Should I Connect a Soundbar to the TV or Sky Box?

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Did you get yourself a new soundbar? Congrats! So, what should you do with it? Do you connect it to your Sky box? Or is it better to pair it with your TV? Well, we know the answers to these questions, and we’re eager to share them with you! So, if you want to learn what to do with your soundbar and should you connect it to your TV or the Sky box, keep reading this article!

Should I Connect a Soundbar to the TV or Sky Box?

So, what should you do? Well, the answer to this question really depends on your preferred method of connecting devices. If you’re not sure what we mean by that, don’t worry. We’ll get more specific.

Some people like HDMI cables because they provide the highest quality of audio and they are pretty easy to use. On the other hand, others love optical cables as they are an old-school, durable way to connect two devices.

Now we’re getting to our point: one of these methods will require connecting the soundbar to the TV, which is already connected to the Sky box. Another one works best when you directly connect the soundbar to the Skybox, which is connected with the TV prior to this process. Therefore, you will need to ask yourself which way works better for you. You can also check which cable you have in your home at the moment and start from there. 

Different soundbars have different inputs/outputs

Different soundbars have different inputs/outputs – depending on the type and number of available inputs/outputs, you will have to use a different connection

Moreover, your choice might depend on the type of port your devices have. Nowadays, most devices have both optical and HDMI ports. But, in case you have an older TV model, there’s a chance that it doesn’t have an HDMI port. So, check that before spending money on an HDMI cord that you won’t be able to use.

Either way, in case you’re not happy with the quality of audio, you can always switch to the other method. That is if you even have the option to try out both. We will, of course, show you both ways to connect the soundbar to the TV and Sky box. So, you will learn everything there is to know about connecting these three devices. After that, the choice is yours!

Connecting the Soundbar to Your Sky Box

As we mentioned before, you will need to check two things before you decide which method you will choose. The first one is which ports your TV has while the second one is which cables you have in your household. Since there isn’t that big of a difference in the quality of audio between the optical cable and HDMI, it’s good to save money and choose the cord you already have. However, we need to mention that HDMI provides a slightly better quality of audio. In addition, many users believe they are easier to work with. Still, we don’t think the difference is that important.

We will show you how to connect your soundbar to the Sky box first. That is best done via the optical audio cable. Thus, we’re starting with the optical cord option.

A good thing about the optical cord, commonly known as the Toslink cable, is that every Sky box has a port dedicated to it (Optical OUT). Moreover, most soundbars and TVs have it as well. So, you won’t have issues there.

OPTICAL OUT on your Sky Q

OPTICAL OUT on your Sky Q

If you wish to connect the soundbar directly to the latest Sky box (Sky Q Box), using optical is actually your best option. In fact, depending on the soundbar, this could be your only option. Besides the optical output, Sky Q Box has no other digital or analog audio outputs. It has only one HDMI output, but you can use this port to connect the box to your soundbar only if the soundbar supports HDMI ARC (if it has HDMI ARC OUT) and if your TV supports HDMI ARC (if it has HDMI ARC IN).

The Process of Connecting the Soundbar and Your Sky Box via Optical Cable

The first step in this process will be, of course, taking your optical cable. In case it’s older, you should check whether it’s in a good condition. On the other hand, brand new cables have caps that protect the metal that’s located in the plugs. That metal is the one that’s making the actual connection between the two devices. So, you will have to remove those caps before you start.

Your next step will be inserting one end of the cord into the Sky box and the other into the soundbar. The process is pretty easy. But you should make sure that the plugs fit perfectly into the jacks and that the ends of the cable are not loose. Then, turn on your devices and check whether you did a good job of connecting them. Many Sky boxes will not run on their own. So, you will have to turn on your TV, which you previously connected to the Sky box via HDMI cable, and then test the audio. If everything is working smoothly, the process is done!

Connecting the Soundbar to the TV

Using the HDMI ARC port is the preferred method for many users. We already mentioned that HDMI gives better audio quality. Therefore, in case you already have an HDMI cable and all of the devices support this type of connection, we recommend that you choose this method to connect them. This way of pairing devices will require you to connect the soundbar directly to the TV. Your TV should already be linked to the Sky box. So, when you connect the soundbar with the TV, all three devices will be paired.

The Process of Connecting the Soundbar and the TV via HDMI Cable

You should start this process by taking your HDMI cable and connecting it to the HDMI ARC IN port on your TV. You’ll usually find this port on the side or on the back of your TV. Then, you will need to take the other side of the cable and connect it to the HDMI ARC OUT port on your soundbar.

Assuming that you have already connected your Sky Box to the TV, once you turn on all three devices, the audio will automatically go through the soundbar. However, many TVs will not do that on their own. So, you will need to change the audio settings on your TV so that the audio goes through the soundbar instead of the built-in TV speakers. Now, test the audio to check whether you managed to connect everything properly.

Note: If your TV doesn’t have HDMI ARC, you won’t be able to use HDMI cable to connect it to your soundbar. In that case, if you still want to connect the TV to your soundbar, you will have to use the optical cable (run the cable from optical OUT on your TV to optical IN on your soundbar). If there’s no optical port on your TV or on your soundbar, look for the next best option (coaxial, RCA, AUX). 

Connecting the Soundbar to Both – Your TV and Your Sky Box

In case you have one of those more advanced soundbars with multiple HDMI inputs and with HDMI ARC OUT, and if your TV has HDMI ARC IN port, then you can connect both your TV and your Sky Box to your soundbar. In that setup, the soundbar with be the hub of your system (something like an AVR). 

The Process of Connecting the Soundbar to both, your TV and your Sky Box, via HDMI cable

In this case, you will need two HDMI cables. The first one goes from HDMI OUT on your Sky Box to one of the available HDMI IN ports on your soundbar. The second goes from the HDMI ARC OUT on your soundbar to the HDMI ARC IN on your TV.

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We have to say that this setup looks the cleanest and very straightforward but, as we’ve just said, it only works if your TV supports HDMI ARC and if your soundbar supports HDMI ARC and has available HDMI inputs.

In Conclusion

There you have it – the answers to everything you’ve been wondering when it comes to connecting your soundbar to the TV or Sky box. You now have all the info you need. What are you waiting for? Get to work! Good luck, and we hope to see you in the next one!