Here's my problem: as a gift last year, I got a 40PFL3706/F7 Philips tv for my living room. Now, I've known all along that the built-in rear facing speakers in any flatscreen TV tend to not be that great, and I was having trouble hearing dialogue at times when the audio is essentially echoing off of my living room back wall. I don't watch a lot of TV, so I'm not interested in surround sound or an expensive speaker set-up, so I bought powered speakers that are small, elegant, and cost around $50.

I went to hook the speakers up...only to find out that the TV doesn't have a 3.5 jack for audio out, or RCA, either. Just digital audio, which I was totally unfamiliar with. So I called Philips customer support to ask exactly what I need to get these speakers working with my TV. I'm told I need to get a digital coaxial to analogue converter and a digital audio coaxial cable. I bought this one:

I hooked everything up, and all I got was static from the speakers. I read the manual, I played with the settings...nothing but static. Thinking maybe something was wrong with the converter or cable, I hooked everything up to my el cheapo tv in my office which has digital audio (as well as various analogue options) and it worked fine. As another test, I hooked up my high quality computer speakers using the converter to both tvs. On the Philips, once again, nothing but static.

So I called Philips support again. Then I'm told that I don't need a digital coaxial to analogue converter, I need an amplifier. I tried to search online for "amplifier digital coaxial" and variations, and I got links for either digital audio to coaxial converters (which I already tried to use but didn't work), or for products and tutorials for things I can't even begin to understand.

What exactly do I need to do to get basic external speakers working on my TV for around $50? Can someone tell me of a specific product that will work? Is there anything that is just plug and play?