All kinds of questions - mainly Sony CT260 or Vizio S4251W? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-21-2013, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 3 year old Sony HTCT150 which has 3.1 and has been great for the small room I have. It now reads "push power protector" on the display and wont turn fully on. Sony wants $120 to fix it, so in the market again for something new. Upon reading a lot of threads here and looking at reviews for budget price range soundbars, the new Sony HTCT260 and Vizio S4251W keep coming out on top. I use it for a lot of basic streaming of netflix, hulu that type of thing, NFL Sunday Ticket (streaming through PC which is hooked up through HDMI) and video games (currently Xbox 360, but plan on getting a next gen system in Nov). Because the tv sits somewhat in the middle of the room with an opening to the back and right side, i dont know that i will use the rear speakers of the Vizio all that much. I sit approx 7-8 ft from the tv (Samsung LCD 46"), so it will never be up loud and booming. I also have a nice Astro gaming headset with surround, so for gaming this is more for when I just don't feel like putting those on. I have been using the tv speakers again for the first time in around 3 years and it is horrible.

On a seperate note, in my research I am finding that I am probably not passing the full 5.1 signal to the soundbar as i run everything through HDMI to the TV then optical to the sound bar. Looking to fix that for the new system, even if it is only the 2.1. If i only have the option of a single optical in (which both of these sound bars have), should i get some sort of combiner or switch? Something that can take 2 optical signals and push to a single out to then run into the sound bar. I am just trying to figure out the best way to get the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and maybe even a PS4 to go to both the sound bar and the headphones.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-21-2013, 03:55 PM
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I am in the same fix you are. Wondering what to do.

Well, I have heard both. The Sony 260 definitely sounds a little better too my ears. Cleaner/Crisper/more loudness. The VIZIO sounded a little "muddier", and not as loud. But it still has that 5.1 surround from at least 2 sources(Cable box/Blu-ray or gaming setup) DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO IT.

BUT YOU MUST GO DIRECTLY FROM YOUR SOURCE TO THE SOUNDBAR TO GET 5.1 SOUND. So you would have to go from your Cable Box/XBOX360/Blu-ray/etc... from either the OPTICAL/COAXIAL OUT DRIECTLY into the Soundbar fro 5.1.

Samsung, along with nearly all(not all, but most), DOWNGRADE 5.1 input from HDMI in, to 2.0 stereo out from the OPTICAL out from the TV. ONLY when you are using the TV's internal OTA tuner(I do not know if it works with unscrambled QAM signals from the cable co, but it might), will the OPTICAL OUT from the TV send 5.1 surround sound.

This is where VIZIO messed up a little IMHO. If the new version comes out with MULTIPLE inputs like 2-3 optical in, AND 2-3 coaxial inputs for multiple sources.

You may be able to buy a OPTICAL changer, or something that passes through multiple optical/coaxial inputs to the VIZIO to help this dilemma, but I do not know what they cost, or if they passthrough 5.1 sound. Seems like an unnecessary added expense. These things are supposed to make life easier, not harder.

Here are reviews by CNET about these systems:

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-sound-bars/

Sony has the HT-CT660 which has HDMI and multiple optical/coaxial inputs, but it goes for $100-$125 more than the 260.

I may just wait for new version of the VIZIO to pop up in 8-10 months which should have more inputs, and/or HDMI inputs added to it.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-21-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Now that I am looking at the Sony 660, the major benefit is that it has 2 HDMI inputs, so for my purposes that should handle it and can act as the pass through instead of the TV. It is roughly $100 more, but it is onsale at Best Buy right now, so I might check into it. I think that would overall be worth the extra, just to not have to hookup additional switchers and such. Most of the consoles have both HDMI and optical and pass both signals, so I can run the optical to the headphones and the HDMI to the soundbar. The more I look the more i lean towards one of the Sony's.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-21-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEELERSRULE View Post

I am in the same fix you are. Wondering what to do.

Well, I have heard both. The Sony 260 definitely sounds a little better too my ears. Cleaner/Crisper/more loudness. The VIZIO sounded a little "muddier", and not as loud. But it still has that 5.1 surround from at least 2 sources(Cable box/Blu-ray or gaming setup) DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO IT.

BUT YOU MUST GO DIRECTLY FROM YOUR SOURCE TO THE SOUNDBAR TO GET 5.1 SOUND. So you would have to go from your Cable Box/XBOX360/Blu-ray/etc... from either the OPTICAL/COAXIAL OUT DRIECTLY into the Soundbar fro 5.1.

