Samsung produces top-of-the-range smart TVs that satisfactorily cater to the consumer’s needs. Like most TVs, the TVs can be connected to various peripheral devices to enhance service delivery.
Since TVs have weaker built-in speakers, connecting them to better speakers is always necessary to give the user a more immersive listening experience.
That is why I decided to connect my Samsung smart TV to my home theater, and it was a straightforward experience. Read on as I show you how to connect your Samsung smart TV to a home theater sound system to achieve a similar setup.
- Before connecting the home theater to your TV, ensure the speakers are properly set up and connected to the receiver or main unit, be it the subwoofer or soundbar.
- You can connect the home theater system to your Samsung TV using a wired or wireless method.
- The wired method includes using an HDMI ARC connection, an optical cable, or RCA cables. HDMI ARC is the preferred option.
- The wireless option entails connecting the TV to the home theater via Bluetooth.
- If you connect the TV to your home theater using RCA cables, the speakers will only output stereo audio even if you have a 5.1 or higher speaker system.
- Once you connect your home theater to the TV, you might have to set the TV and home theater to output audio through the option connecting the two devices, i.e., Optical, HDMI ARC, etc.
Setting Up a Home Theater System
Connecting a Samsung Smart TV to a Home Theater Sound System
After correctly setting up your home theater sound system, connect it to the TV. The steps to do this depend on what type of connection you intend to use and the ports available on the TV and sound system.
Most home theater sound systems have a receiver that acts as a central unit that connects to all the other speakers. Other models use the soundbar or sub-woofer as the central unit.
To connect your Samsung smart TV to the home theater sound system, you have to connect the TV to the sound system’s central unit. Below are all the possible ways of connecting your Samsung TV (or any other TV) to your home theater.
Using an HDMI Cable (BEST OPTION)
Samsung Smart TVs have an HDMI ARC port that connects the TV to external audio systems via an HDMI cable.
ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, meaning the HDMI connection can be used to send video from the receiver to the TV, but also to send audio from the TV to the receiver (and then to speakers). This reduces the number of cables required to establish a connection between the TV and the home theater.
An HDMI ARC connection is the best connection method between your TV and a home theater as it is less likely to have latency.
Ensure you have an HDMI 1.4 cable or a later version, as they are equipped to handle HDMI ARC connections.
Monoprice HDMI 2.1 Cable
You will need an HDMI 2.1 cable if you intend to use HDMI Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) since it supports more audio formats than ARC.
HDMI ARC and eARC Explained
Follow the steps below to connect your Samsung TV to the home theater via an HDMI connection.
- Ensure the TV and home theater system support HDMI ARC connections. You can check for HDMI ports labeled ARC or consult the device’s user manual to see if it supports the feature.
- Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the TV’s HDMI port labeled ARC/eARC, then the other to the home theater’s HDMI ARC port.
- Then power on both the home theater and the TV, and you should automatically hear audio coming from the home theater sound system instead of the TV’s built-in speakers.
- However, some home theater systems might require changing the input source to HDMI ARC by pressing the Input/source button.
- Once connected, the TV’s Anynet + (HDMI CEC) settings will be activated automatically. This feature allows you to use the TV’s remote on the soundbar/receiver for basic operations like adjusting the volume and changing input sources.
If HDMI CEC settings are not automatically activated, you can manually activate them by following the steps below:
If you have a Samsung Smart TV produced from 2017 to date, press the Home button on the remote, then navigate to Settings > General > External device management > Anynet + (HDMI CEC).
Enabling HDMI CEC on Samsung TVs Produced from 2017 to Date
If the TV was manufactured in 2016, press the Home button and navigate to Settings > System > Expert settings > Anynet + (HDMI-CEC).
For older models produced in 2015 and before, press the Menu button and go to System> Anynet + (HDMI-CEC).
Enabling HDMI CEC on Older Samsung TVs
Also, to ensure the TV output audio in a format that is compatible with the home theater, instead of outputting audio in an unprocessed format, ensure the HDMI eARC mode is set to auto.
To do this, press the Home button on the remote, go to Settings, select the Sound option, and scroll to Expert settings. Ensure the HDMI eARC mode is set to auto.
