Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars - Page 33 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #961 of 1996 Old 12-26-2016, 10:07 AM
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Hi Guys, Thanks for so much information here, I took me about 2 days to read through every single post to know better about this soundbar. But here is my situation and question for all those using this soundbar.
I had a 7.1 AVR/Speaker setup in my TV lounge however due to home ministry pressure I gave that up and need to go with soundbar to keep it minimal.
About 60% time we watch movies/TV on Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu etc using AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV 4K, about 30% is movies on Kodi and rest 10% YouTube and Music.
which means mostly I'm watching movies or TV shows in 2 Ch or max 5 ch. I do have a huge collection of movies library which I play using Kodi. I have no plans at least in foreseeable future to buy Bluray Player or collection of Bluray, happy with Netflix/Amazon Prime & Kodi.

My last AVR Anthem always created a wonderful soundstage despite feeding 2 Ch sources through it's own processing. I know this SB produce good sound but mostly ppl are praising about ATMOS source. What about 2 Ch. source quality?

In my case do you think I'll gain benefit buying this expensive soundbar, Frankly price is not a concern for me, as my last setup was way more expensive than this soundbar, but if I'm mostly playing 2 Ch sources, will this soundbar still produce surround sound stage worth spending this much money?

BTW I did bought a soundbar which is 2 ch. form Cambridge Audio, one of the best SB as far as Sound Quality is concern however we (Me & my wife) do feel that we are not enjoying the movies as before due to simple straight 2 ch sound coming from CA. It's more like much better sound coming from TV that's it without effect etc.
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post #962 of 1996 Old 12-26-2016, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rmunawar9 View Post
Hi Guys, Thanks for so much information here, I took me about 2 days to read through every single post to know better about this soundbar. But here is my situation and question for all those using this soundbar.
I had a 7.1 AVR/Speaker setup in my TV lounge however due to home ministry pressure I gave that up and need to go with soundbar to keep it minimal.
About 60% time we watch movies/TV on Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu etc using AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV 4K, about 30% is movies on Kodi and rest 10% YouTube and Music.
which means mostly I'm watching movies or TV shows in 2 Ch or max 5 ch. I do have a huge collection of movies library which I play using Kodi. I have no plans at least in foreseeable future to buy Bluray Player or collection of Bluray, happy with Netflix/Amazon Prime & Kodi.

My last AVR Anthem always created a wonderful soundstage despite feeding 2 Ch sources through it's own processing. I know this SB produce good sound but mostly ppl are praising about ATMOS source. What about 2 Ch. source quality?

In my case do you think I'll gain benefit buying this expensive soundbar, Frankly price is not a concern for me, as my last setup was way more expensive than this soundbar, but if I'm mostly playing 2 Ch sources, will this soundbar still produce surround sound stage worth spending this much money?

BTW I did bought a soundbar which is 2 ch. form Cambridge Audio, one of the best SB as far as Sound Quality is concern however we (Me & my wife) do feel that we are not enjoying the movies as before due to simple straight 2 ch sound coming from CA. It's more like much better sound coming from TV that's it without effect etc.
Its a wash.

Recent firmware has improved the rears noticeably for me. Watching Apple TV you get them pretty clearly across all apps. Amazon seems to be pretty decent too. You will need to turn on surround mode on the bar to get the simulated 5.1.4 sound.

But honestly - I probably wouldn't buy this for a room where I wouldn't watch BluRays/UHD BluRays with Atmos soundtracks. That is where this bar really comes alive. I think there are better options if you just want 5.1 sound in that room.
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post #963 of 1996 Old 12-26-2016, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tdrozdowski View Post
Its a wash.

Recent firmware has improved the rears noticeably for me. Watching Apple TV you get them pretty clearly across all apps. Amazon seems to be pretty decent too. You will need to turn on surround mode on the bar to get the simulated 5.1.4 sound.

But honestly - I probably wouldn't buy this for a room where I wouldn't watch BluRays/UHD BluRays with Atmos soundtracks. That is where this bar really comes alive. I think there are better options if you just want 5.1 sound in that room.
Thanks tdrozdowski, I know there are other options for simple 5.1. I was almost set to buy Focal Dimension which I heard and liked but it's a simple 5.1 bar with no Atmos, No 4K & HDR (I Do have XBOX One S and 4K HDR TV).So come to think of it, Focal is more expensive then this bar and offer less in functionality and features.
So I wonder should I spend more and get a bar which is not feature proof at all or buy this bar which has every current technology which I have no use today.
So question is more of how good the Samsung virtual surround sound upmixing from 2 or 5.1 ch to Atmos and does this sound produce equally good quality if only used as a 5.1
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post #964 of 1996 Old 12-26-2016, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rmunawar9 View Post
Thanks tdrozdowski, I know there are other options for simple 5.1. I was almost set to buy Focal Dimension which I heard and liked but it's a simple 5.1 bar with no Atmos, No 4K & HDR (I Do have XBOX One S and 4K HDR TV).So come to think of it, Focal is more expensive then this bar and offer less in functionality and features.
So I wonder should I spend more and get a bar which is not feature proof at all or buy this bar which has every current technology which I have no use today.
So question is more of how good the Samsung virtual surround sound upmixing from 2 or 5.1 ch to Atmos and does this sound produce equally good quality if only used as a 5.1
The only hesitation I have in recommending this - or any Samsung product at this point - is that they really, really suck when it comes to software. I have constant problems with their TVs and this soundbar with every firmware they release. Fixes a problem one release - introduces 5 more the next. Fix those five - but reintroduce the original problem next. Its that maddening.

So yes - while this is a bit 'future-proof' - I'm sure if you wait until CES you'll see who else is releasing similar products and then plan accordingly. Unless you can get this for dirt cheap - I'd pass on it. Wait for another brand from a company that can manage their firmware properly.
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post #965 of 1996 Old 12-26-2016, 08:11 PM
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The only hesitation I have in recommending this - or any Samsung product at this point - is that they really, really suck when it comes to software. I have constant problems with their TVs and this soundbar with every firmware they release. Fixes a problem one release - introduces 5 more the next. Fix those five - but reintroduce the original problem next. Its that maddening.

