How do I Connect a 5.1 Surround Theater to a Blu-ray Player?

Written by richard klopfenstein
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How do I Connect a 5.1 Surround Theater to a Blu-ray Player?
Connecting surround sound to a Blu-ray player is simple. (DVD back panel image by Vasyl Dudenko from

Most Blu-ray DVDs support 5.1 surround sound support, as of 2010. Some may support more complex setups, such as 6.1 and 7.1 surround sound. By utilising an installed speaker system, you can enjoy movies as they were intended to be experienced: with a fully immersive environment. Combining 360-degree sound with HD-quality video at home is the closest you'll come to recreating a cinema experience, without the £3 popcorn.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blu-ray DVD player
  • Digital or optical audio cable
  • 5.1 surround sound-capable audio receiver

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  1. 1

    Check the back of your Blu-ray player for outputs labelled "digital audio out" or "digital audio." You may find two kinds: digital coaxial (a normal-looking plug input) and optical (similar to a landline telephone jack). Remember which type your player has.

  2. 2

    Check the back of your surround sound receiver for inputs labelled "digital audio in." Again, you may find two types: digital coaxial and optical.

  3. 3

    Figure out the correct cable. If both systems have digital coaxial and optical jacks, then either one will work. However, if one only has one type, you will need that specific cable to connect them.

  4. 4

    Locate the correct cable. If you need to buy one, many online and retail stores have them. Many are priced under £3 to £6.

  5. 5

    Connect the Blu-ray player to the audio receiver with the correct jacks.

Tips and warnings

  • Some receivers may have inputs for each channel of the 5.1 surround sound and some Blu-ray players support individual channel outputs. Check your Blu-ray player's operation manual for this feature.
  • If your Blu-ray is more than 10 feet away from the receiver, optical audio cables are preferable. For distances under 10 feet, either will work.

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