@azjake - as @mattmiller said - you need some sort of amplification to drive the speakers.
In my case I opted for the Powernode 2 from Bluesound
Installation was simple and setup was straight forward. On my TV I just had to setup the speakers to "Remote" and connect the optical output to the Node-2 and connect the speakers.
The TV controls all of the various inputs - like streaming boxes and DVD player etc. - it basically acts like a pre-amp for the Powernode 2. I guess the only drawerback with this setup is that the volume is now controlled via the BlueOS App (or the manual button on the Powernode 2) - not the TV’s remote.
It has enough power to drive my Tannoy Mercury F4 tower speakers and provides the ability to stream content from the web (wireless or Ethernet) or my NAS drive. I control it from either my Android smartphone, or Android tablet, or computer App. The SQ is superb, even at high volume levels and the image is very "convincing"
It also has a Sub-woofer output and can process either 2-channel sound or multi channel sound.
The sound quality is superb and operation is very simple - even my wife can operate it.
Another nice feature - there are controls on the top of all models that allows you to manually
- Skip to the next/previous track
- pause the track
- Adjust the volume
It can stream up to 24/192 quality audio files and has an amazing on-board DAC and analogue audio outputs, so no there is no need need for external DACs for streaming digital content. I had an external DAC, but the Powernode 2’s DAC was better.
Software updates are simple to install and they work.
I previously had a surround amp, but wanted to reduce the complexity (i.e. number of speakers and devices), without losing the the LFE of surround. The Node 2 provides for all of that plus a whole lot more (i.e. streaming services)
I stream movies from Netflix and iTunes and get the full spectrum sound with LFE’s - just no sound coming from behind anymore, but the image is extremely good at enveloping the listener and each actor is placed with laser-like precision in that image, so the sound is very realistic.
I also have the Node 2 (an un-amplified version of the Powernode 2) attached to my audio system and a Pulse Mini for outdoors use
Hope that Helps