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.