Official Vizio VHT210 Soundbar Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Well since the Vizio VHT210 is getting released today (7/25/10) it seems fitting to start an official owners thread.

I got to spend a few hours with the New'est Vizio last night (a friend got one a day early from Target, Im picking mine up today).

First impressions,,,, the new Vizio rocks !!!!!

I was at first very worried by the new smaller size of the bar and the sub,, but those worries quickly went away as soon as I fired it up.

Hooked up the VHT210 via optical to a Samsung BluRay player with the BD player set to PCM.
Test movie was Avatar.
LCD panel, a Vizio.
The room,,,, square,,,, 3 walls, with no wall to the right side,,, the room was completely open on the right side (bummer).

The overall sound coming from the Vizio bar was very impressive,, I cranked it up full blast and no distortion at all from the bar or the sub.
The wireless sub sounds pretty darn good overall,,, and I found the best level setting at about +3,,,, not boomy and sounded nice and tight.

The surround sound,,, really really good,, not directional, but instead nicely spread out over the entire room.
The missing wall to the right was very apparent with the surround effects being great on the left, were there was a full wall,,,, while the surround effects to the right were almost non-exsistant.

If you have side walls to reflect the sound off of this bar is going to do a great job for you.

The remote, very happy with it, though I did find (as with the last Vizio bar) you really have to point the remote directly in line of sight to the bar.
With the new remote you can slide it open to set levels for the sub, bass, treble, surround effects are movie, music or off,,,,input selector for optical, analog or ipod dock.

The new design for the bars LED level indicators work very well and are easy to see, they also turn off after a few seconds so as not to be distracting.

Is this bar a good upgrade to the older/current VSB210WS,,,,, I would say a BIG YES,,,, I see no reason to ever recomend anyone getting the older VSB210WS instead of the new'er VHT210,,,, the newer VHT210 really blows away the older Vizio bar.

I will be picking up my very own Vizio VHT210 this afternoon and will putting it thru its paces in my own living room (that has full wall's on each side) and I will also be comparing it with my JVC soundbar.

Anyhow,,, my first impressions after settng up my friends VHT210 in her house,,,, very positive,,,,, I think the VHT210 is going to be a clear winner and very very popular.

I will post back more stuff late Sunday night.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #2 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 08:57 AM
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Sounds fabulous...gotta get me one too!
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post #3 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 12:27 PM
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Looking forward to your "official" review, davyo!
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post #4 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 12:36 PM
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Hmmm. Still none @ my target. I just took mine back. Soundbar did sound good though.
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post #5 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok,,,, two reviews today for everyone,,the Vizio VHT210 and my reviews on a bunch of other soundbars I have owned and tried out,,, (page link at the bottom)

Ok,,, picked up my very own Vizio VHT210 today after setting my friends up last night,,,, I had put mine on hold a few days ago at my local Target and it was the only one they had at that store location,,, so Im real glad I had put it on hold.

Been playing with the new VHT210 all morning,,,, test BluRay's were the new "Star Trek" and "I am Legend",, direct optical conection from my BD player to the Vizio bar, walls on all sides of me.

My positive impressions of the VHT210 are as good as they were last night, prehaps even greater,,,, in short, this Vizio is a clear up-grade from the older first gen Vizio bar.

The size of the bar and the sub are just freak'ishly small, so small that ya just dont think this bar can put out any sound that is worth listening to,,,, but I gota say this little set-up kicks ass.

Big wide soundstage and a very nice convincing surround effect,, with this bar your very much in a sound bubble,,, sound all around you with crystal clear dialog,,,, you will NEVER have a problem hearing the dialog in a movie with this bar.

Very nice overall tone.

Love the slide out remote and just the right controls needed are on the remote.

I did get what I "think" might have been an almost non-exisitant touch of sub distortion during a loud scene in "Legend" when I had the Vizio cranked up, but other than that everything sounds great.

