Vizio's New True 5.1 Soundbar S4251W - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 813 Old 05-12-2014, 09:08 AM
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I picked this up on Saturday. Have only been running as 2.1 but am not impressed.

The soundbar has a very narrow soundstage, obviously because it's not wide. It's basically mono to my ears. The midrange is pretty decent but the high end extension drops off fairly quickly. The mid-bass is not good, sounding flubby and boxy and calling attention to the speaker itself.

I haven't had a subwoofer in a long time, but this one sounded fine to me. It had plenty of low end punch and rumble for my tastes.

The other downside for the system is that the audio connection seems to drop out whenever the audio stream is interrupted. What that means is any time I do the "skip forward" feature on my cable, or any time my cable stream gets the slightest bit garbled, the audio drops out for a moment. Very annoying for sports on DVR.

Other little annoying thing, the volume jumps are kind of high.

The positives, the speakers are fairly small. The remote with the LCD is pretty slick. It was easy to set up too, and it figured out my Vizio remote for volume (although I have a universal so it wouldn't be hard to do either way). And it's cheap.
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post #722 of 813 Old 05-12-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfempty83 View Post

Has anyone been able to download the firmware update off the website? I tried and it sends me to a broken link / 404 page.

I tried just now and it looks like its working: http://store.vizio.com/s4251wb4.html and then click "support". The .bin file started downloading.

I don't have any desire to try update my firmware though.
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post #723 of 813 Old 05-12-2014, 11:58 PM
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Hi i have a intel nuc (computer) and a vizio e601-a3 and this soundbar ofcourse.

Currently the computer is connected to the tv and the soundbar is connected to the t.v. but i don't think i'm getting true 5.1 because i'm not impressed with this soundbar, its just louder than my tv speakers and has a lot of bass.. not sure if that's worth $300

Anyways, the computer has a free hdmi slot i can use, so is there an affordable(under $15) optical - hdmi converter out there so that i can connect the soundbar directly to the computer and get true 5.1 or is this not possible with a converter?

Thanks
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post #724 of 813 Old 05-13-2014, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verismo View Post

Anyways, the computer has a free hdmi slot i can use, so is there an affordable(under $15) optical - hdmi converter out there so that i can connect the soundbar directly to the computer and get true 5.1 or is this not possible with a converter?

Thanks
Is the HDMI slot on the computer or the graphics card? I ask because it might only pass the video part on and not the audio.

Are you running the digital audio out directly to the soundbar?
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post #725 of 813 Old 05-13-2014, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verismo View Post

Hi i have a intel nuc (computer) and a vizio e601-a3 and this soundbar ofcourse.

Currently the computer is connected to the tv and the soundbar is connected to the t.v. but i don't think i'm getting true 5.1 because i'm not impressed with this soundbar, its just louder than my tv speakers and has a lot of bass.. not sure if that's worth $300

Anyways, the computer has a free hdmi slot i can use, so is there an affordable(under $15) optical - hdmi converter out there so that i can connect the soundbar directly to the computer and get true 5.1 or is this not possible with a converter?

Thanks

-If your computer doesn't have an optical audio out, you can use a device like this: http://amzn.com/B00AHS8LD8 But this is typically used on the same port that you are getting video from. I don't know if it would work on an extra HDMI port.

-Most of my devices send 5.1 to my TV (m701d), and that passes through the 5.1 to my soundbar via optical. Unfortunately, my PC doesn't work as easily. First check to see if windows recognizes a 5.1 speaker set up in control panel. Most likely your TV is reporting to windows that it only has 2 speakers (via EDID) and thus your PC is only sending out 2.0 audio. I've found that blurays and movies can output 5.1 on my PC if I manually set them to, but games are hit or miss. A device like the one I linked to may be able to help because it has a switch to change the EDID to report 5.1, but I haven't tried it.
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post #726 of 813 Old 05-13-2014, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verismo View Post

Hi i have a intel nuc (computer) and a vizio e601-a3 and this soundbar ofcourse.

Currently the computer is connected to the tv and the soundbar is connected to the t.v. but i don't think i'm getting true 5.1 because i'm not impressed with this soundbar, its just louder than my tv speakers and has a lot of bass.. not sure if that's worth $300

Anyways, the computer has a free hdmi slot i can use, so is there an affordable(under $15) optical - hdmi converter out there so that i can connect the soundbar directly to the computer and get true 5.1 or is this not possible with a converter?

