Firestick Theater

Amazon-Fire-TV-Stick-image-from-AmazondotcomFirestick Theater: a reader asks…

My surround sound system doesn’t work with the firestick. But it works with the TV. Any ideas how the firestick can work with the surround sound system. Any ideas will be appreciated.

The Amazon Firestick is an amazing gadget for watching video of all kinds. It’s designed to plug into an available HDMI port on your flat-screen TV, but for folks with home theater setups, that can be less than satisfactory. After all, you’ve invested in a fancy home theater surround sound system, so you want to get the full audio experience!  The trick here is to plug your Amazon Firestick into the the home theater system rather than directly into the TV. Here’s what you do:

First, you should have your surround sound speakers tied into a receiver/amplifier. This box usually has inputs for 2-5 HDMI devices like DVD players, cable boxes, etc. And it has one output with an HDMI cable going to your TV. And of course, cables going to your surround-sound speakers.

amazon-firestick-hdmi-extenderWhat you want to do is plug your Amazon Firestick into one of the receiver’s HDMI inputs. These are usually on the back of the receiver, although there may be one on the front, depending on your model. If there are only input ports on the backside of the receiver, then you’ll want to use the HDMI extender that came with your Firestick. Using the extender will also improve wireless reception to your Firestick since you can position it away from the other electronics that can block wi-fi signals.. If you’ve lost your HDMI extender cable, you can buy another from Amazon for $12 (order it here).

UPDATE: Many older receivers cannot send video from HDMI inputs to the receiver’s speakers, but only to the TV. Even if your receiver has HDMI inputs, you need to check the manual to see if they’re only ‘passthrough’ ports (to the HDMI output port). If you have an older receiver, then you need to plug the Firestick into an available port on your TV, and then run a digital optical or coaxial cable from the TV ouput ports to an available optical/coaxial input port on your receiver.

So you end up playing your Amazon Firestick through your home theater receiver just like you do your DVD player. The audio signal coming from the Firestick then goes to your surround sound speakers while the video signal goes to your TV. That gives you the bone-shaking bass coming from your sub-woofer, and you can hear that monster as he comes up behind you!


amazon-hdmi-to-analog-converterI should note that some older home theater systems (Bose, I’m looking at you), don’t have multiple HDMI ports, but only have analog video ports. These are RCA-type cables (a central pin with a round metal shield). If this is your situation, then you are not going to be able to solve this as simply. You’ll need another box to convert the digital signal from the Firestick to an analog signal to plug into the receiver. Fortunately, Amazon also sells such a box, you can order it here for $30. It comes with all the cables you need, but you’ll still need the Firestick and its extender cable in order to complete the setup. This converter box comes with clear setup instructions. The only problem is that this box is for the even-older analog standard that uses a single RCA cable for video and two RCA cables for audio (left and right). So before you order, check the backside of your home theater receiver to see what kind of jacks and ports it uses.

hdmi-to-component-video-converter-image-from-amazondotcomIf you want to preserve a higher-quality component video signal, or if your home theater system only has component video jacks (3 cables for video, usually colored red, green and blue), then you’ll need an HDMI to 1080P Component Video (YPbPr) Scaler Converter, such as this one (you can get it on Amazon for $45). Please note this box doesn’t come with component video/audio cables, so you’ll need to buy them separately (like this set on Amazon for $6). That’s a total of 5 individual wires with jacks on the end, three jacks for video and two for audio.

In either case you’re going to plug your Firestick into the converter box, and plug the analog cables between the converter box and your home theater receiver. Both of the converter boxes I’ve mentioned above also have a small electrical plug (‘wall wart’) that’ll need to be connected to power the converter.

If your system is different, please give me some details in the comments below and I can give you a more specific answer. You should include the brand and model number of your surround-sound system.

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  1. Hi Chris,
    Appreciate all your advice… I think I have a little different issue. I have a switch box with my direct tv receiver hdmi plugged in one port and a firestick in the other. My output is an HDMI that runs to an Epson projector. My direc tv box has RCA outputs to run to my very old Kenwood receiver (that has no hdmi ports btw) allowing me to push that sound through my receiver conned home speakers. When connected to the firestick I am only able to get sound on the small projector speaker. There are no other audio inputs in the projector. Hopefully this gives you enough info to help.


    • Hi Jamie, you don’t say the brand & model of the HDMI switch box (nor your Kenwood receiver), so you’re leaving me guessing a bit.

      If the switch box you have has RCA outputs, you could connect those to the Kenwood receiver, if there are available input ports.

      If the switch box you have doesn’t have RCA outputs, you are very much like everybody else here, you need a box that extracts the audio from the Firestick so it can be sent to the Kenwood receiver. That box would go in-between the Firestick and the switch box.

      The cost of a single HDMI extractor box isn’t much less than the cost of a replacement switch box (with audio extractor capability). This would let you simplify things. is $35 and would let you plug in both HDMI cables from the DirectTV receiver and the Firestick just like your current switch box (and still have room for one more HDMI device in the future). Run the same HDMI cable from the switch box output to the projector. You’d then take the RCA cables off the DirectTV and connect those to the new switcher box to get audio from all your sources to the Kenwood.

      Of course, I’m guessing that the RCA connection you’re talking about is 2-channel, analog stereo (since you say “outputs” rather than “output”). A digital output using RCA would be a single coaxial digital RCA cable. Fortunately, the switcher box has all three kinds of audio outputs (2-channel stereo, coaxial digital, and optical digital) so would work no matter what your Kenwood can handle.

      Of course, if your Kenwood receiver is just a stereo audio system (with left and right speakers), the surround sound capabilities of your Firestick and DirectTV are not used. If the Kenwood receiver has a digital input port (coaxial or optical) and surround sound speakers, you’ll have a much better audio experience connecting with a digital output port on the new switcher box – that will give you beautiful Dolby 5.1 audio.

  2. Hello, having Firestick to surround system issues. My TV is Philips 42PF7320A/37 and HTS is Samsung HT-Q70. My TV doesn’t have a optical digital port but receiver does. I was looking into converter boxes but do not know the correct one to purchase. I would also like to install an Over the Air Antenna and have surround sound there. TV has two HDMI ports and receiver has one HDMI. Was also looking into a Digital Audio cable that has optical to digital connectors (mini Toslink to Toslink)

    Will I be able to use the HDMI for video and this audio cable to have full 5.1 Surround sound? Would I need the conversion box or just a switch box to have the surround sound for the antenna? I assume I can use the 2nd HDMI port on TV for this. Sorry, I’m all over the place. This forum is fantastic. thank you!

    • Hi Robby, thanks for your question, and for the brand/model info on your TV and home theater system.

      Your Philips TV manual is online at and shows (on page 28) that it has two HDMI IN ports. That picture also shows one Digital Audio Coaxial OUT port and from the picture, I’m assuming the digital audio out port is a standard RCA plug (coaxial digital audio usually uses the same shape of plug as analog connectors), not the type you referenced (mini-Toslink). You should look at that port on your TV, and verify what type it actually is, since the manual isn’t 100% clear. Mini-Toslink is a specialty-type of optical connector, not commonly used. A Coaxial RCA cable is the type commonly used instead of Optical for digital audio, mostly because it’s cheaper. Coaxial digital audio is electrical in nature, whilst optical digital audio is light-based – so you need a converter – a simple cable with different end-types won’t work.

      To convert from coaxial digital audio to Toslink optical audio you need a converter box, such as

      Your Samsung HT-Q70 is a DVD player/surround sound system. It has one Digital Optical Audio IN port for bringing external component audio in and sending that to the surround sound speakers. So if you get the converter box I mentioned above, here’s how you’ll connect everything up:

      1. connect the Coax cable from the OTA antenna to your TV
      2. plug the HDMI cable from the Samsung DVD player/surround sound system into HDMI 1 on the TV
      3. plug the Firestick into HDMI 2 on the TV (also plug the included electrical power to microUSB on the Firestick)
      4. plug the coaxial cable from the TV’s Digital OUT port to the converter box (also plug the included electrical power to the converter box)
      5. plug an optical cable (Toslink) from the converter box to the Samsung DVD player/surround sound system

      Any audio your TV receives (either from OTA antenna or Firestick) will be digitally sent out via the coaxial digital audio cable. The converter box will convert that electrical signal to an optical signal and send that on to the Samsung so digital audio comes out the surround sound speakers.

      You’ll use your TV’s remote to switch between antenna, Firestick and Samsung DVD player. Leave your Samsung set to use the external audio source (AUX on the remote) which uses the audio from the Toslink cable. the AUX setting on the Samsung is what you’ll use anytime you’re using either the OTA antenna or Firestick. When you insert a DVD or CD into the Samsung player, it’ll switch to using that for the audio source, so when you want to switch back to OTA antenna or Firestick, press the AUX button.

      When watching OTA antenna or Firestick, the Samsung remote is only for volume control, use use either the TV remote or the Firestick remote to control the video source you’re using.

