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Soundbars > New Philips Fidelio Soundbar HTL9100
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 10:51 AM 05-01-2014
Do you mean that detached and simulated sound the same? That plus the virtual sound light being on suggest something's askew. But you do get sound from the rears while the virtual light is on? I do suggest calling Philips. Maybe you got a defective one.

What I meant regarding the satellites is that you turn the radiator away from you, either firing up, or to the sides, or to the rear. That will diffuse the sound a bit, but it will also bring down the volume relative to the front.

atx33's Avatar atx33 11:16 AM 05-01-2014

I would say yes, when they are detached, the rear speakers sound the same as virtual because the virtual light is on. I have tried turning the virtual off when the speakers are disconnected but it won't let me. So I am wondering if that means something like its not receiving the 5.1 signal so it makes you stay on the virtual when the rears are not attached. Or maybe its just always virtual when they are not attached no matter what.

 

I tried calling Philips but the guy I was talking to had no clue, it seemed like he was reading from a book. I will keep playing around with it this weekend.


taichi4's Avatar taichi4 01:32 PM 05-01-2014
atx33:

I posted this link earlier, possibly on a different thread. Your TV model doesn't appear on it, but similar Panasonic models listed here do not pass 5.1 to a soundbar:

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

So I still think you should go from a player directly into the soundbar, particularly if your DVD/BluRay has multiple outputs.
Cat Scratch's Avatar Cat Scratch 11:18 PM 05-01-2014
If atx33's Panny is anything like my TC-P60ST60, then the only time it will pass 5.1 audio to a soundbar is via OTA broadcasts or the internal apps (Netflix, Hulu, etc.). The audio part of the HDMI stream from the DVD/Blu-Ray player is dumbed down to stereo when run through the TV.
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 07:54 AM 05-02-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Scratch View Post

If atx33's Panny is anything like my TC-P60ST60, then the only time it will pass 5.1 audio to a soundbar is via OTA broadcasts or the internal apps (Netflix, Hulu, etc.). The audio part of the HDMI stream from the DVD/Blu-Ray player is dumbed down to stereo when run through the TV.

With regard to BluRay/DVD, I've suggested going directly from the player to the soundbar.

The actual 5.1 from the Fidelio should sound fuller than the simulated surround.

Regarding calling technical support, it's horrible how the electronics industry has dumbed down the level of support. If you pay people nothing, you get nothing.
atx33's Avatar atx33 08:06 AM 05-02-2014
Cat Scratch, thanks for that information. I thought that I had read that it would pass through HDMI but since your TV is a year newer then mine, it probably doesnt.

It makes since because I watched a few different shows on Netflix and its 5.1 and it sounds good, the only movie I tried on Netflix that wasnt so far was Skyfall, dont know why that is. I did try running Uverse through the sound bar but what was on TV still came out stereo. I will try it again tonight but how do I know what is on TV should be passing through 5.1? Maybe what I had on TV wasnt 5.1?

Thanks again.
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 10:38 AM 05-02-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by atx33 View Post

Cat Scratch, thanks for that information. I thought that I had read that it would pass through HDMI but since your TV is a year newer then mine, it probably doesnt.

It makes since because I watched a few different shows on Netflix and its 5.1 and it sounds good, the only movie I tried on Netflix that wasnt so far was Skyfall, dont know why that is. I did try running Uverse through the sound bar but what was on TV still came out stereo. I will try it again tonight but how do I know what is on TV should be passing through 5.1? Maybe what I had on TV wasnt 5.1?

Thanks again.

Did you check out the list of TVs which I posted, showing how few TVs pass 5.1 to a soundbar?
Cat Scratch's Avatar Cat Scratch 01:10 PM 05-02-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by atx33 View Post

Cat Scratch, thanks for that information. I thought that I had read that it would pass through HDMI but since your TV is a year newer then mine, it probably doesnt.

It makes since because I watched a few different shows on Netflix and its 5.1 and it sounds good, the only movie I tried on Netflix that wasnt so far was Skyfall, dont know why that is. I did try running Uverse through the sound bar but what was on TV still came out stereo. I will try it again tonight but how do I know what is on TV should be passing through 5.1? Maybe what I had on TV wasnt 5.1?

Thanks again.

You're welcome.

Don't know anything about Uverse but my BigNameCompany cable box has a TOSLink out as well as the HDMI out. HDMI to the TV and the optical to a ViewHD VHD-SM4X2 switch. Also going to the switch is the TOSLink out from the Blu-Ray player (HDMI to TV) as well as a return back to the switch from the TV (for when I use the built in apps). Then from the switch to a Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker system. Think octopus.