Im guessing the better sound than the first gen Vizio is because this new Vizio can now decode Dolby Digital,,,,,,,,, and its also very nice now being able to adjust the treble, bass and sub levels with the remote.

Anyhow, I cant really think of much to say that I did not cover in my other little review of my friends VHT210.

What I do know is this new Vizio VHT210 is a total keeper,,,, if you dont need HDMI connections I would very much recomend the VHT210 over a Sony CT any day of the week.

As far as the Vizio vs the JVC TH-BA1,,,, that was a tough one,,,, I really really liked the JVC alot !!!!!!! and would also recomend the JVC over the Sony CT's as well.

Like I said in my other review,,,, I think the only thing the Sony CT's have going for them is just the HDMI inputs,,,, so if you really need the HDMI's then its a no-brainer,,,, get one of the Sony CT's.

I use my Vizio 55" LED panel as my HDMI switcher,,, run my optical out of my BD player directly to the Vizio bar,,, my HD cable box and HD DVD are ran to my panel with HDMI's and I use the RCA out's from my panel to the RCA inputs on the Vizio bar,,,,, it all works perfectly and sounds great.

Anyhow,,,, I am quite certain this new Vizio is going to do very well and get alot of love,,,, its the smallest, lightest, cheapest soundbar and in my opinion the best sounding.

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Cheers
Davyo

My reviews of all the soundbars I can remember owning, that I just posted today,,, with some soundbar pictures as well,,,,, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post18957486
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post #6 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 05:26 PM
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So, which are you going to keep - the JVC or the new Vizio??
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post #7 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 06:11 PM
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i've never owned a soundbar, and i have been following these forums for weeks, actually months and for weeks i thought i would get a ct150 or 350 for the HDMI, i heard the VHT210 the other night at target, they had a display set up, and it sounded great in the store. then ur review made me really think i should get the VHT210.

Here is my question. I want to make sure I can hook everything up that i want to hook up before i buy it. I have a Panasonic 50x1. I have a blu-ray player and a Verizon FIOS (cable box). I also have a wii and want to get an Ipod dock that connects to the soundbar, because currently i have only a little portable travel stereo with small speakers for the Ipod. Based on what you have said, it sounds like I would send an optical wire from the blu-ray to the 210. I would send HDMI from the cable box to the TV, and RCA wires from the TV to the 210. How do i hook up the wii and the ipod dock? (where do i even buy the vizio ipod dock? I only know it exists because i saw it in the instruction manuel for the VHT210 on vizio's website.) For the record, i guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if the wii can't hook into the soundbar, but it is preferable. Will the panasonic be able to take sound though the RCA inputs and send it out to the VHT210? Or am i able to send sound from the TV that came in though the RCA inputs by the optical? and then i shouldn't use the optical from the Blu-ray player?

Help! thanks!!
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post #8 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corribus View Post

So, which are you going to keep - the JVC or the new Vizio??

I am going to reluctantly and sadly return the JVC ,,, the Vizio has the better sound and Im very happy with it but I have to say I really like the JVC very much as well,,,,, I just dont need 2 soundbars.

I even thought about keeping the JVC and switching it out sometimes with the Vizio just for fun

Ohhh well,,,,the Vizio is the clear winner for me but I do feel kinda sad returning the JVC as it really is a great SB.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #9 of 141 Old 07-25-2010, 10:38 PM
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After my disappointing time with my first vizio vsb200 and not being able to use optical when I watch TV, that has turned me away from the all. I got the CT100 on clearance for 179.99 open box, which was new and love it.
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post #10 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid View Post

After my disappointing time with my first vizio vsb200 and not being able to use optical when I watch TV, that has turned me away from the all. I got the CT100 on clearance for 179.99 open box, which was new and love it.

Im able to use just my TV, or just the Vizio, or both at the same time, with my new Vizio VHT210 and also my older Vizio VSB210WS, all with RCA or optical connections,,, ya just have to make sure all your audio settings on your display and your BluRay, cable or whatever you have, are all in the correct audio settings.

