Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 29 - AVS Forum
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post #841 of 896 Old 03-18-2014, 03:40 AM
 
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None will give you anywhere near the quality of regular speakers, even smaller book shelves. So don't expect a sound bar to compete with a decent 5.1 or 7.1 system. However, if a sound bar is the route you prefer the Sonos is very good sounding and will do OK for surround effects depending on the room. I don't like the Play1 at all but would probably be OK for surrounds. I think the higher end Yamahas like the 4100/ 5100 do better than the Sonos but it would be over your budget especially when you factor a good subwoofer. I don't think the 4300 was as good but has a slimmer profile.
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post #842 of 896 Old 03-21-2014, 02:07 AM
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I am lost as to which soundbar I can actually buy with the current TV of mine. Any kind souls willing to provide some expert recommendations?

TV: Toshiba L2300VE
Components: PS4 and Roku 3

The problem is this TV does not have ARC nor optical in, so my choice of Soundbar is really limited.
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post #843 of 896 Old 03-22-2014, 12:09 PM
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I have been searching for a while for a sound bar that will also operate as a proper center channel speaker. It seems that all of them are really independent speaker systems that would not also work with a traditional receiver. I'd like something that could operate 80% of the time to replace my TV's speakers, then the other 20% of the time with the receiver and stereo speakers in a 3.0 or 3.1 setup. Is this just a pipe dream?
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post #844 of 896 Old 03-22-2014, 03:54 PM
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OK, I actually did a testing of Sony's $1,300 soundbar with sub today...

 

And while I knew it would not sound as good as a 5.1 set-up - I did think that it would at least sound better than it did...

 

Really disappointing...

 

Maybe I should look at on-wall speakers around the TV?

 

Or just stick with the tower speakers I have and forget about trying to make it look a little less "uncluttered"...?

 

:confused:

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post #845 of 896 Old 03-23-2014, 05:15 AM
 
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Gargoyle,

There are lots of LCR speaker bars that can be used with a receiver. Atlantic Technology, Paradigm, Definitive Technology, Golden Ear, Triad, Leon, James, Boston Acoustics, etc. What's your price range?
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post #846 of 896 Old 03-23-2014, 05:18 AM
 
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HDTVAV,

That's why I went with a 2.1 system as none of the sound bars I tried could compete sound quality wise with decent speakers. I didn't listen to that Sony model but many others.
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post #847 of 896 Old 03-23-2014, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

I'd like to keep it under $400 if that is realistic. I'd think that should be more than enough for a center channel speaker. I am not sure how much value to add for the "sound bar" functionality. There must certainly be some trade offs in quality for each.
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post #848 of 896 Old 03-23-2014, 09:17 AM
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Vizio S4251(or the new soon to be released S5451) provide the best "surround" experience available on the sound bar market still. Sound quality is great for the price point as well.
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post #849 of 896 Old 03-24-2014, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercennarius View Post

Vizio S4251(or the new soon to be released S5451) provide the best "surround" experience available on the sound bar market still. Sound quality is great for the price point as well.

Happy owner of one right here! Love it!
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post #850 of 896 Old 03-24-2014, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercennarius View Post

Vizio S4251(or the new soon to be released S5451) provide the best "surround" experience available on the sound bar market still. Sound quality is great for the price point as well.

 

Have you heard the Definitive Technology sound bar and sub...?

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post #851 of 896 Old 03-25-2014, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercennarius View Post

Vizio S4251(or the new soon to be released S5451) provide the best "surround" experience available on the sound bar market still. Sound quality is great for the price point as well.

 

Have you heard the Definitive Technology sound bar and sub...?

