Originally Posted by FifteenElbows
Hi everyone, I am new to this forums but always find the advice posted here to be relevant and informative so I decided to join myself!
I am in the market for a new sound system for my LG 3d LED TV. I am looking to keep it around the $300 mark. I have been looking at the Sony sound bars(HTCT150 and 550) and the Vizio VHT515 as well as a couple other regular 5.1 systems. I am wondering how important it is to have HDMI inputs on the receiver. The Vizio soundbar does not... I have an Xbox 360, BD player and Uverse box all with HDMI outputs. My TV has 4HDMI inputs but only 1 optical output. What would be the best design for this type of audio setup? Run all HDMIs to TV and then optical to the receiver? Or run all HDMI's to Receiver and then HDMI out to TV? Would I be losing sound quality one way or the other?
If Im not losing sound quality then I would lean towards the Vizio soundbar, if so, then Sony will get my vote.
Thanks in advance for all the help/input!
Hi and welcome to the forum.
Im a soundbar junkie and soundbar owner for many years so I can answer your questions correctly.
HDMI is not really needed with a soundbar, pluging in all your HDMI's to your TV and then your optical from the TV to a soundbar will work great in most case's and here is the reasons.
Soundbar's can not reproduce (for the most part) a true 5.1 sound, with all the speakers in that one bar that is one reason, so what some bars do is the "trickery" of making you think there are speakers around the room and they do that from a stereo signal from the optical out of your TV.
TV's will only pass a stereo signal via optical (blame Sony's lawsuits for that one).
Some soundbars such as the Vizio VHT510 and the Polk 6000 do a very good job at taking that stereo signal and turning it into a bigger room filling sound that can be very close to a full surround sound (in the right shaped room and set-up correctly).
You mentioned the Vizio VHT515,, there is no such model number,,, there is the VHT215, Vizio VHT210, Vizio VSB200, Vizio VSB210 and Vizio VSB210WS,, and the soon to be released VHT215,, Vizio had "planned" on releasing a VHT520 but that one got scraped I think,,, so Im not sure what bar you are talking about when you say the VHT515 ????
Anyhow,,,, the Polk 6000 and the Vizio VHT510 do a great job converting the stereo to a faux surround sound,,, there are a few other bars that do a good job as well, like the JVC BA1 but thats a hard one to find as it has been discontinued (big mistake by JVC).
I have personaly owned dozens of soundbars over the years and my top picks at the moment (using an optical out from your TV) would be the Polk 6000 or the Vizio VHT510.
Hope that helps a bit.