So yes - while this is a bit 'future-proof' - I'm sure if you wait until CES you'll see who else is releasing similar products and then plan accordingly. Unless you can get this for dirt cheap - I'd pass on it. Wait for another brand from a company that can manage their firmware properly.
Thanks again, well I'm able to buy this for USD 1000 here, I saw that Philips has also introduce and it's available at some parts but that's only 5.1.2 with no physical rear speakers. Also no HDR passthrough.
I think I need to do more diligence, it's just that in this price range I can't build my own 5.1.4 even a decent 5.1 and don't want to waste any more money on buying another 2.1 normal bar for time being.
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post #966 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rmunawar9 View Post
Thanks again, well I'm able to buy this for USD 1000 here, I saw that Philips has also introduce and it's available at some parts but that's only 5.1.2 with no physical rear speakers. Also no HDR passthrough.
I think I need to do more diligence, it's just that in this price range I can't build my own 5.1.4 even a decent 5.1 and don't want to waste any more money on buying another 2.1 normal bar for time being.
If you don't have a bluray player like the sammy 8500 to play dvd's with atmos sound tracks this 950 is kinda pointless (and very expensive) in my opinion. Its 5.1 samsung upversion process to the rears is somewhat poor and disappointing over a true 5.1 system.

A crutchfield description (an online retailer who is trying to sell soundbar systems) of the 5.1 effect: "Surround Sound Expansion Plus adds height channel sound to non-Atmos movies and shows".
Expansion plus is a proprietary effect by samsung which is not true surround.

"Expansion plus" for 5.1 doesn't come close to the 5.1 true surround sound in the $399 U.S. dollar system I've linked to below.

To go through all this aggravation with this quirky defective software mostly (as the poster above has mentioned), so you don't have two thin wires running to the rears, doesn't make sense. Most buyers own the 950 for atmos.

I originally bought this home theater in box by yamaha as a gift for my daughters house, but returned it 30 days later after I gave her my 5.1 system when I bought the 950.
You can't beat the value and yamaha is a good brand.

It s better than spending $1000 on a not ready for prime time atmos soundbar and cheaper than going to the movies. I'd rather watch movies in my home than deal with expensive movie theater,

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-49...theater+in+box

But for playing UHD bluray (with atmos audio) 4k DVD's especially when viewed on a 65 inch Ultra HD tv . . . the 950 does sound amazing. Problem is thats probably 10% of most owners usage with netflix, amazon streaming and network viewing or bluray DVD's with DTS audio being the other 90% . . . the 950 is clearly subpar over buyinga $399 home theater in a box system (HTIB). . . in my experience and opinion

This has been my experience since my purchase date of 8/28/16 (4 months) for $942.

UNK65KS8500 (curved model)
HW-K950 Samsung Atmos soundbar-with rears
HW-J8500 Samsung Soundbar (sold 10-24-16)
Sanus universal soundbar speaker mount SA405B1
Samsung 4K Ultra HD Bluray player UBDK8500
Harmony 650 remote ($43 amazon)

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post #967 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Guys, Sorry Expidia you were bit late in your response.
I took the leap of faith and bought the Samsung K950 bar today , Got a deal for USD 950.
I went to listen the bar again today and I was quite happy with the sound.
My rational to buy is as following:
1. Didn't wanted to buy any 5.1 speaker set with AVR, had to buy a soundbar
2. The bar which I liked as alternate to this bar was Focal Dimension which was about twice the price of Samsung but offering only 5.1 and No 4K HDR passthrough or Bluetooth or WiFi.

So even without Atmos requirement today both price and feature/functionality this bar seems a better deal.
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post #968 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 02:48 PM
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Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars

So I've done a bunch of testing and found a bit of an issue with the Samsung.

My Xbox One S will not change over to 5.1 or 7.1 PCM as it says the device it's connected to doesn't accept those formats and only lets me select DD re encoded bitstream output. When I change over to that, and play 5.1 test times from my Atmos BR test disc, the surrounds process as mono (the LS comes out of both speakers as does the RS tone...). This could indeed be an error inside the XBox DD encoder implementation, but I suspect it isn't as I found anomalies in how the PS4 Pro is acting also...

The PS4 Pro allows me to send.PCM output without an error, but when I play the tones this way there is no sub, and the surrounds don't play back properly....

Long story short, I suspect one of two things (or both)

1. The Samsung is incorrectly reporting its HDMI audio capabilities as 2.0. Easy to fix????? Maybe... I can't imagine that the HDMI chipset doesn't accept 5.1 or 7.1 PCM as it does handle Dolby lossless.... but it should still report as a 5.1 sink, and this might be what's tripping up the XBpx and creating the messed up DD output from the console.

2. The unit was not designed to accept 5.1 PCM from the go and is not fixable. Which would truly suck. I bought this knowing that it wouldn't accept DTS 5.1 lossy and lossless, but expected to be able to set up my sources for PCM for BR's etc....

I started a chat with support... but as soon as it turned to "Are you using a Samsung Tv" and what kind of cables are you using etc... I knew they wouldn't be of any help. Maybe I'll call... but this really going to be beyond phone support.
@imagic I've sent you a copy of this post via pm.

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post #969 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 03:56 PM
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Audio output setting from a TV ARC connection?

Hi,
I have just had the 950 installed along with a new ks8000 screen and the ubd-k8500 bluray player. I have been very impressed with atmos uhd bluray sound. My question if anyone can help is:
What sound output setting is needed for DD5.1 passthrough from the tv via hdmi arc back to the soundbar?

My SkyHD satellite box is connected via hdmi to the tv one connect box and has Dolby digital output. So do I need to set tv to bitstream DD or PCM DD for best sound?

Would be good to get some help or opinions on this.

Samsung UE75KS8000 (tv)
Samsung HW-K950 (soundbar)
Samsung UBD-K8500 (blu-ray)
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post #970 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 04:14 PM
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Hi,

I have just had the 950 installed along with a new ks8000 screen and the ubd-k8500 bluray player. I have been very impressed with atmos uhd bluray sound. My question if anyone can help is:

What sound output setting is needed for DD5.1 passthrough from the tv via hdmi arc back to the soundbar?