I have not, but have owned Def Techs and would easily recommend.
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post #852 of 896 Old 03-25-2014, 10:19 AM
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Although, if you want warm and lush they are probably not your first choice. I've found them to be ruler flat and accurate.
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post #853 of 896 Old 03-27-2014, 11:23 AM
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Hi all,

 

Just bought my first big screen tv, went with an older model because I read a lot of good things about it on the forums here. I had a 32" Samsung UN32C5000QF before upgrading to the Samsung UN50EH5000. I absolutely loved my old 32" and was literally just looking for the exact same tv in a 50" and so far am not disappointed with the 50" (except for only 2 HDMI ports..)

 

Anyways, I know absolutely nothing about soundbars having never owned one and am looking for anyone's recommendation for the tv I purchased. Preferably I'm looking for one with extra HDMI ports so I don't have to buy an HDMI switch. I will be using the tv and soundbar primarily with my ps3.

 

I'm really hoping someone can just steer me in the right direction as to what soundbar would work well with my 50" and what would be the best route to connecting it to my TV and ps3.

 

Thanks!

 

*Edit* I forgot to mention I live in an apartment, the tv is located in the living room which is fairly enclosed.

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post #854 of 896 Old 04-06-2014, 09:00 AM
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Hello Mates-

I'd like advice on choosing a soundbar (in the US)
I do not have many retail options to go and audition and a lot of times the best bang for the buck mfr/models are not available in stores either.

To start, my current (and near future) Equipment I'll need to ALL work through the soundbar:

*TV is on a stand with height adjustable mount, so soundbar height is NOT an issue...

1) Panasonic Viera ST50 (55") - Optical Audio OUT, 3 HDMI (all 3 available HDMI used, but can buy switcher if needed)
2) Comcast HD DVR Cable TV Reciever - Digital Optical & Coax Audio, 1 HDMI (1 of 3 hdmi to TV)
3) Xbox 360 #1 (Slim w/ HDMI) - Digital Optical Audio, 1 HDMI (2 of 3 hdmi on tv)
4) Xbox 360 #2 Modded (Old Phat Version) NO Digital AUDIO, 1 HDMI (3 of 3 hdmi to tv)

Budget, would like to spend less than $300, may go up to $400, if it takes price:performance to an entirely different level.
Perhaps a suggestion for under $300 and then the best up to $400 as well?

#1 priority is enhancing dialog.
Current Panasonic Viera ST50 TV speakers do a terrible job at handling entire dynamic range without a sub woofer to alleviate the low frequencies. They are also rattling with certain frequencies, now.

#2&3 priories are adding a greater punch and adding a more enveloping sound field.

Features that would be nice, though if forced to choose sound quality is priority:
IR Remote/smartphone control
Sound field room adjustments, perhaps a smartphone app based adjustment type deal?

Do not want some cheap-ass subwoofer, nor speaker drivers that rattle or vibrate!

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your sharing your wisdom and passion for quality sound with me - I only have the passion part, lol...
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post #855 of 896 Old 04-08-2014, 02:47 AM
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Hello.

 

I'm looking for a soundbar for my TV. But I am extremely confused about which soundbar I should purchase. My room is 6 meters for 5 meters with a ceiling height of 3.3 meters. So far I've considered between Sony HT-CT660 and Yamaha YSP2200. Which is better for my room?

 

Am I missing a better alternative? Should I upgrade higher models, such as Yamaha YSP 4300 and Sony HT- ST7? Obviously ST7 and YSP4300 are more expensive. Budget is always problem. So is there real improvement to make it worth?

 

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your advices.

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post #856 of 896 Old 04-08-2014, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsuridaisuki View Post

Hello.

I'm looking for a soundbar for my TV. But I am extremely confused about which soundbar I should purchase. My room is 6 meters for 5 meters with a ceiling height of 3.3 meters. So far I've considered between Sony HT-CT660 and Yamaha YSP2200. Which is better for my room?

Am I missing a better alternative? Should I upgrade higher models, such as Yamaha YSP 4300 and Sony HT- ST7? Obviously ST7 and YSP4300 are more expensive. Budget is always problem. So is there real improvement to make it worth?

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your advices.

