questionswhy do tvs come without an audio out port?

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I thought maybe the headphone port was also an optical port, but I couldn't find anything that said that. Also, many reviews said the audio was terrible. You may be able to use a mini-jack cable with an adapter to get the audio into your receiver. You can either plug your headset into the receiver, or use a splitter on the TV connection.

It's a tangled mess, but it just might work. Then again, it might not. With the reviews on this TV, I'd pass.

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I have only one thing plugged into my TV (even though it has many connections) - an HDMI cable. Once I upgraded to a Home Theater Receiver, all the cables went away, it was awesome! All components are connected to the receiver with HDMI cables (except for an old stereo VCR, a cassette deck, and a CD changer). Then there is only one HDMI cable that runs from the receiver to the TV. Everything is nice and neat. By the way, the receiver also has a headphone jack on the front. So I highly recommend you look for a Home Theater Receiver and not worry about the connections on the TV.. you don't need them!

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the newer electronics are going all digital (for the most part) with HDMI or Digital Optical audio.

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@missellienc: any advice on a cheap one of those? just need the bare minimum

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What is the SOURCE of the video you're watching on TV? Over the air TV, Cable/Satellite, DVD player, Xbox, etc? You may be able to go from the source to the surround sound instead of through the TV. I take it your surround sound doesn't already have an HDMI input/output? Also are you looking for true surround sound or just stereo sound?
If you just want stereo sound through your audio system, you could probably use the headphone jack, but you'd probably have to buy a cheap adapter (http://www.amazon.com/SF-Cable-3-5mm-Stereo-Splitter/dp/B0016LFN2C) to split the headphone jack into the "standard" white/red RCA audio jacks. As you mentioned, this might cause the TV speakers to automatically be turned off, so you'd have to investigate the settings on the TV if you wanted them both on.(tv speakers and sound system)

Edit: Depending on the source of the video, there may be adapters/splitters that can put audio to the sound system and tv at the same time.

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@bsmith1: i have a ps3 i wanna use and i have a headset for them which i use the Audio out plugs on the tv

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If you got a good surround sound system then you would run an HDMI cable from a bluray player to the surround sound then to the tv.

If you aren't using Blu-ray you would run your A/V cables (red, white, and yellow or blue, red, and green)from the output of your source (dvd player, cable receiver)to the input in the surround sound then from the output on your surround sound to the input on the tv.

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@segafanalways: im using a ps3 with a headset and a old surround sound

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@drsilentg: Ok, so you're using a Turtle Beach kind of headset that plays the game sound as well as chat over the headset? Something like this should work for you to use the TV's headphone jack except you'll have to unplug it for the sound to come out of your TV speakers. http://www.amazon.com/RiteAV-3-5mm-Stereo-Female-Cable/dp/B0018MI5F6

I don't own a PS3, but check out dis Yahoo question.: (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090603004707AAHIDAI) The "Best Answer" says that the PS3 allows you to have the HDMI going to the TV and a different audio going to a sound system. He says, "simply use the standard A/V cables that came with the PS3 for sound and just leave the Yellow RCA composite cable alone unhooked." I don't know if the sound will go to both the TV and headset or not. You'd have to play with the PS3 settings.

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@drsilentg: I personally like Yamaha. Here's a link to their site showing the RX line: http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/?mode=series#psort=lowtohigh. Newegg has sales on these often.

You could use one HDMI cable to connect the PS3 to the receiver and that's it. I'm not sure what kind of surround system you currently have so I'm not sure if your speakers would be sufficient. You could use your TV as a center channel and add surrounds and a subwoofer later down the road.

You may not want to fork out the cash right now, since you're buying a new TV, but keep this in mind for future upgrades.

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@drsilentg: you would need to go the route of the component or composite cables to run the sound through your surround sound system. Which also means you may loose your HD quality video. As for the headset others have explained that fairly well.

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ok, i just ended up getting a tv w. an audio out port, didnt want to deal w. all this hassle, thanks fellow wooters!

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You want optical or coaxial S/PDIF. Most receivers have connections for both. If there isn't even RCA stereo out, I'd be surprised. It's very rare that a nice TV doesn't have one of the first two options.

Element looks to me like a crap brand. Wal-Mart's best TV prices are usually on Vizio's, at least for picture quality vs. price.