Connecting a TV, DVD Player, Video Game Console, or other device to a Focusrite interface  

This applies to all Saffire, Scarlett (1st, 2nd  and 3rd Gen) Clarett USB-C, Clarett Thunderbolt, and Red interfaces

Many modern TVs, DVD players, Videogame Consoles (Playstation, Xbox, etc.), and other entertainment devices have audio output options that allow them to be connected to Focusrite interfaces. Connecting these devices to your audio interface would allow you to do a number of things like recording the output of these devices or listening to the output through your monitor speakers. This article will describe the different ways these devices can be connected to your interface. 

Devices with Digital Optical Audio Outputs:

Many electronic devices such as TVs, DVD players, and Videogame Consoles have Digital Optical Output ports. You can use this port to send two channels of Digital Audio via Optical SPDIF to the Digital Optical Input of your audio interface. In the Audio menu for your electronic device, please ensure that the format for the Optical Output is set to Linear PCM and not DTS or Dolby Digital. 

If you are using a Saffire with an Optical Port (Pro 24, Pro24 DSP, Pro26, Pro 40, and LS56), please open Saffire Mix Control and use the following settings:

Settings menu: Use ADAT inputs as Optical SPDIF
Sync source: S/PDIF-OPT
Sample Rate: 48 kHz (this is the default sample-rate for digital audio output) 

If you are using a Clarett USB-C, Clarett Thunderbolt or Red interfaces, please open Focusrite Control and confirm the following settings in the Device Settings menu:

SPDIF Source: Optical
Sync Source: S/PDIF
Sample Rate: 48 kHz

If you are using a 3rd Generation Scarlett (8i6, 18i8 and 18i20), Please open Focusrite Control and implement the following settings in the Device Settings menu:

Digital I/O Mode: S/PDIF Optical
Clock Source: S/PDIF
Sample Rate: 48 kHz

An example of an optical cable can be found below:


If you are using a 1st or 2nd Generation Scarlett interfaces then you will not be able to use the interface in this manner. While these Scarlett interfaces do have Optical Inputs, these can only be used for the ADAT format and will not support the S/PDIF protocol needed for this setup. However the 1st and 2nd Generation Scarlett 8i6, 18i8, 6i6, 18i8 and 18i20 do have a coaxial S/PDIF input. With the addition of a third-party digital optical to coaxial S/PDIF converter you can connect your external devices to these Focusrite products. To do this connect the optical output of your external device to the optical input of the third-party converter (using the optical cable above), then connect the coaxial output of the converter to the S/PDIF input on the Scarlett interface (using an coaxial RCA S/PDIF cable). 

If you have a 1st generation Scarlett interface, open Mix Control and use the following settings:

Sync source: S/PDIF
Sample Rate: 48 kHz

If you have a 2nd generation Scarlett interface, open Focusrite Control and use the following settings in the Device Settings tab:

Sync Source: S/PDIF
Sample Rate: 48 kHz

Please be aware that you will not be able to set up 5.1 surround sound over this connection using one of our devices in either discrete PCM or surround encoded format. S/PDIF only allows for two channels of PCM audio to be transmitted rather than 6 discrete channels needed for surround. If using a surround encoded signal such as DTS or Dolby Digital, you would need a separate decoder as our interfaces cannot decode this type of signal.

Devices with Analog Audio Outputs:

You might also find that your electronic device has a 1/8” (3.5mm) Jack for connecting headphones. This can be used in conjunction with a stereo splitter cable to connect your device to the Line Inputs on one of our audio interfaces. An example of the type of cable you would need to use can be found below:


The single 1/8” jack will plug into the headphone output of the device, while the two ¼” jacks will connect to any pair of Line Inputs on your audio interface. This will allow you to connect your device to a Scarlett or other interface that does not support Optical S/PDIF or Coaxial S/PDIF.

Since you would be using an analog connection to connect the two devices instead of a digital connection, you would not need to adjust the sync settings or sample rate. Sync should be set to internal and the Sample Rate would need to match your computer or DAW setting.

From there you would need to ensure that the analog inputs you are using are routed to your outputs. For bus powered Scarletts, you would need to use the Direct Monitor function set to Input. For larger Scarlett interfaces you would need to route the inputs to your outputs through Mix Control or Focusrite Control. 

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