Where I live, we don't have OTA signals, too far away and blocked by mountains. It's a sea of satellite dishes in my town.

When playing a program/movie that I know has 5.1 audio from the cable box and played through the TV, I get stereo. Switching the switch I get 5.1 and when any 5.1 Netflix (only one we do here) show plays, I get the 5.1, switching back.
atx33's Avatar atx33 02:29 PM 05-02-2014

taichi yes, thanks I checked it out. Not many TV's that passthrough 5.1.

 

cat scratch, one thing I just thought of and I need to look into is this TV is above the fire place and there are 2 huge windows on both sides. The only way to get cable up there was to do the Uverse wireless DVR box. Im wondering if that will passthrough 5.1, something I need to look into. Later tonight I am going to hook verse up directly to the sound bar again and just flip through channels to see. I wish I had space to put a AVR and set up at least a 3.0 system, but every AVR I have looked at is to freaking big. 


taichi4's Avatar taichi4 03:00 PM 05-02-2014
Does your DVR have Dolby Digital or Bitstream output? I believe that's what you need.
atx33's Avatar atx33 06:24 PM 05-02-2014

Well I set it up again Uverse Box -> HDMI Soundbar -> HDMI ARC Soundbar -> HDMI TV and its still not picking up 5.1. I checked out about 6-7 shows for 5 minutes or so and they were all in stereo. Then I went back to checkout Netflix from my TV and most shows are playing in 5.1. So its either the Uverse box or the HDMI cable probably, so I ordered a high speed 1.4 HDMI and should get it tomorrow. I will reach out to ATT about my DVR box to see if that could be it also, I only have the regular out options like HDMI, optical and stuff, no DD output.


atx33's Avatar atx33 06:50 PM 05-02-2014

Well good news, I figured it out. There is a setting thru the Uverse box for Audio output to switch it from Stereo to Surround. Getting 5.1 now for cable, so I am happy about that.

 

Couple other questions for people that may know. Shouldn't the sound bar turn on and off when I turn the TV on and off, since I connected the soundbar and TV thru ARC? Even if the sound bar and TV are both on and I hit the TV power button, the TV turns off but the sound bar stays on playing the sound front he show. How can I fix this?

 

Also, when I hit the internet button on my TV remote to go to Netflix, the sound on the bar switches to HDMI ARC automatically so sound plays. But when I go from the Smart internet Netflix area to Cable the soundbar doesn't switch automatically to HDMI 2 to play sound, I have to use the sound bar remote to switch it, which I know may confuse my wife. So any suggestions on how to correct that?

 

Thanks again! Im getting there and I am much happier with the sound when its 5.1.


taichi4's Avatar taichi4 08:53 PM 05-02-2014
So you're getting a fuller sound now with the speakers detached?

Hopefully, when you get it all settled in, you'll be able to to give an opinion about the size of the front soundstage from the bar with its diminished length, and the clarity of dialogue.

Good for you.
atx33's Avatar atx33 03:02 PM 05-04-2014

Yes I am getting fuller sound now and it is defiantly running 5.1. Sometimes it sounds really solid and other times it sounds narrow and weak. One minute there is also really nice base and then it just disappears. The volume seems to fluctuate also when I have the speakers pulled, so I am always adjusting the volume it seems. I am wondering if its the sound bar because if it was my TV connection, it would do the same when the sides were attached.

 

The sound bar has also switched inputs randomly a few times, in the middle of watching something, so of course I have to switch back. Also, when I switch inputs not he TV, the sound bar switches automatically sometimes and other times it doesn't.

 

Another issue I am having is syncing bluetooth. I was able to sync the first couple days but haven't been able to this weekend. I will probably call customer support tomorrow.

 

I have 90 days to return, so I will probably hang on to it for a while but I am not completely satisfied. Pulling the speakers off was cool at first but I can see how after a while I may just say screw it and just leave them attached. I am thinking I will checkout the Vizio 5451 when it comes out to compare. It will fit my 60in perfectly and I bet the front sound bar will just sound better and wider but we will see. Hopefully it comes out soon.


hotmajlik's Avatar hotmajlik 08:38 AM 06-03-2014

to dannyhoda:

 

I have the same experience as you. Bought the set on Saturday, and after the first listening - iTunes from iPad over Bluetooth, late in the night - with undetached surround speakers - first impression was quite ok. But later on, Monday afternoon, I have put the system under heavy testing with various music sources /satellite TV, DTS files via microHDMI from ultrabook, DolbyDigital 5.1 movie files out of USB thru smartTV/ and was very disapppointed. Lack of mids - "virtual" centre speaker simply doesnt work, voices from the centre are "missing", lost in space somewhere even when satellites are detached.