Ya got a good price on the CT-100,,,, congrads,,, they are nice soundbars,,, when I had one I did like it.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #11 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 06:33 AM
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I purchased the Vizio VHT210 yesterday from Target. I went home, hooked everything up properly and after 2hrs attempting to solve the sync issue between the soundbar and the subwoofer, I realized that there was a problem with the bar being locked between Hub mode and Client mode thus not being able to link with the sub.

Needless to say, I exchanged the VHT210 for a new one (same model). I hooked everything up according to the manual and it worked. Sound is wonderful.

This morning I woke up and turned on the unit to make sure everything was in order. Unit came on fine and sounding good.

The problem I am running into now is that the blue indicator lights (not the LED) does not light up when adjusting the volume or input. I tried troubleshooting it by unplugging but that didn't work.

The only thing that might have caused the problem (on my end that is), is from my unsuccessful attempts trying to set my universal remote to the soundbar.

Has anyone else run into the issues dealing with the Volume/Input indicator lights? If so have you found a solution :P
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post #12 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 07:12 AM
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Is Target the only retail outlet for the VHT210?
thanks,
Ken
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post #13 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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My Vizio VHT210 up-date.

OK,,,, I just ran into an issue that Im not sure what to do about,,,,, any advice would be welcome.

I have been planning on/thinkin about, getting another projector (a Panasonic AE4000) and was going to hook-up a soundbar to it and my BD player,,, problem is the VHT210 does not decode DTS, that's not really a problem using my LED/LCD panel and the optical out,,, but with a projector that's a different set-up since I will not have a display to put the HDMI into and take the optical feed from the display to the soundbar.

I will be running directly from the BD player right to the projector and running the optical from the BD player to a soundbar,,, since the Vizio does not decode DTS this could present a problem with projector use.

Geeze,,, I might have to hang on to the JVC BA1 since it does decode DTS.

Suggestions and opinions welcome.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #14 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 10:06 AM
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davyo, you say you are running HDDVD and HD cable box to TV via HDMI, and then output RCA from TV to the 210... how is the sound? does it go full 5.1? my TV can only output 2.1 via optical, but not sure how it is for RCA out...
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post #15 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 12:52 PM
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Can I ask a question about running HDMI or optical.
I have 3 units. HD Cable DVR, Media Player, PS3
All are HDMI. So my choices are to run all 3 HDMI into the tv, then the optial cable into the Vizio bar, or getting a sony/yamaha and running the HDMI into the bar, and HDMI video into the TV.

Will I lose any sound quality by using the Vizio, having everything going into my Samsung TV then outputting it into the bar?
Or if I go the other way, do I lose picture quality by running all the HDMI into the bar of the Sony or Y S400 and then the video from the bar into the tv?

Which is the best way to go?
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post #16 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

My Vizio VHT210 up-date.

problem is the VHT210 does not decode DTS

So what happens with the DTS signal thru the VHT210? Is there no audio if it's a DTS source?

-P.
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post #17 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 02:14 PM
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I'm a bit confused. If you use the single optical input for a BD player, what about TVs (Panasonic, maybe others) that only have optical out now? You'd need an optical to RCA adapter right? With RCA going into the bar, whether it's straight from the TV or with an adapter, you're only getting 2 ch. stereo aren't you? So the Dolby decoder is only useful for DVD/BD? And then there's the issue already mentioned about DTS. What's it going to do with that?
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post #18 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

My Vizio VHT210 up-date.

OK,,,, I just ran into an issue that Im not sure what to do about,,,,, any advice would be welcome.

I have been planning on/thinkin about, getting another projector (a Panasonic AE4000) and was going to hook-up a soundbar to it and my BD player,,, problem is the VHT210 does not decode DTS, that's not really a problem using my LED/LCD panel and the optical out,,, but with a projector that's a different set-up since I will not have a display to put the HDMI into and take the optical feed from the display to the soundbar.

I will be running directly from the BD player right to the projector and running the optical from the BD player to a soundbar,,, since the Vizio does not decode DTS this could present a problem with projector use.

