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How To Connect Your Sky Box To Your Home Cinema System


Sky+ HD BoxOne of the most common questions we get asked here at Home Cinema Buyer is how to connect your Sky box to your home cinema system so you can enjoy surround sound from all your favourite television programmes, movies and sports as well as from DVD’s.

The process is actually quite simple when you know how, but like a lot of things with technology it’s never quite as easy as it should be. To start with, you’ll have to do a little bit of research:

  1. Find the connection option from your Sky box
    Modern Sky boxes come with a single HDMI socket which you will have used to connect it to your television, and earlier ones with a scart socket instead. So to get the audio to your system you will need to use either the red and white phono sockets (shown far right to the image below) or preferably with an optical cable (circled below) if it is available on your box. Use your manual or simply look around the back to see what you have.Rear of a Sky Plus box with the optical output highlighted
  2. See what spare inputs you have on your home cinema system
    If you have not connected anything to the system before, you will more than likely have an optical and/or red and white phono input spare. You may even have an HDMI input spare which would be great if Sky boxes came with more than one output – but they don’t so it’s of little use here. Either carefully look around the back of the system or use the instruction manual or quick start guide if you have it.
  3. Then it’s a case of deciding how to connect the devices:
    • If you have an optical audio (Toslink) connection on both devices
      1. Using an optical cable is the best quality option and will transfer Dolby Digital sound. Optical cables are cheap but they rarely come supplied with home cinema systems or other devices, so unless you have one lying around you’ll need to order one (this one from Amazon is good).
      2. Remove the protective cap from each end of the cable, and the plug from the optical socket on each device and keep them safe. Then simply plug each end of the cable in.
      3. Then you’ll need to tell your Sky box to actually output a surround sound signal. To do this go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Sound’ and change the ‘Stereo’ setting to ‘Dolby Digital’:Changing the audio setting on the Sky box
      4. To test, put on a programme or film you know is in surround sound (any programme marked with DD or DS next to it on the electronic programme guide).
      5. Finally, switch on your home cinema system on, and it may automatically detect the signal and switch to this input, or you may have to select the appropriate input using the remote – this is different on every model so check your manual if it is not obvious.
    • Connecting with stereo (RCA) phono connectors
      1. This is not the best option but it is the most accessible and easiest. You are very likely to have red and white phono cable knocking around and it is highly likely the your home cinema system will have these sockets. The only downside is that you won’t be able to transfer Dolby Digital digital sound.
      2. The process is the same as with the optical connection above but you will not need to change any settings on the Sky box – you can leave them set to stereo.
      3. Again, select the appropriate input on your home cinema system and you should hear the correct programme.
      4. Your home cinema system will normally play the audio in stereo. However, if your system has Dolby Pro Logic II support, it will convert the stereo signal to surround sound. This won’t be as good as the full on Dolby Digital surround sound but it’s certainly an improvement over stereo in most cases.



  1. Hello thak you for this info I have been looking for something simple to read. Just one thing I am getting the samsung HT-D5200 2.1 3D CINEMA SYSTEM later this month and that’s why I am checking out what I need to do in order to get sky hd working with it… In the spec with the HT-D5200 it says this….
    With conventional Home Entertainment Systems, you need to connect a separate optical cable to your receiver to listen to the audio from your TV. The HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) allows you to easily connect your compatible devices to process the TV’s audio signal without an optical cable. And with two HDMI inputs, you can keep your AV devices connected all the time for a convenient way to experience a new level in.
    Not quite sure if that means I don’t need a cable to get sky hd sound…. It may be a silly question but I want to get it all right when I order what I need. Thanks for your help Barry Crowhurst

  2. Thanks for this. My TV (Panasonic ST50) has 1 optical output and my Reciever (Yamaha S400) Has only the 1 optical which is above the HDMI out labled “TV” so will i still get DD if i connect my sky box to my amp just via HDMI? or does it have to be the digital optical?

  3. Hi John

    I have my sky+HD box connected to a Yamaha AV Receiver RX-V567 by HdMi connection, would I be able to control the volume on the Av receiver via my sky remote? As it only changes the volume on the Toshiba telly which is muted as running through the HDMI 1channel
    Any advise whether this is possible?
    Kind regards

  4. Hi, I have connected the optical cable from the Sky box to the home cinema system and changed the audio setting to dolby D, but I am still only getting sound and no pictue for the cinema system, when I check on the TV setting.
    Please help

    • Hi David – Optical will only carry sound so you’ll need to watch Sky on your TV in the normal way – just with the volume muted. If the TV auto selects the AV channel when the home cinema system is turned on, you’ll just have to switch it back to normal TV.

