Samsung UE55JU6400 and dolby digital 5.1 passthrough from HDMI to optical out

  • 5 February 2018
  • 7 replies

Been using an Optical switching box for my Samsung 2015 TV (model TV UE55JU6400) as it didn't pass HDMI dolby through the optical out into the PLAYBAR. I have a TIVO box as my input to the TV and also use Netflix etc on the TV.

So I had one optical output from TIVO into the Playbar and another direct from the TV using the optical switch to select the correct optical input.

Been working fine, but obviously if I leave the switch in the position where the sound is output from the TV it's STEREO only (as verified by About my Sonos).

But now in the past few days something has changed - the TV now passes Dolby Digital through the HDMI into the TV's optical output so I don't need the switch any more.

How could this have happened ?
The TV is set to auto-update - could a new firmware cause this fix? Its great news - one less remote to fiddle with!


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7 replies

It's certainly possible that a firmware update could change that behaviour. I'd recommend rejoicing 🙂
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I'm curious if that's a feature that can be added via a software update or if it's a hardware related issue. It seems odd that it's randomly working now.

Are you using just one HDMI input? Which one?
Hi All, rejoicing is slightly muted, I will attempt to explain why. nifoxke - its not randomly working, its quite consistent, something has definitively been updated/changed in the last few days. I can't tell if its the TV or the TIVO box - but I suspect the TV as when I went to my Smart Apps I got a message saying one app had been deleted after an update (didn't specify what app) but its not one I have noticed so far.

I have a TIVO box that is connected to the television using HDMI into the HDMI (1) input on the TV.
When I connected the optical cable from the SAMSUNG TV to the PLAYBAR I could only get Stereo audio from the TIVO box, but Netflix on the TV was dolby digital. This matches up with what other users had said about HDMI and optical outputs on TVs not passing through the dolby audio.

So I purchased an optical switching box allowing me to switch between the TV optical out and TIVO optical out. This was working fine.

I was watching a program on the TIVO box recently when I noticed I had left the optical switch on TV optical out, but the sound was Dolby surround - I have checked this and the TV is passing dolby audio through the HDMI (1) input to the optical out.

I was asking if a firmware upgrade could have done this and Airgetlam says this is possible - of course it could also be that the TV has always done this, (unlikely with older 2015 Samsung TVs) but it's the TIVO box which has been updated? Either way I don't have a simple way of telling which ?

Anyway its working which would be brilliant news BUT there is a very slight misregister with the sound/picture when going from HDMI (1) to optical from the TV - would this be due to some processing being involved ? This isn't the case when using the optical out from the TIVO box directly into the playbar.

There are no such problems when using apps such as NETFLIX on the TV so I'm thinking of putting the optical switch back in for now - I can't see a way to get both the TV apps and HDMI(1) to both be in sync.

I still see this as a postive change, it means that even if I leave the optical switch in the wrong place I will get Dolby Digital (albeit with minor sound sync) rather than Stereo.

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By randomly I meant out of the blue.

Internal TV apps for Samsungs always push DD 5.1 through optical, from what I understand.

After reading your post I went home and tinkered on my TV. Using my Apple TV I was able to get DD 5.1 on each HDMI input direct to my Samsung. So I started to take down my audio extractor and optical switch. But before I took everything down I decided to test my PS4 to make sure it worked. Sure enough with the PS4 I was only able to get stereo via optical. I'm not sure what the difference is between the ATV and the PS4 is but I went back to my setup with the audio extractor. I don't get it. I checked that the audio output on the PS4 and it was set to DD but the Sonos app only showed receiving a stereo signal.
Hi nifoxke - that does sound strange!

I'm assuming you have the same or similar model of TV? My firmware version for the TV is 1520, my TV is set to auto-update so I can't tell when this version was installed. I have downloaded the firmware manually to my PC but there is no changelog with the download and I can't seem to find one online. It would be useful to know if this download changed the HDMI to Optical audio output but I can't see how it can have been anything else ?

Its unlikely that ATV and TIVO decided to add/enable this feature to the HDMI output (besides isn't this part of the HDMI spec?) another pointer to it being the TV that has changed.

I don't have a PS4 so I can't check this, but this does seem very odd. Have you tried the same cable/hdmi port on the television as with the ATV box? Have you googled the PS4 HDMI settings - perhaps there's a bug in the firmware settings?

I have put my switch back in, BUT I think I have fixed the audio/sync settings - there is a delay setting in the audio menu on the TV which appears to keep the HDMI setting different from the APPS one. I have changed this to '0' when watching through HDMI but left it on 100 when using the smart apps and so far, so good - the sound syncing is much better. I'm leaving the switch in place for a while just to double check - it has a remote so I can switch between the TIVO optical output and the HDMI to TV optical quickly.

Good luck with getting the PS4 to work !!
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Mine is the H6350 series and the last firmware update was December 2016. But I emailed Samsung directly and they confirmed my model doesn't pass through 5.1 via optical. But now I'm skeptical of their email after my test last night.

I didn't use the same HDMI cable but I thought about that this morning. I'll give it a shot tonight with the same cable and see if that changes anything.

I also have an Xbox One S that I was going to try but after seeing the PS4 only output stereo I decided to bail. Plus the wife was getting tired of me tinkering on the TV so I'll try when she's not around.

Luckily I have a Harmony remote so controlling my various switches and extractors is easy. But I wouldn't mind getting rid of a couple devices in my entertainment center.
Hi nifoxke - just wondering if your tinkering has continued and if you have come to any conclusions ?