      • thanks Chris! Before asking you, I ordered some items I won’t need. But, all are still in the packaging and can return to Amazon. Just ordered that convertor box and have all other items. I’m on the road but will be home this weekend and will try the set-up you mentioned above. Glad I wrote to you, because I was off with my first set-up plans. Robby

  3. Chris, sorry so long on reply back. Thanks everything is working fine. Only issue I had was the Toslink Optical cable going back into Samsung receiver. It doesn’t fit snug, snap in well. I’ve never used that port so I don’t know why. Once I got the cable to set in, the sound took off. Just have to place that cable in just right. Thanks….

  4. Might have jumped the gun. Can’t get surround sound from the antenna. I do have the optical Toslink cable secure. I’m playing Firestick through a HDMI2 with perfect Digital sound. When I use Tv remote to move to antenna channels, the sound stops. Video is good, and will play through TV speakers.

    You wrote, “use your Tv remote to switch between antenna, Firestick and Samsung DVD player.” I assume you mean HDMI1 for DVD, HDMI2 for Firestick, then continue to programmed channels for TV, 3.1, 15.1, etc. I can get sound for DVD and and Firestick program but not antenna.

    Sorry if I’m all over the place. Please ask any follow up questions and maybe we can figure this out. Thanks….

  5. One last thing, switching back in forth between Firestick and antenna channels. The Firestick is coming through clear. The antenna channels are coming off and on with audio. Basically , sputtering with audio, then shuts off.

    I’ll also add that when on Firestick, the Samsung screen reads LPCM (Linear PCM) and when on antenna channel the screen reads/blinks DIGITAL. Manual says that’s Dolby Digital.

    • Hi Robby, I see on lots of discussion forums that other folks using OTA antennas are having similar problems. Most likely its due to degraded reception. Folks have tried reorienting the antenna to point more towards the distant signal source, with varying results. In other cases, folks using compact OTA antennas were able to solve the problem with a bigger/better antenna mounted on the roof, with clearer line-of-sight to the various TV station antennas.

      Other folks have been able to get the sound to work better by switching OTA channels back and forth.

      Linear PCM is also a digital audio signal, it’s not compressed like Dolby Digital is. But they both provide roughly equivalent sound quality (some folks will swear by PCM, some by Dolby). It makes sense that your Firestick puts out uncompressed PCM since there’s no issue with bandwidth, while OTA transmissions always have to deal with bandwidth issues, and so use a compressed digital signal.

  6. Chris just an update as I’m still having issues. I have everything set up like you suggested above. The Firestick and DVD/CD play through the surround sound. Only the OTA Antenna will not play. The Antenna will play, but the audio goes in and out. Meaning, audio will play for 5-6 secs then turn off. There is no humming or static, just plays off and on. I’ll switch the channel back to HDMI 2, and a Firestick Apps are playing fine. So, I feel it’s not the cable or convertor box.

    I want to add what the Samsung receiver is showing on display when Firestick/DVD/Antenna are playing. I’m using the Aux button on remote and two show up on the Digital 1 display while playing. When I say Digital 1, the receiver has Digital 1/Aux 1/Aux 2/USB/FM/XM/DVD-CD. Firestick and Antenna play on Digital 1 and DVD/CD will turn on when disk is inserted. When the firestick is playing the Digital 1 is chosen and to the upper left of the Digital 1 screen reads LPCM (Linear PCM). The sound is fine, but is this actual digital sound? When the Antenna is playing, it reads Digital on Samsung display. When audio is coming through, the Digital display is on. When the audio turns off, Digital is blinking. I’m just trying to mention everything, so if it rings a bell with you with possible issues.

    I’ve focused my attention to antenna and have tried a few things. Here is the antenna I’m using, I’ve tried three different coaxial cables but what I’ve read, this cable shouldn’t effect audio (I think). I tried one other audio method to see if I can get some sound through TV/Antenna. Next to the Digital Audio Out port on my TV(what I’m using through convertor box) there is a Monitor Out L R Video. I have a Digital Audio cables Red/White RCA. I plugged into the L R of the Monitor Out (TV) and plugged into the Samsung receiver Audio In, just left to the Video out port. If I switch the receiver to the Aux 1 the audio will play through the RCA cables, but I’m curious if the sound is Digital, I assume it’s analog. The audio is ok, but I’m trying to maximize the full digital sound.

    Also on the Digital Optical cable, Toslink. I mention above having connecting into port issues. The dust protectors were removed and I now have full connection.

    Sorry, if I’m writing a book, just trying to give you all the info for this issue. I hope this is a menu/setting issue, but am curious if I’ll be able to get full Digital audio through my antenna using the convertor box.

    thanks, Robby

    • Hi Robby, yes, the Linear PCM audio is digital sound, it’s not compressed like Dolby Digital Audio is. That’s the primary difference and is all about bandwidth (your Firestick is physically connected via HDMI so bandwidth isn’t a big issue, your OTA is…over-the-air so bandwidth is an issue). Both types of signal will give you beautiful 5.1 digital audio.

      Re the spotty audio: when I first started thinking about your issue I was wondering if there was a HDCP (HD copyright protection) issue, in that a weak OTA signal might not get full HDCP authorizations exchanged, which could mean that the receiver isn’t getting clear authorization to play the audio. But since your screen is blinking the Digital signal indicator when the audio cuts out, that’s indicating a problem before the audio even gets to the receiver. So now I’m suspecting your antenna (not the coax since you’ve switched that out several times). I’m assuming you’re tightening the coax connections well. May I also assume you don’t have a really long run of coax cable since you’re using a small indoor OTA antenna? It’s not up on the roof or anything.

      While your OTA antenna is supposed to be omni-directional, the problem with OTA signal propagation is that it is always line-of-sight and anything in-between or adjacent to that line between your antenna and the signal source can affect the signal. Your best bet is to place the antenna as high as possible and with nothing but clear air all around. Placing it on a wall can cut signal strength in the direction of the wall, and having metal anywhere along the signal path can cause signal blockage. If there’s any significant metal adjacent to the signal path (line-of-sight), it could cause signal bounce, meaning your antenna receives the signal twice within nano-seconds of each other, with distortion. And there are also lots of possibilities for signal interference.

      All that to say that…it’s complicated. So what to do? You could try a signal amplifier or a different antenna. Best results are usually with a roof-mounted directional (Yagi) antenna that’s pointed toward the signal source (so having a rotator to turn the antenna to the different OTA stations would be optimum). Of course most folks aren’t going to make that big an investment and want to deal with having to work more just to change channels! There are other alternatives, where you’re trading performance for convenience (and cost savings).

      I see the antenna you bought was only $18. A quick look at Amazon showed this outdoor antenna: for $72. That’s a much bigger investment for sure. But it has some significant advantages: being outdoor and if mounted high and in-the-clear will receive a much stronger/better signal, it has a signal preamplifier built-in to boost weaker signals, and it doesn’t need to be rotated. That looks like a good compromise.

      Fyi, the L/R audio cables (RCA type, usually a red/white pair) are 2-channel (stereo) analog audio only, not digital audio. So while you can get stereo audio out of those, you can’t get that pristine surround sound digital audio that you get with a digital connection. I’m guessing that your receiver has Pro-Logic circuitry built in, so that if it gets a 2-channel signal, it ‘fakes’ a surround sound by processing the analog audio signal and sending audio to the other speakers.

      Whew, looks like we’re both writing books!

  7. thanks Chris. I’ve had this antenna for a while so when I checked my towers for signal, I didn’t need an amplified larger distance antenna. As far as the signal for audio, my picture is coming in very clear, several channels. It’s just an audio issue. Can I get good reception, but poor audio based on the antenna?

    I’ve used two coaxial cables for the antenna. One 25 ft, the other the 11ft cable that came with antenna. I will say the 11ft cable got better audio, but still breaking up. I like the 25 ft cable because I can run it through the wall, out of site into a closet that runs high up a wall. But still breaking audio. Location of TV has it difficult to get to a window. But, I’m up on a hill with really good reception, just poor audio.

    Going to do some research on the antennas. Being out $18 for an old antenna that I’ve held onto is no big deal. I’ll continue to do some work on this and let you know for further research for other Firestick/Surround Sound.Antenna suffers like myself.

    Really appreciate your expertise on this.


    • Hi Robby, other folks on forums have also noted that video comes through fine but audio doesn’t.

      Ahh, another clue! You said the audio is better with the shorter coax cable. There may be signal loss from antenna to TV, and the coax could be contributing. I have sometimes experienced coax signal loss on my CATV system with Verizon FIOS and longer coax runs. I solved that with a signal amplifier. The amplifier goes closest to the source (in your case, the OTA antenna), needs electrical power, and boosts the signal enough to compensate for loss/attenuation in the coax. I also did some fancy stuff like looping the coax 5x at the antenna end and again before the connection to TV (tip from ham radio), but don’t know if that really did anything. Just a neater way to deal with extra cable length…

      Oh, and finger-tight coax connections aren’t good enough, you need just a little bit more tightening with a wrench or something.

