Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 991 Old 01-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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Another plea for help:

Had to rebuild finished basement due to flood. Was able to save Onkyo TX SR504 and BIC Acoustech H100.

90% sure I'm going with Panny ST30. My ceiling is low, and as you face the tv the left side is wide open and the right side has an alcove between the tv and the right wall. So wires for the front speakers are a problem. I do have 2 speaker outlet wired behind the tv which run to the back wall behind the view area, so I can easily wire rear speakers. I was considering the BICFH56 for the fronts, even though the size is a bit daunting and ceiling is low - the TV will not be wall mounted.

So:
1. what soundbar(s) would be good for my situation - to be used for LFR with my receiver and subwoofer.

or
2. same question, replacing receiver with so I could do hdmi all 'round, and better decoding?

or
3. any other suggestions to give me nice sound for the new TV

p.s. no dvd yet, probably blu-ray in a month or two. budget for Fronts and Receiver could be $1000 if I replace the receiver (if the rears can fit in there too, great, if not so be it).

thanks in advance!
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post #92 of 991 Old 01-06-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedIvan View Post

Another plea for help:

Had to rebuild finished basement due to flood. Was able to save Onkyo TX SR504 and BIC Acoustech H100.

So:
1. what soundbar(s) would be good for my situation - to be used for LFR with my receiver and subwoofer.

or
2. same question, replacing receiver with so I could do hdmi all 'round, and better decoding?

or
3. any other suggestions to give me nice sound for the new TV

p.s. no dvd yet, probably blu-ray in a month or two. budget for Fronts and Receiver could be $1000 if I replace the receiver (if the rears can fit in there too, great, if not so be it).

thanks in advance!

RedIvan -- If I had $1000 burning a hole in my pocket and was looking for a soundbar solution, I would gravitate toward the Yamaha YSP-2200. The Yamaha digital sound projectors are pretty highly regarded in the forum, but I don't know the full shape of your basement. However, if the acoustics were a fit, the YSP-2200 has a very low-profile bar, the sub can be placed horizontally or vertically, and you'll get full HDMI switching plus HD audio decoding. And room for other inputs. You could move your Onkyo and sub to another location in the house -- they look like excellent components.

If you want to keep the Onkyo and sub in the basement, I have heard some folks rave about the Definitive Technology Mythos Surround Arrays. You wouldn't be able to decode HD audio, but you could find a Blu-ray which would either re-encode to DTS or put out multi-channel PCM, if your Onkyo can handle that input.

Of course, there's a whole bunch of other options out there. Good luck!
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post #93 of 991 Old 01-06-2012, 06:16 PM
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Thanks very much, MTSIndy.

Its not that I have $1000 burning a hole, but I can go that high if I need to I think (I hope ). I've attached a floor plan to give an idea of walls for acoustics.

I appreciate your suggestions and will certainly look into them.

Any further tips are appreciated.
LL
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post #94 of 991 Old 01-08-2012, 02:07 PM
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I can't find any reviews on this product. I'd like to know if anyone out there has this surround sound tv stand by Yamaha. Thanks.
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post #95 of 991 Old 01-09-2012, 01:55 PM
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After a mold/water issue in my basement forced me to open some walls I now have in wall speaker wire in my theater which got me thinking I don't really need the hassle and mess of the 5.1 setup in the office next door so I'm thinking about a sound bar.

Will likely want to connect one optical and two HDMI connections. Wireless sub preferred, virtual surround a plus but prefer overall performance and sound quality for under $500. Even better if its under $300.

XBox: King Nuthin
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post #96 of 991 Old 01-09-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyM View Post

After a mold/water issue in my basement forced me to open some walls I now have in wall speaker wire in my theater which got me thinking I don't really need the hassle and mess of the 5.1 setup in the office next door so I'm thinking about a sound bar.

Will likely want to connect one optical and two HDMI connections. Wireless sub preferred, virtual surround a plus but prefer overall performance and sound quality for under $500. Even better if its under $300.

The sub is wired, but the Sony HT-CT150 has received a lot of positive feedback in the forum. Several of us have and love the Yamaha YHT-S400, which is wired like the Sony. There don't seem to be a lot of units with HDMI switching capability: The Polks and Vizios seem designed simply to augment the TV by connecting to the optical out, which typically robs you of the audio richness of the source material for all but OTA TV.

