Definitive Technology - SoloCinema XTR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 09-10-2012, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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New soundbar from Def Tech. that has some nice features and should be out in stores in a week or so.

http://www.definitivetech.com/products/solocinema-xtr

3 hdmi
1 hdmi out
1 analog, 1 optical input
Supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD
Wireless 8in Subwoofer
6 - 3.5in drivers
3 - 1in tweeters
Price $1999

For awhile now I have been disappointed in the soundbar market since all the new models only had optical inputs for audio and were all 2.1 systems with small subwoofers. Def Tech. hit a home run with this new product. They basically took everything I had mentioned in previous posts that I wished a soundbar came with and made it into a real product. Bravo. Other soundbar manufacturers should take note this is how you make a good soundbar. If I am to be super critical the only thing missing that I would like to see added is the ability to add 2 surround back speakers to the system to make it a real 5.1 setup instead of all surround channels coming from the bar. Maybe if they see this post they can add it to the next version biggrin.gif. The price is also quite high and I would have liked to see it start at $1499 but one cant get everything they wish for.
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post #2 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 10:06 AM
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Somebody definitely post impressions if they get this...
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post #3 of 44 Old 09-24-2012, 05:47 AM
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Best Buy is now carrying these. I heard one yesterday but cannot express a definitive opinion because it was set up in a giant open space with multiple other speakers playing at the same time. They also didnt have it connected with HDMI so I wasnt able to see what the on-screen menu looked like.

If DooDoo said it, IT MUST BE TRUE!!!
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post #4 of 44 Old 09-24-2012, 10:54 AM
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I purchased my first HD television 9-years ago (a 32-inch Sony XBR model) but finally decided to take the plunge with more current technology. Yesterday I stopped by the local Best Buy and purchased the following components:
  • Panasonic TC-P55VT50 Television
  • Definitive Technology Solo Cinema XTR
  • Sony BDP-S790 Blu Ray Player


The components will be delivered next weekend. Also, I’ve ordered up a number of Blu-Ray DVDs encoded with a variety of audio codex formats ranging from Dolby Digital to Dolby True HD. I’m very busy with work but I’ll try to get things hooked up ASAP and post initial impressions of the Solo Cinema XTR soon thereafter.

For a bit of context, I’m new to AVS Forums. I’ve never owned a “home theater” system (just used the built in speakers on my XBR). Any serious music listening is via an older 2-channel stereo system. You should keep this in mind when I post initial impressions.

One question for which I was hoping someone here could offer suggestions concerns the best way of hooking up these components. The Best Buy salesman advised me to connect the Blu-ray Player and my Comcast HD-Box to the Television via HDMI cables and then run an optical cable from the Television’s digital audio-out to the Solo Cinema XTR’s digital audio-in.

The documentation provided with the Solo Cinema XTR suggests connecting the Blu-ray Player and Comcast HD-Box to the Solo Cinema XTR via HDMI cables and then run another HDMI cable from the Solo Cinema XTR’s HDMI-out to one of the Television’s HDMI-in connectors.

A few other details I’ve been able to locate (note: I don't know if any of this is relevant):
  • Evidently, the television’s optical audio output is capable of “passing a Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 channel audio signal through its optical audio output connection.” But I’m not 100% sure on this. Nor does this make clear what if any capabilities may apply to a lossless codex like Dolby True HD.
  • All of the HDMI connectors on the Television are version 1.4a. One of the HDMI-in connectors on the Television is ARD (audio return channel) compliant.
  • All of the HDMI connectors on the Solo Cinema XTR are version 1.4a. But none are ARC compliant.


Again, suggestions on the best way to connect these components are appreciated. It seems likely that whatever approach will best utilize hardware/software capabilities and offer the best picture/sound will allow me to provide better opinions/conclusions when I post my initial impressions.

Thanks in advance.
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post #5 of 44 Old 09-24-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gopher0223 View Post

One question for which I was hoping someone here could offer suggestions concerns the best way of hooking up these components. The Best Buy salesman advised me to connect the Blu-ray Player and my Comcast HD-Box to the Television via HDMI cables and then run an optical cable from the Television’s digital audio-out to the Solo Cinema XTR’s digital audio-in.
The documentation provided with the Solo Cinema XTR suggests connecting the Blu-ray Player and Comcast HD-Box to the Solo Cinema XTR via HDMI cables and then run another HDMI cable from the Solo Cinema XTR’s HDMI-out to one of the Television’s HDMI-in connectors.
A few other details I’ve been able to locate (note: I don't know if any of this is relevant):
  • Evidently, the television’s optical audio output is capable of “passing a Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 channel audio signal through its optical audio output connection.” But I’m not 100% sure on this. Nor does this make clear what if any capabilities may apply to a lossless codex like Dolby True HD.