      An amplifier like this $20:

  8. Interesting on tightening the coaxial cable. Now that I think about it, I’m going to check out the coaxial antenna cable some more. It’s old and the core piece (wire) coming out of cable seemed short. On top of that I’m reading the thicker the cable the better. So, my wife will be pleased on more time and $$$ I spend on this…..grin……

    It’s funny I called Mohu customer support today and have had two cust reps tell me that their product and surround sound is not compatible. I mean come on, it’s 2018, here. I also called Samsung, but when they keep telling me to turn power off/on again, one more time…..

    Can you send me the amplifier link again, link above. I can’t open it. Is this different from a build in amplified antenna?

    thanks, Robby

    • Hi Robby, yes the quality of the coax cable can make a world of difference. And if the cable end (the short wire coming out) is not giving a good connection, that can contribute greatly to your problems. You’ll want a quad-shielded coax cable that matches the impedance of your antenna. For example RG6 coax cable has a 75-ohm impedance, while RG8 has a 50-ohm impedance. Most TV systems use RG6 (75-ohm), so if you’re using an RG-8 cable, you’ll have an impedance mis-match which will cause all types of problems, including what you mention.

      The OTC antennas all pass digital signals through the coax as received by the digital TV signals sent out from the major network stations. You don’t say your location, but here’s info on US OTA TV:

      Samsung, like everybody else isn’t going to be decently helpful with inter-brand equipment – all brands support their own stuff and if there’s a problem, point first at anything you’re using that’s not their branded stuff. Fact of our 21st century digital lives and the free market system… The forums I’m looking through also tell folks to turn things off and on again, and to change channels to try and get the circuitry built into the TV and the receiver to accept the digital input, to work around potential problems with different companies using slightly different specifications (aka standards).

      Try this standalone amplifier link: and yes, this is different than the other antenna I mentioned that has an amplifier built-in. This standalone amplifier is for use with the antenna you already have, which is not amplified.

  9. I ordered a new antenna and coaxial cable. A little more $ but better product. I started putting everything back in order/place and noticed something that will have another question so this won’t be my personal diary: when flipping channels tonight, checking settings, I noticed something different between the Firestick and OTA antenna. While on antenna channels, all surround sound speakers were on. The receiver display showed all lights on for speakers. However, when I went to Firestick, only the Left and Right speakers were on.

    I never noticed it before because I was getting some audio sound on Firestick. But I put my ear to the center and rear speakers and their off. Antenna channels are still breaking up, but there all on. RCA cable Aux 1 mode only has Left and Right speakers on.

    Any knowledge to why the speakers do this between Firestick and antenna?

    Thanks., Robby

    • Lots of folks complain on cord-cutting forums that switching back and forth between video sources gives hinky results.

      If you connected a pair of RCA cables (red/white) from TV to receiver, that’s only going to pass 2-channel stereo sound. You should choose the receiver’s source that matches the optical cable input from the TV, not the RCA input. You really shouldn’t use those cables, just the optical cable.

      So the same receiver source should be used for both OTA and Firestick. As far as the receiver is concerned, it’s the same input source (the TV).

      • Hey Chris when it rains it pours. I broke my antenna port (TV) trying to screw in new antenna cable. My fault. It didn’t break off but the port itself is loose, just hanging. So when I tried to connect new antenna, no reception.

        I did a little research and a ATSC Tuner with HDMI was suggested. Will this work? I only have two HDMI ports and both are being used. But I could disconnect firestick when I want to watch antenna TV. Or would you recommend something else?

        I assume HDMI goes into ATSC tuner then coaxial port runs cable to antenna.? Maybe my research is wrong.

        I don’t want to take back of tv panel off and try repair

        Thanks again for ur time, Robby

        • Sorry to hear about the TV part breaking. Yes, an ATSC tuner that connects to the TV using HDMI would work. Given the disaster that happened to the coax connector on the TV, I’m wondering if you want to be plugging and unplugging an HDMI cable all the time to switch from Firestick to tuner back and forth. To avoid that, you’d need an HDMI switchbox that has multiple HDMI IN ports and one HDMI OUT port to go to the TV. Anther thing to switch, although if you got a 3 or 4 port switch you could plug all your HDMI components into that, and just have one to the TV. Then you’d only use the TV remote to turn it on and off, use the HDMI switchbox remote to switch between video sources, and use the receiver remote to turn the audio up and down.

          An HDMI switchbox like this for $37: has 4 HDMI IN ports, and outputs HDMI video and also optical audio (to bypass the TV and go direct to your receiver).

          • Just trying to think of my new potential set up. HDMI still in TV HDMI1, Firestick in HDMI2. The TVs HDMI1 goes into the out port of switch box? Then use HDMI In ports of switch box to go to Antenna tuner, HDMI Receiver, etc. sorry, I’m a little confused

            • No, plug your Firestick, receiver, and OTA TV HDMI’s into the switch box IN ports, run an HDMI cable from the switchbox’s OUT port to one of the TV’s IN ports (the other one is no longer used).

              Run the optical cable from the switch box’s OUT port to the receiver’s IN port. That gets sound from the Firestick and OTA TV to the speakers. The only time that path isn’t needed is when you play DVD’s from the receiver’s built-in player – the audio is already in the receiver for that.

  10. Thanks, if I use the switch box you mention, do I still need the converter box, that runs digital cable from TV then optical to receiver? I assume yes since the switch box just gives extra locations for HDMI since I’m adding for external tuner-antenna.

    • The box I specified is a combo switch box/converter, you don’t need a separate converter box. The switch box has a Toslink OUT port you can use to run audio to the receiver’s IN port.

      Just in case you mis-typed, a converter box (you never mentioned such in your previous) was never needed in your setup. If you meant to say “amplifier” for the OTA signal, that would still be needed if the signal from your antenna isn’t strong enough. But I think you said you already ordered a new OTA antenna with a built-in amplifier, right?

  11. thanks Chris yes, I was just looking to see if I had everything I needed for set up. I have antenna with build in amp, new coaxial cable. That cable was so mighty, it broke my TV coaxial port (grin) and I didn’t tell my wife I broke it-shhhhhhhhhh….Combo switch box/convertor is ordered as is my external ATSC tuner, all arriving Thursday.

    Thank you for walking me through this. I’ll come back and confirm set up and hopefully all my steps might help some one else out. Let me know if there is anything I can do to promote your site. Sign up, review, I did check mailing list, this forum is very helpful.

    • Thanks Robby, I’m glad I was able to help you get squared away for cord-cutting. Thanks for signing up!

      • Chris: Wanted to respond to wrap up this chat on my set up. Everything is up and working well. Here is the good news, my OTA antenna through the ATSC external tuner is working through surround sound with my receiver. Since it’s set up and working, I don’t want to back through my process and eliminate what was wrong, initially. There have been issues for many with the OTA/surround sound, so what works now? Is it my external tuner vs older model TV antenna port? I ended up using my Mohu Leave antenna due to it’s set up and location. I did use the quad shielded coaxial cable you suggested. But, it’s up and running and I’m officially happy and content with my sound.

        So, if anyone sees my post (s) or others have problems with OTA audio through their speakers, it might be an easy fix for $25-30. What I like about the tuner is the one channel through the TV (HDMI 1), I use the remote for turner to change channels. The tuner is small and sits to the side of my TV barely visible. The menu setting are nice too showing signal/HD strength when you change each channel. I’m getting 80-95% strength on every channel. Here is the tuner Item has a DVR function too, but I haven’t tried it yet. FYI….

        thanks again for everything!

  12. Hi Chris, I have a Sony SN-DN1030 Receiver in my surround sound set up. Is this unit compatible for the Fire stick HDMI plug into the receiver? Thanks, Randy

    • Hi Randy, thanks for your question. Your Sony receiver’s manual is online at and shows on page 13 that there are multiple HDMI IN ports, so yes you can plug the Firestick into one of them. Page 27 shows that the audio from the HDMI connection will be played out the surround sound speakers while the video will go to a TV attached to the HDMI OUT port of the receiver. Just use the video source button on your remote to select the same named source where you connected the Firestick.

      • Thanks Chris. It appears the BD-DVD HDMI (for Audio) port has superior sound, so I’ll plug the Firestick there and move my Surface Pro3 over to the Video 2 HDMI port. Thanks again, Randy

  13. Hey Chris, I have a Yamaha RX-V373 and a Westinghouse UW70TC1W tv. I feel like I’ve tried everything to get this to work.

    I’ve plugged the fire stick into the receiver, and only video.

    I’ve plugged the fire stick into the TV and ran a Optical audio cord back to the receiver, still no audio.

    Any help you can provide here would be greatly appreciated!

    • HI Kori, thanks for your question. Your Yamaha receiver’s manual is online at There’s nothing in there that I can see as to why you would have the problem you describe. You should be able to plug the Firestick into an available HDMI IN port on the back of the Yamaha receiver, select that HDMI port as your source and hear the audio from your surround sound speakers and see the video on a the TV that’s connected to the Yamaha’s HDMI OUT port.

