Need help with Bose Cinemate and Onkyo AV receiver

by Sue
(Long Beach, CA)

I have a Bose Cinemate 1 and an LG LV5500 TV that only allows for a digital optical audio out. My bose interface takes only rca cables. I also have an onkyo TX SR302 av receiver that I could run the Bose through, but don't know how to set it up. Could someone give me a wiring diagram on how to set up my system so all components will play sound through the Bose system.

In addition to the TV, I have a DVD player, a CD player, and apple tv. One last thing, the onkyo receiver only takes speaker wire for the speakers (again, the bose uses rca cables), though there are several line outs on the receiver.

Thanks for any help!


You can't really combine the two amplifiers as you want. The speakers that come with the Bose Cinemate are designed to work with the Bose amplifier only - which is why the speaker cables will only connect to the Bose.

If you wanted to use the Onkyo receiver, then you would have to buy a speaker package that is compatible with this unit. Most standalone speaker packages that you can buy will work fine with the Onkyo.

However, looking at your problem, from what you say it appears your Bose Cinemate doesn't have any digital inputs for audio - just stereo analog inputs. If so, I would suggest the easiest way is to buy a digital optical to analog audio converter. You can find one at Amazon here:

GefenTV Optical to Analog Digital Audio Decoder

You could then connect the optical output of your TV into this device, and then the analog RCA outputs would go into your Bose system.

The device linked here will work with Dolby Digital signals. If your TV doesn't output Dolby Digital over optical (I don't know), then there are slightly cheaper units you can buy that will work with an optical audio signal that is not encoded as Dolby Digital.

Digital Audio To Analog Audio Converter

If you are not sure, then it would be safer to get the first one as this should work with anything.

All the best.

Paul (Site Editor)

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Comments for Need help with Bose Cinemate and Onkyo AV receiver

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Bose cinemate/Onkyo AV receiver

Thanks for the advice. But 1 question: could I run a toslink cable from tv audio out to the onkyo receiver, which has 1 digital audio input, and then run the sound out of the tape or video outs (which are for rca cables)? In other words, won't the receiver convert the digital to analog for me. I believe there is a dolby and DTS decoder in the receiver. I'd like to save the $90 if at all possible. Thanks!

by: Paul (Site Editor)


You may be able to do that, I'm not sure.

I don't think it would work for the Tape Input/Out, because the manual says (page 10):

"The TAPE OUT jack does not output the signal input from the DIGITAL INPUT jack. (The digital signal is not converted into an analog signal.)"

However, it doesn't say this for the Video 1 In/Out, so it might work.

To try it, you would have to assign the Video 1 input to the digital optical input. Explained on page 21 of the manual.

Then connect an optical cable from the TV to the optical input on the receiver - and stereo analog RCA cables from the Video 1 audio out to an input on the Bose.

The good thing for you is you have all the hardware already, and so it is easy to test with a couple of cheap cables.

Alternatively, if you're not using the receiver for anything else, sell the Onkyo on Ebay and buy the converter at Amazon. :-)

Good luck.


Digital to analog converter
by: Anonymous

Check they have an analog to digital & digital to analog converter for 40.00 and you can add the optical cable as well. I just hook up my Bose cinemate system which has analog RCA connections to my new Sony TV with only digital audio output and it works.

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About Home Cinema Guide

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.