Modern televisions such as Sharp's Aquos series have good-quality speakers built in, and provide decent sound right out of the box. However, speaker size and placement are limited by the size and shape of the television itself. That means you'll generally get better sound quality by attaching external speakers. Older TV sets often had speaker connections and built-in amplifiers, but Aquos models are designed with analog and digital audio outputs instead. The speakers must be driven by a separate stereo or home-theater amplifier.
Aquos models offer a simple analog audio output, for connecting to a conventional stereo amplifier. It uses a 1/8-inch stereo mini jack, exactly the same as your MP3 player. You'll need a cable with the 1/8-inch plug at the television end, and standard left and right RCA-type audio connectors at the other end. These cables, and extensions to lengthen them, are readily available at your nearest Radio Shack. Locate the "Audio Out" connection at the back of the television, and insert the 1/8-inch plug. Run the cable to the back of your stereo amplifier, and connect the RCA plugs into the left and right "Auxiliary In" connections.
The Aquos also includes a compact TOSLink connection for digital audio outputs to a stereo amplifier or home theater receiver. You'll need a cable of appropriate length, with the characteristic square TOSLink connector at each end. Locate the digital audio output on the panel at the rear of the television, and carefully insert the TOSLink connector until it clicks gently into place. Swivel the TV into position, and run the cable to the back of your amplifier. Plug the other end to the amp's TOSLink "Digital Audio In" connector.
You'd use the audio outputs on your Aquos if your Blu-ray player or game system attached directly to the TV, and you wanted to run the sound through a receiver. However, it's often more practical to run all your inputs to the receiver, and connect to the TV from there. Use the same RCA-to-1/8-inch cable for the analog connection, running from an output on the receiver to the input on the back of your TV. A digital TOSLink connection works the same way, from the receiver's "Digital Out" to the TV's "Audio In." If your stereo supports HDMI connections, you can connect a single HDMI cable for audio and video.
Using Your Aquos Setup
Press the Menu key on your remote, then choose "System Settings." Scroll down to the option labelled "Input Terminal Setting," and press the Enter key. Scroll down that menu until you come to the option labelled "Output Select." If you choose "Fixed," your TV speakers will keep working and be controlled by the TV remote. Your audio out will stay level, and must be controlled separately by the receiver's remote. If you choose "Variable," the TV's speakers will be muted and the Aquos remote will raise and lower volume through the audio output.
- Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images