My SkyHD satellite box is connected via hdmi to the tv one connect box and has Dolby digital output. So do I need to set tv to bitstream DD or PCM DD for best sound?



Would be good to get some help or opinions on this.


Bitstream.


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post #971 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 05:18 PM
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So I've done a bunch of testing and found a bit of an issue with the Samsung.

My Xbox One S will not change over to 5.1 or 7.1 PCM as it says the device it's connected to doesn't accept those formats and only lets me select DD re encoded bitstream output. When I change over to that, and play 5.1 test times from my Atmos BR test disc, the surrounds process as mono (the LS comes out of both speakers as does the RS tone...). This could indeed be an error inside the XBox DD encoder implementation, but I suspect it isn't as I found anomalies in how the PS4 Pro is acting also...

The PS4 Pro allows me to send.PCM output without an error, but when I play the tones this way there is no sub, and the surrounds don't play back properly....

Long story short, I suspect one of two things (or both)

1. The Samsung is incorrectly reporting its HDMI audio capabilities as 2.0. Easy to fix????? Maybe... I can't imagine that the HDMI chipset doesn't accept 5.1 or 7.1 PCM as it does handle Dolby lossless.... but it should still report as a 5.1 sink, and this might be what's tripping up the XBpx and creating the messed up DD output from the console.

2. The unit was not designed to accept 5.1 PCM from the go and is not fixable. Which would truly suck. I bought this knowing that it wouldn't accept DTS 5.1 lossy and lossless, but expected to be able to set up my sources for PCM for BR's etc....

I started a chat with support... but as soon as it turned to "Are you using a Samsung Tv" and what kind of cables are you using etc... I knew they wouldn't be of any help. Maybe I'll call... but this really going to be beyond phone support.
@imagic I've sent you a copy of this post via pm.
The 'Audio pass through' support for the Xbox One S is in preview right now. It works with this bar like a charm - tested with Everest and this bar, got proper Dolby Atmos support. And yes, with Xbox One S currently you have to select the DD compatible bitstream. That how this bar was designed, IIRC. I don't seem to have any issues with it during gaming - even running over ARC.
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post #972 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 05:37 PM
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The 'Audio pass through' support for the Xbox One S is in preview right now. It works with this bar like a charm - tested with Everest and this bar, got proper Dolby Atmos support. And yes, with Xbox One S currently you have to select the DD compatible bitstream. That how this bar was designed, IIRC. I don't seem to have any issues with it during gaming - even running over ARC.

Audio bitstream pass through for the One S has nothing to do with the issue and will do nothing to solve what I found.

As I said the Xbox DD bitstream is not functioning correctly.... Either due to the Xbox or how the bar is reporting it's capabilities back to the Xbox....

My testing at this point shows there is no way to play back DTS content properly using the Xbox sending re encoded DD or the PS4 when set to PCM, and the Xbox output is compromised for gaming and streaming, and when the bitstream pass through comes out of Preview that won't change.

Running the Xbox through the display and using ARC might solve the issue for the re encode errors I've found... if the display is properly passing through the DD bitstream the Samsung should decode it properly. This will be my next set of tests.... but then you lose DD + and TrueHD for Atmos on BR and UHD BR, which kind of defeats the purpose of the bar...




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post #973 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Expidia View Post
If you don't have a bluray player like the sammy 8500 to play dvd's with atmos sound tracks this 950 is kinda pointless (and very expensive) in my opinion. Its 5.1 samsung upversion process to the rears is somewhat poor and disappointing over a true 5.1 system.

A crutchfield description (an online retailer who is trying to sell soundbar systems) of the 5.1 effect: "Surround Sound Expansion Plus adds height channel sound to non-Atmos movies and shows".
Expansion plus is a proprietary effect by samsung which is not true surround.

"Expansion plus" for 5.1 doesn't come close to the 5.1 true surround sound in the $399 U.S. dollar system I've linked to below.
This soundbar supports native 5.1. The specs also mention it supporting Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus. The "surround" mode adds the height channel. It does not simulate 5.1. In "Standard" sound mode, the sound remains unchanged and if the original was 5.1 then it will come out as true 5.1 with proper use of rears. So not calling it a true 5.1 is not accurate mate .
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post #974 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 09:25 PM
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Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars

I can now re-confirm what I have found.

1. The bar doesn't support 5.1 PCM. Which means:

Anything not in DD, DD+ or TrueHD is going to be limited to stereo.

Any BR that has DTS?Stereo only on the PS4 and mono surrounds on the Xbox One when re-encoded as DD.

Again, I understood the DTS limitation from the go... however we should be able to set our players to PCM for internal decoding of DTS tracks and then either leave the Samsung with surround off for 5.1 or Surround - On for 5.1.2 upmixing.

This is a major shame.... there is zero reason the sound bar should not accept 5.1 PCM...

How did I confirm this? I again checked the 5.1 DD bitstream from the Xbox isn't working properly (the LCR is fine, but both the LS and RS output from both speakers...). And the XBox error is indeed correct when you try and change it to uncompressed 5.1 that the sink doesn't support it. So I fired up the PS4 Pro and put in my Dolby Atmos test BR... Bitstream TrueHd and DD+ passed 5.1 properly... the BR app supersedes the system settings so you can't play a disc in PCM and then have the system audio setting re encode to DD...

So changing the player to PCM and then changing the BR player to decode and output PCM confines 2.0 input only..... the C and surround tones only come out of the L and R drivers on the bar....

So for gaming on the Xbox and PS 4 you are only getting 2.0 when using PCM. Same for the apps.

And any and all DTS BR and UHD BR are only coming out as 2.0 using PCM.

The Xbox is compromising the surrounds... that seems to be a bug... or maybe, since the Xbox only sees a 2.0 sink, the re encode MIGHT be making a 2.0 LtRt bitstream and the soundbar is actually decoding it... that's hard to confirm as the LCR is fairly discrete on deciding.... I will have to see what happens if I toggle surround on and off which I will try tomorrow.

