Sony HT-CT550W?? - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 556 Old 01-27-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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1. I'm not a fan of either but the Bose is definitely superior. I never thought I would say that until I heard this Sony. Definitely not a fan for audio quality.

2. The Sony is ARC compatible. I'm not sure if the TV would convert its analog inputs for ARC. The Sony can only use ARC with CEC enabled which could mess up the Harmony remote.

3. The Harmony should work but might get out of sync if CEC is on. Where do you want to hide the sub?
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post #362 of 556 Old 01-28-2012, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

I have been thinking of buying the 550w to replace a Bose Cinemate (the one that uses RCA jacks and not optical). We quite like the Bose but it seems like it may be time to move to hdmi. Having wires everywhere is not possible so that is why a soundbar or Bose type Cinemate.

1- Does the Sony 550w give similar sound to the Bose Cinemate? I am not expecting 5:1 sound though DTS decoding would be nice. Yes to DTS, DTS Master HD and simulated surround sound

2- We have an LG 55LW5600 3D TV. HDMI1 is arc compatible. Now, I have 4 things plugged in to the LG TV and sometimes more, using component. What happens to the sound from the items not plugged in to the Sony soundbar? Do the sound somehow find its way to the soundbar via ARC? That would be great as I would then effectively have 7 HDMI ports and component! Sounds too good to be true! Yes

3- Can a Harmony One handle all the work and can I hide the woofer? this is my first time moving away from analogue audio so it's confusing. You can move the Sub-Woofer wherever you like--even outside of the room (I personally wouldn't hide it because I feel the SW adds to the best overall sound experience.)

Thanks,

Philip


Here's one of the few professional write-ups I have found on the Sony 550W. See the URL below. While it doesn't specifically address your questions it does provide more info to help your decision process.

Also, I have found that using HDMI cables with the 550W and tweaking the 550W settings to your preference is crucial to achieving top performance out of this system and your HDMI capable components.


Sony HT-CT550

" Ratings + Specs (Sound and Vision Magazine)
Design
7
Performance 8
Value 8
Overall 7.7


BOTTOM LINE
Although I had some issues with Sony’s system, there is still a lot to like here. The sound quality was not my cup of tea, but if you prefer more aggressive tuning, this system will impress you. It plays loud and its subwoofer is solid. My only other quibble is fairly minor: It’s nice to have a FM radio in the soundbar, but I would have traded that for a USB port. At its relatively modest price point, though, this is a very good system. " http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/pho...ndbars?image=5

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post #363 of 556 Old 01-28-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBJ2 View Post

Did they tell you what they think the problem is? My guess is it sounds like a bad capacitor ?

I received an email last night saying they received the unit, no indication regarding estimated turn around time.
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post #364 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 07:09 AM
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I went out and purchased the Sony 550w from Sony. The setup is fairly simple, especially after reading this thread. The hdmi switching and ARC work great. The unit would be simpler with a Sony Bravia TV although the Harmony would eventually take much of that annoyance away. The wireless SW works great (with one major exception) and having the receiver removed from the soundbar has certain advantages with my geometrical setup. The sound quality varies quite a bit with the tuning of the unit but the values given in this thread are pretty good. Changing audio settings would be nicer if a menu showed up on the TV. That is possibly a Sony Bravia advantage. It's a bit hard to see the receiver's display from a distance and selecting the various options is a bit strange with the way the arrows are used. Those are minor issue though. I have 2 reservations, one of which is a deal breaker.

1- The SW is placed behind out setup and is quite far away. It has a fan that reminds me of a cheap media player fan. You can hear it, even during movies. Perhaps the fan is defective, but that one issue has made keeping the 550w impossible. You don't have whiny fans in home theatre setups. Given that the receiver is not part of the SW I really don't understand what Sony was thinking. The receiver makes no noise at all. The sound is comparable to a Boxee Box or Patriot Box Office (two media players with small high pitched fans).

