Yes. I was recently reading about the bandwidth issue with optical.
If the Switch outputs an uncompressed stream, then the 5.1 won’t get through the optical.
But lots of unknowns.
What I don’t know (and going to try to test) is if the uncompressed stream can get through the coaxial digital cable. (My surround sound system has both digital coaxial and optical inputs. The coaxial digital-in is currently connected to my DVD player, but I can swap it around so I use the optical cable for DVD and assign the coaxial cable to the “CD” input on the amplifier and use that for Netflix, Disney+ and the Switch.) (I just had the coaxial cable hooked up to my DVD player because I had misplaced my optical cable. I thought I had lost it long ago. And I had an RCA cable lying around.)
1. Confirm the Switch is outputting an uncompressed 5.1 stream. (NOTE: I actually read a post on another site that the poster swears that when they put their Switch into Stereo mode, a Dolby Digital stream started coming out. I find that hard to believe. But maybe I could test for that with the extractor I am getting. ? )
2. Is my TV the culprit by stripping 5.1 down to 2 channel when going through the optical cable? I have my daughter’s PC hooked up to the HDMI TV via HDMI. I have the optical-out from the TV hooked up to the optical-in of the surround system. When I play “The Matrix” with the Netflix Windows App, it only shows my 2.0 audio options. Not sure if Netflix is outputting uncompressed. Or a form of 5.1 that my sound system doesn’t understand, and thus it selects Linear PCM and thus gets 2.0 channels. When reading, I thought it would have been Dolby Digital Plus?
3. Does coaxial have more bandwidth than optical? If so, maybe it can handle an uncompressed 5.1 surround sound stream? I don’t know.
So a few things I want to test out. Is my TV the bottle neck? Is the optical cable the bottle neck? Or is my 21+ year-old surround sound amplifier just too old to understand the 5.1 surround streams coming out of the Switch, Netflix and Disney+?
For $30 (CDN, so not even real money), I have the potential to test this out. I didn’t want to spend a lot. But I got one with both optical and coaxial digital out in hopes that that would let me test this out. LOL.
And as I pointed out above, even if none of this works, I still have a use for an HDMI audio extractor to stereo out (3.5mm analogue) on my work computer. LOL.