I am considering buying a new TV; it will be my first LCD TV. I have an old stereo receiver (almost 20 years old) that I don't want to replace yet which is connected to my old TV and works fine. I have been reading reviews on the TV I want to get, and someone said that it is too bad that it only has an "optical audio" connection so it cannot be connected to an analog system. Does this mean that my old receiver will not work with the new LCD TV? I don't have a cable box because I don't have cable or satellite TV.
I've read so many reviews, I cannot find the one where someone said it only had an optical output. But here is what another reviewer said: "Another feature I really love about this TV is optical audio output. I have a set of surround headphones with an external amp that only excepts a toslink input so its nice to have all my audio sources unified into the 1 output."
So my question is, if it does only have an optical audio connection, will it work with an old analog receiver?
Here are the specifics on the TV:
Display Type: LCD
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Contrast Ratio: 20,000:1
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Screen Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Signal Compatibility: 1080p
Input Video Signal: ATSC QAM NTSC
Features: PC Input
Inputs: PC Composite Component Video HDMI
Outputs: Digital Audio Out
HDMI Ports: 3
Power Consumption: 205W
Height (inches): 25.1
Height with Stand (inches): 26.8
Width (inches): 40.2
Depth (inches): 4.2
Depth with Stand (inches): 12.2
Unit Weight: 45.2 lbs.
Specification Notes:  To provide the most accurate specifications, the specifications listed are based upon the manufacturer's exact model specification as published on the manufacturer's website, and the manufacturer's product documentation. }
IF the above information is correct..... You'll need a way to change the optical output of the TV to analogue for the stereo. IOW, a DAC. I simply don't know the price range on the low side. The high side? Off chart. Something like the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic goes for about 400$. I'm sure that less expensive choices exist.
Unless you've got a high-end receiver, your best bet is to replace the receiver. Digital audio is FAR better than analog when it comes to TV viewing. You can get a new receiver with optical inputs for $100 if you look around. I've seen them for a fraction that much in local listings like craigslist.
Really? I've never been in that market, so I simply don't know....but wow, that's a game changer. The OP says stereo.....are any stereo receivers so equipped? Or is that limited to HT stuff? Entry end of HK? Sony? Whose receiver comes that way.........Just curious.
I use the optical out from my small dish receiver to an external DAC in the form of my CD player....it has a 2 extra channels of optical or coax digital input...... And, man, it really helps the audio from that source. Even XM /Sirius sounds pretty good..... perhaps MP3-320 level.
Most receivers have digital inputs these days, all home theater receivers. 2 channel receivers I don't know. I'd think most of them would have them too since CD players have had digital outputs for a while now.
No condecension here. DAC: digital to analog converter. An external DAC will probably give you better sound than one built into a source device, in this case your TV or a receiver.
Receivers are usually considered low end to mid level. High up up end includes integrated amps and seperates. Most components, whether source, preamp, power amp or speakers that are considered high end start around $1000 to $1500 and can run into tens of thousands.
I hope not to insult you by telling you what you already know, so bear with me okay? The basic signal path for audio is; source (tuner, cd player, dvd, your TV in this case), preamp, power amp, speakers. A receiver is a tuner, preamp and power amp combined. An integrated amp is a preamp and power amp combined (no tuner). Seperates means the tuner, the preamp and the power amp are 3 seperate units (stand alone).
My receiver alone cost almost $1000 when I bought it about 20 years ago, the speakers even more. Hence, my not wanting to replace anything since it all still works just fine. So maybe I should rephrase my original question. At this point, I am open to several different TVs. I don't want to trudge home with it and fight to get it out of the box, only to find the audio won't work with what I have (or to have to spend more than the cost of the TV to modify it so that my analog receiver works with it). Then I'd have to rebox the TV and return it. Like I said, video is not as important to me as audio, so the TV is not going to be purchased at a high-end electronics store. I don't even own a digital TV or a converter box at this time, so this is all new to me. When I'm in the store and I know more about the product (which is practically nothing) than the salesperson does, I tend not to believe anything else he/she has to say. So maybe I should rephrase my original question. What exactly should I be looking for so that I know the TV will work with my analog receiver? Thank you everyone for your time.