Confusion about the best way to pass sound to the sound bar with my setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting a new TV for my master bedroom and expecting the internal sound to suck (it does with almost all the current flat screens). I don't want a full AVR and surround setup in the room so I plan to get a sound bar. I also don't want using it (turning it on/off, changing input sources, changing volume) to be a separate action or hassle or my wife will never use it (and I already can't get her to use our Harmony One downstairs so that's not an option).

What has me uncertain is it sounds like I can expect my TV not to pass anything better than 2.1 from the digital audio out with HDMI sources (which they all will be) if I go from the devices to the TV and then to the sound bar. On the other hand, I didn't want a fancy sound bar that was expensive or required a separate box (like the Yamaha 400) but on the other hand the inexpensive ones seem to lack HDMI pass-through. For example, I would be perfectly happy with the capacity of the Yamaha 101, but worry it won't work with my setup because the probable TV (Panasonic ST30) definitely does not pass 5.1 out for HDMI sources in.

Advice? And some specific questions:

1) Is it a given that the current model sound bars on the market with HDMI pass-through can handle passing through 3D video?

2) Do the sound bars with HDMI pass-through HDMI-CEC and not interfere with ARC-compatible devices?

3) Is there any solution for using a sound bar with HDMI pass-through with an ST30 using HDMI inputs that doesn't cut the signal to 2.1?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 05:07 PM
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1) It's not a given although most newer soundbars do have 3D pass through. You just need to read all the specs before purchasing.

2) Not sure what you're asking. ARC is a feature of ver. 1.4 HDMI-CEC.

3) Have you looked at Sony soundbars? Either the CT150 (wired subwoofer) or CT550W (wireless subwoofer). Both have 3 HDMI inputs so you get 5.1 audio from your sources. Both support 3D pass through and HDMI-CEC with ARC.

I have a Panny ST30 and did have a Sony soundbar. They worked very nicely together. I think the YSP2200 would also meet your requirements but it is pricier than the Sonys.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-29-2012, 07:10 PM
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Hi, I have a nice AVR I have purchased (ONKYO TX-TN616) and am considering getting a sound bar instead of a full blown surround speaker setup.

I have come to understand, sound bars, in general are not designed to connect to AVRs directly but to the HDTV instead (correct?).

I will connect the HDMI out of my AVR to the HDMI in for the TV.

Soooo, to get sound out of my sound bar from say a Pandora station on the AVR:

1. can I connect the HDMI out of the TV to the HDMI in of the sound bar? If not, why? What are the HDMI in's on the sound bar for then?

2. If the above doesn't work, is it better to connect the optical out of the TV to the optical in of the sound bar OR connect the two via the speaker jacks?

I'm sure these are primitive questions for most of you and I apologize in advance.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megabyzus View Post

Hi, I have a nice AVR I have purchased (ONKYO TX-TN616) and am considering getting a sound bar instead of a full blown surround speaker setup.

I have come to understand, sound bars, in general are not designed to connect to AVRs directly but to the HDTV instead (correct?).

I will connect the HDMI out of my AVR to the HDMI in for the TV.

Yes, you are somewhat confused. You are correct in that powered soundbars are not meant to be used with AVRs. That means that if you purchase a powered soundbar, you just pack your AVR away. If you want to use the AVR, then you need to look at passive soundbars that connect to an AVR just like discrete speakers do. The rest of my response applies to powered soundbars.


Quote:


Soooo, to get sound out of my sound bar from say a Pandora station on the AVR:

1. can I connect the HDMI out of the TV to the HDMI in of the sound bar? If not, why? What are the HDMI in's on the sound bar for then?

TVs do not have HDMI out; only HDMI in. Soundbars that have HDMI ports are just like AVRs in that they provide HDMI switching.

Quote:


2. If the above doesn't work, is it better to connect the optical out of the TV to the optical in of the sound bar OR connect the two via the speaker jacks?

How any particular soundbar should be connected to any given TV depends on the connection options available. Suggest you decide if you want to keep your AVR or not before looking further into soundbars.

Quote:


I'm sure these are primitive questions for most of you and I apologize in advance.

Thanks!

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 08:38 AM
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Possumgirl, thanks. I do want to keep my AVR for various reasons (I hope good ones): It's my central hub for DVD, cable, satellite, AppleTV, etc. As importantly, it is also my source for Pandora and other web music sources. So I want to channel the sound coming out of it SOMEWHERE. I don't want to clutter my space with speakers so I thought a sound bar and sub would be an acceptable alternative.

My TV has an optical 'OUT' and the proposed sound bar has an optical 'IN' (S/PDIF).

SO is the assumption correct that if I connect the AVR HDMI 'out' to the TV HDMI 'in' I can hear sound through the sound bar via the additional optical connection?

Again, thank you for your help in advance!
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 09:25 AM
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^^^
If all of your components connect directly to your AVR, you only need to connect the AVR to the TV via HDMI. You would not use optical at all as long as you have no need to send audio FROM the TV to your AVR.

Again, you want to look for a passive soundbar, also called LCR bars. They connect to the FL/FR & center speaker posts on your AVR. You can add a sub of your choice.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

^^^
If all of your components connect directly to your AVR, you only need to connect the AVR to the TV via HDMI. You would not use optical at all as long as you have no need to send audio FROM the TV to your AVR.

Again, you want to look for a passive soundbar, also called LCR bars. They connect to the FL/FR & center speaker posts on your AVR. You can add a sub of your choice.

I understand that, however, my HDTV speakers are typically no good so, again, won't this connection work?:

- AVR to HDTV via HDMI (so sound comes out of TV speakers) and then:
- HDTV to sound bar via optical (so sound gets to the sound bar and thus presumably better quality)

I will also look into LCRs.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megabyzus View Post

I understand that, however, my HDTV speakers are typically no good so, again, won't this connection work?:

- AVR to HDTV via HDMI (so sound comes out of TV speakers) and then:
- HDTV to sound bar via optical (so sound gets to the sound bar and thus presumably better quality)

I will also look into LCRs.

Thanks!

Your idea might work, I honestly don't know. You want to set your AVR to direct audio to TV instead of AMP, and then turn around and send the audio back out to a powered bar/sub combo? I understand wanting better SQ than TV speakers, but either an LCR bar, or three small discrete speakers combined with your AVR's DSP should give you better sound. I think you're looking at spending money on a less than optimal solution, but that's just my opinion and the choice is entirely up to you.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 11:19 AM
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If I understand you correctly, then the answer is yes. That's what I am/was envisioning. I don't want to spend more than $300-$400 for speakers. I don't want a mess of them scattered all around either. Although I was aware of passive speakers, I didn't focus on them because of cost. However, there may be less expensive and 'good' ones out there like the Dayton Audio BS36. So now I just need to get a wireless sub I can hide somewhere.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
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