Italian and sorry for my eventually bad English XD) and I really need to get some sleep but tomorrow I'll come back here and post about that feature. Do you have any idea of what that could be about and if I could have 5.1 by that? Also, my original plan included buying a ps4 in July or August, and connect that to the home theatre. The ps4 has only hdmi and optical audio... So no 5.1 even there?
Oh and thanks to everyone for the fast replies
if your home theater doesnt support 5.1 on optical, you'd have the same issue with the ps4.
this is why its a good idea to get either an ARC capable device when getting a HTIB or at least one which supports 5.1 input. preferably i recommend seperate receivers and dvd/blueray players for tons of connectivity options.
the only thing i can suggest is to read up and see if your unit actually supports 5.1 via optical (remember both the source device and destination device need to in order to use it in this way, otherwise its just 2.0). other than that... i dont think you have any options.
unfortunately i hear stories like this quite often and it really is pretty cruddy that they do not put surround inputs even on cheaper units (but i suppose this is incentive for you to buy their higher priced models).