real 3.1 and/or soundbars that don't need remotes - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-15-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm kinda intrigued by the concept of soundbars. Not really in the market for one now, but I have a couple questions about how they work in general.


First off, soundbars are supposed to be simpler than the average HT setup, right? I heard that Sony soundbars work with Sony TVs without needing an extra remote. Do Samsung soundbars magically work right with Samsung TVs? LG soundbars with LG TVs? I know Polks can learn your TV remote (and some Yamahas?), but how smart is this stuff? If a soundbar is plugged into a TV with HDMI or TOSLINK it should know when the TV is on and go into standby when the TV is off. But do they? Or are they both responding to the power button on the remote and you have to hope they don't get out of sync?


And secondly, aren't most soundbars just 2.1 (or 2.0 if they don't have a sub)? Isn't that weird? You've got this big bar with four or six speakers, but it doesn't actually have a center channel?

I mean, look at the Sony HT-CT550W. It can decode TrueHD and DTS-HD. What's the point? It outputs 2.1, so why would it negotiate a 7.1 connection? Is it even sending the LFE channel to the sub, or is it just downmixing everything to 2.0 then sending everything below 100Hz to the sub?

Some of the better Yamaha stuff looks like it's actually giving you channel seperation, but in the case of the 2.0 or 2.1 soundbars they might as well all just take a single input from your TV instead of doing HDMI switching.


Just wondered if I was missing something.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-16-2012, 05:21 PM
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I have two soundbars -- the Sony HT-CT100 and its successor, the HT-CT150. (The latter is a big improvement over the former, by the way.) Both of those are 3.1 while the HT-CT550W is 2.1, and neither of them support HD audio tracks, so the comparison is not necessarily the most fair. With that in mind, though, using the 5.1 track of a movie definitely gives the outputted sound better bass, impact and fullness than using the stereo track, despite the limitations of my soundbars.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-16-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. Do the soundbars have a true center channel in them?

I can understand the bass being better from the separate LFE channel.

I wonder if some of the improvment is because the 5.1 channel isn't flattened by DRC.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-16-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tostada View Post

Interesting. Do the soundbars have a true center channel in them?

I can understand the bass being better from the separate LFE channel.

I wonder if some of the improvment is because the 5.1 channel isn't flattened by DRC.

Mine does, the Yamaha YHT-S401. It's a 3.1 system with a dedicated center channel. It also has connections to add rear speakers for a true 5.1 system with a soundbar. I hooked my rears up with a Rocketfish wireless kit so the surround speakers are wireless. And the Yamaha has 3 hdmi inputs and decodes DTS HD and Dolby True HD.

Not sure about your question on the remotes. I use a Harmony One to control everything.
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