Should I use a toslink splitter, switch, or neither?

My setup involves a smart TV, a blu-ray player, an Xbox One, and a sound bar.  All of these devices have a toslink port.  I want all of my devices to use the sound bar.  I believe a passive splitter would work, as I would only be using one source device at a time.  I figure an active one would work too, although I assume it would be unnecessary.  The same goes for a switch.  I figure I could use either a passive or active one.  But...

Do I really need either?  If I have both the blu-ray player and Xbox connected to the TV via HDMI, with only a single toslink cable connected from the TV to the sound bar, won’t I be able to enjoy audio from the sound bar using any of my devices?  If so, is there any real benefit to using a splitter/switch in my situation?

Thanks for the help :)

2 Answers

  • YKhan
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    You don't need a Toslink splitter, I'm not even sure they make those anymore. I have a similar setup, all of my devices are connected to my TV via HDMI, and the TV is then connected to my older home theatre receiver (which doesn't have HDMI) through a copper SPDIF, rather than an optical Toslink, but they are the exact same thing otherwise. Your soundbar replaces my receiver. Toslink and SPDIF will likely be going away sooner rather than later. HDMI can send uncompressed multichannel audio, Toslink/SPDIF can only send compressed audio.

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    • YKhan
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      PCM is only stereo audio. It can't carry Dobly TrueHD or DTS Master Audio, which are uncompressed 7.1 channel audio, like HDMI can.

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  • 1 month ago

    Get a Toslink switch. 


    Most or all equipment with optical outputs transmits a 'carrier' 

    even if there is no audio being played. 

    Using a splitter in reverse would cause those to interfere with desired signals. 

    A switch permits only the selected signal to pass. 

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