2- The audio from the SW is very nice, if you ignore the fan, but the soundbar itself is just ok. I have to say that my Bose Cinemate analogue sound is better, by far ( the speakers that is).

Audio is very subjective. The 550w is potentially very nice. The fan noise in the SW may be a defect. If not, it's unforgivable. If it is a defect then it would be hit and miss with a new unit. Trying 4 Boxee Box players to get a quiet fan is one thing (and I never succeeded), but the soundbar package is a bit of a pain in terms of size.

I really have mixed feeling about this. It is a bargain for what you get with the HDMI switching. The sound, especially from the SW, is nice but not great. Must be simpler with Sony equipment. Too difficult to deal with the remote and fine tuning.

I think I will be sticking with the Bose Cinemate setup. Far simpler and richer sound, even if it's not as high tech.

Philip


Edit: Ok, I tracked down the source of the noise. It is not the SW, but rather the receiver. That makes more sense but is still unacceptable. The subwoofer as I said actually sounds really good. But the fan noise from the receiver makes things hard to take. Shouldn't it be quiet?
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post #365 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

1- The SW is placed behind out setup and is quite far away. It has a fan that reminds me of a cheap media player fan. You can hear it, even during movies. Perhaps the fan is defective, but that one issue has made keeping the 550w impossible. You don't have whiny fans in home theatre setups. Given that the receiver is not part of the SW I really don't understand what Sony was thinking. The receiver makes no noise at all. The sound is comparable to a Boxee Box or Patriot Box Office (two media players with small high pitched fans).

sounds like a defect in your system, mine is quite.

Vizio 80" 3D LED M801D-A3 w/ Denon AVR-1612, Polk Audio RM6750 | Sony Bravia XBR-60LX900 w/ Sony HTCT550W 3D Sound Bar | Sony SXRD KDS-R70XBR2 w/ Onkyo HT-S770 | Sony PS3 (Slim) | DIRECTV Genie HR44-500, C41s | Harmony 700
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post #366 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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Something doesn't sound right about the sub but either way the Bose will give better sound.
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post #367 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcat View Post


sounds like a defect in your system, mine is quite.

I apologize for the mistake. It is in fact the receiver which is loud. The fan is just really loud and high pitched. Is yours silent? The receiver that is. In the store it was.

Philip
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post #368 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Something doesn't sound right about the sub but either way the Bose will give better sound.

I was wrong in the source of the noise. It was the receiver. I can't stand fan noise, especially from cheap small fans. Odd as my PVR has a fan and I never hear it. My Mac Mini has a fan I can't hear it (attached to the TV). Nothing else has a fan.

Philip
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post #369 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 11:55 AM
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I heard no noise from the receiver.
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post #370 of 556 Old 01-29-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

I heard no noise from the receiver.

I just returned the 550W to Sony and went and listened to the demo unit and the receiver was silent. You never know with fans. I was very surprised that Sony would have a loud fan. I guess I just got a faulty unit as they haven't had any returns because of that. Oh well.

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post #371 of 556 Old 02-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

I received an email last night saying they received the unit, no indication regarding estimated turn around time.

I received a call from Sony and much to my chagrin, they have been testing and unable to reproduce the problem.

I'm afraid I'll get mine returned as is.
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post #372 of 556 Old 02-02-2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

I received a call from Sony and much to my chagrin, they have been testing and unable to reproduce the problem.

I'm afraid I'll get mine returned as is.

David: Geez that doesn't sound good ( not to mention the hassle of packing and shipping this thing)

Are you still within exchange or refund period with your retailer? If not, and the 550W power issue happens to you again there is advanced resolution team at Sony you might want to contact for escalation support. You can send them an email at: sonylistens@am.sony.com ( maybe even better if you could figure out how to capture the issue on a very brief video attached to the email.)