      It could be something simple like the volume turned down on the receiver, or you changed the HDMI audio settings (see pages 59/60 of the manual) to route HDMI audio to the TV instead of the surround sound speakers. I’m assuming you’ve connected the Firestick correctly, including connecting the MicroUSB cable to the Firestick and plugging the other end into a wall outlet. That gives power to the Firestick to let it operate correctly. I’m also assuming you can play other video/audio sources connected to the receiver without any problem. And it could be a problem with the specific HDMI IN port you used (on the back of the receiver) – did you try a different one?

      If you plugged the Firestick into the TV, was the TV able to play both video and audio (audio through the TV speakers)? If not, the Firestick may be set incorrectly (see the on-screen audio settings), or the Firestick itself may be defective.

      If the Firestick works fine with TV and TV speakers, it should work fine plugged into the receiver and the surround sound speakers. If you have changed settings on the receiver (possibly when trying the optical cable option), you may have a mismatch between the video and audio source.

      One other thing to consider is HDCP (that’s HD copyright protection). If you’re plugging and unplugging the Firestick into the TV and receiver repeatedly, you may have to power-cycle everything to get the devices to authorize each other. The HDCP ‘handshaking’ process occurs when you first power on or connect equipment. If you change connections, you need to remove power to the Firestick, wait a few seconds and then reapply power and reconnect it to force the HDCP handshaking.

      Unfortunately, my ability to help you is limited by only having the information you give me. There’s no substitute for an in-person diagnosis by someone who knows how to connect and configure home theater equipment. But hopefully, the problem is due to one of the above possible areas.

  14. Hi Chris! I have my Fire TV plugged into an HDMI port on a Westinghouse TX-42F810G television. The TV is hooked up to an older Sony STR-DA555ES receiver with no HDMI slots via an optical cable. When using the TV tuner, I get full 5.1 channel surround sound, but when using the Fire TV I only get two channel stereo. I have tried looking at settings on the Fire TV and on the TV. The content that I am playing on the Fire TV is definitely in at least 5.1 (Amazon’s Jack Ryan). Can you shed any light on this?

    • Hi Carl, thanks for your question. What little documentation on your particular TV is available online doesn’t shed any light on the capabilities of an optical digital audio OUT port, but I’d guess that it’s one of the many cheaper sets out there that doesn’t work fully to standards for digital audio (see and

      In particular, I note the 2nd article says “most TVs are capable of outputting true Dolby Digital via their optical output when using the TV’s internal over-the-air tuner.” That potentially implies that the optical output doesn’t do likewise for external HDMI sources like your Fire TV. I’m making this assumption because you’re only getting stereo audio from the Fire TV with that hookup.

      If you want full 5.1 audio, I think you’ll need to use a digital audio extractor box. Fortunately, your receiver (online manual at has multiple optical input ports so you can leave the optical cable in place for your TV’s internal tuner.

      This extractor box ( for $27) would work. Plug the Fire TV into it, and run an HDMI cable from the extractor box’s HDMI OUT port to one of the TV’s HDMI IN ports. Run an optical cable from the extractor box’s SPDIF OUT port to an optical IN port on the receiver.

      That will give you 5.1 digital audio from the Fire TV to the receiver, just select whichever optical input source you plugged into (from the extractor box) using the receiver’s remote.

      • Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I will definitely try the extractor box. Definitely cheaper than replacing the television to achieve the same thing.

  15. I’m having the same problem with everybody else picture but no sound out of my receiver the TV is a sharp Ultra HD 3840 X 2160 the receivers is a Harman Kardon AVR 146 and I hook the fire stick to the back of the receiver HMDI cable out to the TV I got picture but no sound could you please help me thank you

    • Hi Gary, sorry but your old HK AVR 146 may have HDMI input ports, but all they do is send the audio and video to an HDMI-capable TV. The receiver can’t process HDMI audio. I think that vintage receiver came out just as HDMI was getting going, well before it became the defacto standard for digital video/audio.

      I found your manual online at It specifically says the HDMI ports are for switching only, and the description on page 10 fully describes that limitation.

      So scroll up just a bit on this comments section, the same solution I gave Carl Schultz will work for you. Your receiver does have two optical digital audio inputs (see the image on page 11). You can still run the Firestick through the receiver (just plug the Firestick into the audio extractor box HDMI IN port and run an HDMI cable from the HDMI OUT port on the extractor box into the same HDMI port on the HK receiver that you had the Firestick plugged into) and plug an optical cable from the audio extractor box into one of those optical inputs on the receiver. If you can already see the video from the Firestick, just use the HK remote’s buttons to select the correct audio source (either the 6CH button or maybe the Digital button).

  16. Hi Chris,

    I know this is an old article but your suggestions would be of a great help to me.
    I have a Sony 32 EX520 Model TV with a couple of HDMI ports and a audio out port and a Sony DAVTZ210 sound system with a single out HDMI port and a RCA port(W-Y-R) . What would be an optimal way to connect my fire stick to the sound system? Thanks

    • Hello Varun, I’m sorry but your old sound system isn’t capable of using the Firestick’s 5.1 audio output, since the surround sound system only has 2-channel stereo input ports (the white and red RCA plugs on the back – fyi the yellow RCA jack is for old-style ‘composite’ video input only).

      Your Sony DAV-TZ210 DVD player/surround sound system was built to play digital 5.1 surround sound only from the DVD that’s built into the system. It can output HD video from its HDMI OUT port to an HDMI-capable TV (as is your Sony Bravia KDL-32EX520 TV). It was not intended for use with modern HDMI or Dolby 5.1 systems, or it would have had a digital audio input port (optical or coaxial) on the back instead of just the red/white RCA ports.

      Your more modern TV can accept the Firestick in one of its HDMI IN ports (the other one would be connected to the Sony DAV-TZ210 surround sound system to show the video from DVDs). Your TV should have no problem displaying HD video on-screen.

      The best you can do without a new surround sound system is to get a cable like this one for $5. Plug the headphone end into your TV’s headphone jack, and the RCA ends into the DAV-TZ210’s red/white RCA jacks. Then, using the surround sound system’s remote, press the TV/Cable button and the audio from the TV will go to the surround sound speakers. Use the surround sound system’s menu to select the surround setting “ProLogic” or “PLII Movie” and your surround sound system will take the 2-channel audio coming from the TV and split it across your speakers (ersatz surround sound). You won’t get full Dolby digital 5.1 audio, just an imitation of that rich audio environment – best that your old system can provide.

      If you want to hear the full digital surround sound from your Firestick, you’d need a new(er) surround sound system that has an optical INput port (your TV has an optical OUTput port).

      Here are links to the online manuals for your equipment which I used to answer your question:

  17. Hi Chris,
    What I have is a Samsung home theater system it’s a ht-bd1250 also have a samsung tv model code ln46b640r3fxza version cn03 blue ray DVD player only has 1 hdmi port. I have my Firestick plugged into tv hdmi and of course t only plays through tv speakers what do you recommend that I need to get Firestick to play through surround sounds off DVD player which is the home theater system. Thanks John

    • Hi John, you have a similar situation to hundreds of other commenters on this post. You have a Samsung DVD player with surround sound speaker system. The online manual is at and shows (on page 15) the location of the two optical digital audio input ports, #8 on the diagram. You can use those to bring in digital audio from external sources such as your Firestick. However, your Firestick doesn’t have optical audio output ports (nor anything other than HDMI) as it was designed for modern home theater systems that use HDMI for both audio and video.

      I’m guessing your Samsung TV is a 46″ model 6 (640), and the online manual for that is at Page 11 (item #7 on that page) shows you where the optical digital output port is.

      So your first and least expensive option to try is to connect a digital audio cable aka TosLink (such as this one at for under $7) from the TV’s optical output port to one of the optical input ports on the DVD player. Then switch the DVD player to use that input as the source and whatever video is playing on the TV will have the matching audio play out through your surround sound speakers.

      You may have to do some unplugging and plugging of components to get past HDCP and get the audio to play correctly. Generally:
      1. Connect the audio cable, turn on the DVD player and set the source input to the optical input you used
      2. turn on the TV, and set the TV to use the HDMI port to which you will connect the Firestick
      3. plug in the Firestick (into an HDMI port on the TV) and connect the power cable to the Firestick

      That way, the Firestick exchanges HDCP with the TV and the DVD player to authorize the use of protected digital content (e.g., the audio signal from the Firestick).

      Not all TVs handle this process well, and if after trying everything and you can’t get it to work, you may have to add an audio extractor in-between the Firestick and the TV, and then use the optical audio cable on that extractor box instead of the TV. An extractor box such as this one: for $23. Then the extractor box manages the HDCP hand-shaking between the Firestick and the DVD player so that you can hear ‘protected’ content.

    • Chris, Thank You
      The 1st option worked just fine, the optical audio cable.
      Thanks again John

  18. Just purchased a Firestick 4K. On Hulu app, the live guide will not show what is “on later”. Just currently, Any suggestions?

