does my setup make sense for a soundbar? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-26-2010, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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hey all

i have looked into getting a dedicated Onkyo 5.1 system, but my room arrangement and tv stand are prohibitive of this - the AVR is too tall for my low slung tv stand. so i am thinking if a soundbar would be the way to go for me.

however, my living room doesnt necessarily lend itself to surround sound - the room is about 12' wide and about 23' long. the couch and tv are opposite each other going widthwise across the room, as those are the only solid walls. the third wall has 2 sizeable windows. there really isnt a 4th wall - it is the walkway to the bedrooms as well as the entrance to the kitchen. (i am going to attach an image to make things a bit clearer).

would a soundbar make sense for me? not sure how well the sound would bounce around here.

price range is sub-$500, and i dont really need HDMI, as i prefer to feed everything to TV. i have a bluray, cable box, and ps3 all connected to TV via HDMI. to keep that clean look, i would only connect the TV to soundbar with optical, and use the TV for component switching.

please let me know your thoughts about the feasibility of the soundbar, as well as any product recommendations (after a cursory look here, i see the vizio and JVC are well recommended)

thanks

Edit: looks like my TV (Sammy LN46B750) will only output 2.1 sound when the source is a digital component. are there any soundbars that have 3 optical inputs?
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-30-2010, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-30-2010, 12:11 PM
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A soundbar would make good sense. I don't know of any soundbars offering three optical inputs. If you wish to let the soundbar do the component switching, Sony's units have multiple HDMI inputs.

All TV's output 2.1 from digital sources, full 5.1 if from OTA broadcasts.

Almost all soundbars offer simulated 5.1 from 2.1 input. Some do this better than others. Some listeners are more critical of simulated than others. Best bet is to try in your own home from a dealer with an easy return policy (think Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy). My opinion is to start cheap. If you like what you hear, keep it and don't spend the rest of your life looking for the holy grail of soundbars. Although, I am quite glad that Davyo does this, then I can take his recommendations as a good starting point.

The Vizio and the JVC are both excellent starting points. The current Sony units are also good although a little more expensive. I have owned one Yamaha Sound Projector and listened to several in other people's homes and although they sound nice, the lacked the physical presence to help me forget that I was listening to a soundbar. Plus prices are outrageous.

Good luck.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-30-2010, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you

i think trying it out will be my best bet. i have a best buy and a target not too far from me, will have to check if they carry these. i think JVC will be the way to go, at least based on davyo's review

my only question is how does the audio get switched? i will still have my components connected to the TV via HDMI...
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-30-2010, 12:20 PM
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If you run your TV's analog or digital output directly to the soundbar, audio is switched at the same time video is switched. If you do seperate from multiple sources, then you have to switch audio on the soundbar. If that is the case, I would recommend a Logitech Harmony remote that will automatically switch the TV and Soundbar to the correct output simultaesously.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-30-2010, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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i have a harmony one, perfect.

so, the audio coming thru HDMI will not play via tv, instead the component will send video over HDMI and audio over optical?
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