Thanks

See if your Vizio TV lets you set the sound like CNET did here:

"Lastly, it's worth mentioning that in order to enable 5.1 output on a Vizio, you have to change the "Digital Audio output" option to Dolby Digital; it doesn't pass-through 5.1 signals properly by default."

http://www.cnet.com/news/20-tvs-tested-which-sets-can-pass-surround-sound-to-a-sound-bar/
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post #727 of 813 Old 05-13-2014, 10:59 PM
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I've had this bar for a little over two weeks. I like it a ton. I have it hooked up to my Sony Bravia 40" via optical. I have experienced only one quirk on occasion in that the audio does a quick one second dip. I reseated the cable. But what really seemed to cure it was turning off truvolume. But after hours now, it's happened twice. The dip is so quick it's almost not like a true dropout. Weird. Next thing I might try is another optical cable other than the stock one. Last thing I'll do is the firmware update. I've hesitated because I don't have any problems associated with full audio dropouts when switching inputs. Of course my cable provider has been doing updates overnight lately too, which always throws in the other variable of it being them. Anyone ever have this little glitch with this system?
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post #728 of 813 Old 05-14-2014, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidt1 View Post

See if your Vizio TV lets you set the sound like CNET did here:

"Lastly, it's worth mentioning that in order to enable 5.1 output on a Vizio, you have to change the "Digital Audio output" option to Dolby Digital; it doesn't pass-through 5.1 signals properly by default."

http://www.cnet.com/news/20-tvs-tested-which-sets-can-pass-surround-sound-to-a-sound-bar/

I can verify it does pass sound through properly on a Panasonic TC-50PS64 plasma.
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post #729 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 11:22 AM
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Who here uses the TruSurround? I have it on thinking that it will help make the left and right speakers sound further apart, but now I'm wondering if it even does that for a 5.1 signal? I haven't really had a chance to test it yet. I've also noticed that the TruSurround with a Stereo signal makes the bass incredibly loud. Way too much (compared to a digital signal). I'm thinking of turning it off, but don't want to if it will interfere with my 5.1 sound.

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post #730 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post

I've had this bar for a little over two weeks. I like it a ton. I have it hooked up to my Sony Bravia 40" via optical. I have experienced only one quirk on occasion in that the audio does a quick one second dip. I reseated the cable. But what really seemed to cure it was turning off truvolume. But after hours now, it's happened twice. The dip is so quick it's almost not like a true dropout. Weird. Next thing I might try is another optical cable other than the stock one. Last thing I'll do is the firmware update. I've hesitated because I don't have any problems associated with full audio dropouts when switching inputs. Of course my cable provider has been doing updates overnight lately too, which always throws in the other variable of it being them. Anyone ever have this little glitch with this system?

I tested this out.

With TruVolume enabled

cable box - audio does a quick dip in sound. Very annoying as it sounds like there was a quick disconnect between the signal.
inTV app - Netflix and Hulu - there's no dip in sound
DLNA - streaming from PC and off USB drive - there's no dip
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post #731 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlopho View Post


I tested this out.

With TruVolume enabled

cable box - audio does a quick dip in sound. Very annoying as it sounds like there was a quick disconnect between the signal.
inTV app - Netflix and Hulu - there's no dip in sound
DLNA - streaming from PC and off USB drive - there's no dip

Thanks a bunch for doing that.Truvolume is a compressor type algorithm that brings up lower volume and squashes higher volume in an effort to smooth out the volume difference. The reason why it's difficult for most tv's and such is because it's not user adjustable. If we had control over such settings as ratio, attack, and release, we could make it much more transparent. As it stands, it's a one size fits all compressor and it makes it less than good almost all the time. I will be installing the firmware update in the hopes that it will address the issue a bit. It's one thing to audibly hear the compressor knocking down gain like a pumping sound, but another when it makes one second audible 'loss' type of dips.It's most frequent during regular programming, less so during movies including hbogo and netflixs. And it's not super frequent for me either. I have a hunch it's tied into truvolume, so I turn it off during regular programming and turn it on for movies. Doing this makes it much less frequent.  

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post #732 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DPulp View Post
 

Who here uses the TruSurround? I have it on thinking that it will help make the left and right speakers sound further apart, but now I'm wondering if it even does that for a 5.1 signal? I haven't really had a chance to test it yet. I've also noticed that the TruSurround with a Stereo signal makes the bass incredibly loud. Way too much (compared to a digital signal). I'm thinking of turning it off, but don't want to if it will interfere with my 5.1 sound.