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post #373 of 556 Old 02-04-2012, 11:24 AM
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I am hoping someone might be able to assist me with an issue. I purchased my Sony back in December and hooked it up per the instructions. My TV at the time a Phillips LCD did not have ARC capabilities. I have my DirecTV box and my Samsung Blu-Ray hooked into the Sony receiver and then one cable running to the TV HDMI-1. When I would turn on my Blu-Ray the input would automatically switch on the receiver. But when I finished and turned off the Blu-Ray the receiver would stay on that input. I would have to use the remote to switch it back to TV/DVR. I thought this might be due to not having ARC on the TV. I just got my new TV, a LG 55LW5600 which does have ARC on it. I connected it the same way that I had my Phillips and I am getting the same result. I was hoping that when I turn off the Blu-Ray it would detect the DirecTV still being on and switch back.

Is this not part of the functionality, or do I need to turn on a setting? I hope someone else has run across this and can assist.

Thanks
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post #374 of 556 Old 02-04-2012, 01:45 PM
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I have Sony KDL46W5100 + PS3 + Cable Box having HD and DVR Box.

Sony KDL46W5100 doesn't have ARC

My Setup

PS is connected to Game via HDMI
Cable Box is connected to SAT via HDMI
TV Out from 550 is in TV IN via HDMI
Optical Out from TV (Which I belive is 5.1 Capable), is SAT IN Optical on 550W.

I have Harmony 550 remote.

I though 550W when connected to Sony TV, gets Menu on the TV -- Not happening in my case

Also when the Main Vol is on 15, its too loud for my room.

I played Jurrasic Park (BlueRay) and sound effect was good.

When I pay HD channel from Cable, Sound effect is not similar to BlueRay, not even close.

what could be wrong.

Thanks
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post #375 of 556 Old 02-04-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmoses View Post

I am hoping someone might be able to assist me with an issue. I purchased my Sony back in December and hooked it up per the instructions. My TV at the time a Phillips LCD did not have ARC capabilities. I have my DirecTV box and my Samsung Blu-Ray hooked into the Sony receiver and then one cable running to the TV HDMI-1. When I would turn on my Blu-Ray the input would automatically switch on the receiver. But when I finished and turned off the Blu-Ray the receiver would stay on that input. I would have to use the remote to switch it back to TV/DVR. I thought this might be due to not having ARC on the TV. I just got my new TV, a LG 55LW5600 which does have ARC on it. I connected it the same way that I had my Phillips and I am getting the same result. I was hoping that when I turn off the Blu-Ray it would detect the DirecTV still being on and switch back.

Is this not part of the functionality, or do I need to turn on a setting? I hope someone else has run across this and can assist.

Thanks


ARC (audio return channel) has nothing to do with it. All that does is send audio FROM your TV to an external source. What you are talking about is HDMI-CTL (CEC). Cable/sat boxes don't have CEC, so the receiver cannot detect that it's on and switch to it. Your BD player does have CEC so when it's turned on the receiver recognizes it. Your choices are using the CT's remote to switch source, or getting a programmable remote like the Harmony.
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post #376 of 556 Old 02-04-2012, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debu7 View Post

I have Sony KDL46W5100 + PS3 + Cable Box having HD and DVR Box.

Sony KDL46W5100 doesn't have ARC

My Setup

PS is connected to Game via HDMI
Cable Box is connected to SAT via HDMI
TV Out from 550 is in TV IN via HDMI
Optical Out from TV (Which I belive is 5.1 Capable), is SAT IN Optical on 550W.

I have Harmony 550 remote.

I though 550W when connected to Sony TV, gets Menu on the TV -- Not happening in my case

Also when the Main Vol is on 15, its too loud for my room.

I played Jurrasic Park (BlueRay) and sound effect was good.

When I pay HD channel from Cable, Sound effect is not similar to BlueRay, not even close.

what could be wrong.

Thanks

d

LB
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post #377 of 556 Old 02-05-2012, 01:09 AM
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Looking at this, just a question on the setup.

The subwoofer is wireless, right?

The soundbar itself, does it connect to the receiver wired or wireless as well?
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post #378 of 556 Old 02-05-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elroy12 View Post

Looking at this, just a question on the setup.