Follow the suggestion from the XTR documentation. The XTR can decode the lossless formats found on blu-rays. Also, unless Panasonic has changed audio out (and I don't think they have), only 2 ch. stereo is output from source devices connected to the TV. 5.1 audio is available only when using the TV's internal tuner (OTA viewing).
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post #6 of 44 Old 09-26-2012, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Get 4 HDMI 1.4a cables from monoprice/bluejeanscable. Hook up the bluray and cable box to soundbar through hdmi inputs. Set bluray player to output hd audio if it doesn't do it automatically. Use hdmi output on soundbar and run it to the hdtv so you get picture from the devices. Extra hdmi cable to have for future devices if you ever need it like say xbox, home theater pc, hook a laptop to it.
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post #7 of 44 Old 10-05-2012, 08:54 AM
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I'm thinking about getting one of these for my family room that doesn't allow for floor standing speakers. Specs look good (wireless sub is nice) but price is a bit steep for a soundbar.

I'm going to check out a local best buy and see it a bit closer.

Anyone else do any testing of this bar?

I'm specifically interested in DT's implementation of their Dolby Volume control which seeks to address volume differences often heard when TV ads are shown.
DOLBY VOLUME: This digital signal processing technology evens out the volume level of whatever you watch. TV ads that might blast a volume level louder than your favorite program are instead heard at consistent, equal volume levels.

I'll admit that i watch most shows via a DVR, but when watching live sports events it is annoying to have to always turn down the volume (or mute it) when commercials come on.

I'm also interested in this feature: Dolby Volume Modeler --optimizes the system performance for low level listening.

Hopefully this will be useful when watching TV/movies when the kids are in bed.
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post #8 of 44 Old 10-05-2012, 01:58 PM
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I promised to post my initial impressions so here goes. This is the first product review I’ve posted to an audio/video enthusiast forum and readers should keep this in mind.

Overall my initial impressions of the SoloCinema are quite positive. While, $2,000 is no small investment for a product of this type, I wasn’t expecting miracles. I’m guessing an equivalent investment is a quality audio-video receiver and 5.1 speaker setup would offer better performance. But this just doesn’t work for my setting. An unobtrusive soundbar is my only real option (other than the TV's speakers).

Before discussing further, I should share a bit of background. The room setting is large with the television and SoloCinema located in a corner. Specifically next to a wall (with windows) to the listener’s right, a (mostly) open expanse to the listener’s left of about 30 feet and an open area of about 15-feet to the rear. I’m not an acoustical expert, but this setting strikes me as challenging and likely contributes to the surround characteristics discussed below.

I’ve only had time to watch a few Blu-Ray movies and listen to a few music sources. Blu-Ray movies include HUGO 3-D / DTS-HD Audio (wanted to check out the 3D function of the Panasonic VT-50 which was quite impressive) and Iron Man 2 (good mindless entertainment). Music listening is very limited including James Taylor Musicares Person of the Year Tribute DVD with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (mostly to watch/listen to Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas performing Carolina In My Mind) and the Eagles Long Road Out of Eden (CD).

Overall movie audio is quite good and met my expectations. That said, surround performance is not particularly impressive. But to be truthful, I wasn’t really expecting a full 5.1 effect. You do notice a few side effects such as Iron Man flying from one side of the screen to the other. But the effect is subtle. I really didn’t notice any rear effects. Again, I wasn’t expecting much. On movies, the front sound-stage is quite wide (seeming to stretch beyond the soundbar). The tonal qualities are full and engaging. The sub doesn’t shake the windows with deep-deep bass. This probably wasn’t a design goal of the product and to be honest not all that important to me for the selected setting. All in all, the SoloCinema’s performance with movies is quite good.

On music, I thought the product performed better on the James Taylor tribute DVD than with the Eagle music CD (for both I selected “Music” for the playback option). Maybe the SoloCinema is designed to work better with a DVD mix than with a CD mix??? That is a pure guess and nothing more.

The DVD was really very entertaining with a full front sound-stage and good tonal balance. The SoloCinema doesn’t offer any equalization adjustments and I didn’t find myself grabbing the remote to figure out how to adjust the bass/midrange/treble. Bottom line, the James Taylor tribute DVD sounds great.