    • Hi Michelle, I think you’re talking about Hulu’s new Live TV offering which has been rolling out to the world since May 2018. I’m not a Hulu customer so I can only give you an educated guess, but you may not yet be getting the enhanced guide that Hulu talks about in their press release (

      Again, I’m just guessing, but likely Hulu is still rolling out the enhanced guide service to all the various devices, and it may be that your Firestick hasn’t yet gotten updated. You can check your Firestick for any updates, but if you’re not currently getting the full guide, I’m betting you’ll have wait till Hulu rolls it out to your device (and Amazon includes it in an update to your device).

  19. Thank you for your previous reply. One more issue, I can’t seem to use the Alexa component of the remote, because any command I give it, boots me out to my Sony Bravia Smart TV and IT tries to respond instead. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Michelle, it sounds like you have enabled the Sony Android TV skill, either enabled in your Smart TV or on the Firestick. If you don’t want to control the TV with Alexa, disable that skill.

  20. Hi Chris,
    I want to stream video from a receiver in the back of my large meeting room to my 60″ Plasma in the front of the room (about 40 feet apart, connected with HDMI cable and extenders at both ends). Video from DVDs works fine with the Sony STRDH720 7.1 Channel 3D AV Receiver I’m currently using, but I can’t get anything to stream with my Firestick (from late 2015) plugged into an HDMI port on the Sony or from an iPad or iPhone 6S … can you recommend a mid-priced A/V receiver that can do this? Or an add-on to the Sony that will work?
    Thanks, Mike

    • Hi Mike, ok it sounds like you have two questions here, the first one about streaming from a Firestick, and the second one about streaming from an iPad or iPhone 6s. Let’s take the Firestick issue first:

      Your Sony STR-DH720 receiver’s manual is online at and shows there should be no problem with HDMI-connected components connected to the INPUT ports shown on page 12. I’m assuming you have the OUTPUT port correctly connected to that long HDMI cable to the Plasma TV. You have four HDMI INPUT ports available.

      I don’t know your level of knowledge about how to hook things up, so I maybe making some overly simple suggestions below:

      1. Did you remember to connect the MicroUSB cable from the Firestick’s included wall wart power supply to the Firestick? And not using a USB port (say on the receiver)? Not all USB ports provide the needed power for the Firestick to operate.

      2. Did you make sure everything was switched appropriately before connecting the Firestick? That means, the TV is set to use the input from the receiver and is turned on, the receiver is set to use the HDMI INPUT port you’ll be using for the Firestick and is turned on? Only then plugging in the Firestick? In most cases when first connecting HD-capable equipment, you must ensure there’s a connection path to all components when powering up or connecting a component. That way the HD copyright protection circuitry has a chance to work its magic and validate the other equipment to play HD protected content (such as what comes from the Firestick) to your other components (the receiver and the TV).

      3. You don’t say which HDMI INPUT port you used with the Firestick, you might want to try another port. Just in case the port you tried is bad.

      4. You did remember to select the receiver’s source to match the HDMI INPUT port where the Firestick is connected, right? On the remote (see page 13) that’s the set of buttons labeled #3. The HDMI INPUT ports on the back of the receiver are labeled BD/DVD (In 1), Game (In 2), SAT/CATV (In 3), and Video 1 (In 4). Those correspond to the source buttons on the Remote: BD/DVD, Game, SAT/CATV, and Video 1. You have to select the source where you connected to the Firestick in order to get output. (and see #2 above).

      5. You don’t have any other non-HDMI input sources connected using the same items as #4 above, right? Nothing plugged into the Component Video ports on the receiver, nor the composite (yellow RCA plug) for Video 1 or SAT/CATV?

      6. You have verified that the Firestick works, right? Meaning you plugged it directly into an HDMI port on the Plasma display (or another TV) and can get the Firestick video.

      7. HDMI cable specification says that 50′ is about the maximum reliable length, after that you may experience signal degradation. If your 40 feet has more than 5′ extensions on each end, you might be just degraded enough to keep HDCP from successfully authenticating your TV with your Firestick. There are HDMI Inline Extenders (like for $56) that you could use to boost the signal for longer distance. Not saying this is your situation, you’d really need an A/V person to measure signal strength before spending on a booster. Even if the BD/DVD player works ok, the Firestick’s HDCP may be more finicky and subject to authentication failure if the signal isn’t strong enough.

      Just an guess here, but I’d suspect either something simple like #1, or an issue with HDCP (#2) will most likely be your issue and solution. Your receiver is fully capable of handling HDMI input and sending it to a connected TV without other issues.

      You don’t specifically say if you can’t see any video output from the Firestick at all, or just can’t stream movies (but can see Firestick menus, etc.) and don’t say whether you can hear anything from the Firestick through your surround sound speakers, so I’m assuming you’re getting nothing from the Firestick. If none of the above helps, I’ll need more detail from you on your situation in order to get you a better answer.

      Onto the 2nd question. If you want to stream from your iPad or iPhone 6s without wires, you need an Apple TV ($149-199) which is physically connected to your receiver – that uses AirPlay on your iOS device to send the screen output to the Apple TV (which displays video on the screen and sends audio to the surround sound speakers). That is by far the simplest solution. Apple equipment works best with other Apple equipment and the way most people send their video from iOS device to TV screen is through an Apple TV. You may be able to find an older and/or refurbished Apple TV cheaper (such as for $99).

      It’s a bit cheaper to use a $49 Lightning to HDMI adapter ( and an HDMI cable and physically connect your iPad/iPhone to an HDMI port on the receiver. That may be ok for you instead of the Apple TV route.

      • Hi Chris, thanks for the detailed reply. #1 through #6 suggestions are very helpful, and I verified that they are done properly. I think the issue may be #7; it’s not an long HDMI cable, it’s two Cat6 100FT Networking RJ45 Ethernet Patch Cables (the whole 100ft!) with the HDMI extenders on either end. Looking at some of the reviews for the cable and the extenders, it seems at 100ft there can be signal degradation. The actual run is ~60 ft. — do you think cutting the cable and putting on new RJ-45 connectors might make a difference? Is there an extender for this type of cable?

        • Thanks for the update Mike, so I’m assuming when you say “HDMI extenders” you mean something like – these boxes let you use HDMI over an Ethernet cable. You put one of these on each end of an Ethernet cable and then run standard HDMI cables to connect the extenders to the HDMI ports. These extenders include signal boosting so that long runs (up to 300′ using CAT6, 125′ using CAT5) are supported, so they each need electrical power to operate.

          It would’ve been helpful if you’d given me the brand and model of the HDMI extenders you’re using, then I could look them up online and better be able to advise you. Without specific information I’m limited to making more guesses and assumptions.

          If you by chance have unpowered HDMI/Ethernet dongles (cable adapters that have HDMI on one end and an Ethernet jack on the other), those are going to be subject to much the same length limitations as an end-to-end HDMI cable would have. talks about such devices having “up to” 98′ but really don’t.

          Assuming you have a decent set of HDMI extenders, there shouldn’t be an issue with 60′ of Ethernet cable length and cutting 10′ off probably won’t make a real difference. I’m also assuming you don’t have an Ethernet switch or other Ethernet connection, this cable run is solely from HDMI extender (transmitter) to HDMI extender (receiver). So, continuing the realm of possibilities:

          1. You do have the HDMI Extender setup with the correct orientation – meaning the transmitter is at the Sony STRDH720 end, and the receiver is at the 60″ plasma TV end?

          2. Was this a pre-made Ethernet cable or did you make your own cable, and regardless, did you test that cable for continuity? I can’t tell you how many Ethernet cables I’ve had to re-terminate (or replace) because they failed continuity tests.

          If you don’t already have and use a cable tester, here’s a cheap one ($35) that will work: – it’s handy to have something like this for testing all Ethernet cabling. Even the pre-made Ethernet cables can be (or go) bad. Most Ethernet cabling uses solid wires, and it only takes one kink with strain to break a wire or three.

  21. Hi Chris,

    I have the amazon fire stick and a Yamaha RX-V361 receiver. I’m getting video and sound no problem, but my question is about the remote. How do I “pair” the fire stick remote to be able to control the receivers volume?

    • Ok, the short answer is almost certainly no, you can’t use the Fire TV Stick’s remote to control your receiver’s volume. FYI, “pairing” is a term used in Bluetooth radio communication and your receiver doesn’t use Bluetooth. Your receiver uses a standard infrared remote (infrared is light signaling, not radio).

      Your receiver’s online manual ( says nothing about Alexa (or Bluetooth).

      An Amazon Alexa Voice Remote can only control home theater equipment that “works with Alexa”. Most Fire TV Stick remotes don’t even have volume, power and mute buttons, so they can’t control anything other than the Fire TV Stick. Newer Amazon Fire TV devices have those buttons: For example, the newer 4k Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote has volume buttons so you could possibly control a receiver’s volume. The page to check for compatibility for that model is at: and click on the Audio & Home Theater icon

      Even if your particular remote does have those extra buttons, you are still out of luck without some additional equipment. This is often the case with brand-new technology (e.g., the Fire TV Stick) and older home theater equipment (e.g., your receiver).