The subwoofer is wireless, right?

The soundbar itself, does it connect to the receiver wired or wireless as well?

Sub is wireless. The bar connects to the receiver via 2 wires.
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post #379 of 556 Old 02-05-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

ARC (audio return channel) has nothing to do with it. All that does is send audio FROM your TV to an external source. What you are talking about is HDMI-CTL (CEC). Cable/sat boxes don't have CEC, so the receiver cannot detect that it's on and switch to it. Your BD player does have CEC so when it's turned on the receiver recognizes it. Your choices are using the CT's remote to switch source, or getting a programmable remote like the Harmony.

Thanks Possumgirl, that makes sense. So I was playing around with my system trying to get Simplink to work and I had some success but I think I am missing something. I turn on my LG 55LW5600, DirecTV box and my Sony HT-CT550W. Everything is working and the sound is going through the Sony soundbar. I have the DirecTV box plugged into the Sony receiver and then the HDMI out going to the LG TV in. I have ARC turned on for both the LG TV and the Sony soundbar. I open my LG menu and go to input. I turn on SimpLink and it finds HT Speakers as an option. I select them and it connects. When I adjust the volume on the TV it now says Home Theater Volume and shows on the screen as well as the receiver display. This is great, I really like that capability. It does the same when I use the volume control on the DirecTV remote. When I turn off the power from the DirecTV remote, the TV, DirecTV box and Sony receiver all shut off.

Here is where I have the problem. When I turn it on through the Sony receiver does not come back on. Now I did at one point have it so the Sony receiver would come on, but when it did it would always come on in the TV mode, so I wasn't getting any sound. It would be in SAT/DVR mode when it went off, but would come back on TV mode.

So I am hoping someone can direct me so that I can get the Sony turning back on with the ON button. Also I don't know why it's not coming back on in SAT/DVR mode.

Thanks
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post #380 of 556 Old 02-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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When I last tried the 550W I found my Bose Cinemate speakers sounded better. I also didn't like placing the soundbar in front of the TV. But I didn't think I gave it a fair chance since the fan noise from the receiver drove me crazy.

Has anyone else noticed that the receiver has a slight noise from the fan? I need a sound system that is silent, apart from the audio.

The Sony soundbar is interesting and I am willing to give it another shot if in fact the receiver is silent. The hdmi switching is great and the AVC capability is handy and works well.

Philip
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post #381 of 556 Old 02-05-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

When I last tried the 550W I found my Bose Cinemate speakers sounded better. I also didn't like placing the soundbar in front of the TV. But I didn't think I gave it a fair chance since the fan noise from the receiver drove me crazy.

Has anyone else noticed that the receiver has a slight noise from the fan? I need a sound system that is silent, apart from the audio.

The Sony soundbar is interesting and I am willing to give it another shot if in fact the receiver is silent. The hdmi switching is great and the AVC capability is handy and works well.

Philip

Philip:
I believe the Bose Cinemate is about $1100 usd more than the 550w. I would hope with that price the Cinemate sounds better then the $350 550w. Unfortunately even with that high price the Cinemate doesn't support HDMI which is indeed a shame.

With that said, I own both the 550w and a Denon 3311Ci with a full 5.1 set of in-ceiling speakers and 12" SW. While there is a clear distinction between the two units and their capabilities (as there should be) I continue to be surprised at how capable the 550w is. In my experience to date along with all the positive reviews, I have read some really awful comments about the 550w. I can only assume some of the most negative comments are due to incorrect configuration. E.g., using old components cables instead of high speed hdmi cables or in some cases people don't fully understand how to adjust the 550w AMP settings correctly. I can tell you that once you get it right the 550w is impressive when considering cost, form factor and technology included. Even though I feel my Denon is a superior product, I certainly enjoy the 550w and every time I fire it up, continue to be surprised at what this little sound bar can do.

The Receiver is indeed silent. I think your first unit was defective.

