Using HDMI for Audio Only

I prefer to use my TV (LG 32LE4600) as a monitor for almost everything, but I find it more practical to use the laptop screen when I’m facing my study desk.

Sometimes I like to have background music while studying. I was using the laptop’s internal speakers to avoid the discomfort of wearing headphones, but their sound quality is very poor.

So I decided to use the TV sound, which is much better. I selected Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output in pavucontrol (I use PulseAudio) and realized that it was as if the TV was disconnected, even though the HDMI cable was connected.

The solution I came up with on the spot and worked well was to use xrandr to make the TV display an enlarged version of my 13.3" laptop screen:

xrandr --fb 1366x768 --output LVDS1 --auto --output HDMI1 --auto --scale 0.711x0.711

And then go to the power saving options on my TV and select Screen Off.

It may seem like a workaround, and there is probably a simpler way, but this solution is working very well.

(Now back to studying…)

Julio Batista Silva
Julio Batista Silva
Data Engineer

I’m a computer engineer passionate about science, technology, photography, and languages. Currently working as a Data Engineer in Germany.

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