Unsupported Audio Format on TV? Here’s Why With Fix!

You’re trying to play some video or audio content via USB, PC, HDMI, or any other device but the audio isn’t playing on your TV due to an unsupported audio format?

There’s no need to worry, this isn’t a major issue and happens when the file we’re trying to play on the TV has audio formats that aren’t compatible.

Often, when you connect your TV to a sound system or another audio device or try to play content via USB, the audio format it receives may not be compatible.

It is important to note that unsupported audio formats can cause problems such as no sound, distorted sound, or even incompatibility errors on the TV display.

Recently, when I was trying to play some old videos from my USB drive, I encountered a problem when I tried to connect it to my TV but the video wouldn’t play with sound because it had an unsupported audio format issue as stated by the TV’s error message.

Fortunately, this issue is relatively easy to resolve by changing either your TV settings, converting the video file to a supported format, or adjusting the connection between the sound system and television.

We’ll start by checking if your TV supports the audio format you’re trying to play. If it doesn’t, we will discuss how to fix the issue later in this article, but first, let’s talk more about TVs and what audio formats they support.

What audio formats are supported by your TV?

TV Audio format supported

We often skip certain things when buying a new TV, such as the Audio and Video formats it supports, since we usually don’t need to know such things, as we only stream content through them, either via applications, cable boxes, or through connected streaming devices such as Roku, Firestick, or Apple TV.

Different TVs may support different types of audio such as Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio, PCM, or LPCM. It’s also important to know that some higher-end models do have multiple ports which can support different types of playback methods like optical cables, HDMI, or RCA connections for example. 

Most of the Smart TVs, especially which came after 2013 (when the actual Smart TV era started) do support almost all commonly formatted media.

These are all the most commonly supported audio and video files on smart TVs:

Common Audio Formats Supported By TVs:

File ExtensionType
Audio Formats Supported By TVs

Common Video Formats Supported By TVs:

File ExtensionContainerAudio CodecVideo Codec
.aviAVIAC3Divx 3.11/4/ 5 / 6
.asf .wmvASFADPCM (IMA, MS)H.264 BP/MP/HP
mp4 .3gpMP4AACMotion JPEG
.vro .mpg3GPHE-AACMicrosoft MPEG- 4 v3
Impeg itsMOVWMAWindows Media Video v7, V8, V9
.trp .movFLVDD+MPEG2
.flv .vobVROMPEG(MP3)MPEG1
.svi .m2tsTSVP6
Video Formats Supported By TVs

In the above table, you will see Audio Codec along with Video formats, these Audio codecs are required when we play a video file with a dedicated audio formatted file.

The Smart TVs you’ve been using so far support all sorts of audio and video formats. So, how do you ensure that the format your particular TV supports is among those supported?

So let’s find it out.

How To Check What Audio Formats Are Supported By Your TV?


Well, It is best for you to go through your TV’s user manual or the official website, so you can find out more accurate information about your TV’s specifications. 

The supported format details can usually be found in the user manual. However, if your manual is missing this information, do not worry, you can enter the model of your TV on the official website to find it.

How to proceed if you cannot find any information about the supported Audio/Video format of your TV from the official website?

Don’t worry, in that case, simply convert the video/audio file into the formats shown in the table above, and these formats should work on any smart TV.

See Also: Your TV Don’t Support HDCP? (Easy Fix)?

What Happens When You Try To Play An Unsupported Audio Format On Your TV?

When you try to play an audio format that is not supported by your TV, the sound may not play at all or it may be distorted. 

Moreover, In the below image, you can see an error message that your TV may display when it finds an unsupported audio format.

Unsupported Audio Format TV Error
Unsupported Audio Format Error On TV

Depending on the type of audio file you are trying to play, it could even cause damage to your TV’s speakers. 

To avoid any problems, always make sure that the audio files you are playing are compatible with your TV before attempting to use them.

How Can You Play Unsupported Audio Format On Smart TV?

If you’re wondering how to fix unsupported audio on TV and how to play unsupported format audio files on your Smart TV, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

There are a few other options available for playing an unsupported audio format on your TV. 

  • One option is to connect the device that contains the unsupported audio file directly to your TV via an HDMI cable or composite connection. This will allow you to play the file without having to convert it first. 
  • Another option would be to use software like VLC Media Player which can transcode audio files into a supported format while they’re being played on your TV. 
  • Casting your video from your device to the television is another great way to bypass unsupported audio format issues. You can use an HDMI cable, Chromecast, Miracast, or AirPlay.
  • Finally, if neither of these solutions works for you, then you may need to find an application that can help you convert the unsupported audio format into one that is supported by your television sets such as MP3 or WAV.

Let’s see how you can convert the audio files into the format which your TV supports.

How can you convert an unsupported audio format into a supported audio format for TV?

If you have an audio file that is not supported by your TV, there are several ways to convert it into a format that can be played on the television. 

Online Media Converter

The first way is to use an online audio converter service. These online services allow you to upload your audio file and then select from a list of available output formats for conversion. You can then download the converted file and play it directly on your TV.

Software Based Converter

Another option is to use software-based media players such as VLC or iTunes to convert the audio file into a compatible format. Using software-based media players to convert your audio files is easy and straightforward.

All you need to do is open up the application, select the target audio format that’s compatible with your TV, then click “convert” once you choose which file(s) you want to change. 

Once it’s finished converting, simply save your new file onto a USB drive or other external storage device for playback on your television set.

What if the files you’re trying to play on your TV are already in the correct format and supported by your Smart TV and others?

In this case, I have outlined a couple of tips on troubleshooting the unsupported audio issue on Smart TVs, let’s check it out.

Tips For Troubleshooting And Fixing Unsupported Audio On Smart TVs

  1. Check the audio output settings: First, check your TV’s audio output settings and make sure that you have selected the correct format for the device connected to your TV. If you are using a home theatre system, make sure the sound is coming out of it instead of directly from the TV.
  1. Update firmware/software: Next, make sure that your TV has all its latest software updates and firmware installed. This can help ensure compatibility with any new devices or formats you may be trying to use. Often the new updates from TV manufacturers enhance the capability to process the new audio format.
  2. Check connection cables: If the audio format is not supported by your TV, then it could be a result of incorrect connection cables or poor connections between your playback device and the TV. Make sure all cables are securely connected and that there aren’t any visible signs of damage. Additionally, if you’re using an HDMI cable for audio output, make sure it is compatible with both your playback device and television set.

See Also: Do All TVs Have Coaxial Inputs?


Nevertheless, even in today’s world of streaming content through Apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, Youtube, Hulu, and cable TV, people sometimes still manually play videos or other content on their TVs.

Often, content doesn’t play as expected due to an unsupported audio format. This means the file we’re trying to play is not supported by our TV, which is not a major concern, but it still annoys us.

I have provided detailed information and multiple solutions in the guide above to help you figure out how to get this sorted out so that you can play even unsupported audio files on your TV without any issues.