I assume you mean truvolume because there is no trusurround setting. Only surround on/off and balance. As I mentioned above, after doing a bunch of A/B tests with it on and off during movies, it's better to be on for me during movies. The setting is at it's best and most transparent during movie watching. It does an excellent job of blending everything together well and even, without a pumping effect to do so. If you turn truvolume off, the biggest difference I notice is the center channel drops considerably- as though the whole bar drops a good deal in volume. So with it off, I have found I need to raise the center channel gain by two clicks to make up the difference. It's not bad at all that way and I prefer truvolume off for regular programming because it's glitchy and has pumping effects. I prefer to work the volume during regular programming. I mute most commercials anyway. But during movies it's a toss up and I've decided to have truvolume on because the setting works so well overall.  

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post #733 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 09:40 PM
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Does anyone here use this sound bar with an LG Google or smart TV? I need to find the IR blaster code for the Vizio sound bar so that I can control the sound bar volume with the LG TV remote. Thanks.
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post #734 of 813 Old 05-16-2014, 10:11 PM
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No I meant the Circle Surround. Sorry mixed in the Tru word for some reason. No offense but what I described doesn't really make sense for TruVolume at all.
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post #735 of 813 Old 05-17-2014, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPulp View Post

No I meant the Circle Surround. Sorry mixed in the Tru word for some reason. No offense but what I described doesn't really make sense for TruVolume at all.

No offense taken, but would you mind telling me where exactly you turn 'circle surround' on and off at will on the 5.1 sound bar as you originally mentioned? That doesn't really make sense for anything. No offense meant.

 

Quote:
Who here uses the TruSurround? I have it on thinking that it will help make the left and right speakers sound further apart, but now I'm wondering if it even does that for a 5.1 signal? I haven't really had a chance to test it yet. I've also noticed that the TruSurround with a Stereo signal makes the bass incredibly loud. Way too much (compared to a digital signal). I'm thinking of turning it off, but don't want to if it will interfere with my 5.1 sound.
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post #736 of 813 Old 05-19-2014, 08:57 AM
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The DTS Circle Surround (that's what it's called in the manual) is just labeled Surround on the remote. It creates the faux surround sound from signals that aren't 5.1 so that the rears and sub are used. Now, most soundbars that use this (a version of this pseudo surround anyway) don't have rears or even sometimes a sub, so what they do is have the soundbar itself throw the left and right signals outward to have them bounce off the walls or something, to create the impression of a wider sound field. 

 

So I was wondering if this soundbar does this (can't find any concrete info). Because if it does, it broadens the left and right signals creating more of a "circle", if it doesn't and only creates sound for the rears and sub then I would probably not use it (that's why I was saying the stereo signal sounds so much worse with that, because the bass is all wrong and I don't want that).

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post #737 of 813 Old 05-19-2014, 11:55 AM
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I keep reading your two posts trying to understand what you're asking but I guess I'm just not. Do you own and have this system in line? If you turn the rears off it will be a 3.1 system I suppose. A stereo source via analog just fires all speakers equally, save the sub. You can turn the rears off or lower the sub volume to taste. You can also try night mode which will lower the sub, but it will still be firing. But if you generally don't want the rears firing, you're not using the system to its full potential and should consider a different system.
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post #738 of 813 Old 05-19-2014, 03:02 PM
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The surround option creates a fake surround sound for the rears and sub. Feeding the soundbar a stereo signal (or anything less than 5.1) will result in the system creating it's own surround sound so that the rears and sub are used (they are not present in stereo, mono, or 2.0 sound encodings). I feed my soundbar primarily 5.1 signals by hooking straight into it with a digital optical cable. But some sources aren't in 5.1 (i.e Hulu, a good chunk of Netflix, old DVDs, Criterion Blu-rays). I'm wondering if the surround also throws the left and right channels towards the walls to create a "Circle effect" when combined with the rears. Most soundbars do this (all of them maybe) but this is different because it has dedicated rear speakers and there's usually an option called "surround" to turn it off or on. Even most TV's have this option with their own built-in speakers.

 

Anyway, I'm going to do some testing myself. Not wanting fake surround from a lossless mono or stereo source on a Criterion blu-ray is not using the system wrong, it's just preserving the sound integrity. I do use Night mode for Stereo sound now, but forgetting to turn it off after and having to constantly switch is a bit of pain. Was just wondering if anyone knew since the manual is pretty vague (although it would seem to imply the "surround" option is only for turning on 5.1, which makes no sense really. It goes to 2.1 according to the manual which is just strange).

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post #739 of 813 Old 05-23-2014, 08:17 PM
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FYI Sams Club dropped the price to $218.88. It was already a good deal, now it's practically irresistible.
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post #740 of 813 Old 05-24-2014, 08:30 PM
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Where is the remote control sensor located on this sound bar?
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post #741 of 813 Old 05-25-2014, 11:24 PM
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Where is the remote control sensor located on this sound bar?
Front face, bottom left.
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post #742 of 813 Old 05-28-2014, 05:29 PM
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Hey guys, i have a question. Sorry if this has been asked already.