I've a similar question - think right above yours..
So far, have yet to receive any input.... (Not sure if this thread is not being followed anymore or what.)

Anyways, I finally went out on a limb and bout a Klipsch SB1 - Haven't auditioned enough to comment on it yet, BUT

What TV and components are you using?
I ask this because after purchasing my $600 soundbar and the salesman assuring me I'd get full multichannel if connected to all components via optical Digital Cable from soundbar to TV

===> I believe after reading a few articles, it seems most TV's DOWNGRADE ALL audio output, via optical digital out on TV, to 2 channel PCM mad.gif

Here's a quote and link to a few explainations...

Citation 1:
http://www.cnet.com/how-to/get-more-from-your-sound-bar-by-using-your-tv-as-a-switcher/
Finally, there's the issue that most TVs downgrade incoming audio to stereo, rather than preserving a true surround-sound signal. It's not a big issue on most sound bars, which don't sound any better with a true surround-sound signal, but some sound bars, such as the such as the Sonos Playbar and Vizio S4251w-B4 , do benefit from a full 5.1 signal. We've tested 20 recent TVs and found that Sony, Toshiba and Vizio models pass 5.1 signals properly, but the rest of them don't. If you have a TV that "dumbs down" surround sound audio and a sound bar that benefits from a 5.1 signal, you'll have to choose between the simplicity of connecting devices to your TV vs. the superior performance of connecting devices directly.

Citation 2 (followed by a suggested work around hardware switcher (not sure if it works or applies to you or I specifically(?)
http://www.dbstalk.com/topic/206561-im-back-need-some-more-help/page-2


"If you expect to connect a soundbar and have the TV perform switching among HDMI sources such as a cable box and Blu-ray player, be advised that the ST’s optical digital audio output you’ll use to feed the soundbar downconverts all multichannel Dolby Digital and DTS bitstreams to PCM stereo, which will bypass any DD or DTS decoder built into the soundbar and result in less-than-best sound quality. This practice is unfortunately common to most HDTVs today."

http://www.hometheat...-3d-plasma-hdtv

Just found several reviews of the VT60. Fantastic picture and speakers sound better than most.
So far not one tested the digital audio out. HT reviewed the VT50 but didn't test the audio out.
For those that use a soundbar that Samsung may be a better deal. And the VT60 might not
be downmixing, but it very likely is and most brands/models still are degrading digital audio as
it passes through the tv.

Suggested hardware work around accessory switcher
(Further down in thread, this is suggested to get around the downgrade, if your TV, like my Panasonic Viera ST50, dumbs everything down...
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2


Anyways, not sure if this helps you any finding suggestions for a soundbar, but may help you but warning you of issue, before purchasing (like I did)
and give you the heads up to shop for differently equipped soundbars with additional HDMI
* I BELIEVE, the Sony you mentioned as a candidate for yourself, MAY have MULTIPLE HDMI connections - NOT sure if these HDMI's would alleviate aforementioned downgrade
** also, as mentioned in the articles I referred you to, most soundbars do not really benefit from multichannel anyways, but I'd like to have the options to use hardware's built in functions none-the-less!
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post #857 of 896 Old 04-08-2014, 09:07 PM
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I have a VT60 (60"), and I can confirm, that the optical out downgrades the signal to barebones stereo. Same with the HDMI (ARC).

As for soundbars, recently bought and compared two of them: Yamaha YAS-152 (47"), and Vizio 5430W-C2 (54") (also paired with Sony/Yamaha subs for testing).

The Vizio has amazing soundstage, great tweaking options (that center channel is a boon), but weak sauce internal bass that distorts, and lots of rattle in the housing if you even remotely try to get the internal bass going. External sub is definitely a must for the Vizio, and you can easily silence the internal 'subs'. Also love that you can tweak the bass/center/treble. Basically lets you EQ the soundbar to your preference, though I found it to be just right with a -1 treble, since it was slightly hot in the upper ranges.

