DAC between TV and Powered Monitors (USB?)

In my house there’s a Panasonic Smart TV (from ~2017), and a pair of JBL LSR305 MkII.

I need a DAC that can bridge the TV to the speakers. I think if outputting Digital from the TV, I can just use the TV volume control? I understand I would output PCM from the TV to the DAC. Can this be sent via a choice of USB or Optical?

Two options I’ve found are: SMSL SU-8 , MiniDSP 2x4 HD. A merit of the SU-8 is it has balanced output. They’re both expensive relative to the JBL’s.

I’m more inclined to the MiniDSP because the SU-8 has a remote control which is surplus to requirement. The MiniDSP is not balanced though.

A third option of interest also is the MiniDSP 2x4 Balanced. I’m not sure why it’s so much cheaper than the HD. And the terminals are not XLR - I don’t know how I’d connect it via XLR to the 305’s.

What device should I use?

TV volume control does not work for 99.5% sure when using Optical (toslink) digital connection.
It usually is all out / full volume. Unless the TV’s specs/features give this possibility but it really rare.
Not sure about using USB?
TV’s manual probably would give info what can be used as audio output options.

I got a Preamp/DAC that has a remote so… it’s worked ok for my usage.

Well I see I can get the 2x4 HD with a +5USD remote - so it could work. The 2x4 Balanced seems to have no remote option.

(reformatted the OP)

Yea the 2x4 HD with a +5USD remote should work. It also has nice features for many things.
Price is also good with that.
I kinda wanted a “cleaner” or more amp looking front plate in living room so preamp was my choice.

Mini DSP has the IR hole in front and you could see the cables and so no.

Does anyone know if TV’s can output PCM via USB?

It depends on the model. If it’s a smart TV, it may recognize a USB dac (but it really depends)

Also if you don’t want to spend for the su8 (great dac), there is this which is pretty good imo

SMSL Sanskrit 10th High-end DAC USB Optical Coaxial Input Red https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J9YSD9R/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_zHU3DbNPMRBAR

Usually the TV’s USB port is for keyboard, mouse and flash memory drives. Maybe a camera etc accessories and not for audio output.
So the TV’s media player can show pictures or play vids etc.

Took a look for some Panasonic manuals and no audio on USB output.
But you can check that with TV’s model number and find the correct manual, like mentioned before.

I’ve seen some Sony and lg Android tv’s work with usb audio, but traditionally they don’t. Just use optical as it just works lol

as in USB audio output or input? You can kinda feed audio to it but that’s not the point. :smiley:
Haven’t seen a single USB audio output on TV’s but if there was what models?
Could they be more Commercial 24/7 type display/media screens and not actual home TV’s as to say. Since they usually have more software and functions to play with.

It was USB output to a dac. I think my friend may have modified the firmware on the TV, so I can’t confirm if it was stock. I have no idea why he did it. I think it was just because he could lol

Probably depends what OS they were running, it’s likely they inherit drivers from base distributions. I doubt the TV manufacturers bother trying to trim them down.

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Probably correct, I really don’t like smart TVs anyway lol as they always have issues for me (but I have awful luck with everything lol)

Good info.

MiniDSP 2x4 HD vs MiniDSP 2x4 Balanced?

You can connect the Dac,but you need another Source to play them.
For example a Amp with Speaker outpout.
The Volume knob you can just adjust on the Dac.
On the Tv maybe too,but is the speakers from the Tv. When you makes it louder with the remote control.

Ideal is Speaker monitors with Rca connection.Maybe the Monitors have a remote control.So you can connect a connection from the Tv to the Dac.And from the Outpout source from the Dac via Rca to the Speaker monitor.
Nearly as a Av reciver when you would.

So you have all the Sound from the Tv.
And maybe in the first try you must set it in the Settings from your Tv.
Select the output source on the Tv for example the Optical output then must be go it when you have it connected with optical.

The them things on the Pc when you would,when you have many Dacs and connected one you must be say the Pc what output source is it.

Speaker Monitors with remote control are more comfortable.
So you don’t must left for all things.
And make sure when you use it,the Volume knob from the Dac is open.

I realise now the 2x4 Balanced, has no Optical input, so will not work.

Can I use the 2x4 HD somehow? The LSR305’s only accept Balanced XLR or TRS.

The SU-8 looks ideal as it’s balanced, but out of stock everywhere?

Topping MX3 or DX3 Pro, but they are Unbalanced - - would need something akin to JBL Nano Patch volume control but without the volume control.

You can just use 1/4 inch ts jacks. You don’t really need balanced

(edited above) -----

Also the su8 is pretty great imo and would work with it’s built in volume control (through the remote)

If you wanted to use other dacs, the nano patch + or the mackie big knob passive work well

SU-8 Not on Amazon and out of stock on Drop :frowning:

Yea but those passive vol controls, don’t have remote controls, so useless for TV.