Failed optical output, just use analog for TV audio or forget about it? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm seeking opinions...everyone likes to give those, right?

I have a full 5.1 setup in my living room and very content there, but I was itching for a new toy and decided to upgrade the sound for the bedroom TV by adding a soundbar. Knowing that I had an optical output on the TV, I selected a soundbar that would decode Dolby Digital (LG NB3530A). After hooking things up (via optical), I noticed the sound cutting out every few minutes. After working through all the troubleshooting steps I could (changing inputs, cables, trying on different devices), I determined that my optical output on my TV had a bug (I had never previously used this output, only used TV speaker's's just a bedroom TV). Vizio doesn't admit this, but there is no firmware upgrade and it's definitely out of warranty. Here is also a thread where another person has the same issue with no fix:

I'm trying to decide whether it's worth the hassle to even have a soundbar now that I can't use optical from the TV (and the TV doesn't have ARC either). TV is what we primarily watch in there, although from time to time we will view blurays, DVD's or Netflix. I noticed that the problem still exists when I send PCM via optical, AND I noticed that it simply doesn't sound as good, which makes me think it could only be the same or possibly worse with an analog connection. My only option here is to use an analog connection (which I would need to get my hands on a L/R RCA to 3.5 adapter to even try).

Is it really worth it to upgrade your sound and use an analog connection for your primary viewing source? Am I being too much of a purist? Are the sources going to have major volume differences between them if they are hooked up with totally different types of connections and no way (no AVR) to level the sensitivity between inputs?

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Old 11-20-2013, 09:00 AM
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I connect my sources directly to the sound bar, if you have the connections to do that it will sound better anyway. I hate Vizio and I don't think too many people here would recommend an LG sound bar.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:32 PM
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I would first look at connecting sources directly to the soundbar but my mother has a cheap soundbar with an analog connection and it definitely sounds better than the TV speakers. I believe that your soundbar has a 3.5 mm input so I would give it a shot. We could offer nothing more than opinions but it's up to how you like the sound.

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Old 11-20-2013, 03:24 PM
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If your LG soundbar is 2.1 channel (most are), you would only be getting a psuedo surround effect. Sometimes a bitstream input to the soundbar will give it more to work with, sometimes not. If you can resolve the difference in sound from either digital or analog to an LG soundbar, you should classify yourself as a Golden Ear. I have listened both ways on more than a dozen different soundbars that have passed through my home (too many of the came to live) and don't believe that I can tell a difference. Still like to use optical just because I think it may be better. My wife has better ears than I and she can hear no difference. As info, she always wins.

Also, one of the first things I usually do is turn off psuedo surround modes from most soundbars as the out of phase and delayed sound muddy what I think I should be hearing.

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