P.S. The Sony HT-CT550 has a wireless sub, but is a 3-piece unit. Several in the forum who have demo'd both prefer the CT150 for sound quality.
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post #97 of 991 Old 01-10-2012, 12:51 PM
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Thanks. If I don't want switching and can live with 1 HDMI do I have better options?

Most of my gear is plugged into the receiver for the theater and gets switched from that and run through the passive output and I could live with that (and maybe the optical from the TV for a second BR player I have in case I want to watch a movie while my son watches on the big screen).

XBox: King Nuthin
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post #98 of 991 Old 01-10-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyM View Post

Thanks. If I don't want switching and can live with 1 HDMI do I have better options?

Most of my gear is plugged into the receiver for the theater and gets switched from that and run through the passive output and I could live with that (and maybe the optical from the TV for a second BR player I have in case I want to watch a movie while my son watches on the big screen).

When I did my research last year and a few follow-ups since, I found 1 of 2 flavors of "primary" connection:
  1. Optical (sometimes > 1, sometimes including analog as well)
  2. Multiple HDMI (plus other input options)

It seems like soundbars are either designed to be auxiliary speakers for the TV, or they are essentially simplified, HDMI-switching AV receivers that are paired with a bar and a sub.
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post #99 of 991 Old 01-10-2012, 03:37 PM
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Thanks again, I really want to dumb down my setup so maybe I'll just try one of the optical based Vizios or Polks that people seem to like first. The pseudo-receiver options look cool but then I'm not too far away from the set up I have already and am trying to move away from. But this is for 80%+ cable tv watching.

XBox: King Nuthin
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post #100 of 991 Old 01-12-2012, 12:25 PM
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Looking for a reasonable soundbar to go wiht our Samsung 46inch LCD. Main reason is to improve the sound (voice) as the downward firing speakers have to be turned up quite a bit for a relative to hear it.

I have a FULL blown cinema room so not worried about trying to create a cinema experience......

Models I am considering are below but would be interested in other suggestions (living in Switzerland)

Great neat package no additional Sub to find space for...
SAMSUNG HW-D350 (351 is just the silver version?)

Comes with Wireless Sub which could be placed out of the way between the sofa and the wall.
SAMSUNG HW-D450

Like the fact this has HMDI but have no need for the iPod Doc.
SAMSUNG HW-D570

Has built in Sub so less clutter, has a 'Clear Voice' and 'Uni Volume' both features would be useful
YAMAHA YAS-101

Site I generally use for pricing...
http://www.toppreise.ch/index.php?k3=2377&manu=&o=pa

Looking forward to hearing your views.
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post #101 of 991 Old 01-13-2012, 11:52 AM
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I wound up picking up the VHT 215 which did meet my requirements of 2 HDMI in and an optical, plus wireless sub. So far it is about what I expected - much fuller sound than my crap TV speakers and once I tuck the wires in I think it will provide the clean look I wanted. Even got an occasional blast of separation that had me thinking a surround was hooked up on a far wall.

XBox: King Nuthin
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post #102 of 991 Old 01-15-2012, 12:28 PM
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I though this thread was the place to make such a request but I see instead there are tons other thread asking these sorts of questions.

Hopefully will find my answeres there, think I'm leaning towards the Yamaha right now.
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post #103 of 991 Old 01-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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Hello, this is my first post and I am extremely confused about which soundbar I should purchase.
Let's start with my current equipment:
RCA 46" 1080p/120hz/lcd tv
ps3
xbox 360
cable box (will upgrade to an hd receiver from direct tv.)

I just purchased my first lcd tv and I love it, except the sound really sucks, it has to be 100% and even then it sucks, I was looking into buying a soundbar because it seems the most practical way to get better sound than my tv can provide.

Now here comes my question, I am about to switch from component and composite cables over to hdmi from monoprice.com, my tv has 4 hdmi ports, I figured I would use them for:
Ps3
Xbox 360
Cable box
Soundbar

Now it seems that's not the way it works and that somehow I am supposed to hook all 3 components to the soundbar then to the tv? Or am I really misinformed here.

