How to Add 5.1 Surround sound to Sony PS3If you are planning to connect your PS3 to a home cinema/theatre system then this article explains what you need to do and what you should avoid.
To get 5.1 surround sound from your PS3 for Games, DVDs, Play TV and AVI movies you will need 3 things. A Sony Playstation 2 (PS3), TV (HDMI or Scart Connection) and some kind of home theatre system.
What to look for in a Home Theatre System for the PS3Before you invest in a home theatre system read the following as it could save you a lot of time and money.
The most important thing to look for when choosing your home theatre is the type of input connections. Do not be fooled into thinking that an HDMI connection will mean you can play surround sound from your PS3. Most low-end systems only have HDMI OUT connections, which are intended sending the picture from the DVD system to your TV and not for receiving data from the PS3. The PS3 has one HDMI connection, which will most likely be connected to your TV so this leaves 2 additional connections, SCART and Optical.
Some DVD systems (e.g. Sony DAVZ280) suggest the following setup: connect HDMI (from home theatre) to TV (which is not that important as we want the picture from the PS3) and then connect the device producing the sound, in our case the PS3, to the SCART connection.
SCART WILL NOT DELIVER 5.1 SURROUND SOUND FROM THE PS3
As I found out to my cost, the SCART connection on the PS3 only outputs sound on 2 channels not all 5.
If you need to get a scart cable for PS3 then you can use any cable suitable for PS2 and even PS1. PS2 cable was £4.99 from GAME.
The solution is to use the Optical Connection between the PS3 and the Home Theatre system.
When looking for a home theatre system, make sure that the system has an optical input connection. Many stores I looked at do not clearly indicate the input and output connections on each system so you need to do your research.
Many of the lower end systems do not have optical connections making it almost impossible to setup the system properly (I learnt this the hard way and had to take my system back and change it)
Don't pay through the nose for an optical cable. I paid £9.99 for a 2m optical cable at GAME however I have seen them advertised for much more.
Connecting up the systemMy system consists of a Sony Bravia tv, Panasonic SA-PT470 Home Theatre and of course the PS3.
Connect Home Theatre to TV using HDMI cable (this will only really be used for being able to see the setup menu) Now connect the optical cable between the PS3 and the Home Theatre. Make sure you plug it in properly.
Connect your TV and PS3 together using either HDMI or Scart cable (HDMI recommended)
Setting up PS3 to use Optical connectionNow you need to tell the PS3 to use the optical connection for outputting sound.
On the PS3 menu select settings > Sound > Optical ....
You can also select what types of sound you want to output. I selected Dolby and DTS.
My tv has an option to use external audio system which switches off the sound, otherwise just turn down the TV volume to nothing. You should now be able to play your DVD's through your PS3 with all the speakers working.
That's pretty much all there is to it. It's worth the effort as once it's all working surround sound makes a real difference.