The Yamaha does bass quite well. The built in sub woofers really sound like a sub. It is absolutely potent, and I didn't feel the need to attach the external sub at all in my room (12x10). The Yamaha is lacking a real center channel, and has inferior surround DSP and a lack of soundstage compared to the Vizio. Still, I liked the YAS-152's basic remote, which made it incredibly easy to adjust settings, while the Vizio remote has a really dim screen, and almost everything must be cycled through the menu button (a hassle). Also the Vizio can stick and go silent when changing inputs (cycling through the inputs slowly fixes this).

Even though the Vizio is the better soundbar by a stretch (really, it's worth it), I decided on the Yamaha due to the better internal bass capabilities/no need for a sub, and I felt it did relatively well in my room. The Vizio needs a sub, and sadly, my seating is the absolute weak spot for two subs that I tested, regardless of any logical sub placement. I have very limited locations on where to place the sub, and it always made the bass sound almost non-existent right where I sit, and overly boomy everywhere else in the room.

So this time, convenience won out and stuck with the YAS-152, which looks nicer, and frees up valuable space in my small room (I have a huge kingsize bed and my 65" entertainment center in there...). It's a nice soundbar, though I do miss the articulation and spaciousness of the Vizio. Just wish my room didn't attenuate the bass so much.


That being said, if i ever move my setup elsewhere, I'd happily purchase the Vizio S5430W-C2 again. It's amazing.
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post #858 of 896 Old 04-10-2014, 02:23 AM
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Dear coldengrey15.

 

Thank you very much for your advices. Which are very useful. But I have not yet got answer for my confusion. Which is better between  Sony HT-CT660 and Yamaha YSP2200? I mean, I dont know what room size affect sound of that soundbars,  because I have quite large room. Now I am using TV Sony KDL 42W653A. 

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post #859 of 896 Old 04-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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TV: Samsung 48" H6350

want a 2.0 soundbar - not going with a subwoofer in the room.

Room is pretty small (6' from TV to couch) - doesn't need to be overpowering

don't care too much about simulated surround

just want crisp, audible dialog and sounds, simple clean look.

no real budget.
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post #860 of 896 Old 04-12-2014, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleschaffer View Post

TV: Samsung 48" H6350

want a 2.0 soundbar - not going with a subwoofer in the room.

Room is pretty small (6' from TV to couch) - doesn't need to be overpowering

don't care too much about simulated surround

just want crisp, audible dialog and sounds, simple clean look.

no real budget.

Samsung has a soundbase - speaker unit that goes under your TV - coming out this year that will fit your needs perfectly. No release date is known at this time but it's coming.
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post #861 of 896 Old 04-12-2014, 01:29 PM
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Any advice for post #854?
Just in case it got buried during the week - maybe some of you during higher traffic weekend could offer suggestions???

Thanks!
JD md
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post #862 of 896 Old 04-12-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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In your price range I liked the JVC sound bars and the Pioneer. The Pioneer has better sound quality but the JVC would have better envelopment and simulated surround. IMHO. I'd go the Pioneer, I'd rather have sound quality instead of simulated surround. Most of these sound bars do not do a good job of surround envelopment. They try to play with the phase timing of the speakers to give a wider sound stage and envelopment. I think it trades off sound quality for it. There is only so much surround trickery you can pull from speakers 3 feet apart. For surround sound envelopment I found the ones that bounce sound off the walls instead of doing phase tricks have better envelopment. Yamaha YSP models and Sonos do this but are more expensive.
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post #863 of 896 Old 04-12-2014, 09:00 PM
 
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Ps. The JVC models you have to add a sub. But you can get a Dayton or Bic sub for $100.
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post #864 of 896 Old 04-18-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post

Samsung has a soundbase - speaker unit that goes under your TV - coming out this year that will fit your needs perfectly. No release date is known at this time but it's coming.

thank you for the suggestion. I went hunting based on your description. I found the HW-H600. Is that what you were referring to? I ask because that does seem to be what I'm looking for. however, it's readily available, and has been for a few weeks or so. If you didn't know that, great- but if there's something else coming out later this year to compare it to, that would be helpful. I'm in no rush.