I am looking for a soundbar under $200 that works with my setup but I have no idea how the cables are supposed to be hooked up.

Please help.
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post #104 of 991 Old 01-23-2012, 01:42 PM
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Frankozz,
I'm very new here, so take my answers with a grain of salt. However, I'm kind of looking for what you are and have been researching. Your best bet might be Vizio's VBS200 system. No subwoofer, but it's getting good reviews out here. If you want to go a little higher in price then the Yamaha YAS101 looks great (again, no external sub, but an inbuilt one) or the Polk IHT 3000 (external wireless sub).
For cabling, you can just run HDMI from all your components to the TV then run an optical cable from the TV to the soundbar. Finding a soundbar with HDMI will definitely increase the price.
Hope that helps.
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post #105 of 991 Old 01-27-2012, 04:40 AM
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Just bought a samsung 55 inch 7000 series tv. I am in a condo unit and would like advice on the best sound bar to buy.
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post #106 of 991 Old 01-29-2012, 09:41 AM
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Hello everyone,

I purchased a Panasonic 42" ST30 plasma about 6+ months ago. Have to say I absolutely love the TV. However, TV speakers are crap and I'm looking for an alternative. I've considered doing full surround sound (Pioneer receiver w/ Airplay and Energy Take Classic), but I will be renting for the near future and don't want to have to worry about messing up apartment walls with cables.

Which puts me in the market for a soundbar. I will detail my current setup:
  • I put my TV on a stand with all my movies/games/periphals below it
  • I have a PS3 and an STB
  • I would love to be able to play music through the soundbar from my iPhone or Macbook in the most efficient way possible

I've heard great things about the Sony Soundbars - I would appreciate your input on whether to look at the 550 or the 150.

I also noticed Panasonic has a good soundbar with the HTB520. Is there any advantage, with my Panasonic TV, to getting the Panasonic Soundbar (i.e. with Viera Link or anything else)?

Overall, which one would you suggest? Or, are there any other soundbars in this range I should be considering? Thanks everyone in advance!
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post #107 of 991 Old 01-30-2012, 08:50 AM
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I'm looking to enhance my 60" Mitsubishi DLP with a soundbar/sub. Right now my attention is on the Sony HCTC550W (approx. price $400) for its Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding capability. Anything else in that price range I should be considering?
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post #108 of 991 Old 01-31-2012, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter McM View Post

I'm looking to enhance my 60" Mitsubishi DLP with a soundbar/sub. Right now my attention is on the Sony HCTC550W (approx. price $400) for its Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding capability. Anything else in that price range I should be considering?

Microcenter had/has this for $199, maybe there's one in stock near you. Search the model # on there website.
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post #109 of 991 Old 02-01-2012, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by blackvtec01 View Post

Microcenter had/has this for $199, maybe there's one in stock near you. Search the model # on there website.

Thanks very much. I've never heard of Microcenter; checked their website and no locales in Indiana.
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post #110 of 991 Old 02-02-2012, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter McM View Post

I'm looking to enhance my 60" Mitsubishi DLP with a soundbar/sub. Right now my attention is on the Sony HCTC550W (approx. price $400) for its Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding capability. Anything else in that price range I should be considering?

Click here for a few more suggestions in that price range. And although on-board Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoding are good, if you find a unit that will accept 8-channel sound over HDMI, you can always let your Blu-ray do the decoding and send multi-channel PCM into the soundbar/sub.

One last thing: There has been a lot of debate in the soundbar forums about the merits of the Sony CT550 versus the CT150. You may want to search out some of the posts on these two.
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post #111 of 991 Old 02-03-2012, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyR View Post

I can't find any reviews on this product. I'd like to know if anyone out there has this surround sound tv stand by Yamaha. Thanks.

Yes I have one, bought it 12 months ago.
It looks great with TV on top and other equipment on the shelves. I have it in a corner, which is what this one was made for.

