Hi folks, Long time lurker, first time poster.
The whole soundbar forum has been incredibly helpful in my recent quest to set up a TV in the kids playroom. Yes, my wife could no longer handle the kids watching Phineas and Ferb in the living room that is connected to the kitchen while she was preparing dinner. So we set up another TV far, far away.
The area is a big 14x22 room with a high ceiling (12 ft I think). I put an LG 37LD450 in this room. It's too small for the room but all the budget would allow.
Likewise I wanted to get better, but still stakeholder friendly, sound out of this setup since I'll often be relegated to this room for viewing as well, now that it exists as an option.
I looked at the Sony CT150 and the Samsung HW-C450 at Best Buy. The sound for each was OK but based on reviews in this forum I decided to try the JVC. I liked the connectivity of the Sony and the aesthetics/simplicity of the Sammy. But the Sammy sound just did nothing for me and the subwoofer placement on the Sony was going to be a challenge for me. I also worried about little hands being tantalized by the exposed speakers on the Sammy since the soundbar is mounted under the TV at about 4 1/2 ft height - in a playroom
My testing was apple to oranges since I listened to the Sony and Sammy at BB with who knows what kind of crappy signal feed and the sub's far from a wall/corner. But based on reviews here I bought the JVC without previewing first it and set it up at my house. I am very happy with the JVC compared to the Sony and Sammy, again apples to oranges listening, so not really fair but I'm OK with that. Also the JVC was a lot less money with various purchasing options I checked into at this time.
So far all I've done is connect the FIOS box (via HDMI) and the Wii (via RGB + Stereo plugs) to the TV and an optical out of the TV to the JVC. The sound with this setup is totally fine with me. I will try an optical out of the FIOS box directly to the JVC to see if that makes a difference. We'll only be using the TV with FIOS and the Wii for the foreseeable future. The FIOS remote easily handled the addition of the JVC. The remote powers it up/down with the rest of the components and does volume/mute.
With FIOS input I am getting the Dolby Digital & PCM lights on the JVC for all stations I've tried so far. I've listened to movies, the Palladia music channel and a few of the sound only channels. All good, good, good!
I've tried the two surround modes and they change the sound noticeably but don't do anything that I feel is a surround-like effect. No delays, echoes, perception of sounds moving around in a 3D field in the listening space. I'm fine with that and will continue to play around to see what settings I Like the best - I'm thinking about them more like EQ than soundfields. Regardless, the sound is so much better than the TV set that I am already very satisfied.
I'll update once I've played around with additional connectivity.
One last thing to note. I find music listening with this system to be very nice (FIOS music and music video channels so far). Some reviewers have commented about mid loss on this soundbar and really most all soundbars seem to get this rap. I don't notice that as a big problem at all but my main TV/Audio system has Cambridge Soundworks MC300's (yes, the McDonald's of HiFi) for the main speakers and a tiny Polk Subwoofer so I am already used to listening to a somewhat mid-scooped music experience.
Thanks again for some awesome threads in this forum everybody. I hope I've added some small value to the mix.