Thanks again!
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post #865 of 896 Old 04-19-2014, 11:32 AM
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I am building a new house(also my first ever) and am in need of a sound bar for my Denon AVR-1912 paired with my Polk 10" PSW108 sub. I have seen mention of "passive" and "non-passive" units. Need some advice on what would be the best sound bar for my new living room. The primary use of this sound bar will be watching movies. And my wife and I watch A LOT of movies. We'll be buying a Samsung UN65F8000 or something of that quality to watch them on but we are stumped at to what sound bar will make our movie watching the best.

Any ideas? Would it be best to just ditch the sub and receiver and go another direction? We would need something like a receiver still as we have a DVR, TV, blu-ray player, HTPC and xbox all plugged in and need a central device to switch between.

Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciative.

Budget: $500-$1500
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post #866 of 896 Old 04-19-2014, 03:58 PM
 
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I would us your receiver with that many devices and get a passive sound bar. Will you be wiring surround speakers or is the sound bar going to try and do surround effects too?
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post #867 of 896 Old 04-22-2014, 01:07 PM
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I'm in need of some suggestions for my future sound system. Currently I have two 7.1 setups in the house:


Living room - Onkyo TX-SR608 hooked up to a 7.1 Onkyo speaker set. Source is a HTPC and the TV is a WD 73" DLP

Basement - Onkyo TX-SR607 hooked up to a 7.1 Onkyo speaker set. Source is a XBOX 360 (HDMI) streaming off the HTPC and the TV is a older but beautiful Pioneer Kuro 50" Plasma


Both current sets are hard wired in the walls and both rooms are setup pretty much perfectly for 7.1 surround. Overall I've been extremely happy with them. With that said I am moving in 4 months and the new living room and basement are horrible for a 7.1 setup. The new living room will have two full walls and a half wall with open vaulted ceiling, the TV will be in the corner of the half and full wall. So looking at the TV the left side is open so no side or rear left speaker. The right side could have a speaker but the rear back will have a wall of windows. For the basement it's almost the same situation with a open concept and no place to mount speakers.

Both the home theater PC and the XBOX 360 have HDMI + TOSLINK Optical so I would either need something that takes TOSLink and the HDMI would go straight to the TV or something with a HDMI in and out to pass-through the video to the TV. I have been looking at the Sonos Playbar and sub but the $1400 for the pair seems excessive although the wireless features seem nice. The other one I've looked at that isn't officially out yet is the Vizio S5451. We watch TV and movies primarily using the living room TV and watch TV and play games primarily in the basement. We listen to music but not nearly as much. Is there a good pseudo surround sound soundbar that would fit my needs? I also figure I'll be selling off my existing receiver and speakers if I can get a active sound bar and reduce all the "stuff" I have in my cabinet.
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post #868 of 896 Old 04-23-2014, 04:19 AM
 
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I liked the Sonos as well as the Paradigm Soundtrack and some of the Yamahas (4100/5100) but they are more money. The Sonos will do a better job at surround effects than the Paradigm and has a little better bass but is more expensive. I haven't heard the new Paradigm Soundscape.
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post #869 of 896 Old 04-23-2014, 06:36 AM
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I Saw a couple people have asked not sure if there has been any good answers yet but is there something that's can be done to make the dialogue not be completelyd drowned out by music? I use the Xbox one and Polk N1 sound at. Doesn't matter if it is movies or games the music is always way to loud.

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post #870 of 896 Old 04-26-2014, 08:36 PM
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Sonos Playbar + Sub + Backs + HDMI switch + HDMI -> Optical + Optical Switch

Or

Bowers and Wilkins Panorama 2 + HDMI switch?
(Anyone know if the B&W can pass 4K?)
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