Multi audio output?

13 Aug 2023
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United Kingdom

We have an LG tv 49SK5800PLA which has limited options regarding sound output. We can have the internal speakers and wired headphones working simultaneously … but that is no longer sufficient.
With a new set of Bluetooth headphones we need to be able to have both these and the tv’s internal speaker working at the same time. (People with different hearing needs!). Currently we can have either the Bluetooth headphones working or the tv internal speakers but not both.
I understand it might be possible to achieve this without buying a new tv - with the right sort of ‘dongle’ - I hope so anyway!

Can anyone advise the best way forward please? I would appreciate any help you are able to give.
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Use the optical out if free. Get hold of an optical to Bluetooth convertor. Make sure the BT headphones have their own volume control.
Thank you for getting back to me.

I don’t know if you can see what I am trying to show ….

It looks like the place to the right, of the plugged in wired headphones, which appears to be blanked off, is the one we need to use. Have I got this right? Can it be opened with some handy deft fiddling work?

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In the hope that this is the port (?) to use and that it can be made available, is the optical converter you mention a transmitter? I have been trying to find what I think I may need and it’s not crystal clear.

I would be grateful for your further help in this. Thanks once again.
The post above is from me. I don’t know how, but ‘grazing cows’ was left behind some while ago and I had to re-register today as I had lost the password and also changed my email address some while ago.

I would still very much value your help.
Thank you for getting back to me.

I don’t know if you can see what I am trying to show ….

It looks like the place to the right, of the plugged in wired headphones, which appears to be blanked off, is the one we need to use. Have I got this right? Can it be opened with some handy deft fiddling work?

View attachment 310908
That's just a little cat flap type lid to stop dust getting in and blocking the light emitter. When you push in the plug the flap folds back and up, just like a cat flap. You can take a pen or similar and move the flap to test it. This is hinged at the top (did I mention cat flaps before? :LOL: ) so push close to the bottom edge.
Thanks for all that. The cat flap is working well!

However, I can’t seem to find an optical Bluetooth converter that states that the tv’s internal speakers can still be heard when the Bluetooth headphones are also being used. The tv does have Bluetooth functionality but the difficulty seems to be hearing both types of audio at the same time.

Am I missing something basic in trying to understand what I need?

Still hoping for your continued help ….
The telly doesn't know (or care) whether anything is connected to the optical output. I've got a multifunction Bluetooth thing which does optical in to Bluetooth out but i've never used it that way round (it does Bluetooth in to analogue out as well) so i'm not sure how you'd pair your headphones with it (very limited display on the thing). Might try later- could be as simple as clearing any pairings your headphones currently have then fire both devices up.
Ooh, I’m not sure I fully understand this …. But then I have just had a glass of wine … or ?

I’m still struggling but did a live chat earlier with lg support. Chap said tv can’t do what I want it to!!! Rather fed up with it all atm!
Under TV settings
Don't mute TV speakers when headphones are inserted. Might say headphones mute (on off)
Headphone socket is separate from TV speakers so you can have both working.
Should also find the Bluetooth setting there and turn off the mute TV speakers

Never found Bluetooth any good as can throw out lip sync.

You can also get TV auto surround sound systems. I paid £50 for ours from cash converters. That has another headphone socket plus speakers behind sofa
Yeah that Bluetooth out of sync will be a pain if you are using the 'live' audio feed from the telly as well. Some sets do have a picture delay function (to address the Bluetooth/soundbar problem) but again the 'live' audio track may not be in sync then. @Lucid is The Pro on all this stuff :)
However, I can’t seem to find an optical Bluetooth converter that states that the tv’s internal speakers can still be heard when the Bluetooth headphones are also being used.

You won't get any third-party device manufacturer to commit on the way a TV might work. They don't make the TVs, and they can possibly be expected to check on thousands of TV models to see if the TV will or won't do something. All they do is make a device that connects to an optical socket. It doesn't even have to be on a TV. As long as there's a stereo PCM signal then their device will turn that into a Bluetooth audio signal. That's about as much as you can expect really.