But again.... it's really unacceptable to not accept 5.1 PCM.... while the DTS 2.0 limitation is (barely) spelled out, it's not clear it doesn't take 5.1 PCM in the manual, nor on the web site specs.
@imagic wanted to send a mention once again as maybe you can pass this along to Samsung for clarification and a possible fix.

As a side note..... The spec sheet incorrectly states it supports DTS Digital Surround, which by definition and history, denotes DTS 5.1... even on their webpage where it states DTS 2.0 the info pop up states 5.1...


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post #975 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 10:54 PM
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I can now re-confirm what I have found.

1. The bar doesn't support 5.1 PCM. Which means:

Anything not in DD, DD+ or TrueHD is going to be limited to stereo.

Any BR that has DTS?Stereo only on the PS4 and mono surrounds on the Xbox One when re-encoded as DD.

Again, I understood the DTS limitation from the go... however we should be able to set our players to PCM for internal decoding of DTS tracks and then either leave the Samsung with surround off for 5.1 or Surround - On for 5.1.2 upmixing.

This is a major shame.... there is zero reason the sound bar should not accept 5.1 PCM... ...............................

ETC ETC

The only real answer is to buy something like a Samsung bluray or UHD player. These convert DTS to DD and do a damn good job of it too. I have tested lots of familiar blurays with DTS soundtracks and they all sound excellent. There are no shortcuts with this soundbar, you have to tailor the equipment to it, not the other way around.
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post #976 of 1996 Old 12-27-2016, 11:01 PM
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I am not sure your point of all of this, at this point this thread has covered all of this, no PCM, xbox doesn't convert. Also 5.1 dolby games work just fine, it is some of the other apps that mess it up. So if you think it sucks return it, it works great for me.

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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
I can now re-confirm what I have found.

1. The bar doesn't support 5.1 PCM. Which means:

Anything not in DD, DD+ or TrueHD is going to be limited to stereo.

Any BR that has DTS?Stereo only on the PS4 and mono surrounds on the Xbox One when re-encoded as DD.

Again, I understood the DTS limitation from the go... however we should be able to set our players to PCM for internal decoding of DTS tracks and then either leave the Samsung with surround off for 5.1 or Surround - On for 5.1.2 upmixing.

This is a major shame.... there is zero reason the sound bar should not accept 5.1 PCM...

How did I confirm this? I again checked the 5.1 DD bitstream from the Xbox isn't working properly (the LCR is fine, but both the LS and RS output from both speakers...). And the XBox error is indeed correct when you try and change it to uncompressed 5.1 that the sink doesn't support it. So I fired up the PS4 Pro and put in my Dolby Atmos test BR... Bitstream TrueHd and DD+ passed 5.1 properly... the BR app supersedes the system settings so you can't play a disc in PCM and then have the system audio setting re encode to DD...

So changing the player to PCM and then changing the BR player to decode and output PCM confines 2.0 input only..... the C and surround tones only come out of the L and R drivers on the bar....

So for gaming on the Xbox and PS 4 you are only getting 2.0 when using PCM. Same for the apps.

And any and all DTS BR and UHD BR are only coming out as 2.0 using PCM.

The Xbox is compromising the surrounds... that seems to be a bug... or maybe, since the Xbox only sees a 2.0 sink, the re encode MIGHT be making a 2.0 LtRt bitstream and the soundbar is actually decoding it... that's hard to confirm as the LCR is fairly discrete on deciding.... I will have to see what happens if I toggle surround on and off which I will try tomorrow.

But again.... it's really unacceptable to not accept 5.1 PCM.... while the DTS 2.0 limitation is (barely) spelled out, it's not clear it doesn't take 5.1 PCM in the manual, nor on the web site specs.
@imagic wanted to send a mention once again as maybe you can pass this along to Samsung for clarification and a possible fix.

As a side note..... The spec sheet incorrectly states it supports DTS Digital Surround, which by definition and history, denotes DTS 5.1... even on their webpage where it states DTS 2.0 the info pop up states 5.1...


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post #977 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris1212 View Post
The only real answer is to buy something like a Samsung bluray or UHD player. These convert DTS to DD and do a damn good job of it too. I have tested lots of familiar blurays with DTS soundtracks and they all sound excellent. There are no shortcuts with this soundbar, you have to tailor the equipment to it, not the other way around.

Have you confirmed that the Samsung is properly transcoding? How did you test this?

So until you test it and confirm it's working as expected, your subjective opinion of the sound quality you're getting out of the Samsung is just that.. an opinion. . It's not proof that the K8500 is doing anything differently than the Xbox...

And correct me if I'm wrong... but I owned a launch K8500 and remember that you need to go in and change the audio output between true bitstream pass through and transcoding ? Am I remembering correctly.

The PS4 platform is one of the most stable and ubiquitous BR players out there.... and you can only get 2.0 out of it for BR and UHD BR DTS-HD HR and HD- MA tracks.... which make up more than 95% of all HD optical disc sound tracks. I've now confirmed that.

The Xbox also transcodes DTS to DD... and it appears it also does it improperly... tomorrow I will try and test that.

I expected to have a two box solution... the PS4 for DVD and BR set to PCM, and the Xbox One for UHD BR Atmos and streaming HDR and DD+ once it comes along.

And to be able to game on both in proper 5,1....

I think it's a stretch to say that you should need to find the right source equipment to make this sound bar work "properly...". And on a device with only 2 HDMI inputs...

I have a great UHD player that will soon bitstream lossless Dolby...

It's one of the most expensive sound bars out there , and PCM is as basic an input as should be expected to work.

I don't know of any other 5.1 sound bar out there with HDMI audio inputs that do not accept 5.1 PCM input, regardless of price.

Samsung touts the 950's ability to upmix legacy 5.1 content to 5.1.4 in their press releases, manual and literature.... they fail to mention anywhere that that is only true for Dolby encoded sources and NOT PCM.