      There’s no simple solution, you’d need something that can talk between the receiver’s infrared control signaling and Alexa. Such as a Logitech Harmony Elite remote control system ($300, at That works with Alexa so you can control all your infrared-managed equipment using the Harmony remote, and control that remote with Alexa. But that sounds like a bit of overkill for your situation. You’ll probably choose to make do using two remotes.

  22. Hi Chris,
    We have a Sony Bravia Series XBR-65X800B and a Yamaha A-S701 integrated amp. We purchased an Amazon Firestick, plugged it in and it works great. The only problem is that with programs played with the Firestick, the only audio we can get is through the television. The Yamaha amp has no HDMI ports. The television has an HDMI audio port. We tried plugging the Firestick there and we still get video but no audio through the stereo system. The television audio is connected to the amp with an optical cable. Any help is appreciated.

  23. Hi Chris
    Another familiar story – I have a Samsung LED 7000 Series TV and a Denon AVR 1912 receiver. I have plugged the Firestickl into one of the free HDMI ports, selected the relevant source and nothing happening (no video or audio). Receiver works fine with the cable TV via the receiver’s HDMI so I’m a little stumped. Any suggestions gratefully received.

    • Hi Lewis, your Denon’s online manual (download from shows that the receiver has multiple HDMI input ports, any one of which can be used for the Firestick. A few guesses as to why you’re not getting audio or video:

      1. You didn’t connect the Firestick’s included MicroUSB cable to the Firestick and to an electrical power source. Use the included plug to an electrical outlet. USB ports on your receiver or TV may not provide the power needed by the Firestick.

      2. You didn’t fully insert the Firestick into the HDMI IN port on the receiver, Unplug it, wait a few seconds then plug it back in, and visually check that it’s fully inserted.

      3. You plugged the Firestick into a TV HDMI port and didn’t switch the TV source. Use one of the receiver’s HDMI IN ports for the Firestick.

  24. Hey Chris, I have an old Sony KDL- 46XBR3 and I am using Bose 321 Series 2 DVD home entertainment system. I attached the analog cables and an optical cable. I was able to hear the sound through my Bose system but there is no sound from the Bose system when I turn on my Fire TV. I would appreciate it if you could help me out.

    • Hey Chris, I have a Sony KDL – 40XBR2 TV and a Bose 321 Series 2 home entertainment system. Since the Bose does not have an HDMI connection I have attached analog cables and an optical cable. I can hear through the Bose system while watching normal TV. However, I cannot listen to the audio through the Bose system while watching something on Fire TV. I would appreciate your help in fixing this issue.

    • HI Kiran, thanks for telling me what equipment you have. That’s helpful because I can look up the online manuals.

      Your TV’s online manual is at
      Your Bose system’s online manual is possibly at (there are several different types of Bose systems with the same 321 designation so without the exact model number I’m guessing).

      I’m using those manuals to diagnose and make recommendations. If you have a different system, my instructions may still be good, but perhaps not exact. So…

      You say you attached analog cables and an optical cable but don’t say from what jack to what jack. Ignoring the analog cables (which do nothing for your digital signals coming from the Firestick), I’m going to guess that you’ve connected the optical cable from the TV’s Optical OUT port (page 16 of the TV manual) to the Bose’s Optical IN port (page 20 of the Bose manual). I’m also going to assume that you’ve plugged the Firestick into one of the TV’s HDMI IN ports (page 16 of the TV manual).

      On page 20 of the Bose manual just above the diagram, it refers to the optical connection – saying “Note: Before you can benefit from the optical connection, you will need to assign the optical connector to the audio source in the system settings menu. See “Media center options” on page 49.”

      Page 49 says that you have to assign the optical connection to one of the three input sources in order for the audio to pass through the Bose system – TV, CBL/SAT, or AUX. I’m guessing you haven’t changed that, and as page 49 shows, the default setting for the optical input is “None”.

      You need to navigate through the Bose on-screen menu to get to the Media Center > Optical Source, and change it to either TV, CBL/SAT or AUX. Then select that source on your Bose system and if your Firestick video is showing on the TV, the audio should sound through the Bose speakers.

      The reason you can hear regular TV is through those analog cables – those don’t work for any digital channels, nor for any digital media. The Firestick is all digital media, so it will only go via the optical cable.

      • Hello Chris,
        Thank you so much for responding and I apologize for leaving the little details out. I didn’t really know how to describe it but you understood it nevertheless. I will try to change the Optical Source setting in my Bose system. Hopefully it will work! I really appreciate your time and effort you put in responding to my question.

        Thank you!

      • Hey Chris, I couldn’t find the specific model number fro my Bose sound system. I have an optical cable connected to the Bose system from the TV. I don’t have any analog cables plugged in and yes the FireTV is attached to the to the HDMI in the TV. Tried changing the setting of the optical source from none to Aux but it still does not pick up the sound from the FireTV. Is there any other solution for the issue?

        • Hi Kiran, if you’ve already hooked things up and then just changed the setting to AUX, likely you’ve run into the problem of HD Copyright Protection (HDCP). The solution is most likely to unplug the FireTV from the TV, and turn off everything. Then turn things on in this order:

          1. Turn on the TV and set it to the HDMI setting that you’ll be using for the FireTV
          2. Turn on the Bose system and set it to the AUX setting (which is now using the Optical IN port)
          3. Plug in the FireTV to the HDMI port you set in step 1 above.

          If you still don’t get sound, try changing around steps 1 & 2. The reason I can’t give a perfect answer is because the HDCP “handshaking” process for most equipment occurs when you first power on the equipment. If it’s not connected and then you connect it, HDCP ‘handshaking’ should get started, but not all equipment is designed to work perfectly together with equipment from other manufacturers. Your goal is to get the HDCP handshaking to go from the FireTV to the TV to the Bose sound system so all equipment has been authorized to play protected content.

          You may have to plug and unplug things a few times before you get the magic combination that authorizes all the equipment to work together in HDCP.

  25. I hope this is still active. Need ur help.
    I have samsung LA32C450E1 non-smart TV. Have connected firestick to TV. Now, I just have an old 5.1 multimedia speaker.
    1. How do I hook it up with TV? 5.1 neither has HDMI not has Optical. All it has is 6 pin connector.
    2. How can I make firestick play 5.1 surround in this speaker?

    • HI Sri, You don’t tell me what multimedia speaker system you have, so I can’t give you much of an answer. I can say that a 6-pin connector is normally what you might see on PC speaker systems, not home theater systems. I have no idea whether your ‘old 5.1 multimedia speaker’ is a system, or just a bunch of speakers without a system box that drives them.

      I can’t answer your questions without more specific information. I am still answering questions on this thread, but can’t see your situation beyond what little you tell me – and that’s not nearly enough for me to give you a decent answer.

  26. Hi Chris,
    Please could you assist me in setting up my Amazon Firestick to allow the sound to transmit through my sound system. I have a Sony KDL-32S/5500 TV, a Panasonic DMR-XS350 satellite tuner and a JVC MX-J330 sound system.
    In addition, does this limit the sound to just transmitting through the sound system, or is there an option to transmit it through the TV?

    • Hi David, thanks for telling me what components you have, but you don’t tell me how you’ve got them hooked up so I’m going to have to guess:

      1. Your TV’s online manual is at and shows (page 18) that it has HDMI IN ports, but there’s no digital audio OUT port, only analog 2-channel stereo.

      2. Your tuner’s online manual is at and shows that is only has an HDMI OUT port (to connect to the TV’s IN port). It also has an optical OUT port to connect to a digital audio system.

      3. Your sound system’s online manual can be downloaded from and shows it is not a digital audio (5.1) sound system, but simply an analog stereo speaker system. It’s not capable of working with digital audio such as what comes from your Firestick. Page 8 shows a pair of analog stereo RCA jacks that supposedly can take audio input, but there’s nothing I can see in that manual that shows how to switch to get the audio from that input to play out the speakers. I’m going to assume it will do that though.

      Ok, so I’m guessing that you’ve plugged the Firestick into one of the HDMI IN ports on the TV, and you’ve also plugged the TV tuner into the TV (either using HDMI or the SCART). So great, you’re getting video from both components (Firestick and TV tuner) into the TV. Likely you can also get the audio from those components to play out through the TV’s speakers.

      You didn’t ask for help getting the TV tuner’s audio to the JVC speakers, so I’m not going to worry about that. Your problem is that the Firestick is a modern device that puts out 5.1 digital audio, and your speaker system is only capable of analog stereo.

      Have you considered purchasing a true 5.1 digital audio system? They aren’t that expensive, such as this one for 86 pounds: – that and a cheap optical cable and you’d have a full surround-sound experience.

      If you’re determined to use your existing equipment, you’ll need to convert digital audio from the Firestick to analog audio.