RIght now i have a surround sound running through a receiver which is connected to the tv through HDMI.

I have a cable box, xbox, and a blu ray player hooked up the receiver, also looking to hook up my record player as well. 


I bought this surround system to replace what i currently have. Do i need to get rid of my receiver and run everything directly to the tv? 

 

I tried to run the surround sound through the receiver, but cant figure out how to do it at all.

 

Thanks, Paul

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post #743 of 813 Old 05-28-2014, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russianpaul View Post

RIght now i have a surround sound running through a receiver which is connected to the tv through HDMI.
I have a cable box, xbox, and a blu ray player hooked up the receiver, also looking to hook up my record player as well. 


I bought this surround system to replace what i currently have. Do i need to get rid of my receiver and run everything directly to the tv?

Hi russianpaul, curious what you don't like about the current setup now?
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post #744 of 813 Old 05-28-2014, 06:02 PM
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Wife wanted a soundbar which could be mounted with the tv, and this way the subwoofer and the speakers could be somewhat hidden with the minimal amount of wires.

The old setup was with the Energy Take 5 speakers, from which i wasnt even using the rear speakers as i had no way to run the cables cleanly. So i am looking to move those to a different room.

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post #745 of 813 Old 05-28-2014, 09:58 PM
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If your receiver had an optical out you could use the receiver as a switch for your devices into the bar. Unfortunately most receivers only have an optical input. You could remove the receiver & use your TV as the switch, only problem is a lot of TVs don't pass a 5.1 signal out their optical. That is the problem with most soundbars they don't provide as versatile a set of connections as a receiver.
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post #746 of 813 Old 05-29-2014, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russianpaul View Post

Hey guys, i have a question. Sorry if this has been asked already.
RIght now i have a surround sound running through a receiver which is connected to the tv through HDMI.
I have a cable box, xbox, and a blu ray player hooked up the receiver, also looking to hook up my record player as well. 


I bought this surround system to replace what i currently have. Do i need to get rid of my receiver and run everything directly to the tv? 

I tried to run the surround sound through the receiver, but cant figure out how to do it at all.

Thanks, Paul

Post your receiver and TV model names so we can see what your options are
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post #747 of 813 Old 05-29-2014, 09:26 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the responses. I have a Onkyo HT-RC160 receiver. It has 2 Optical inputs,no outputs.

The tv is a 55" RCA. Not sure of the exact model. It was on the cheaper side.

 

I contacted Vizio support and they said that The soundbar is not really made to work with a receiver. So unfortunately I will have to plug in all of the devices into the tv. Unfortunately my tv does not put through 5.1 audio, and only has 2 HDMI inputs, so i am planning on buying a 4xHDMI switcher from monoprice and running my devices through that.

Thanks once again. 

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post #748 of 813 Old 05-29-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by russianpaul View Post

Thanks to everyone for the responses. I have a Onkyo HT-RC160 receiver. It has 2 Optical inputs,no outputs.
The tv is a 55" RCA. Not sure of the exact model. It was on the cheaper side.

I contacted Vizio support and they said that The soundbar is not really made to work with a receiver. So unfortunately I will have to plug in all of the devices into the tv. Unfortunately my tv does not put through 5.1 audio, and only has 2 HDMI inputs, so i am planning on buying a 4xHDMI switcher from monoprice and running my devices through that.


Thanks once again. 

You can also put something like this:
http://amzn.com/B00AHS8LD8
in between the receiver and your TV and plug the optical into the soundbar. I'm not sure how well it would work though.
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post #749 of 813 Old 05-29-2014, 10:52 AM
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I bought this. I think its the same/similar? Not an audio guy, so i am not really sure.

 

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2

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post #750 of 813 Old 05-29-2014, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russianpaul View Post

Thanks to everyone for the responses. I have a Onkyo HT-RC160 receiver. It has 2 Optical inputs,no outputs.
The tv is a 55" RCA. Not sure of the exact model. It was on the cheaper side.

I contacted Vizio support and they said that The soundbar is not really made to work with a receiver. So unfortunately I will have to plug in all of the devices into the tv. Unfortunately my tv does not put through 5.1 audio, and only has 2 HDMI inputs, so i am planning on buying a 4xHDMI switcher from monoprice and running my devices through that.

I have an Onkyo too (Onkyo HT-RC330.) All I did was get a digital signal splitter (NOT the cheap ones, they don't work)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168122704

and run one line to the soundbar and the other to my receiver. Voila! Digital sound in the daytime and headphones at night. Of course if you don;t have digital sound out of the RCA, then it would not work.
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