Unfortunately, the CD music performance was less impressive. I found the speakers to be overly bright and was frustrated with the lack of equalization controls. The SoloCinema does have separate master volume, center volume and bass volume controls and I found that boosting the center and bass volumes did help product a richer sound. But to be fair, I will rarely use the SoloCinema to listen to music CDs so related concerns carry little weight in my overall impression.

A few other thoughts:
• I really like HDMI switching. This is the first product I’ve owned that has this capability and it’s great having a single cable runs from from my Blu-Ray player and cablebox into the SoloCinema and another run from the SoloCinema into my Plasma Television. The resulting simplicity is very nice.
• The wireless nature of the sub is a great feature. Not having to be concerned with concealing a speaker wire run made instillation a snap.

Bottom line, the SoloCinema strikes me as a quality product that performs well for its intended purpose (i.e., television and Blu-Ray/DVD movies).
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post #9 of 44 Old 11-02-2012, 05:37 PM
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Hello guys, after a trip to Best Buy with the wife. We were in the market for a sound Bar. I was looking to spend about $500.00. I was looking at the Bose solo & ZVOX 555. Well I read the reviews on the ZVOX. Mostly good. Did not get to hear it. As I was talking with the sales man. The wife found the BOSE Cinemate 1 SR. Sale price on that was about $1500. Sounded great with the demo they had. However the price scared me away. Until the sales man said if she likes that then you might want to check this out. Deftech. Solo XTR. Well almost immediately we were impressed. So long story short .. and 2k later I'm walking out the door spending $1500 more.

Which brings me to my next question to the guys that own one of these speakers. I'm new to the soundbar world. Is there any recommendations you might want to pass along as far as settings or some tweaks that can be done. I hooked it up using the recommended hookup using HDMI cables.

Any suggestions would be great
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post #10 of 44 Old 11-05-2012, 05:54 AM
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Hello Gopher0223, Just picked up one of these the other day. New to the sound bar world. Any suggestions on settings? I have it hooked up with all HDMI cables. Just curious.

Thanks
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post #11 of 44 Old 11-15-2012, 12:04 AM
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1- 800-228-7148 def tech 

Definitive Technology Solocenima XTR

So here it goes, I bought this from crutchfield, but the first one I had to return because it was defective, to say the least this was a pain in the ass !, but ok, **** happens and it's a very new product.
Overall Crutchfield was great there customer service is second to none & they made it right. I received the second one and they sent it by fright and double packed it. The first one they didn't double pack & just shipped it in its original box. I'm in California so you can imagine what a cross country trip did to the thing but from now on I think they will ship this the more responsible way.

I also spoke to the Def Tech support, they too are great, and suggested I return it, super nice guys !!.

Ok now for the important stuff, the XTR feels like  quality gear, super easy to set up, with a good amount of HDMI inputs (3) 
There is a little pop when you fist turn it on, and switching between sources is not super fast, but hopefully firmware updates will continue to make this bar, better, faster, stronger !!
The remote is fine, easy to use, kinda feels cheep, but whatever. (ya feel the apple tv remote & it feels amazing at that thing is $100 bucks !)

Also be great if there was an on/off switch for the Sub only.

One BIG negative but not relevant to the sound is the lights on the bar, no way to turn them off or dim them, they need to fix this in a firmware update, ASAP !, kinda annoying all around !

THE SOUND !
HD TV:  HD movies and HD  TV Shows.  The XTR sounds great, the clarity on voice is terrific and the overall balance is good, I'd love to have a tad more control over the overall EQ, but at least you can control the sub & center volume.

The sub, sounds very good, I have never used a sub or had an audio system in my living room, but dame this thing gives a nice big realistic feel & adds killer impact.

As far as "surround sound" with HD TV  mostly with Dolby Digital (HBO etc)
 I haven't felt it, sure the bar is clear, full, balanced, but it's not true 5.1. 
(firmware update ?) It didn't really envelop you.

Sound Blu Ray:
PCM & Dolby True HD 
with the Prometheus Blu Ray
voice was super clear, bass sounded great, overall clarity was excellent and played plenty loud, but the surround sound or a 5.1 experience, not really.