LB
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post #382 of 556 Old 02-07-2012, 07:25 AM
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Is there a way I can add an additional speaker (Center Channel) and output the audio to that channel? Just use the Soundbar for surround and Subwoofer?

I hope I am making sense with my question :-)
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post #383 of 556 Old 02-07-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srikp View Post

Is there a way I can add an additional speaker (Center Channel) and output the audio to that channel? Just use the Soundbar for surround and Subwoofer?

I hope I am making sense with my question :-)

Sorry. No.

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post #384 of 556 Old 02-07-2012, 10:21 AM
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I took the plunge, and ordered the 550 yesterday. I have the 150 in our living room, and have been pretty happy with the performance. I haven't seen any comparisons between the two soundbars anywhere, but the 550 is going into a smaller room 15x20, so I imagine it will sound more dramatic. The 150 is currently in an open space, so any surround effect is lost due to size, but dialogue is much better than my tv speakers, and the bass is noticeable.

I'll write an update comparing the two systems as soon as I get it hooked up, and tuned. I am curious if the bass is stronger in the 150 vs the 550 wireless bass setup.
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post #385 of 556 Old 02-07-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taulpaul View Post

I took the plunge, and ordered the 550 yesterday. I have the 150 in our living room, and have been pretty happy with the performance. I haven't seen any comparisons between the two soundbars anywhere, but the 550 is going into a smaller room 15x20, so I imagine it will sound more dramatic. The 150 is currently in an open space, so any surround effect is lost due to size, but dialogue is much better than my tv speakers, and the bass is noticeable.

I'll write an update comparing the two systems as soon as I get it hooked up, and tuned. I am curious if the bass is stronger in the 150 vs the 550 wireless bass setup.

Great! I think a comparison would be helpful as we get that question in this forum from time to time from people that are looking to purchase one or the other.

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post #386 of 556 Old 02-08-2012, 06:05 AM
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Good AM! Couple of questions if anyone has a second, would really appreciate any feedback. I have the CT550. I am pretty impressed with it, and it has peaked my interest in home theatrE! I have my treble at +4 and bass at -2. When I take bass into the plus column, it literally sounds like its going to blow the roof off. Anyone have advice, I think the unit is sounding good but am always looking to tweak it.

Also, would it be worth it to upgrade to high-speed hdmi cables? All my connections are 3-4 feet. Ive heard with this short of a distance it wont make any noticeable difference in PQ or audio. Thoughts?

Last question, I was thinking of upgrading to a Pioneer 52 FD or Sony S780 BD player. Looking for improved SQ and AQ, but not sure if it's worth it. I am leaning towards sticking with my fat PS3, but just wanted to toss the idea around with others who own this soundbar. Btw, I connected to a 52' LCD Sony Bravia W4100.
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post #387 of 556 Old 02-08-2012, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg777 View Post

Good AM! Couple of questions if anyone has a second, would really appreciate any feedback. I have the CT550. I am pretty impressed with it, and it has peaked my interest in home theatrE! I have my treble at +4 and bass at -2. When I take bass into the plus column, it literally sounds like its going to blow the roof off. Anyone have advice, I think the unit is sounding good but am always looking to tweak it.

Also, would it be worth it to upgrade to high-speed hdmi cables? All my connections are 3-4 feet. Ive heard with this short of a distance it wont make any noticeable difference in PQ or audio. Thoughts?

Last question, I was thinking of upgrading to a Pioneer 52 FD or Sony S780 BD player. Looking for improved SQ and AQ, but not sure if it's worth it. I am leaning towards sticking with my fat PS3, but just wanted to toss the idea around with others who own this soundbar. Btw, I connected to a 52' LCD Sony Bravia W4100.

I usually recommend High-Speed HDMI for those that want to take advantage of the ARC function on their TV ( nothing to do with cable length). You can read more about ARC and HDMI Cable Standards here:
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4/arc.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI ( scroll down for HDMI version/functions chart)

I own both the PS3 Fat and the BDP-S780. Both are excellent devices with very good Bluray and streaming capabilities. Overall the PS3 just does a whole lot more than any Bluray player and because of that its generally considered one of the better bluray/entertainment devices. Note: the PS3 Fat is not Bravia Sync capable where the newer PS3 Slim is.