Geeze,,, I might have to hang on to the JVC BA1 since it does decode DTS.

Suggestions and opinions welcome.

Cheers
Davyo

davyo, I'll give you my take on these soundbars. I have had 4 soundbars in my house. Three had optical only and one has hdmi. As you have said more than once, I'm not here to say which is the best or worse but to tell you what I like best. I now have the Pioneer sb300. This is the way I have it setup. hdmi from hd dvr to the soundbar. hdmi from Panny blu-ray to soundbar. hdmi from soundbar to a 54" Panny plasma. When I'm watching tv I see no difference in the sound from any of the bars. But when I play a movie on my blu-ray that is when you will see the difference in optical out and hdmi. The Pio bar will decode dolby true hd and dts. the vizio can't do that. This is a good test for any body that wants to hear optical vs dd hd or dts. Put The book of Eli [blu-ray] is your player and go to the gun fight in the street. Now play with optical out. Next play it with hdmi dts. There is a world of difference in pcm and dts - ddhd. I'm not the one to say who has the best bar but for me, I will take hdmi with ddhd-dts every time.

Bobby Ray
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post #19 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKinNYC View Post

davyo, you say you are running HDDVD and HD cable box to TV via HDMI, and then output RCA from TV to the 210... how is the sound? does it go full 5.1? my TV can only output 2.1 via optical, but not sure how it is for RCA out...

Correct, that is the way I have everything hooked up.

Yes, most TV's can only pass 2.1 via optical, my 55" Vizio 551 included.

Soundbar's take that 2.1 feed and convert it to a quasi surround sound,, each brand of soundbars has there own tricks they use for processing and making a surround sound from that 2.1 optical feed.
The same process happens with RCA outs from a TV to a 2.1 bar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big 'O' View Post

Can I ask a question about running HDMI or optical.
I have 3 units. HD Cable DVR, Media Player, PS3
All are HDMI. So my choices are to run all 3 HDMI into the tv, then the optial cable into the Vizio bar, or getting a sony/yamaha and running the HDMI into the bar, and HDMI video into the TV.

Will I lose any sound quality by using the Vizio, having everything going into my Samsung TV then outputting it into the bar?
Or if I go the other way, do I lose picture quality by running all the HDMI into the bar of the Sony or Y S400 and then the video from the bar into the tv?

Which is the best way to go?

You should not lose any video quality at all running your HDMI's to the Sony CT-xxx or the Y S400 and then to your display.
If you run all you HDMI's to you display and use the optical out, the Vizio bar takes that 2.1 optical feed and turns it into a "soundbar" surround sound/effect,,, which the Vizio does very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penone View Post

So what happens with the DTS signal thru the VHT210? Is there no audio if it's a DTS source?
-P.

You are correct, no sound if you feed the Vizio a direct DTS signal,,, and thats the problem Im having as my BD player wont let me send anything other than that DTS signal with a few of my BluRays,,,,, still tring to find a fix for that,,,, if it can be fixed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

I'm a bit confused. If you use the single optical input for a BD player, what about TVs (Panasonic, maybe others) that only have optical out now? You'd need an optical to RCA adapter right? With RCA going into the bar, whether it's straight from the TV or with an adapter, you're only getting 2 ch. stereo aren't you? So the Dolby decoder is only useful for DVD/BD? And then there's the issue already mentioned about DTS. What's it going to do with that?

Good questions and to be honest Im not sure of the correct answers,, I will post back when I find the correct answers,, unless someone else can better answer.