So at the end of the day the bar rocks, but has a few shortcomings and really is not going to give you a totally immersive 5.1 feeling, perhaps other audio codes and different bly rays will give a slightly different effect, but otherwise this is one way too expensive and great sounding bar, with terrific bass. Some tweaks will be welcome and I'm interested in seeing if Def Tech, really keeps the ball rolling with firmware updates, only time will tell. 
Now I gota go make some $$ to pay for this thing !!
jmo
 
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post #12 of 44 Old 12-03-2012, 01:29 PM
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I need a little help guys ... My subwoofer is placed to the right of my couch just slightly behind. Last night I noticed a little crackling coming from the woofer. Is it possible that I'm picking up some Interference from some where else? Should I place it somewhere else in the room? Any suggestions
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post #13 of 44 Old 12-03-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPASWA View Post

I need a little help guys ... My subwoofer is placed to the right of my couch just slightly behind. Last night I noticed a little crackling coming from the woofer. Is it possible that I'm picking up some Interference from some where else? Should I place it somewhere else in the room? Any suggestions

Interference could be the culprit. I can't find anything in your manual. What frequency is your wireless subwoofer at? 2.4 GHz? If you have a wireless phone, wireless router, etc. on the same freequency, it could cause intereference.
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post #14 of 44 Old 12-14-2012, 07:09 PM
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Has anyone wall-mounted the soundbar? The AC adapter is pretty massive and i'm trying to determine the best way to do a clean install showing no wires.
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post #15 of 44 Old 12-22-2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPASWA View Post

I need a little help guys ... My subwoofer is placed to the right of my couch just slightly behind. Last night I noticed a little crackling coming from the woofer. Is it possible that I'm picking up some Interference from some where else? Should I place it somewhere else in the room? Any suggestions


I'm having the same issues. I've contacted the manufacture and they suggested that it could be my DVR. I don't buy it, because when I use my Xbox and run Netflix I'm hearing the same cracking/pop noise. For the price I expect these kind of things to be worked out. I have already returned one solocinema back to Best Buy thinking it could be the actual Sub, but it was not the sub. I'm having the issue with the new Sub. I think I may return the unit back if I can not find a solution to this.
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post #16 of 44 Old 12-22-2012, 09:54 PM
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Home theater Magazine just reviewed the SoloCinema XTR - http://www.hometheater.com/content/definitive-technology-solocinema-xtr-soundbar
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post #17 of 44 Old 01-12-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

Interference could be the culprit. I can't find anything in your manual. What frequency is your wireless subwoofer at? 2.4 GHz? If you have a wireless phone, wireless router, etc. on the same freequency, it could cause intereference.


Any suggestions?
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post #18 of 44 Old 01-18-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_bryan View Post

Has anyone wall-mounted the soundbar? The AC adapter is pretty massive and i'm trying to determine the best way to do a clean install showing no wires.

Did you ever address the issue with wall mounting given the AC adapter? I would only want to go with this product if I could conceal the cables (and power supply).


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post #19 of 44 Old 02-08-2013, 01:11 PM
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I was walking through BB last weekend and noticed this thing was on sale for a pretty good price so I thought what the hell, lets here this thing in action. I was VERY impressed and had been in the market for a nice soundbar or a full on receiver and tower speaker setup. The wife obviously liked the idea of the soundbar better, especially since we have three little ones around the house and the bar takes up less space. Anyways, they had a open box one for $260 less than the sale price so I pulled the trigger on it. Got it home, set it up, and was VERY bummed out when I heard the voices sounding staticky and muffled. Checked all cords, settings etc. to no avail. Returned it the next day to BB, of course they didn't have any in stock and couldn't locate any near me in the bay area. The manager apologized for the inconvenience and gave me a brand new SoloCinema for the price of the open box! Kind of a hassle but I walked away paying almost $650 off the msrp, not too bad I guess smile.gif
Finally picked up my new one last and got it setup, sounds 100 times better. Tested out a few movies, Avatar, Iron Man, Paranorman, all of them sounded great. If you're in the market for a soundbar definitely give this one a shot, a little pricey but having the HDMI connectivity and HD decoding are huge pluses.

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post #20 of 44 Old 02-13-2013, 07:08 PM
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Is this sound bar ARC compatible?

TIA,

Derek
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post #21 of 44 Old 02-13-2013, 07:24 PM
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Is this sound bar ARC compatible?

TIA,

Derek

Per post #4, no. I didn't see anything in the manual to contradict that, either. I don't really see the need since it has 3 HDMI inputs, an optical input, and an analog input.

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post #22 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 09:27 AM
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Per post #4, no. I didn't see anything in the manual to contradict that, either. I don't really see the need since it has 3 HDMI inputs, an optical input, and an analog input.