      The first thing you could try is connecting a pair of red/white RCA cables from the TV to the sound system and see if that works. I’m guessing it won’t, but you’ll need those cables anyway so it’s worth a try. Most likely your TV isn’t capable of converting digital audio to analog except through the TV speakers.

      Assuming that test didn’t work, you’ll need to buy an HDMI-to-audio converter/extractor box and plug the Firestick into that, then run cables from that box to your other equipment (HDMI to the TV, and red/white RCA cables to the sound system). A box like this for 15 pounds would do: Make sure you have or get all the cables (HDMI and RCA) you’ll need.

      For your last question, it looks like the TV is capable of sending audio to the internal speakers or the external outputs, but not both (see page 25 of the manual). But if you use the extractor box, you can have the internal TV speakers turned on (they play the sound from the HDMI IN connection coming from the extractor box) and also hear audio from the sound system (via the RCA cables from the extractor box to the sound system). I should note there’s a possibility for some synchronization issues in the audio, meaning that the audio from the TV speakers and the audio from the sound system speakers may not be perfectly matched up, and/or matched up with the video playback. This potential for ‘lag’ is due to the different paths and conversion that the signal takes (digital to analog).

      • Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your reply. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. My laptop packed up and I’m only recently fully up and running again. Your advice was very detailed and useful. Just to keep you informed of my progress.

        I was keen to proceed with the sound system which I currently have (for the time being at least, although I may progress to the digital sound bar at a later date). I started going through the options you gave. I already had the Panasonic tuner connected to the JVC sound system with an RCA cable. As you suggested, I tried connecting from the TV as opposed to the tuner. Remarkably I found that this worked and I can now get good, well synchronised sound through the sound system from the receiver and the Fire Stick. If only I had realised that was all that was required before I contacted you!

        Thanks again for your excellent advice and apologies for you having to go in to so much detail in your reply.


  27. Chris,
    By reading the posts and your answers, you’ve heard very similar situations as mine before but here goes. Your clear explanations help immensely. Just purchased the FireTVstick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote and would like it to run all audio through my surround sound system.
    Pre Firestick, my setup was this: Cable/Sat into Onkyo TX-SR605 HDMI 1 IN. Blue-Ray DVD player into Onkyo HDMI 2 IN. Receiver HDMI Out to HDMI 1 IN on TV (Panasonic TH-50PX75U). TV HDMI inputs labeled HDMI 1 as Cable, HDMI 2 as DVD. To watch Cable, I’d turn on the TV, turn on the Cable box, turn on the receiver and make sure the Input Selector on the receiver was on CBL/SAT. To watch a Blue-Ray DVD, I’d turn on the TV, turn on the DVD player, turn on the receiver, switch the Input Selector to VCR/DVR and all audio would go through my surround sound speakers hooked up to the Onkyo and everything was hunky-dory.
    Per instructions, I plugged the Firestick into the TV’s only other available port: HDMI 2 IN. After equipment setup, the CABLE TV part worked fine. The Firestick controls the cable box and the audio goes into the receiver through the CBL/SAT input. The Firestick even controls the volume on the receiver.
    The problem arises when I want to watch Netflix and Prime Video movies using the Firestick. I can’t get the audio back to my receiver. When I added equipment during setup I chose Onkyo receiver. The Onkyo receiver inputs I can select from include 5 video ports, DVD, 2 Tape, Phono, CD, XM, Sirius, USB, Cable/Sat (which is what I selected when setting up the cable box), AUX 2, Blue Ray DVD, PC, 2 Game ports, BlueTooth, Stream Box, and Optical/TV audio. Note: there’s no VCR/DVR choice like on my receiver. No matter what receiver input I select , the audio still just goes through the poor, tinny TV speakers.
    I suspect from reading your answers to other posts, I should connect the Firestick to the HDMI 2 IN port on my receiver. But I can’t find anywhere in the 99-page Onkyo manual whether video is sent back to the TV.
    And if I plug the Firestick into the only other available HDMI IN port on the back of the receiver, what do I do with my HDMI Sony BDP-S390 blue-ray player?
    I realize my receiver is 12 years old and, to my knowledge, they don’t even make Plasma TV’s anymore..but both are working perfectly. If I can avoid buying new equipment, I’d like to. With your expertise, I hope so. Thank you ahead of time for your attention in this matter.

    • Hi Warren, thanks for your question and the wealth of information (although a bit confusing)…

      Let me just say that video and audio signals generally go in one direction, from an OUT port on a source component to an IN port on another component. For the most part, a cable connection of any type only sends those signals one way (there’s an exception for HDMI ARC but that really doesn’t apply here).

      Since you have three HDMI source components (cable box, DVD player and Firestick) and your Onkyo receiver only has two HDMI IN ports, you will have to use your TV as a source component for the Firestick. Leave the cable box and DVD player as you originally set it up and use it just like normal, which works just hunkydory… Plug the Firestick into the TV’s HDMI 2 port.

      You need to establish a digital audio signal path from the TV (with Firestick attached) to the receiver. You can do this easily with an optical cable. Get one like this:

      Now, your Panasonic TV has an optical OUT port on the back, so plug one end of that cable into that port. Plug the other end into an optical IN port on the back of the Onkyo receiver (it has two). To switch from watching either cable tv or DVD to watching your Firestick:

      Set your TV to use HDMI 2 (where you plugged in the Firestick). Set your Onkyo to the input source of the labeled optical port you used (either 1 Game/TV or 2 CD).

      Be sure to change your TV’s source setting back to HDMI 1 when you want to watch cable TV or the DVD player. You are using the TV as a source component when using the Firestick, and as a playback component when watching cable TV or the DVD player.

      I found your Panasonic TV’s manual online at Page 16 shows an optical OUT port on the back of the TV.

      Your Onkyo receiver’s online manual is at and shows the optical ports on page 10.

      Just remember that all this jiggery-pokery with cable plugging and unplugging may break HD Copyright Protection (HDCP). Most likely it will be the Firestick’s audio that will be affected (not playing through the surround sound speakers). To solve this, have everything on TV and receiver setup to use the Firestick and turned on. Unplug the Firestick from the TV, wait a few seconds and plug it back in. That should initiate the HDCP “handshaking” needed for all the components to authorize themselves with each other.

  28. Thanks for your expertise, Chris. The whole problem came down to the HDCP thing. After reading your HDCP article and doing what you suggested, everything works. I already had an optical cable lying around, so no additional cost outlay was necessary. Your website is exemplary and a Godsend to the many who are wrestling with today’s technology. Keep up the great work. I’m adding my name to your mailing list.

  29. Hi Chris, we have a Samsung A/V Receiver w/Blu Ray (Model HW-D7000) in an upstairs A/V closet, along with Directv HDVR, connected in a newly constructed (and prewired) home which goes downstairs to a Samsung Plasma (PN60E550D1F). Just purchased a 4K firestick to try out before cutting the cord. Not sure which HDMI port to plug the firestick into in order to get surround sound. I haven’t physically looked at the rear of the receiver to see how the A/V techs hooked everything up, but in looking at a diagram of the receiver it looks like there is an HDMI Out ARC, and 4 HDMI In ports (SAT/Game?AUX1/AUX2).

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for your question. Your receiver’s manual is online at and shows (page 18) the HDMI input ports: HDMI1 (Sat), HDMI2 (Game), HDMI3 (AUX1), and HDMI4 (AUX2) diagram that you are probably looking at.

      The input ports are for any component source, such as cable/satellite TV, DVD player, Xbox, PS4, Firestick, etc. It doesn’t matter what component you plug into which input port, they all work the same. Meaning the labels on the ports are for convenience only – they don’t process the source video/audio any differently than any other HDMI input port.

      You switch between the different source components using the remote’s Input Select TV source button. What matters is that whatever named source you’ve selected as the input source will play out the speakers (audio) and TV (video). By “named source” I mean the name of the HDMI port you used for the component, regardless of what type of component you plugged into that port.

      If you have any other source components in use, they will be plugged into one of the HDMI input ports already. Just choose an unused input port from the four you have available for the Firestick, and remember what that port name is. For example, if you plug the Firestick into the HDMI4 port, then the input source to select using the remote will be called AUX2.

      Fyi, you will already have an HDMI cable connected to the HDMI Out ARC port that goes to your TV. It brings the video from whatever component source you’ve selected to the TV.

      • Hi Chris, I tried connecting my 4K Firestick to various HDMI inputs without any success. For example if I plugged into HDMI4 (AUX2), the tv downstairs goes blank and despite trying to change the source to AUX2, still nothing. Should the source input be changed on the remote for the receiver or the tv or both? We are connected to the A/V closet upstairs through a Universal Remote MX-780 (/ which was supposed to have been thoroughly programmed by the A/V company who did all of our pre-wire for new construction. I am frustrated beyond belief with this system…I have also been trying unsuccessfully to attach a bluetooth transmitter so that we can utilize bluetooth headphones without any success. Bluetooth transmitter company tells me that they think it should be connected directly to the television and linked with the digital optical cord supplied while others say it should be hooked into the receiver. I am ready to through this receiver at the wall!!!