Cheers
Davyo
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post #20 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 05:28 PM
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I got a chance to demo this at my local target today. First off, it is very small! It definitely looks like intentional or not, that it should be under a 32" tv at most. Size doesn't always matter but I imagine it looks funny under a 50" or greater set (I think my 60" Kuro would eat it for dinner, lol). It sounded good in the store but not great. I know a store is no judge for it but they actually had a blu-ray player set up and the Target electronics person put in a few blu-rays to test it out. It definitely sounded bigger than what I anticipated but I also wasn't wowed by it. It also has the same cheap design that I am seeing on more and more of these soundbars. I actually removed the grill because I wanted to see the speaker sizes. Vizio has a little circuit board behind the cloth cover out in the open with ribbon cables attached to power the outside lights. You would think they would have sealed this in some way as the speaker grill is obviously removable. Plus there was a nice blob of glue coming out from the back of the circuit board that was smeared and actually on one of speakers next to it (it looks like they didn't do a good job in the factory I suppose). It just screamed cheap and mediocre quality control.

I can tell you though that based on first impressions, it was a turn off. I know you aren't going to get perfection at the $250 price point but the cheapness and overall average sound didn't do much to convince me. It didn't sound any better to me when compared to my recently purchased CT350. Maybe I need more time with it as I know Davyo is very impressed and loved the last soundbar Vizio produced.
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post #21 of 141 Old 07-26-2010, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

I got a chance to demo this at my local target today. First off, it is very small! It definitely looks like intentional or not, that it should be under a 32" tv at most. Size doesn't always matter but I imagine it looks funny under a 50" or greater set (I think my 60" Kuro would eat it for dinner, lol). It sounded good in the store but not great. I know a store is no judge for it but they actually had a blu-ray player set up and the Target electronics person put in a few blu-rays to test it out. It definitely sounded bigger than what I anticipated but I also wasn't wowed by it. It also has the same cheap design that I am seeing on more and more of these soundbars. I actually removed the grill because I wanted to see the speaker sizes. Vizio has a little circuit board behind the cloth cover out in the open with ribbon cables attached to power the outside lights. You would think they would have sealed this in some way as the speaker grill is obviously removable. Plus there was a nice blob of glue coming out from the back of the circuit board that was smeared and actually on one of speakers next to it (it looks like they didn't do a good job in the factory I suppose). It just screamed cheap and mediocre quality control.

I can tell you though that based on first impressions, it was a turn off. I know you aren't going to get perfection at the $250 price point but the cheapness and overall average sound didn't do much to convince me. It didn't sound any better to me when compared to my recently purchased CT350. Maybe I need more time with it as I know Davyo is very impressed and loved the last soundbar Vizio produced.


Yes,,, it is tiny,, kinda scared me when I first saw how small it was.

And yes,,,, I heard one at Target as well and in Target it sounded like crap.

Yep,,, loved the last Vizio bar and I do think this new one is a nice up-grade from the older version.

Im just kinda disapointed though with the Vizio and not being able to accecpt DTS,,, not really a big issue when running it connected to a plasma or LCD panel,,, but with a projector thats a different story.

As much as I like the VHT210 I might not end up keeping it based totally on the DTS issue.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #22 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 06:57 AM
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I am very interested in the VHT210. I have had the Samsung HT-WS1G but I have not been impressed with either the sound quality or lack of volume.

davyo, I have a Sony 7.1 surround sound receiver that I run my in-ceiling surround speakers through. I have all inputs going directly into the TV (Vizio 42" plasma), through HDMI if available with the optical running from the TV to the receiver. I would use the optical out from the receiver to the sound bar. Are you saying that by running everything through the TV I am losing true 5.1 /7.1 sound by running the optical out of the TV because it only allows 2.1 out of the optical? If so, I may have to rethink my entire setup.

Do you think it would make a big difference if I ran HDMI to my receiver from my sources (PS3 and HD Cable DVR) and HDMI to the TV from my receiver and optical out from the receiver to the sound bar?

I have checked a few Indianapolis area Target stores and even though they are listed as either limited availablity or available on the website, they do not have any VIzio sound bars in stock. I did listen to the unit in the store and it seemed much clearer than my older Samsung unit which they were also selling in the store for $300.
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post #23 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglurp View Post

davyo, I have a Sony 7.1 surround sound receiver that I run my in-ceiling surround speakers through. I have all inputs going directly into the TV (Vizio 42" plasma), through HDMI if available with the optical running from the TV to the receiver. I would use the optical out from the receiver to the sound bar. Are you saying that by running everything through the TV I am losing true 5.1 /7.1 sound by running the optical out of the TV because it only allows 2.1 out of the optical? If so, I may have to rethink my entire setup.

