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Has the audio from the TV worked in the past to the receiver?
How exactly are you connecting the Audio from the TV to the Receiver?
You should be using the L & R RCA Audio Outputs on the TV to the RCA Audio Input on the Receiver. Then make sure that the External Output is turned on in the TV's Menu Audio Settings. Lastly, make sure the Receiver's Input is set to the correct input and that it's looking at the RCA Inputs for Audio. Let me know how it all goes.
1. the audio has never worked; we have never tried before now. the tv is connected to the cable box and the cable box goes to the receiver. we've never watched netflix before now
2. we are connecting a L and R RCA audio cable from the tv to the RCA audio inputs on the receiver
3. the only option in the settings on the tv under "audio" is to turn the tv speakers on or off
4. there is a "digital" audio out that you can either select "Dolby Digital", "PCM", or "Off"
5. there is also an "analog" audio out that you can either select "fixed" or "variable"