Samsung, along with nearly all(not all, but most), DOWNGRADE 5.1 input from HDMI in, to 2.0 stereo out from the OPTICAL out from the TV. ONLY when you are using the TV's internal OTA tuner(I do not know if it works with unscrambled QAM signals from the cable co, but it might), will the OPTICAL OUT from the TV send 5.1 surround sound.

This is where VIZIO messed up a little IMHO. If the new version comes out with MULTIPLE inputs like 2-3 optical in, AND 2-3 coaxial inputs for multiple sources.

You may be able to buy a OPTICAL changer, or something that passes through multiple optical/coaxial inputs to the VIZIO to help this dilemma, but I do not know what they cost, or if they passthrough 5.1 sound. Seems like an unnecessary added expense. These things are supposed to make life easier, not harder.

Here are reviews by CNET about these systems:

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-sound-bars/

Sony has the HT-CT660 which has HDMI and multiple optical/coaxial inputs, but it goes for $100-$125 more than the 260.

I may just wait for new version of the VIZIO to pop up in 8-10 months which should have more inputs, and/or HDMI inputs added to it.


Not sure if either of you are aware of it but Vizio is about to drop an entirely new 5.1 sound bar in about a month. Its a 54 inch version with upgraded drivers, bigger sub and improved connectivity to include multiple HDMI inputs. I was originally waiting for this since I saw it at CES but have decided to stick with a stereo unit and go with the new Pioneer speaker bar that should be available most places locally by next week. We shall see...

Anyway - here is a link to a basic YouTube overview of the 54 inch Vizio from Digital Trends at the CES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y-z0CZYwL0&t=2m16s
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-21-2013, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up. My tv is only 46" so that would just be too big. I am leaning towards the bigger Sony though as it has all the connections. I actually messed around with the CT150 again tonight for the 100th time this week and miraculously it started working again. So that may hold me off until the new stuff hits. Ideally I want to wait for the new consoles to make my decision then. Thanks for the replies.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-22-2013, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFresh View Post

Thanks for the info. Now that I am looking at the Sony 660, the major benefit is that it has 2 HDMI inputs, so for my purposes that should handle it and can act as the pass through instead of the TV. It is roughly $100 more, but it is onsale at Best Buy right now, so I might check into it. I think that would overall be worth the extra, just to not have to hookup additional switchers and such. Most of the consoles have both HDMI and optical and pass both signals, so I can run the optical to the headphones and the HDMI to the soundbar. The more I look the more i lean towards one of the Sony's.

I was under the impression that the Sony 660 had 3 HDMI inputs.

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-22-2013, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right that is my typo. 3 inputs and 1 output for HDMI.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-22-2013, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterNincompoop View Post

Not sure if either of you are aware of it but Vizio is about to drop an entirely new 5.1 sound bar in about a month. Its a 54 inch version with upgraded drivers, bigger sub and improved connectivity to include multiple HDMI inputs. I was originally waiting for this since I saw it at CES but have decided to stick with a stereo unit and go with the new Pioneer speaker bar that should be available most places locally by next week. We shall see...

Anyway - here is a link to a basic YouTube overview of the 54 inch Vizio from Digital Trends at the CES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y-z0CZYwL0&t=2m16s

That YouTube video never mentioned anything about HDMI ports in the 54" version at all. It sounded like to me that all three models have the same inputs. Unless of course they redesigned it or something. Anyway, thanx for the information, but that 54" is justoo big for my needs.

I currently have a 46" LED, and am looking to buy a 58" LED. I know the 54" soundbar would be better, but my TV stand does not have the width. 47" will have to do.

I still really like the VIZIO 5.1. Just wish it had more inputs for 5.1 sound. But I think I can get away with just 2. My cable box, and down the line a PS4, which will be my Blu-Ray/Game/Apps like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, YouTube, etc...

I had the PS3, and I "think" the optical out passed 5.1 sound, when available, when using the apps, but not sure. I hope the PS4 does.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-22-2013, 03:47 PM
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^^^

I spoke to Vizio about it a while back - it has HDMI connectivity. I also have a friend in the business that is set to review it and he confirmed.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-29-2013, 07:37 PM
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I realize the sonos is tons more expensive than even the forth coming 54 inch. How does the vizio stack up to sonos is surround sound capabilities.
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 04:40 PM
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i have all sources plugged into my sony kdl 70r550a tv and optical from the tv to the vizio soundbar. I am hearing 5.1 audio but according to some people it is likey doing dolby coding to sound 5.1.

I think it's doing a heck of a job at it because the sound i hear from the rear speakers are very distinguished noises

like just the crowd noise while I watch sporting events or just train track noise while people are talking on the screen riding inside the train. or a chase scene, I see the person running through the streets and all the noise but in the rear speakers, I only hear city background noise. it's quite amazing.
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