Rear speakers are unpleasantly dominant, even after moving those quite far behind the "sweet spot" - you would have to be sitting as close as 50cm-100cm from the soundbar to start hearing the soundbar as "front" speaker - while rear speakers good 4-5m behind you. Tried switching all possible inputs, settings of the TV with switched off internal speakers of TV with signal passing just to HDMI ARC, moving rear speakers as far in my room as possible, switching thru inputs on the soundbar trying to "activate" autocalibration of the unit (if there s any), but no success.

If you are happy with listening just to stereo sound of your iTunes collection from complete soundbar /unattached satellites/, then you might be satisfied. Unlike me /and possibly other people, who bought this set just because of its capability of having optional wireless surround sound for ocassional movie watching.

Yesterday I returned the set to my local dealer.

I will give a try to Philips Fidelio E5 as they seem more versatile, even though after the first listening in a local electronic shop the treble are bit "soft" for my ear and bass was too heavy, but litening environment was not good /kindda semi-open wooden booth in a very busy large store../...

will let u know as it played in home setting....

cheers,

J.S.


Runamok81's Avatar Runamok81 11:29 AM 08-11-2014
Just purchased this unit.

Update 08-23. Resolved HTPC bitstreaming issues. HDMI ARC works. All good.!

Fidelio VS VIZIO S4251w-B4
As far as the sound, I'm satisfied. I spent an evening putting the Fidelio through it's paces: Music, movies, and games. When the Fidelio is in Voltron mode --with all speakers combined-- it's true that it doesn't have the same presence as the Vizio. As other commenters have noticed, the mids are tad weaker and the sub isn't quite as boomy. In contrast, the Fidelio sub is tighter. A trade-off that I welcome. On top-end volume the Vizio also wins. It can go louder. But, the Fidelio is no slouch. Let's call it 70% as loud as the Vizio. And while the Vizio would get "muddy" when pushed, the Fidelio got cold and sharp. For those complaining of sound "dropping off," try turning off any of the Auto Volume features. My Vizio soundbar had something similar called dynamic range and both of them did the same thing. Murder the sound levels causing spikes and valleys. Dynamic garbage.

Conclusion
Now the fun part. I can't express how satisfying it is to detach the speakers, place them around the room and enjoy true 5.1 surround sound. Here is where the Fidelio shines. The room comes alive. The sound is immersive and satisfying. The Vizio's surround cables always limited the placement and usefulness of surrounds. With the Fidelio, placement options are unlimited. The effect is something no other soundbar south of Sonos can deliver. This is true perfectly placed, synched, and clean surround sound. Night and day to so called "virtual surround" or "sound "reflection." As an added bonus, when not listening to 5.1 - such as a stereo music source -- you can detach the speakers and use them to fill another room or take the party outside. No wires, no permanent installs, completely convenient and incredibly sweet.

Phillips is on to something with this design. I hope they can take this concept further! In the end, the Vizio went back to Amazon, and my new Fidelio is staying. So much fun!
koveraasen 04:34 AM 09-10-2014
I have a couple of questions regarding this soundbar that I was hoping someone could help me with

- Does the soundbar pass through audio from any of the inputs to the HDMI output so I can get the audio on my TV as well? If so, is the audio simple passed through as it comes in, or adapted (downmixed) to a format the TV accepts (for instance stereo PCM)?

- Does the soundbar accept multichannel PCM on the HDMI inputs? Meaning, could I decode HD audio formats on the Blu-ray and output as PCM 7.1 to the soundbar?
koveraasen 12:17 PM 09-14-2014
Anyone know?
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 04:29 PM 09-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmajlik View Post
to dannyhoda:

I will give a try to Philips Fidelio E5 as they seem more versatile, even though after the first listening in a local electronic shop the treble are bit "soft" for my ear and bass was too heavy, but litening environment was not good /kindda semi-open wooden booth in a very busy large store../...
will let u know as it played in home setting....
cheers,
J.S.
I'm curious about the E5. You must be in Europe, as this unit is not in any stores in the US.

Being able to place the fronts wider than the length of the 9100 should gibe a better front soundstage, but then Philips resorts to some sound processing to further define the phantom center channel. So I'm curious about all this.
Sinatrafan's Avatar Sinatrafan 11:16 AM 11-11-2014
I'm thinking of getting one of these soundbars..just two or three questions..since this soundbar has the HDMI "ARC" capability, then it can be used with a 5.1 receiver.. right? So.. please correct me if I'm wrong here..but; in regard to the rear speakers.. why not turn down the rear speaker sound levels directly from the receiver? I have a entry level Yamaha 5.1 receiver (RXV-371) - I can adjust the sound level of the 5 individual speakers ..so, logically; since the soundbar is being used with a receiver (if HDMI "ARC" is used..) the sound level of the REAR speakers can be adjusted directly from the receiver.. right? Just an observation..but correct me if I'm wrong..