        • Hi Kathy, I’m sorry but your situation is a bit too complicated for an easy answer. I’d suggest you contact your A/V company or a local home theater technician who can come out and physically assess your situation and resolve any connection issues.

          That said, if you’ve got everything connected correctly (I can’t tell from your notes), then you may be running into trouble with HDCP (HD copyright protection). That can be a huge bugaboo to get all your various pieces of equipment to validate themselves to each other and allow the protected content from the Firestick through the receiver and to the TV. You might have to power-cycle each piece of equipment to kick off the HDCP “handshaking” process which usually happens when you plug in a new component.

          Although your A/V folks programmed your universal remote, unless they already had the Firestick in place they wouldn’t have programmed anything in for that component. I too started out with a similar remote from After months of frustration at how poorly it worked, I tossed it overboard and setup a Logitech Harmony Elite (you don’t need a tech to do that). That works much more reliably, although I do have to restart the hub every so often.

          As for the BT headphones, they should be hooked to the same component that delivers sound to the speakers, e.g., the receiver. If all your audio is going to the surround sound speakers, then audio output to the TV is likely disabled so you wouldn’t get any sound from the TV’s headphone port.

          If the DirectTV is working right (and that component is plugged into one of the receiver’s HDMI IN ports), then I’d suspect that HDCP is what’s keeping you from seeing and hearing the Firestick content (assuming you’ve plugged the Firestick into another of the receiver’s HDMI IN ports). What you could do is to depower everything, and then repower it all, making sure the communication path is clear from Firestick to TV. So:

          1. plug in the Firestick (both to the HDMI IN port from #2, and the electrical power from the MicroUSB cable to the wall socket (the gear that came with the Firestick).

          1. Power on the receiver and make sure you have the HDMI source selected that you’ll be using for the Firestick.

          2. power on the TV and make sure the input source is set to the HDMI IN port (on the TV) that comes from the HDMI OUT port (on the receiver).

          You might have to depower and repower the TV or receiver a time or two to get it to recognize the Firestick. Generally, components initiate the HDCP handshaking when they are first powered on, and when a new piece of equipment is connected.

          I hear your frustration, you are dealing with multiple manufacturers and companies, all of who are supposed to design their equipment to work together, but so often don’t (really). From your description, what you really need is an expert troubleshooter to come to your home and diagnose the issue(s) and then resolve it/them. If you have a Big Screen Store near you, they have techs who can do that, also Best Buy’s Magnolia Home Theater department. Lastly, your Samsung receiver is a decent general-purpose receiver, don’t toss it!

  30. I have a TV with only 1 HDMI input.
    I want to connect Fire stick and have digital sound in Receiver (Marantz Receiver).
    Will this work – I connect Fire stick to Marantz Receiver. connect HDMI from Marantz to TV – will this work in getting HD picture and 5.1 Sound ? Will you also know if Marantz SR4002 hdmi is a passthrough or 2-way, I read that it will work only if its a 2 way. can u help

    • Hi Prash, thanks for your question. Your Marantz receiver’s manual is online (download from and page 21 has nothing about passthrough-only restrictions for the HDMI ports.

      So yes, you connect your Firestick to either of the two HDMI IN ports on the receiver, then set the receiver to use that HDMI IN port as the input source. Video will go out the HDMI OUT port to your TV, and audio will play through your surround sound speakers. Page 31 shows the setting that would change this under HDMI Audio. That setting should be “Enable” which outputs the HDMI source’s audio to your surround sound speakers. If that setting was “Through” then the audio would be sent to the TV’s speakers.

      Even if your TV had additional HDMI IN ports, you’d still want to connect the Firestick to the Marantz receiver so that you can get the Dolby 5.1 digital audio to the surround sound speakers.

      The HDMI 2-way feature you mention is probably what’s called ARC (audio return channel) and is only a factor for compatible equipment and certain situations. Doesn’t apply in your case as your video/audio source (the Firestick) is plugged directly into the Marantz receiver. ARC would apply if, for example you were playing OTA television station content from an antenna connected to the TV and wanted that audio to go back to the Marantz receiver.

      Looking at page 27, it appears that the Marantz is pre-programmed for the HDMI1 port to be tied to the DVD source button and HDMI2 port to be tied to the DSS source button.

  31. Hello,

    Thanks for an extremely simple and helpful post, wanted your help to check if I can connect Firestick on my Denon ACR 1713 to play Audio through the speakers connected?

    Thanks, Ansh

    • Hi Ansh, you don’t say what brand/model TV you have nor what other equipment you have connected, so you leave me with having to make some guesses. You can download your Denon manual from which is what I used to craft this response.

      I’m going to assume you have an HDMI-capable TV connected to the Denon receiver’s HDMI OUT/ARC port (see Page 9). You may have other video/audio sources connected to the Denon receiver’s HDMI IN ports (page 10), and you can plug the Firestick into any one of those that aren’t already in use. You should see the Firestick video on your screen and hear the digital audio from the Firestick through the surround sound speakers connected to the Denon receiver.

  32. Hi Chris,
    I have Harman Kardon AVR141 with Samsung UA40EH5300 smart tv . Have connected the Amazon fire stick to TV HDMI port and the optical cable between receiver and TV. i get only stereo sound. No 5.1 Dolby digital output.

    I was about to try connecting the Fire tv stick to my reciever ( AVR 141 Harman kardon), but have seen your reply for AVR 146 and AVR 147 that, they are not capable to sending audio signal to speakers.

    So , will wait for your reply before wasting my time by connecting the FireTv stick to receiver and checking the 5.1 dolby digital sound.

    • HI Krish, I’m guessing that the receiver was part of a home theater system, do you have that model number? There’s no manual online for a Harmon Kardon AVR 141 receiver that I can find easily so I’m a bit limited. I’m assuming it does have HDMI IN ports but it may be like the other models, they only pass audio/video to the HDMI OUT port (and to the TV) and don’t process the audio and send it to the surround sound speakers.

      Since you’re using the alternate way of connecting (using the optical cable from TV to receiver) and are getting stereo sound, it may be that you have the Firestick set to only output stereo audio instead of Digital Dolby. check the Firestick’s audio setting – it should be set on “Auto” so it selects the most compatible format. The optical cable should send digital audio from the TV to the receiver.

      Also, you should check the Samsung TV audio settings – Sound > Expert Settings, HDMI Input Audio Format. That should be set on PCM instead of the default Bitstream.

      • Hi Chris,

        Thank you for the reply. I will check the Model number and let you know. I too have tried a lot for the owner’s manual over internet but not successful.

        I am using (Amazon Firetv stick generation 2).
        When i select the option of”Dolby Digital over HDMI’ in Firetv stick settings the option of ‘DOLBY DIGITAL’ in TV Sound setting is enabled. But no sound at all from speakers. Not even stereo. If i select the option of ‘Dolby Digital over HDMI plus automatic’ in FireTV stick , the option of ‘Dolby Digital’ itself is disabled in TV Sound settings. Only PCM is enabled. In this case the Home theatre speakers gives sound but only 5.1 stereo.

        • Your last words are confusing, it can be “5.1” (which is digital surround sound, 6 channels), or “stereo” (which is 2 channels).

          Did you look at the Samsung TV audio settings?

          • Hi Chris,

            Its just stereo. I mentioned it as 5.1 because, the sound comes from all the speakers,when i select the option of 5CH Stereo in my receiver.

            Yes i looked at all the options available in TV. Only the option i had mentioned in my earlier post are available.

            And last night i have connected the FireTV stick to HDMI port of receiver, and Connected TV and Reciever via HDMI cable. The video is successful but there is no audio regardless of any option i select. The sound came out only when i connected optical cable. So my receiver AVR141 is just like other Receivers which cannot pass audio signals to speakers unless it gets from TV.

            So, what the option left to get 5.1 Dolby then ? The HDMI Splitter which you have mentioned is available in US only. Can you suggest me a device available in Dubai please.

            • I looked through your earlier comments and see nothing about you looking at options “available in TV”, you only talk about controls in the Firestick menus. My suggestion about the Samsung TV audio settings is to use the Samsung on-screen menus (using the Samsung remote). Navigate to Sound > Expert Settings, HDMI Input Audio Format. That came from a community forum for Samsung TV’s (

              As many other commenters on this article have found, Digital Rights Management (implemented on hardware circuitry called HDCP – HD Copyright Protection) can have a huge impact on whether protected content is transmitted across home theater components. The only solution is to power things down and then power them back up, sometimes repeatedly and in different orders – all to all the pieces of equipment to ‘validate’ themselves to each other. This has been and will continue to be a huge detractor for digital video and audio and cause millions of valid users a ton of headache. Being in the UAE might also have further issues as lots of HDCP content is locked by either country or geographic region. I really can’t advise you of all that, you’d need a local home theater expert.

              As to being able to get an audio extractor box in Dubai, have you shopped at the Amazon UAE store? I see several HDMI audio extractor boxes available at – I got this from a discussion on Quora (at