Connecting a Samsung TV (or any other TV) to an AVR – HDMI ARC, Optical, Coax, RCA
Using an Optical Cable
The second-best option is to connect your home theater to the TV via a digital optical cable. This connection uses a fiber optic cable that transmits sound data using light pulses.
CableCreation Optical Cable
To use this type of connection, ensure the TV and home theater sound system both have an optical port which will likely be labeled Optical out on the Samsung TV.
Also, ensure the home theater sound system is set to output audio from its optical input source.
The connection steps are as follows:
- Connect one end of the optical cable to the TV’s Optical Out port and the other to the Optical/Digital IN port on the Home theater’s main unit.
- The TV will automatically change the audio output to Optical, but you can do it manually if it does not.
- Press the Home button on the remote control and navigate to Menu > Settings > All settings.
- Then select the Sound option, go to Sound Output, and select Optical.
HDMI ARC VS TOSLINK
Using RCA Cables
Although Samsung is phasing out RCA connectors on their TVs, you might have an older model that still has the RCA ports. If you do, you can use them to connect the TV to the home theater.
The RCA ports on Samsung TVs are usually color-coded red, yellow, and white. The yellow port transmits video signals, while the white and red ports transmit left and right-channel audio signals.
Therefore, to connect the TV to a home theater using RCA cables, you would have to connect the red and white cables from a source device to the home theater. That is assuming the home theater has RCA ports, as most modern home theater systems lack them because they are outdated.
Alternatively, if the TV has a 3.5mm aux out port and the home theater has left and right RCA ports, you can use an RCA to Aux cable (Amazon) to connect the TV directly to the home theater.
To do this, connect the aux jack to the TV’s headphone port and then the RCA jacks to the RCA ports on the home theater. Then ensure the home theater is set to output audio from the RCA connection, and you should hear audio on your home theater speakers.
The major downside of this connection is that the audio on the home theater will output audio in a stereo even if you have a bigger speaker system like 5.1.
This is among the easiest ways to connect your TV to the home theater since it is a wireless connection. Unfortunately, it’s also the worst possible option.
Before you attempt this setup, ensure that the Samsung TV and home theater both support Bluetooth connectivity, as not all devices do. You can check online if the devices have Bluetooth on the manufacturer’s website or the user manual by reviewing the specifications and features.
Once you are certain, the TV and home theater support Bluetooth, get the home theater sound system into Bluetooth pairing mode. This is often done by pressing a Bluetooth button on the receiver/home theater’s main unit or on the home theater’s remote control.
Ensure all devices previously connected to the home theater via Bluetooth have their Bluetooth switched off to avoid signal interference.
Once the home theater is in pairing mode, follow the steps below to pair your Samsung smart TV to the home theater:
- Power on the TV and press the Home button on the remote control.
- Then navigate to Menu and select the Settings option.
- Next, select All Settings to get to the Sound settings.
- Select Sound Output under the Sound settings.
- Go to the Bluetooth speaker list option to reveal all the available Bluetooth speakers.
- Select your home theater’s sound system from the list and complete the pairing process.
At this point, audio should be coming out of the home theater.
Connecting a Samsung TV to a Soundbar via Bluetooth
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: How do I connect my surround sound to my Samsung smart TV?
- Answer: You can connect a surround sound system to your Samsung smart TV through various connections. Just ensure the speakers are connected to the main unit of the surround sound system, then choose a connection type to connect the main unit to the TV.
- The options to connect the TV to the surround sound are HDMI ARC/eARC, optical cable, coax audio cable, RCA cable, and Bluetooth.
- Question: Does Samsung Smart TV have audio output?
- Answer: Samsung Smart TVs have various audio output options. They include HDMI ARC/eARC, optical connections, RCA connections, Bluetooth, etc.
The best way to connect your Samsung smart TV to a home theater is to use an HDMI ARC/eARC connection, and the second-best method is to use an optical cable.
Suppose you have more connection problems with your TV, consult Samsung’s customer support or search for your TV model to access the user manual through the Samsung website. Also, carefully review the home theater’s user manual to make operating and setting up easier.