I was asking because with my set up I have my tv(Sharp LC-90LE745U) and planned sound bar in my family room and my office shares the wall with the tv. So I keep all my components in the office for a clean look in the family room. All the components feed into the av receiver and just one hdmi to the tv. Using ARC, I wouldn't have to run another wire through the wall.

That being said, I really like the thinness of the XTR so I may just run an optical cable (never thought I'd be using them after hdmi came out) from the receiver, which is in the office, to the sound bar so I can get the lossless codecs to the sound bar since the optical feed from the tv would only be stereo.
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post #23 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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Actually, now that I think about it, shouldn't I just be able to run a single hdmi from the av receiver to the sound bar and then use the hdmi out on the sound bar to the TV.

Will passing the video signal through the sound bar cause any loss of quality? And since it's all hdmi 1.4 compliant, there shouldn't be any problem with 3D. Is that correct?
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post #24 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcheuk View Post

Actually, now that I think about it, shouldn't I just be able to run a single hdmi from the av receiver to the sound bar and then use the hdmi out on the sound bar to the TV.

Will passing the video signal through the sound bar cause any loss of quality? And since it's all hdmi 1.4 compliant, there shouldn't be any problem with 3D. Is that correct?

You want to connect your sources to a receiver and then connect the receiver to the soundbar? Why do you want to do that?

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post #25 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

You want to connect your sources to a receiver and then connect the receiver to the soundbar? Why do you want to do that?

I don't want to run a bunch of cords through the wall.

I was asking because with my set up I have my tv(Sharp LC-90LE745U) and planned sound bar in my family room and my office shares the wall with the tv. So I keep all my components in the office for a clean look in the family room. All the components feed into the av receiver and just one hdmi to the tv.
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post #26 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcheuk View Post

I don't want to run a bunch of cords through the wall.

I was asking because with my set up I have my tv(Sharp LC-90LE745U) and planned sound bar in my family room and my office shares the wall with the tv. So I keep all my components in the office for a clean look in the family room. All the components feed into the av receiver and just one hdmi to the tv.

Understood but I still don't understand why you want a receiver AND a soundbar. That part seems to be unnecessary to me. The soundbar would still be in the family room, correct?

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post #27 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dcheuk View Post

I don't want to run a bunch of cords through the wall.

I was asking because with my set up I have my tv(Sharp LC-90LE745U) and planned sound bar in my family room and my office shares the wall with the tv. So I keep all my components in the office for a clean look in the family room. All the components feed into the av receiver and just one hdmi to the tv.

Dcheuk, the Solo is basically a receiver so what you're proposing is connecting one AVR to another. Not really a good idea and may not work as you think it will. Your existing AVR or your source devices are doing the audio decoding, so the Solo would be getting the decoded output. If you really want the Solo, I'd suggest pulling more HDMI cables through the wall so you can connect your source devices directly to it. The other option is look at passive soundbars. Of course, that would mean pulling speaker wire through wall.
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post #28 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

Dcheuk, the Solo is basically a receiver so what you're proposing is connecting one AVR to another. Not really a good idea and may not work as you think it will. Your existing AVR or your source devices are doing the audio decoding, so the Solo would be getting the decoded output. If you really want the Solo, I'd suggest pulling more HDMI cables through the wall so you can connect your source devices directly to it. The other option is look at passive soundbars. Of course, that would mean pulling speaker wire through wall.

I understand what you're saying. I'm using the AV receiver as a switch. I already have the receiver so that's how I'm describing it. If I didn't already have the receiver, I would just use a 4 way HDMI switch.

Also, I won't be letting the receiver do any processing, I would just be using the pass through option.

My first priority is a clean install (only TV and sound bar in the family room) and with my proposed set up I only have 1 hdmi going through the wall and achieving equal quality sound with 4 HDMIs going through the wall. Second priority is decent sound (which is why I'm willing to spend the 2k on the sound bar). I would like to have full 7.1 set up but the wife nixed that idea.

BTW, I use a Harmony 900 to control the components in the other room.
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post #29 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 03:24 PM
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I get what you're wanting to do. As long as your AVR passes audio through unmolested, it may work out fine. Some AVRs won't do that.
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post #30 of 44 Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 PM
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Should have just bought the non amplified version of the solo which is the XTR-SSA5 and continue to use the receiver to decode , cleaner install an would have saved 1000 bucks


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