It is truly unprecedented that an audio device with true 5.1 playback capabilities cannot accept that type of input.... I'd be curious if anyone can show me another product that suffers the same limitation.

I love the bar. I'm was just surprised to find out that it is truly so limited.

I think anyone would agree that the way it should be working would be ideal instead of suggesting people limit themselves to certain hardware that creates other compromises in how people use this sound bar.

Just my .02

To be clear... I was WELL aware of the DTS limitations of this bar.... but it's unprecedented to exclude 5.1 PCM input over HDMI with a man audio reproduction product with a HDR 2.0a chipset.

I'm obviously fairly picky about sound. I think the 950 is a fantastic sounding bar... I honestly believe that Atmos will be successful and most plentiful being reproduced on bars...

I know that Dolby welcomes upmixing of DTS tracks with their proprietary technologies. I can only assume this is a Samsung imposed limitation that may or may not be able to be changed.

PS... I should also point out that if the bar is reporting itself via EDID as stereo only, incoming DD streams over ARC might also be limited to stereo... more testing is needed which is difficult without a test tone source. I do know that I cannot get the bar to see DD+ Atmos from VUDU over ARC... again, there is zero reason for this to be the case.... I know the manual states that Atmos only works via HDMI, so I don't know if they consider the HDMI Output to fit that limitation or not.

Again. Just my opinion. If there is a solution to this finding than it's only going to get fixed by shedding a light on it.
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post #978 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 12:23 AM
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Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars

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Originally Posted by Mike Credelle View Post
I am not sure your point of all of this, at this point this thread has covered all of this, no PCM, xbox doesn't convert. Also 5.1 dolby games work just fine, it is some of the other apps that mess it up. So if you think it sucks return it, it works great for me.


The point is that it might be a limitation that can be remedied.

See my above reply...

It might work great for you... and I think it's a fantastic sounding sound bar.

I'm glad it works great for you while you game and watch Dolby encoded content.

I want to be able to game in 5.1, and every game doesn't support DD output, and since the EDID is reporting itself as 2.0, you don't know if what you're hearing in your setup is proper or not... in terms of the Xbox One, it appears as if it is not.

I want to watch BRs in 5.1.... the PS4 isn't exactly an esoteric choice for that task.

This sound bar can only play back 95% OF ALL BLU RAY content in 2.0 from a PS4.... that was not made clear to me by Samsung... if I missed that explicit point being made by you or others earlier in this thread I apologize for the "re-post" of a well worn issue. Again, I fully understood the DTS 2.0 bitstream limitation... but I don't recall anyone bringing up the lack of 5.1 input from PCM.

If IT works for you that's great.

But I think I have a solid justification for my posts and trying to bring the issue up for owners and potential buyers.

PS... I went back and searched the thread. There is no discussion of unsupported 5.1 PCM input or the error I found with the Xbox DD transcoding.

So I'd appreciate it if you would not accuse me of retreading things that have indeed not been discussed.


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post #979 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 03:53 AM
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Filmmixer, I have to disagree with you unfortunately.

If you buy a modern receiver you would generally accept that it will support most if not all sound formats. Here we are talking about soundbars, which by there very nature are limited. There isn't a soundbar yet that can offer all the features of even a modest receiver.

You said 'This sound bar can only play back 95% OF ALL BLU RAY content in 2.0 from a PS4.... that was not made clear to me by Samsung'. Why should Samsung tell you anything? The specification tells you what it can do, not what it can't. If it doesn't say PCM 5.1 in the specs it doesn't do it.

The Xbox One or One S cannot transcode DTS to DD either so don't bother testing it. Samsung players are well known for their ability to transcode DTS to DD. How do I know this? Countless professional reviews confirm this feature and how it works. Many Sonos playbar owners use Samsung players as they also only accept DD. It is not, as you state, 'just an opinion' that it works. From my personal POV, I've been running very expensive AV systems for 20 years. Due to illness I recently changed it all for a simple setup and decided on the K950. I understood it neither handled DTS above 2.0 or PCM, so bought a Samsung bluray player (not the UHD8500) so I could play all of my bluray collection in a minimum 5.1 without using a faux effect on the soundbar. I have tested lots of discs that I'm familiar with, one example is the shootout in the flat in Die Hard 4. The conversion is perfect from what I can tell having listened to that scene 100's of times, all the rear effects including bullets are where they should be.

In terms of UHD I use an Xbox One S. Virtually all my UHD's are Atmos and therefore play fine with Atmos using the Xbox and the K950. If I eventually get enough UHD's with DTS as the primary format I may buy the 8500 or similar, but there is no justification right now. By that time there may be another soundbar that offers proper surround sound speakers, HDR passthrough and covers all the sound formats, in which case I'll upgrade the bar instead.

It's all about doing the research BEFORE you purchase, hence I have the right kit and why I'm a very happy owner.
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post

PS... I should also point out that if the bar is reporting itself via EDID as stereo only, incoming DD streams over ARC might also be limited to stereo... more testing is needed which is difficult without a test tone source. I do know that I cannot get the bar to see DD+ Atmos from VUDU over ARC... again, there is zero reason for this to be the case.... I know the manual states that Atmos only works via HDMI, so I don't know if they consider the HDMI Output to fit that limitation or not.
)
Does this not suggest the ARC output from TV is the limiting factor in your set up? I seem to be getting DD 5.1 from tv to soundbar via ARC. Not sure if any TV yet has any higher spec sound output via ARC (please correct me if I am wrong).

Samsung UE75KS8000 (tv)
Samsung HW-K950 (soundbar)
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post #981 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by infoslurper View Post
This soundbar supports native 5.1. The specs also mention it supporting Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus. The "surround" mode adds the height channel. It does not simulate 5.1. In "Standard" sound mode, the sound remains unchanged and if the original was 5.1 then it will come out as true 5.1 with proper use of rears. So not calling it a true 5.1 is not accurate mate .
Yes, thanks. I misquoted. What I meant to say the system depending on the content source like most 5.1 movies from netflix or amazon does an awful job at passing a 5.1 signal through to the rears when compared to an inexpensive home theater in a box system.

