There’s a bit more to this question – our reader is looking for something which can push Dolby Digital audio from both HDMI and OT A sources through an optical connection, just like his current Panasonic screen doesn’t.
The good news is that if a TV will pump out straight 5.1 it generally follows that it will also downconvert TrueHD and the like to a format your PLAYBAR can understand. Sadly, certain smart TVs have Android systems that can’t actually manage the task. Some even hide the functionality behind engineer-only service menus because they hate you.
Guru doesn’t know, or even care to ask, what kind of TV you’re looking for. He presumes, though, that your unwillingness to toss out that PLAYBAR means you’re on a bit of a budget. If you can’t put down £2,050 for the amazing Sony XE930 (opens in new tab), try one of LG’s UJ6300 (opens in new tab) range, which can be had for £399 and support all kinds of optical audio trickery out of the box.
But we're not the masters of technology here for no reason, so if none of those recommendations float your boat then you should go and plant your peepers on our best TV 2017 buying guide and then, after you've chosen a sweet TV, go take a look at these best-in-class soundbars.