my dad has an older sharp tv with two hdmi inputs. hdmi1 is a directv receiver. hdmi2 is a Samsung Blu-ray player. the TV's speakers are disabled, and the TV passes audio from these two sources over an optical cable to a Panasonic soundbar/HTIB/subwoofer thing. i'd include model numbers, but this setup has worked flawlessly for years with no particularly refined configuration.
today I unplugged the Blu-ray player from hdmi2, and plugged in my old first-gen amazon fire tv stick. video works fine, but no audio from the HTIB's speakers. if I plug the Blu-ray player back in to hdmi 2, audio from the Blu-ray player is output as expected. plug the fire tv stick back in, no audio is output. same behavior on hdmi1, for the sake of thoroughness.
if I switch the TV to use its own speakers instead of outputting to the HTIB, the TV speakers do output audio from the fire TV stick.
the HTIB also has its own HDMI input and output. I have never used them before, because for simplicity's sake I don't want my aging dad to have to change inputs on the HTIB in addition to changing inputs on the tv. but for testing purposes, today I connected the fire tv stick to the HTIB's hdmi-in, and ran a cable from the HTIB's hdmi-out to the tv. and switched the HTIB's audio input selector to that hdmi source. the fire tv stick's audio was output as expected.
-audio from the directv box and Blu-ray player connected to the TV's hdmi1 or 2 is successfully sent across the optical connection to the HTIB. (ie, the setup is capable of getting TV hdmi audio output through the HTIB's speakers)
-audio from the fire tv stick connected to the tv's hdmi1 or 2 is successfully output through the TVs own speakers. (ie, the tv knows how to interpret the audio signal from the fire tv stick)
-audio from the fire tv stick connected to the HTIB's hdmi-in is successfully output through the HTIB's speakers (ie, the HTIB knows how to interpret the audio signal from the fire tv stick)
-audio from the fire tv stick connected to the tv's hdmi 1 or 2 fails to make its way out of the HTIB's speakers.
none of the behavior above changes if I modify any of the fire tv stick's available audio settings. which are something like "automatic dolby digital, no dolby digital, yes dolby digital." it was set to "no dolby digital" when i started.
is there something special (documented) about the fire tv stick's audio that would cause this setup, which "just works" for the directv box and blu-ray player, to not work for the fire tv stick?
The trick here is to plug your Amazon Fire stick 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.
What you want to do is plug your Amazon Fire stick 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 Fire stick. Using the extender will also improve wireless reception to your Fire stick since you can position it away from the other electronics that can block WiFi signals.. If you’ve lost your HDMI extender cable, you can buy another from Amazon
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! Let us know if this helps at all and hopefully a peer with a similar set up will chime in with a great set up for us!
Also, welcome to the digital and device forums! Usually a peer or fellow customer has an amazing answer on here for any and all kinds of issues, so you're certainly in the right place for advice and guidance!
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"playing your Amazon Firestick through your home theater receiver just like you do your DVD player."
There's no DVD player, and there's no av receiver, and there's no surround sound. There's a Blu-ray player, and it has always been plugged into the TV, and the TV has always sent audio from said Blu-ray player over the optical cable to the soundbar/subwoofer/htib without issue. There's also a directv receiver, and it has also always been plugged in to the TV, and the TV has also always sent audio from said directv receiver over the optical cable to the he soundbar/subwoofer/htib.
"Many older receivers cannot send video from HDMI inputs to the receiver’s speakers, but only to the TV."
There's no av receiver. And the TV has been successfully passing audio to the sound bar from the directv receiver and Blu-ray player plugged into the TV's hdmi ports for about five years.
is there something special (documented) about the fire tv stick's audio that would cause the setup described in the original post, which "just works" for the directv box and blu-ray player plugged into the TV's hdmi ports, to not work for a fire tv stick plugged into the TV's hdmi port?