tcl roku tv optical audio out settings

TCL Roku TV optical audio out settings contain many useful sound output-related options and in this guide, we’ll learn everything about them.

Here you’ll understand what each of the settings means, how to access, and how to enable the optical digital audio output on the TCL Roku TV.

The Roku TCL TV optical audio output settings can be reached from Settings > Audio > “S/PDIF and ARC”.

In addition, there are audio mode settings that need to be configured as per the supported – 5.1 Dolby Digital, PCM-Stereo, or DTS audio formats.

Let’s continue to unwrap!

TCL Roku TV Optical Audio Out Settings – Explained

The optical audio output uses a fiber optic cable and transfers signals in the form of pulses to achieve high-quality audio transmission.

The immersive and crystal-clear sound is supported on the TCL Roku TV and allows you to connect any speakers in order to output the audio.

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The standard TCL Roku TV has 3 different audio output ports:

  • The 3.5-millimeter jack 
  • A digital optical out
  • 3 x HDMI output ports
tcl roku tv optical audio output explained

In order for the optical audio output to work, you need to use the port on the back of the TCL Roku TV, labeled “Optical Out”.

This is where you hook up the connector of your audio output device when the optical audio settings on the TCL Roku TV have been previously enabled.

Info: According to TCL, absolutely every television released by them is equipped with an optical out port and it’s usually surrounded by a white colored box.

HDMI Connection Vs. Optical Cable?

The obvious is that you need an optical cable for digital optical out, in order to connect speakers to the TCL Roku TV and output better quality sound.

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The main difference between both types of connection is that optical cable only supports PCM-Stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mode.

hdmi connection vs optical cable

In contrast, the HDMI connection supports many other formats such as Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos, and DTS: X.

Hence, the conclusion is that we don’t only need the optical cable but we also need to adjust the TCL Roku TV audio mode!

Accessing the Optical Audio Output?

Here’s how to turn on optical digital audio out on my TCL Roku TV:

  1. Press the “Home” button on the remote.
  2. Scroll the menu and select “Settings”.
  3. Scroll down again and enter “Audio”.
  4. Then select the “S/PDIF and ARC” tab.
  5. Set the setting to PCM-Stereo.
Note: If you’re using an optical cable go to Settings > Audio > Audio Output and select “Optical”.
accessing the optical audio output

Configuring the Digital Output Format:

Info: These settings require the TV to be connected via optical or HDMI eARK cable!

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While configuring the audio output settings on the TCL Roku TV you would encounter a tab labeled “Digital Output Format”.

In there, you’ll see a couple of different formats so let’s check and acquire an understanding of them so you can decide which one to select.


The TCL Roku TV will automatically attempt to recognize the audio output and select the correct settings ←– recommended.


By selecting the “Passthrough” option you will hear unmodified DTS or Dolby audio when using an eARK.

In case the option is selected but Dolby and DTS passthrough are not possible you will hear stereo.

configuring the digital output format


This mode will downmix the surround sound into stereo, which is perfectly suitable for 2-channel audio systems (left and right).

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This mode is most frequently used by people with simpler audio setups with no advanced speakers.


The option enabled the TCL Roku TV “DTS” format which supports optical digital audio output and can be used with fiber optic cable.

The only requirement is for the device to support DTS decoding, which can be checked online or in the manual.

Dolby Digital

This audio mode, enabled the Dolby Digital quality output, which is supported by HDMI, as well as optical, but only compressed 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Dolby Digital Plus

This option is the enhanced version of Dolby Digital and provides even more immersive audio output.

The option is suitable for devices that support Dolby Digital Plus decoding and does not support digital optical out.

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Additional TCL Roku TV Optical Audio Out Tips!

additional tcl roku tv optical audio out tips

Upon connecting the TV to the sound output device via optic cable, and then enabling the TCL Roku TV optical audio out , it’s possible to face some issues.

There are a lot of things that can impact the quality of the sound, so after establishing the connection, here are some tips:

1. The Optical Wiring!

The first and most important step in case of any issues with the TCL Roku TV optical audio out is to verify the condition and workability of the optical cable.

Also, unplug the cable on both sides and ensure that the connectors and ports are not damaged, obstructed, or worn out.

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2. Speaker Settings

Next, you need to check the audio settings of the connected TCL Roku TV speaker and determine whether they need configuration.

speaker settings

Some devices have essential audio settings on their own that might need to be tweaked in order to output the digital audio from the TCL Roku TV.

3. Compatibility

It’s possible that the speaker that you’ve connected via optical cable to the TCL Roku TV does not support the selected audio format.

For optical output, you can select from PCMStereo, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and DTS, so switch between the modes to check which one would work.

If you’ve connected a soundbar, know that they typically have support for the optical output audio formats.

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Alternatively, you can check the audio mode compatibility of your device online to determine whether the desired audio output is compatible. 

4. Troubleshooting

troubleshooting tcl

In case something doesn’t work you can always perform some simple troubleshooting in order to regain the audio performance.

We recommend first rebooting your TCL Roku TV and then checking whether the optical audio out settings are configured properly.

Tip: For the digital optical audio to work on most external devices, select the “S/PDIF and ARC” form (Settings > Audio) and set it to PCM-Stereo.

5. Cable Replacement

If your speaker won’t output the optical audio from your TCL Roku TV, it’s likely that the cable is faulty so it’s best to attempt with a new one.

We recommend the WARRKY Optical Audio Cable for a smooth connection and the best quality of optical audio output possible.

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Do You Necessarily Have to Use Optical Audio Out?

do you necessarily have to use optical audio out

No, even if your speaker is connected to the TCL Roku TV via optical cable, it’s not necessary to enable and use the optical audio out.

On the other hand, if you’re using HDMI you would be able to enjoy support for many different audio modes to select from so feel free to explore.

Video + Audio Connected Device?

The video transfer will still work through the HDMI cable and you will hear audio with or without the optical audio cable.

The HDMI connection supports both audio and video so, you don’t have to necessarily use an optical audio out cable or settings.

Understanding Different Outputs?

If you’re still here, good you’ll learn something extremely helpful. This will help you understand the main difference between all types of audio output (Analog, Digital, and HDMI ARC).

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Analog Audio Out

analog audio out on tv

Almost all TVs, including the TCL Roku TV, have an analog output and this is the 3.5 mm jack that you connect headphones or soundbars to.

This is the lowest quality audio output type and the greater limitation is that you’re capped to stereo only.

Digital Optical Out

The digital optical out is kind of in the middle, in regard to audio quality and it’s available on all TCL TV models.

With this output, you get surround sound plus support for various audio modes, but the speaker placement is also important.


The most popular and best audio quality type of connection, which is supported on TCL Roku TV.

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With HDMI ARC audio out you get support for many audio formats as well as the HDMI inputs are available on most speakers nowadays.

Quick Recap:

Here we’ve learned everything about TCL Roku TV optical audio out and now we know that we need an optical cable and a speaker with optical input.

Then we only need to connect both devices and enable the PCM-Stereo from the TCL Roku TV audio settings.

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