I have the ability to compare as I've owned this system for 4 months and still have a marantz amped setup in my bedroom and the amped system blows the 950 away passing 5.1 to the rears. And the marantz system I gave to my daughter that I replaced my living room system with this 950 I'm blown away on how much better her system sounds 5.1 wise whenever im over at her house.

I did it for the atmos not for the 5.1 but I was duped as probably you were or will be (if you already bought a 950 or are still on the fence seeing this is your first post). Many buyers don't realize you can never get an honest review if samsung is giving the reviewer a system to try for awhile or even keep it in some cases. These are called "sponsored" reviews and is how most consumer products are sold.

You probably have not been around when most of us suffered with non existent volume out of the rears until finally a software update 90 days after I bought the 950. The rears still have to be cranked up to 3 which is the max volume so its acceptable, but still not great at passing 5.1 . . . IMO.
Samsung software is still a big issue for many of us and I use all samsung components which they advertise that their ARC works seamlessly and as another poster pointed out that ARC is a problem with all brands. I've turned all ARC off and still can't get my harmony remote to control my devices as it did before I bought the 950 and this to me is also unacceptable.

All I'm trying to point out before buyers spend $1000 is that the 5.1 pass through is subpar and the reviewers should have pointed that out especially for early buyers who spent $1500 U.S. Most reviewers did mention the systems inability to pass DTS bluray DVD audio tracks only playing those DVD's in 2 channel stereo and that players like the samsung 8500 can at least synthetically upmix DTS audio to the other speakers.
I don't own an older collection of DVD DTS blurays. I only own one . . . "the revenant" that is a UHD 4K bluray DVD yet amazingly no atmos. I got screwed on this $30 purchase . . . who knew? Better read the fine print on the back of the dvd box before purchase.

I doubt that we are going to see future firmware updates to correct the inherent issues with this 950 as sammy is probably working on their next model that they will probably push out at $1700 rather than correct a $1000 model.
I'll dump mine on ebay or craigs list and buy whatever brand can come out with a model that is ready for prime time. But this time I'll pay more attention to "actual user reviews".

If you are sitting on the fence the consumer electronics show (CES) in vegas next month the 5th through the 8th. Hopefully, there will be some new atmos models introduced but it will be another 3 months after that to see them hit the stores.

Why not scroll through the almost 1000 posts here and skip over my posts. They best way to get information on a product is by forums like this written by actual users and their experience with the device. . . . not by reading sponsored reviews. Better off reading Amazon user reviews and focusing on the negative ones and then decide if one can live with a devices drawbacks.

UNK65KS8500 (curved model)
HW-K950 Samsung Atmos soundbar-with rears
HW-J8500 Samsung Soundbar (sold 10-24-16)
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Harmony 650 remote ($43 amazon)

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post #982 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Expidia View Post
Yes, thanks. I misquoted. What I meant to say the system depending on the content source like most 5.1 movies from netflix or amazon does an awful job at passing a 5.1 signal through to the rears when compared to an inexpensive home theater in a box system.

I have the ability to compare as I've owned this system for 4 months and still have a marantz amped setup in my bedroom and the amped system blows the 950 away passing 5.1 to the rears. And the marantz system I gave to my daughter that I replaced my living room system with this 950 I'm blown away on how much better her system sounds 5.1 wise whenever im over at her house.

I did it for the atmos not for the 5.1 but I was duped as probably you were or will be (if you already bought a 950 or are still on the fence seeing this is your first post). Many buyers don't realize you can never get an honest review if samsung is giving the reviewer a system to try for awhile or even keep it in some cases. These are called "sponsored" reviews and is how most consumer products are sold.

You probably have not been around when most of us suffered with non existent volume out of the rears until finally a software update 90 days after I bought the 950. The rears still have to be cranked up to 3 which is the max volume so its acceptable, but still not great at passing 5.1 . . . IMO.
Samsung software is still a big issue for many of us and I use all samsung components which they advertise that their ARC works seamlessly and as another poster pointed out that ARC is a problem with all brands. I've turned all ARC off and still can't get my harmony remote to control my devices as it did before I bought the 950 and this to me is also unacceptable.

All I'm trying to point out before buyers spend $1000 is that the 5.1 pass through is subpar and the reviewers should have pointed that out especially for early buyers who spent $1500 U.S. Most reviewers did mention the systems inability to pass DTS bluray DVD audio tracks only playing those DVD's in 2 channel stereo and that players like the samsung 8500 can at least synthetically upmix DTS audio to the other speakers.
I don't own an older collection of DVD DTS blurays. I only own one . . . "the revenant" that is a UHD 4K bluray DVD yet amazingly no atmos. I got screwed on this $30 purchase . . . who knew? Better read the fine print on the back of the dvd box before purchase.

I doubt that we are going to see future firmware updates to correct the inherent issues with this 950 as sammy is probably working on their next model that they will probably push out at $1700 rather than correct a $1000 model.
I'll dump mine on ebay or craigs list and buy whatever brand can come out with a model that is ready for prime time. But this time I'll pay more attention to "actual user reviews".

If you are sitting on the fence the consumer electronics show (CES) in vegas next month the 5th through the 8th. Hopefully, there will be some new atmos models introduced but it will be another 3 months after that to see them hit the stores.

Why not scroll through the almost 1000 posts here and skip over my posts. They best way to get information on a product is by forums like this written by actual users and their experience with the device. . . . not by reading sponsored reviews. Better off reading Amazon user reviews and focusing on the negative ones and then decide if one can live with a devices drawbacks.
I actually bought it few days ago . And I bought it only after some of the recent posts (I have been following this thread for long time now) confirmed that HDR passthrough worked with Xbox One S. I have been very thankful to lot of people on this forum to confirm things after trying it out. And yes, I did read about the rear issue. Since this forum was so helpful I wanted to make sure people get the right info and so I did my first post despite following it for longer. I did upgrade mine to latest firmware and found them rear to be pretty decent even when they are at least 5 feet behind me. However, this still might not be enough for some to spend the 1000+.