The same might be true of the terrible MIDS that people are noticeing..I have an EQUALIZER in my Yamaha receiver.. why not adjust the sound with the equalizer, to correct the MIDS that way? Just a thought, but might this be possible ?

A few people are saying that the CENTER channel seems to disappear altogether at times..(since the Philips Fidelio uses a "virtual" center speaker)..the sound at times seems to overwhelm the voices.. well.. here's a thought.. since this soundbar is working with a 5.1 surround receiver.. why not keep the CENTER speaker that was originally used with the receiver.. that way..the voices might still be heard regardless.. I dunno.. it MIGHT work.. it's just a thought..

What do ya'll think ? I don't own this soundbar (yet..I have to get WIFE APPROVAL first) so, I really have no idea if these suggestions might work.. but..hey! They might work.. it's worth thinking about..
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 04:33 PM 11-11-2014
Unless I'm very much mistaken, the ARC return channel will not let you drive the internal speakers of this soundbar with your receiver. No matter how you cut it, it is an active, powered soundbar.

Most reviews of this soundbar are very good, even with the virtual center channel. As I mentioned before, there is a new version of this soundbar coming out called the B 5. This will look identical to the current model, but will have larger mid range-upper bass speakers, 3 inches compared to the current 2.5 inches.

This should improve the sound appreciably. Moreover, the rear satellites and the soundbar itself can all be used independently as Bluetooth streaming speakers.
Sinatrafan's Avatar Sinatrafan 08:57 PM 11-11-2014
Oh.. ok.. I stand corrected.. apparently, the receiver volume and equalizer controls only work with passive speakers.. thanks for letting me know..but, let me ask this.. since the Philips soundbar is plugged into the Yamaha receiver via HDMI, will the Philips Fidelio soundbar recognise the different formats that the Yamaha recognises? (Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, ect..) Just wondering.. Thanks again!
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 07:58 AM 11-12-2014
The Philips HTL 7180 (9100) will play Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround, whether that source is a BluRay Player, your receiver, or any other device capable of passing those formats.
Adam-JM 11:29 PM 11-16-2014
Hi guys, I have a couple of questions about this soundbar, as I just bought one yesterday.

So far I have been very happy with the performance, however I have noticed a physical oddity with the bar itself. To the right of the central control panel where the power button is, underneath the fabric material there is a small bump which is hard to see but can be felt easily. Is this normal for these units? It's smooth everywhere else, not sure if this is part of the speaker mechanism or a manufacturing defect.

Also, I experience momentary sound drops sometimes, especially when watching Youtube videos & that sort of thing. The sound just cuts out for like 2 seconds, which can sometimes result in spoken dialogue being missed, etc.
Chere's Avatar Chere 01:00 AM 01-25-2015
Can this sound bar hold its own against the Vizio S5451w-C2 or is it completely unfair to even try to compare them?
william06's Avatar william06 07:16 AM 01-25-2015
I do not think it un fair. Although the Phillips had a higher list it quickly was discontinued. I was truly tempted to go for it at its clearance pricing. But eventually settled on the vizio 5451. I know the vizio has 5.1 descreet channels a center a left and a right plus left rear and right rear. I am not so sure about the Phillips. Even though both accept dd and dts . I had the Sony 660 which was the most versatile hdmi switching, and accepted all digital formats inc dolby true hd and dts hd I was never too happy with it . Although the 5451 only does dd and dts basic and one hdmi imput and arc output there are many work arounds . I am glad I chose the 5451. Just do a whole lot of research and do what's right for you.
taichi4's Avatar taichi4 06:51 PM 01-25-2015
The comparison is not at all unfair. Each of these devices has their merits. The Vizio has a physically longer soundbar, which expands the breadth of the sound image, and has, as a previous poster said, a discrete center channel. A real center channel will generally provide a much more solid anchor then any virtual center. And I believe that the Vizio will play louder.

The advantage that the Philips has is that it has both discrete midrange drivers and dome tweeters, as opposed to the Vizio's's full range drivers, and you can see from the reviews that the Philips has a very good, clean, and extended high-end. And there is also the pleasure of having wireless rear speakers.

In any event, I would wait for the forthcoming B5, which will undoubtedly be better than the 9100. The size of the midranges is going up from 2.5 inch to 3 inches. But there is that pesky, virtual center channel. It will be interesting to hear the B5, but I think it would be a good design move if Philips had a physical center channel.
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