  5. Thanks for the instructions! I had some troubles yesterday trying to set up my sky box but this seems to make it pretty straight forward and clear!

  6. i have samsung ht q25 and have tried the rca cables and scart lead and hdmi but get nothing from sky via way of sound or signal.i had this connected to +hd box and want to work this via my sky hd box(multi room type)and its just not happenning,any ideas please

  7. Hi, I have a panasonic sa-pt170 home theatre system, a sky HD box & a panasonic TX-50AS520B tv. I would like to know how to connect these 3 items so that the surround sound works. I have an optical cable plus HDMI cables & various other cables. If you could help me sort this out I would very much appreciate it please.

  8. I have connected sky hd to Panasonic sa-xh150 home cinema system via optical audio cable but when i select guide on hd box the cinema system goes from d-in to aux. Its ok if i use arrows to change channels not guide. Any ideas?

  9. Hi I recently got a Panasonic surround sound home cinema kit 5.1.
    I followed the instructions to run sound for my sky hd box but still get no sound do I have to do any settings on my my tv to allow the sound

  10. Hi I recently bought a polaroid Bluetooth soundbar it came with red and white rca phono cable….when I put the into my tv I get no sound from the bar….my sky box only has a coaxial socket on the back….so can you help me and I get the feeling I’m setting this up wrong….paul.

  11. Just bought a samsung tv, connected to my home cinema thru hdmi and optical cable. Also connected to skyhd+ . have pictures but no sound on sky hd channels. Please help.

  12. HI

    I have just bought a new 3d Panasonic tv and tried to connect to my sky hd box and cinema surround. I get no sound and have changed all the settings as instructed and even bought another optical cable. Still no sound only on the tv speaker.

    Help !

  13. Hi
    I am trying to get my Panasonic Bluray SA-BT230 to work with Sky+HD box and Panasonic TX-P42G20B television. It did work off HDMI leads. Sky was connected to TV via HDMI1 and Bluray via HDMI3, but this no longer works. I tried optical digital cable from Bluray to skybox, but whilst I have picture there is no sound, unless I turn off Bluray box, then I have sound from TV. Can you help, please?

  14. Hi I’ve just bought a digital optical audio cable so I can connect my sky+hd box to my sharp stereo but I’ve connect them all up but there’s no sound coming out of my sharp stereo can someone help me

  15. Hi I am pants with technology. I have just purchased a lg 5.1 channel 330w dvd home cinema system and want to connect it to my sky hd box is this possible

    • Yes, perfectly possible. It depends what conenctions you have on the Sky box, and the LG system though. You should have an optical connection on both which would be the easiest way.

  16. I connected my Denon 1507 to the Sky+ box. With a digital optical cable. No sound on Hd channels nor Sky movies, nor when I record.
    Although this worked fine before. I am wondering reading all comments the skyboxes are not compatible
    Any ideas?

  17. Hi

    I have bought a new system but this lg system only comes with red and white jack input,can I connect this to my sky+ had box look forward to your reply thanks

  18. Please could you advise me on how to get the best out of my home set up. 1 samsung 55 curved hd led
    2 xbox one
    3 sky hd boX
    4 Pioneer MCS- 747
    I have them all into the pioneer system the sky is connected to my xbox then the xbox into the pioneer then to the tv the sky is connected to the xbox via hdmi cables the xbox is connected to the pioneer with hdmi and the option cables then the pioneer is connected to the tv via hdmi lead.

    The second problem when I change to watch the Netflix on the TV apps I still get the sky sound even though the screen will show the Netflix.

  19. i have a Sony Home Theatre HT-AS5 and a Panasonic Viera tv (as well as Sky and BlueRay). I had to disconnect to get a carpet fitted and now i can only get sound through my TV. When i switch the Home Theatre on i have silence! I clearly have all the cables but cant understand from all the instruction books now i can get hooked up again to have sound coming out the home theatre help!!



  20. Can anyone help i have a philips surround sound system htd3510 model, i cannot connect my surround sound to my tv without using the dvd, all i want is to be able to use thesurround sound when watching the sky box film, please help, very frustrating …..

  21. I have just updated my sky box. With the old box i connected via the red and white rca cables and it worked fine. The new sky box does not have this facility. The sound bar (Sharp sb200) only has 1 other jack marked audio line 2 on the back. Is it possible to use both sky and sound bar together?

