Originally Posted by mikepier
The SPDIF output on the tv will always be on regardless of what input you are using. The big question is can your new tv output Dolby Digital 5.1 when using inputs other than the internal antenna tuner input or apps. Most tvs out there will downmix the output to 2.1 stereo, however I have been noticing more and more tv's are outputting 5.1 from the tv's optical out. My 2013 Vizio and my 2009 Zenith (actually LG) does output 5.1 from the optical out when using my cable box or DVD player. So you may be in luck.
If however your tv does not do this, and if your receiver only has 1 optical input, then you are probably better off using the xbox/PS4 to watch games and stream Netflix.
Also keep in mind when playing games or watching Blu-Rays on your PS4, you will not get Dolby Tru-HD or DTS-MA , which is fine since you will still get 5.1 out of the receiver. But when you shop for a new receiver, make sure it can support those formats. Also keep in mind to get Dolby Tru-HD or DTS-MA, the PS4 must be hooked up to the receiver by HDMI. It will not be supported using an optical cable.
Just curious, what is the model of your receiver?
From the owner's manual, I see:
To use Digital Sound Out
SMART ➾ Settings ➙ SOUND ➙ Sound Out ➙ External
Speaker(Optical/HDMI ARC) ➙ Digital Sound Out
Sets up Digital Sound Output.
Item | Sound Input Digital | Sound output
Auto | MPEG | PCM
Dolby Digital | Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus | Dolby Digital
HE-AAC | Dolby Digital
PCM | All | PCM
So, judging by that, the Optical can output to either PCM or Dolby Digital, which is fine by me. However, it also says, "Audio with ACP (Audio Copy Protection) function may block digital audio output." - So, that could mean Blu-ray and game, unless I plug directly into the PS4's optical port. As the poster above you suggested, I need to stop assuming things, but it's difficult when the manuals do not give me all of the information I'm looking for.
I suppose I could always use a TOSLINK splitter, but now you guys have me concerned that the TV won't even output 5.1 audio (via optical) even from things that originate with the TV (such a Netflix app, DivX USB movies, etc...). I may just have to get a new receiver and use HDMI for everything. If I get a new receiver, will using HDMI ARC solve my problems and provide 5.1 audio FROM my TV to my receiver? I read that ARC (at least, with LG TVs) does not support DTS. What the heck? Why must everything be complicated?
So, since I seem to be a bit confused here... Assuming I can buy all of the peripherals I need, that is the simplest way to get All Dolby/DTS surround sound from my cable box, PS4, AND HDTV (movies via the USB, Netflix, etc...? I know that my PS4 and cable box should just go in to the receiver, but I'm curious about getting surround sound from the audio my TV produces - and since ARC doesn't support DTS, therein lies my concern, unless I'm overlooking something.