Do you think it would make a big difference if I ran HDMI to my receiver from my sources (PS3 and HD Cable DVR) and HDMI to the TV from my receiver and optical out from the receiver to the sound bar?

Hey biglurp,,,, the short answer is this,,, anything you run out of your Vizio plasma, and almost every other TV's optical is only going to come out as 2.1.

The Vizio VHT210 is going to take any 5.1 or 7.1 optical signal it gets and downmix it to a 2.1 and create its own processed surround sound,,, the VHT210 does that very well but its not true surround.

For DTS the only advantage of sending the optical from a BD player to the bar thru a reciever or your Vizio panel is with a DTS source (which the VHT210 will not accept in raw form) the Vizio bar can only take a DTS signal if it is first changed to a Dolby Digital signal by your reciever or your panel.

Hope that all made sense and answered your question.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #24 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 07:49 AM
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Any suggestions on where to buy this besides Target?
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post #25 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 07:55 AM
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Yes Davyo, Thank you! Tonight when I ge home I think I will alter my setup and see what I think. Hopefully I can get my hands on the VHT210 in the next few days.

Did you ever review any of the Samsung sound bars, especially the HT-WS1?
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post #26 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 01:15 PM
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I went to Target and got the system for the $229.99 that was marked on the tag in front of the item. The tag said VHT210 32" Vizio sound bar so it was 100% legit, but even when she scanned the tag it brought up the $249.99 price. They did honor the price, so that was a nice bonus.

Now I can't wait to try a new setup or two tonight to see which I like best, but now my wife and friends are planning on seeing Inception tonight....d@mn them for taking some play time away from and my new sound system.
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post #27 of 141 Old 07-27-2010, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Just for fun, here's some pictures of my Vizio VHT210 and my JVC TH-BA1 soundbar's and subs.

Cheers
Davyo


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post #28 of 141 Old 07-28-2010, 05:55 AM
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This is a great thread you guys. I have been waiting on release and some reviews of this baby for a long time. Looks like we have a winner. Here is my question:

I have a Sony 52Z5100 tv which, according to the manual, outputs full 5.1 from its optical output. If I run this optical output to the Vizio, will it actually decode the 5.1 DD signal just as if the optical were coming straight from the source? If so, will there by any audio lag introduced? This way, I can keep everything hooked up as is: BD and Sat DVR via HDMI to the tv, then optical to the Vizio regardless of what source I'm using.

Take responsibility for your own actions...society is not here to look after you...
In other words, if you order coffee, expect it to be hot for christsake!
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post #29 of 141 Old 07-28-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

The Vizio VHT210 is going to take any 5.1 or 7.1 optical signal it gets and downmix it to a 2.1 and create its own processed surround sound,,, the VHT210 does that very well but its not true surround.

Perhaps the best answer for those of us that can support the extra hardware in the living room, is to wait for the Vizio VHT512. Since it has 5 physical channels, I am assuming that it will be able to decode a real 5 channel input and not just create a matrix type output from a 2.1 input.
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post #30 of 141 Old 07-28-2010, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orijonl View Post

Perhaps the best answer for those of us that can support the extra hardware in the living room, is to wait for the Vizio VHT512. Since it has 5 physical channels, I am assuming that it will be able to decode a real 5 channel input and not just create a matrix type output from a 2.1 input.

One would think that would be what happens with the VHT512 but dont assume that it will have 5 discrete channels,,,,, I would have thought Vizio would have made the new VHT210 able to decode DTS, but they did not.

The VHT210 will decode Dolby Digital but not DTS,, very odd that they made that choice,,,, perhaps some one could offer some ideas on why Vizio did not include the DTS feature ?

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