  22. What would be the best way to connect to my home surround sound ?

    Pioneer msc 737 surround sound
    Samsung 55 tv
    Xbox one linked

  23. Hi


  24. I have a tivoli model 10+. I am having trouble connecting it to my TV. It can be used as an amplifier. Can someone advise if I should hook it up to TVs or sky box and what the best connection would be. It has no optical audio connection.

    I should say I have it hooked up the the headphone socket but the sound is just not that good.
    Tv is Toshiba 32E2533D


  25. I have a new sky box and I need to connect to my old Bose Lifestyle 20 but the bose doesn’t have an optical input any suggestions please

    Many thanks

  26. Thanks for the above. I have a new sky box that has an optical connection to use for a surround sound system. It has no RCA connections. My surround sound system, however, only has RCA connections. Is it as simple as buying a RCA to optical cable or do I need to do something else as well? Any help would be massively appreciated. Thanks.

  27. I have a Panasonic TX440DX700B 4kk TV (4 weeks old). It has been connected by the installer

    1 x HDMI – TV > SAT (Sky Q Silver)
    1 x HDMI – TV > DVD 2.1 Surround Sound Player
    1 x HDMI – TV > Blu_Ray Player
    1 x Digital Optical Cable – TV > DVD 2.1 Surround Sound Player

    The Digital Audio Output setting on the Sky Q box has been left on normal (if you change to Dolby the sound goes off).

    Question – do I need a Digital Optical Cable to run from DVD 2.1 Surround Sound Player to the Sky Q Silver box or is DD transmitted via the

  28. I too have a sky+HD box without RCA output but including 1 toslink. Can I use the toslink to connect to a DAC and then output to my preamp or are there digital protocols that prevent this Thank you

  29. I have optical leads connections and settings as per Sky instructions. I get wonderful surround sound via a commercial DVD but nothing like the sound from the rear speakers when watching a DD rated movie from a Sky channel. Why ? Any suggestions ? This is very frustrating.

  30. Sharon did you find a solution? We have no sound either even though we have followed the instructions above.. picture is fine, just no sound even thought sound settings are all correct! Any ideas anyone?

  31. Thanks for the above. I have a new sky box that has an optical connection to use for a surround sound system. It has no RCA connections. My surround sound system, however, only has RCA connections. Is it as simple as buying a RCA to optical cable or do I need to do something else as well? Any help would be appreciated

  32. if this is still a live topic i really need some advice. If it has a plug and cables it is usually beyond me. Several years ago we had a 5:1 surround system which connected to the tv via a DVD player, these were bought as a complete system. The DVD player was broken not long afterwards and since then the speakers have been in a cupboard. Can a system like this be linked via a skybox or do I need something else. Not able to get the same model to replace which is why it was left for so long. There isn’t an optical fitting on the back just audio input output .

  33. Hi there. I bought a sony surround sound bar today and connected it to TV with HDMI cable into HDMI2 labelled ‘ARC’ and the sky box is connected to TV through HDMI1. Picture is perfect and sound coming from sound bar but the subwoofer is very low and will not turn up.
    Any suggestions greatly received as without sound through subwoofer it sounds just like a normal TV. Thanks in anticipation of some kind person replying with advice.

  34. Hi
    I have an old school Yamaha cinema kit A492DSP .that only has RCA’s on the back, but my new sky box is only hdmi, is it possible to get a converter , so that I can have sky thru my cinema kit ?
    Many thanks

  35. Hi,

    I have a question. I recently installed a Sky Q main box and mini box. They are both working well but I can’t get surround sound from the minibox even though I had surround sound (Sony Home Cinema) in that room when I was using the old Sky HD box: there were scart connections on both the Home Cinema and the Sky HD box. The new Sky Q box has only an optical sound input socket.

    Can I make a connection so as to enjoy surround sound again?

    Looking forward to a reply.


  36. To connect you new sky Q box to your suround sound system, remove your optical cable from the back of your tv which is connected to your surround system at the other end of the same cable. Then plug the optical cable you’ve taken from the tv end, and plug it into the optical connection at the back of your new sky Q box, and then turn the surround system on. Your surround system sound should now work in conjunction with your tv volume fully. My surround system needs to be on “optical output” setting seen on the front of the surround systems display, and then everything works perfectly. The tv volume now works with the surround system volume. I hope this helps?

  37. My Sky Q box is connected to the Pioneer Receiver via HDMI but I cannot get a picture and only intermittent sound. What connection do I need? Or what am I doing wrong?

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