This is from the LG web site support pages for the 49SK8500PLA. I couldn't find a model match to your 49SK5800PLA, so I took the guess that this could be a typo with the 5 and 8.


Here I'm looking at the same user manual that is built into the TV. I think you have to press help on the remote or select from a main menu option to bring this up. The breadcrumb trail is Tour of Settings > Sound > Sound Out, and then I scrolled down to find this;


LG are saying that it is possible to use the internal speakers and optical, but they're vague about having more than two simultaneous outputs. This level of vagueness has been a growing problem with user manuals. The Web OS manuals aren't great, and it doesn't help that manufacturers try to cover lots of models with the same generic publication, so you find features described that your own TV model may not have. It's very frustrating from an installer's point of view.

The issue for you is two-fold.
1) Getting the TV speakers and Bluetooth on at the same time - but this may not be required if optical can be used instead
2) Finding out if optical works regardless of other settings

For #1 there could be a couple of reasons that prevent this. The simple one is a menu setting, but looking at the manual the only option appears to be Bluetooth output On or Off. This could indicate that the TV has only a single digital audio processing circuit, and it can either create audio for the speakers and wired headphones (both analogue) or be dedicated to creating audio for Bluetooth.

My own TV is a Panasonic. The Bluetooth connection gives me a choice of having BT only, or sound output to all the connections. In my case that's HDMI ARC, Optical, the TV speakers and BT. I realise that this doesn't directly help you with your TV. I'm simply highlighting that it's possible. Your mileage may vary.

Point #2 - My gut feeling is that optical will work when the TV speakers are running. There's a common issue when basic sound bars with optical in are used. It's that the TV speakers need to be turned down otherwise both play together. This is because both optical and the TV speakers work at the same time.

The only way for you to be satisfied on this though is to try it on your TV. That might mean borrowing a speaker with an optical input from a friend or family member.

Regarding lip sync, there are two things within the TV of which you need to be aware.

First, the TV audio settings: Every bit of picture processing creates a delay in the picture, and every bit of sound processing creates a delay in the sound. The basic picture controls such as brightness contrast colour and sharpness create negligible additional delay. More processor-intensive operations such as dynamic contrast, dynamic colour, dynamic tone-mapping, TruMotion, etc all have a more significant overhead. Gamers call this picture delay Lag. For them, the issue is that the screen image is a fraction of a second later than the images the console is sending out, and that means their reactions are already late. They get shot, or they miss the apex of a turn. Most TVs now incorporate a minimal lag setting called Game Mode. This switches off a lot of the processing that causes the problem.

Sound can also be delayed but for a different reason. In the main it's the time taken to decode an audio signal to create a Dolby Digital (DD) audio output. That might seem a bit odd when HD TV channels and a lot of streaming claims to be DD5.1, but there is a difference between what is broadcast and what comes out of the digital audio connections on a telly. It's all to do with saving space during broadcasting or streaming.

They send the signal in a newer audio format called HE-AAC. If a Dolby Digital signal is required from the TV then the TV decodes the HE-AAC to create DD5.1. This takes time and it throws out the lip sync. This only applies to the HD channels from Freeview, and streaming. Changing the TV audio setting from Dolby / Bitstream / Digital to PCM Stereo / Stereo reduces the work the TV has to do, and so lip sync timing errors are reduced.

Pulling all of this together, it's possible then to have sync issues where the sound comes slightly after the picture, or the picture comes slightly after the sound. Your LG TV has lip sync adjustment. It's in the sound menus. Adding more delay to the audio is relatively easy as a process in the TV. It's far harder (read: 'impossible' in most cases) to add extra delay to the picture.
Gosh, thank you for taking the time to research and explain all this in a way that I understand.

We certainly have the option for internal speakers + optical and I have found the necessary settings if we need to deal with lip sync.
We can now go ahead and get an optical converter and take it from there. I will let you know how we get on.

Once again, thank you so much!

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