For your bass question. There are three settings you should experiment with:
-Bass Tone.
-SW Level.
-Sound Field. The Movie Field seems to deliver heavy bass try Standard or Drama too.

Also check:
-CNT Level ( try increasing center channel over the S/W)

I personally like a lot of bass so I tend to go heavy on the Bass Tone and SW Level ( until someone complains)-- but you can certainly decrease the bass and/or SW effect with the settings I describe above.

LB
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post #388 of 556 Old 02-08-2012, 09:41 AM
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Does this mean it is significantly better to use 1.4 HDMI cables for ARC? How can you tell if a cable is 1.4 or 1.3? They seem to all look the same.

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post #389 of 556 Old 02-08-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBJ2 View Post

I usually recommend High-Speed HDMI for those that want to take advantage of the ARC function on their TV ( nothing to do with cable length). You can read more about ARC and HDMI Cable Standards here:
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4/arc.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI ( scroll down for HDMI version/functions chart)

I own both the PS3 Fat and the BDP-S780. Both are excellent devices with very good Bluray and streaming capabilities. Overall the PS3 just does a whole lot more than any Bluray player and because of that its generally considered one of the better bluray/entertainment devices. Note: the PS3 Fat is not Bravia Sync capable where the newer PS3 Slim is.

For your bass question. There are three settings you should experiment with:
-Bass Tone.
-SW Level.
-Sound Field. The Movie Field seems to deliver heavy bass try Standard or Drama too.

Also check:
-CNT Level ( try increasing center channel over the S/W)

I personally like a lot of bass so I tend to go heavy on the Bass Tone and SW Level ( until someone complains)-- but you can certainly decrease the bass and/or SW effect with the settings I describe above.

Thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated. I think the cables i am using (at least the one from TV to Soundboard) must be high speed since I believe I am utilizing all of the ARC functions, but want to verify. I am connected to my Bravia (42W100). When I turn on the bravia , the soundbar comes on. Adjusting volume on the bravia adjusts volume on the soundbar. Also, I have my setup like this:

PSX to HDMI to Soundboard
Cable to HDmi to Soundboard -- HDMI to SOny bravia .

Would using high speed cable for PSX to Sounboard enhance PQ or AQ?
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post #390 of 556 Old 02-08-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg777 View Post

Thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated. I think the cables i am using (at least the one from TV to Soundboard) must be high speed since I believe I am utilizing all of the ARC functions, but want to verify. I am connected to my Bravia (42W100). When I turn on the bravia , the soundbar comes on. Adjusting volume on the bravia adjusts volume on the soundbar. Also, I have my setup like this:

PSX to HDMI to Soundboard
Cable to HDmi to Soundboard -- HDMI to SOny bravia .

Would using high speed cable for PSX to Sounboard enhance PQ or AQ?

I don't believe so. As long as you are using HDMI cables or in some cases an Optical cable ( for Audio) you should be okay with AQ and PQ. The only other caveat are older 1.3 standard ver HDMI cables don't support 3D. You would need the newer HDMI cables to support 3D. ( the key is to avoid using the old component cables with the 550W to process audio)

Also, it can be hard to tell by the markings on an HDMI or package if its high speed or not since manufacturers use different labeling criteria. Best to just try out what you already have like you mention. If however you are purchasing new HDMI cables then look for the 1.4 version in the specs ( sometimes called High Speed).

Another way to look at HDMI cables for PQ:

"-Standard-speed HDMI cables are rated up to 1080i.
-High-speed HDMI cables are rated well above 1080p."

Some cables will do more than what they are rated for, but again depends on the manufacturer--hence my recommendation if you look to buy new cables to just buy the latest inexpensive 1.4x standard/version to cover all your bases.

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