As for the sound:
I wanted it as a high quality "half way house" between the useless LCD TV speakers and a full AVR set up - and I use it this way for all my "normal tv" viewing. Although the quality is great, I wouldn't call it "surround sound" at least not in my lounge. Thats why I have just got a Yamaha AVR to replace my old Pro logic Amp. I will use the full set up for Blu-ray/DVD viewing and any DD programmes on Sky.

So in summary, it's no replacement for a full set up (surround sound wise)......but I'm thrilled with it !
P.S. hooking up both set ups to both "do their thing" took a bit of thinking about, but I'm almost there !
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post #112 of 991 Old 02-05-2012, 11:31 AM
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In my research for possibly getting a soundbar, I think I've narrowed it down to two choices. The Sony CT150 or Yamaha S401.

The most important aspect for a soundbar to me is ability to decode True HD and DTS HD audio, pass through 3D video and ARC are also nice. Here's my setup:

Samsung UN55D8000 tv
Samsung BD65000 3d blu ray player
DirecTV HD DVR
Xbox 360
Apple TV

The Sony is about $300 from Amazon and I understand a little older. The Yamaha $585. I could afford either, but is the Yamaha that much better? I'm new to soundbars so maybe I'm missing something. Thanks!

Also, I have kept my eye on the Vizio 510 due to the wireless rear speakers. While it's 5.1 it doesn't decode the HD audio formats. But with actual rear speakers it might be a good compromise.
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post #113 of 991 Old 02-05-2012, 02:59 PM
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^^^
You realize the CT150 does NOT decode lossless codecs? However, as long as your player can decode them you can send multi-ch audio via HDMI and the CT150 will process it. The CT550W does decode lossless. Whether lossless audio sounds any different than the core formats on a 2.1 or 3.1 soundbar is really an unknown though!
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post #114 of 991 Old 02-05-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

^^^
You realize the CT150 does NOT decode lossless codecs? However, as long as your player can decode them you can send multi-ch audio via HDMI and the CT150 will process it. The CT550W does decode lossless. Whether lossless audio sounds any different than the core formats on a 2.1 or 3.1 soundbar is really an unknown though!

I ended up getting the Yamaha. We'll see how it sounds. It has everything I want and is upgradable to rear satellites if I chose. Should have it in a few days!
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post #115 of 991 Old 02-09-2012, 06:53 PM
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Lookin for a soundbar for a 46in toshiba flat screen. Primarily used for xbox360 Netflix, and ps3. The whole reason for going soundbar is to use hdmi + RCA for audio in order for Rocksmith to not suffer from audio lag. I figure I can also enjoy the other benefits of the soundbar as well.

So I'm back and forth debating on the Sony ct150 and not much else... I did manage to find a floor model jvc thbc3 for a little over $100. Should I take the plunge on it?

Big thanks! I really wanna keep the budget at $300 or less on this while having a decent sounding device.
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post #116 of 991 Old 02-10-2012, 05:27 PM
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I have been looking for a soundbar to replace a Bose Cinemate 2 speakers+sub system which only has analogue connections and must be connected to the headphone jack of our 55" LG LW5600. I bought a Sony CT550W soundbar. It seemed to have thin sound but nice base. The receiver had a fan which annoyed us. Then ordered a Sony CT150 but cancelled as I wouldn't be able to hide the sub ( the ir receiver is in the subwoofer and there is no extension option). This whole process is getting out of hand.

What we do not want:

- speakers with wires all over the room. I don't really want geographically separated sound, but rather rich sound coming from a concentrated area ( basically the TV)- this description was recently given (davyo) in this forum and it made me realize that I actually don't like sound coming from various speakers in different parts of the room. HD audio is not a priority.
- noise from fans
- not looking to improve my TV's speakers. They are awful so silence would almost be better.

Our TV sits on a large stand with two shelves below the TV. There is space on the stand behind and on each side of the TV. The TV stand was meant for a Sony HDTV rear projection system ( pretty thin actually and very nice sound). The TV went but we like the stand.

What we want:

- optical input so I can tap into DTS sound ( not necessarily HD audio).HDMI would be nice.
- has speakers or a bar that can sit on a shelf below the TV ( perhaps something from Zvox?)
- has rich sound, not necessarily loud bass, which is at least as good as our current Bose Cinemate
- if a subwoofer is necessary then it can be placed behind the TV ( need not be wireless). It would be nice if a subwoofer could be avoided.

