Panasonic Viera TVs can connect to sound bars in two ways: optical audio connections and HDMI cables that support audio return channel. While both connections support surround sound, sound bars are typically stereo only, with the exception being those that simulate surround sound or come equipped with a subwoofer and satellite speakers. Ultimately, the connection that works best for you depends on which connection type your sound bar supports.
Optical audio cables are audio-only fiber optic cables that transmit sound digitally between two connected devices. Optical audio cables use a special connector called TOSLINK. They're more likely to be found on a sound bar than HDMI ports.
Connect one end of the optical audio cable to the Digital Audio-Out port on your TV.
Connect the other end to the Digital-In or Optical-In port on the sound bar.
HDMI cables transmit both picture and sound in a single cable. Revision 1.4 of the HDMI standard included the addition of audio return channel or ARC, a system that enables the TV to output audio to an audio device like a sound bar through HDMI. This system only works if both the cable and your sound bar support HDMI ARC. Most current Viera models feature support for HDMI ARC, although Viera TVs made before 2009 may not support HDMI ARC.
Connect one end of the HDMI cable to an HDMI port on your TV.
Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI port on your sound bar.