My conundrum is that I bought a second hand surround sound system that includes a receiver that only takes in RCA audio (The red and white cables)
Wheras, my tv does not output through any sort of rca. It has a digital out and a hdmi arc. I'm wondering if there's a cheap/plausible way to convert the audio to the rca in the receiver without losing audio quality and whatnot. Please let me know your opinions. I'd rather not have to drop a lot on a new receiver.
A lot of the converters I find online don't have a gurantee for supporting surround sound. As in, through the conversion it strips the audio down.
Here is an HDMI audio extractor, and no, it does not support decoding, but your TV probably does, which would serve your purpose. This device takes a digital PCM signal and converts it to the respective analog outputs. If your TV can not be configured to decode audio streams into PCM audio, this is not the device for you.
The only other device I see that comes close to what you're asking for is what kerberos_20 linked to. Unfortunately it appears to be a piece of junk and there are multiple copies of the same unit floating around on Amazon for the same dirt cheap prices, just with different branding slapped on the top. Read the reviews and you'll see the decoder sometimes cuts out, injects pops and clicks, has a high noise floor, and loses sync when used for long periods of time.
Your best option is to track down a proper amplifier with an input that meets your needs and has the ability to decode the formats you are going to send to it.
right...decoder.. english isnt my main language
tv will just convert it to stereo which is not what u want
and IF your tv can convert it to surround pcm, u cant use optical, as optical cable cant handle it, hdmi cable would be your only option here
ull need to convert digital dolby/dts if your receiver cant do it
Correct. PCM over multi-channel is only an option with HDMI, hence the device I linked to, and this is going to depend on the source of that HDMI audio, be it the OP's TV or media device he's sourcing the audio from.
At this point if you don't need HDMI, you can usually find amplifiers at second hand stores like Good Will that have TOSLINK or digital coaxial as an input and can at least decode DTS or Dolby. This may be a cheap way to get things going, until you can buy the unit you really want or need. Keep in mind however it's possible the digital out on the TV is only stereo, unless it's simply being used as a pass-through for the pre-encoded audio stream being fed to the TV. This would make the digital out all but useless for the intended purpose of transporting surround to an analog amplifier.