How to connect RCA 5.1 surround sound to receiver?

My receiver has settings specifically for Dolby 5.1 surround send. It’s old (but still strong!) and only has RCA inputs (no HDMI or Optical). I’ve included an image of the back. I’m having trouble understanding how to feed it the surround sound information with the plugins on the back.

The goal is to give it 5.1 surround sound info from the tv. The tv has HDMI and Optical output so I was going to purchase this converter that changes the HDMI to RCA surround sound outputs. Where do I connect these to the receiver though for the SL, SR and Center speakers?

Right now I just have the stereo connection (two RCA plugs) going into the tv/aux input the two rear speaker definitely have no sound coming out.

Receiver is harman/kardon AVR 20II (I know it’s old but I love it! Don’t laugh!)

Thank you so much!

Related images here:
This is a Dolby ProLogic 5.1 receiver, with 5.1 pre outputs only.

I will go ahead and assume you are a masochist above all others and insist on keeping it instead of upgrading.

Set your TV output to the optical and set it to stereo only or PCM. NOT to Dolby Digital.  You'll need a 2 channel DAC. Any 2 channel DAC that has an optical input will work.  Hook it's RCA to either of the VCR inputs.

The receiver will convert 2 channel to 5.1 and no, it's' not nearly as good as Dolby Digital or DTS, but you'll have your surround set up.


Also, if you are lucky, your TV will have analog outputs, those can be directly connected to the receiver. My latest LG does not, my older Samsung does.
Haha. Yes maybe I am a bit of a masochist! Gotta save that money though if possible.

Indeed, when I had set the tv output to Dolby Digital some horrendous noises came from the speakers that would have been great in a horror film. Got it back to PCM just like you’ve said :)

The DAC (Digital Audio Converter) with the optical input and 2 RCA’s out is actually exactly what I’m using.

Instead of plugging it in to the “TV/Aux” inputs, I’ve now plugged it into the VCR inputs like you said. Sadly, I’m still hearing nothing from the two rear speakers.

Tested the following:
- YouTube Dolby Surround Test that does 1 speaker at a time (when it’s supposed to do a rear speaker, it does the front speaker instead)
- Game of Thrones (confirmed that HBO sound setting is surround sound)
- TV’s “DTS TruSurround” setting both on and off

Confirmed that receiver is set to “Dolby Surround Pro-Logic” and confirmed that the rear speakers are working by using the receiver’s imitation surround sound setting with mp3 audio from my phone.

I think you’re thought was that the VCR inputs would give us better results than the TV/AUX inputs, yeah? Any other ideas?
Well, make sure you have the proper material, and that the receiver is set to Pro Logic and not just stereo. :)

I find Netflix is a good place to find stuff.

Also, not sure what your TV has for settings, but if it has a downmix setting, use it. :)

Also check the surround levels.


Also, make sure your receiver is set up properly. They usually need to know whether or not you have a center, surround and sub.  If you have it set to work without surrounds, that is what will happen.