I agree with all of what you said. We are spending a lot of money and we should expect more active rears of like someone is mentioning PCM 5.1. Even with CES the stuff does not come out right away. This one was shown in CES and did not come out till end Q2/beginning Q3. I did not want to wait that long . There is no other soundbar that does atmos with proper rears (and upfiring 4s rathar than just 2s).
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post #983 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 08:41 AM
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Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars

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Originally Posted by Chris1212 View Post
Filmmixer, I have to disagree with you unfortunately.



If you buy a modern receiver you would generally accept that it will support most if not all sound formats. Here we are talking about soundbars, which by there very nature are limited. There isn't a soundbar yet that can offer all the features of even a modest receiver.



You said 'This sound bar can only play back 95% OF ALL BLU RAY content in 2.0 from a PS4.... that was not made clear to me by Samsung'. Why should Samsung tell you anything? The specification tells you what it can do, not what it can't. If it doesn't say PCM 5.1 in the specs it doesn't do it.



The Xbox One or One S cannot transcode DTS to DD either so don't bother testing it. Samsung players are well known for their ability to transcode DTS to DD. How do I know this? Countless professional reviews confirm this feature and how it works. Many Sonos playbar owners use Samsung players as they also only accept DD. It is not, as you state, 'just an opinion' that it works. From my personal POV, I've been running very expensive AV systems for 20 years. Due to illness I recently changed it all for a simple setup and decided on the K950. I understood it neither handled DTS above 2.0 or PCM, so bought a Samsung bluray player (not the UHD8500) so I could play all of my bluray collection in a minimum 5.1 without using a faux effect on the soundbar. I have tested lots of discs that I'm familiar with, one example is the shootout in the flat in Die Hard 4. The conversion is perfect from what I can tell having listened to that scene 100's of times, all the rear effects including bullets are where they should be.



In terms of UHD I use an Xbox One S. Virtually all my UHD's are Atmos and therefore play fine with Atmos using the Xbox and the K950. If I eventually get enough UHD's with DTS as the primary format I may buy the 8500 or similar, but there is no justification right now. By that time there may be another soundbar that offers proper surround sound speakers, HDR passthrough and covers all the sound formats, in which case I'll upgrade the bar instead.



It's all about doing the research BEFORE you purchase, hence I have the right kit and why I'm a very happy owner.
PCM output is a mandatory format for Blu Ray support.... I don't "generally accept" the premise that I should not expect a true 5.1 sound bar not to support 5.1 PCM because it's not a receiver.

Every other 5.1 sound bar I've ever seen, including those from Samsung, accepts multichannel PCM... IMO it is a glaring omission and I'm not sure if it is intentional or not... that's what I'm trying to explore.

And every BDA compliant player must support PCM.

I did do my research. That is why o expected to use my PS4 as a BR player... Can you give me a link that says the 950 only supports 2.0 PCM? Just curious..... or a review that says in order to enjoy multichannel audio from >95% BR you must buy a player that can properly transcode DTS to DD, which is not a universal feature in all BR players (the PS4 doesn't do it for example...)..

(BTW you said "The Xbox One or One S cannot transcode DTS to DD either so don't bother testing it...".

It actually does just that... but i suspect it will result in the same mono Surround output with DTS test tones... which is why I'd like to test it. And it also allows you to go the other way and set the bitstream output to DTS IIRC... )

The Xbox One isn't properly outputting transcoded DD bitstream.... so while there is sound coming out of all 5 speakers, it isn't correct.... I suspect the same is true for gaming and apps that don't natively support DD...).

I'm not saying the K8500 doesn't properly transcode to 5.1 DD from DTS, but I've now shown that what is now the most ubiquitous UHD BR player on the market (the One S), by a huge margin, does not function properly. This could be a Microsoft bug... could be an HDMI implementation bug on the K950... who knows.

How have you getting Atmos from your One S? It doesn't officially support DD+ or TrueHD bitstream yet (and has only done so in beta for a select few users at this point in time?). You're an Xbox Preview Member? Sounds like you just got an Xbox One S and the preview program was closed long before the S came to market. Just curious ...

I understand your point of view and opinion.... I am not trying to be dismissive or argumentative.

But I think it's incorrect to say that his limitation has been well documented in reviews or on this thread. Or that a MAJORITY of consumers understand that. I'm glad we're having the discussion... potential buyers now know they have specific and limited options in termed of non-UHD BR playback if they want native 5.1 and not upmixed 2.0. .

It's not sour grapes. I'm not returning it, nor do I feel duped.

The limitations of the bar are not going to be understood by most consumers, and we around here are a much more educated and picky bunch.... I would also surmise that many consumers would not understand that they must use the Samsung K8500 if they want to enjoy PROPER 5.1 from non Dolby BR's at this point in time. and not only that, but they must change settings on the player in order to do so when going from BR and UHD BR... I understood most of the limitations going in which is why I thought the two machine solution would work (PS4 for BR, Xbox One S for UHD BR with the upcoming firmware for lossless Dolby streaming...)

I stumbled across an issue as I was watching "Rogue One" on DVD and had sync issues on my XBox One and started to go down the rabbit hole and figure out why.... the title plays perfectly in sync on the PS4... once I started doing testing with my audio test discs the issue with Xbox transcoding came up... it was a happy accident I started testing, and has led me here. .

I'm happy for all the owners who are enjoying it... I certainly am one of them...

I just need to find a solution to get proper 5.1 from non Dolby BRs using one of the 4K players I've hooked up through the bar.... and as of now neither the Xbox One S or he PS4 can do that.... . My opinion is that Samsung could "fix"/change this... maybe not, and even if they don't, I am going to be plenty happy with the bar for years to come.


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post #984 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kit77 View Post
Does this not suggest the ARC output from TV is the limiting factor in your set up? I seem to be getting DD 5.1 from tv to soundbar via ARC. Not sure if any TV yet has any higher spec sound output via ARC (please correct me if I am wrong).


I can confirm that the Vizio is properly sending 5.1 DD via ARC... I tested that last night on a title I mixed being broadcast.