Is there such as thing as a 3 speaker system with one speaker in the receiver so to speak? Currently with the Cinemate we put the 2 speakers on the shelf below the TV and the subwoofer behind the TV hidden away. The shelf is then used for a Mac Mini and an ATV2. The bottom shelf holds a cable box, Roku2 box and a Logitech Revue (Google TV).

Sorry for the rambling description. The audio part of the system is turning out to be more complicated than the video. The TV has ARC in hdmi1. It has 4 hdmi ports which are currently all used ( the roku plugs in to the Logitech Revue).

Thanks,

Philip
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post #117 of 991 Old 02-10-2012, 05:40 PM
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I've decided to go the sound bar room for my apartment. I have a Panasonic P65ST30. Hard wood floors and the right side is an open area that leads to the kitchen. I need it to do:

Xbox 360 - HDMI
PS3 - HDMI
Comcast - HDMI
Wii - Component

Good sound stage and good sound (I'm not an audiophile by any stretch) I would like a surround bubble, but I understand that is more of a dream scenario.

I want to spend around $300 or less, maybe a little more if warranted.

The ones I'm looking at are from most interested in to least

1. Yamaha S400 - Additional plus is 3D HDMI passthru, not sure if the others do this
2. Sony 350 - Not sure it is worth the extra $$
3. Sony 150 - Middle option
4. Vizio Models - the economical option

Any other models (Polk, etc.) would be fine ok as well. I just need direction. I'm this close to pulling the trigger on the Yamaha, just tell me it does what I need it to do.
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post #118 of 991 Old 02-10-2012, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddlefoot View Post

I've decided to go the sound bar room for my apartment. I have a Panasonic P65ST30. Hard wood floors and the right side is an open area that leads to the kitchen. I need it to do:

Xbox 360 - HDMI
PS3 - HDMI
Comcast - HDMI
Wii - Component

Good sound stage and good sound (I'm not an audiophile by any stretch) I would like a surround bubble, but I understand that is more of a dream scenario.

I want to spend around $300 or less, maybe a little more if warranted.

The ones I'm looking at are from most interested in to least

1. Yamaha S400 - Additional plus is 3D HDMI passthru, not sure if the others do this
2. Sony 350 - Not sure it is worth the extra $$
3. Sony 150 - Middle option
4. Vizio Models - the economical option

Any other models (Polk, etc.) would be fine ok as well. I just need direction. I'm this close to pulling the trigger on the Yamaha, just tell me it does what I need it to do.

I have a versy similar situation. Live in a condo with a small space and looking at getting a soundbar. To be honest, I'm most interested in a nice look rather than how goodit sounds. Of course, I don't want to spend money if the sound is not going to be good. Couple of questions I had and wanted to get your thoughts:

If I get a sound bar I believe I do not need a separate reciever as most have them built in. If I want to hook up my Blu Ray Player, Xbox, apple tv, i'm assuming I have to connect those directly to the TV as well? If so, would I be better off getting a separate receiver and then also plugging in the sound bar into the receiver? Reason being I want to hide all the wires and so I think it would be easier to plug all of these external devices directly into the receiver rather than the TB. Ideally, if i was to get a receiver, I would want a Blu Ray / Reciver combo - similar to what you get in a HTIB. I haven't come across any Sound Bar systems that come with a receiver / blu ray combo. Does anyone know of any?

The other option I was contemplating was a sony HTIB that has wireless rear speakers and a receiver / blu ray combo.
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post #119 of 991 Old 02-12-2012, 12:11 PM
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I'm looking for a audio solution for my TV/Family room. We don't have a lot of space, so I'm interested in a soundbar (price point around $400-500). I've included a diagram of my space below: We have 8 ft stippled ceilings & hardwood floors):



We currently have a Ninetendo Wii and a Blu-Ray player (hdmi) set up on the TV. We plan to use it mostly for movies/television shows with occasional gaming and music.
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post #120 of 991 Old 02-12-2012, 02:40 PM
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Anybody seen/tested this one yet? Looks interesting but would like some feedback.

Thanks

Nick
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