The Vizio P series will pass DD + via ARC.... other users are getting Atmos through it via VUDU. It's not officially supported in the HDMI spec for ARC, but the way DD+ works it seems as if no harm no fouls... non DD+ sinks just see the regular DD streams....

It looks as if it's a Samsung K950 issue..... but until Vizio releases their next general FW (I'm on a beta) I can't confirm this is a 950 limitation. That being said everyone else with the Vizio and an Atmos system are able to have ARC Atmos...

Samsung explicitly states in their manual that Atmos only works via HDMI... it's completely unclear if that includes ARC...

If that is truly the case, it's too bad... OTT and broadcast Atmos will explode in 2017... it would be a shame to not support it via ARC being Atmos is the main reason this sound bar was put on the market. Of course there are other solutions on the market t do it...


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post #985 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
PCM output is a mandatory format for Blu Ray support.... I don't "generally accept" the premise that I should not expect a true 5.1 sound bar not to support 5.1 PCM because it's not a receiver.

Every other 5.1 sound bar I've ever seen, including those from Samsung, accepts multichannel PCM... IMO it is a glaring omission and I'm not sure if it is intentional or not... that's what I'm trying to explore.

And every BDA compliant player must support PCM.

I did do my research. That is why o expected to use my PS4 as a BR player... Can you give me a link that says the 950 only supports 2.0 PCM? Just curious..... or a review that says in order to enjoy multichannel audio from >95% BR you must buy a player that can transcode DTS to DD, which is not a ubiquitous feature..

(BTW you said "The Xbox One or One S cannot transcode DTS to DD either so don't bother testing it...".

It actually does just that... but i suspect it will result in the same mono Surround output with DTS test tones... which is why I'd like to test it. And it also allows you to go the other way and set the bitstream output to DTS IIRC... )

The Xbox One isn't properly outputting transcoded DD bitstream.... so while there is sound coming out of all 5 speakers, it isn't correct.... I suspect the same is true for gaming and apps that don't natively support DD...).

I'm not saying the K8500 doesn't properly transcode to 5.1 DD from DTS, but I've now shown that what is now the most ubiquitous UHD BR player on the market (the One S), by a huge margin, does not function properly. This could be a Microsoft bug... could be an HDMI implementation bug on the K950...

How have you getting Atmos from your One S? It doesn't officially support DD+ or TrueHD bitstream yet (and has only done so in beta for a select few users at this point in time?). You're an Xbox Preview Member? Sounds like you just got an Xbox One S and the preview program was closed long before the S came to market. Just curious

I understand your point of view and opinion.... I am not trying to be dismissive or argumentative.

But I think it's incorrect to say that his limitation has been well documented in reviews or on this thread. Or that a MAJORITY of consumers understand that. I'm glad we're having the discussion... potential buyers now know they have specific and limited options in termed of non-UHD BR playback if they want native 5.1 and not upmixed 2.0. .

It's not sour grapes. I'm not returning it, nor do I feel duped.

The limitations of the bar are not going to be understood by most consumers, and we around here are a much more educated and picky bunch.... i would also surmise that many consumers would not understand that they must use the Samsung K8500 if they want to enjoy PROPER 5.1 from non Dolby BR's at this point in time. and not only that, but they must change settings on the player in order to do so when going from BR and UHD BR... I understood most of the limitations going in which is why I thought the two machine solution would work (PS4 for BR, Xbox One S for UHD BR with the upcoming firmware for lossless Dolby streaming...)

I stumbled across an issue as I was watching "Rogue One" on DVD and had sync issues on my XBox One and started to go down the rabbit hole and figure out why.... the title plays perfectly in sync on the PS4... once I started doing testing with my audio test discs the issue with Xbox transcoding came up... it was a happy accident I started testing, and has led me here. .

I'm happy for all the owners who are enjoying it... I certainly am one of them...

I just need to find a solution to get proper 5.1 from non Dolby BRs using one of the 4K players I've hooked up through the bar.... and as of now neither the Xbox One S or he PS4 can do that.... . My opinion. Is hat Samsung could "fix"/change this... maybe not, and even if they don't, I am going to be plenty happy with the bar for years to come.


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I'm sorry, but I have to say I really dislike the confrontational manner of your last few posts so this will be my final reply.

Having told you briefly about my background why would you even post this: 'Sounds like you just got an Xbox One S and the preview program was closed long before the S came to market', what a stupid assumption. If I tell you I'm getting Atmos, then I must be in the preview programme. It's not hard.

Further, while PCM is mandated in BR players, it is not mandated for soundbars. You say all other soundbars play multichannel PCM, yet 98% are simple 2.1 units so the point is moot. Samsung doesn't offer it and don't advertise it. Simple.

The Xbox isn't malfunctioning. When talking about transcoding, we are talking direct 5.1 to 5.1 transcoding, not changing a 5.1 source to 2.0 output. Samsung players and a few Sony players offer this function, Xbox and PS4 do not. Simple.

You are not currently going to get a solution with your current kit as you hope. If you have a large collection of blurays you need another player, unfortunately, if you want proper transcoding. If you also want to transcode UHD properly then you need the Samsung UHD player. Sadly there are no short cuts regardless of the testing you do.

I genuinely hope you enjoy the soundbar, I love mine.

On that note I'm out.
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post #986 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 09:43 AM
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I'm sorry, but I have to say I really dislike the confrontational manner of your last few posts so this will be my final reply.



Having told you briefly about my background why would you even post this: 'Sounds like you just got an Xbox One S and the preview program was closed long before the S came to market', what a stupid assumption. If I tell you I'm getting Atmos, then I must be in the preview programme. It's not hard.



Further, while PCM is mandated in BR players, it is not mandated for soundbars. You say all other soundbars play multichannel PCM, yet 98% are simple 2.1 units so the point is moot. Samsung doesn't offer it and don't advertise it. Simple.



The Xbox isn't malfunctioning. When talking about transcoding, we are talking direct 5.1 to 5.1 transcoding, not changing a 5.1 source to 2.0 output. Samsung players and a few Sony players offer this function, Xbox and PS4 do not. Simple.



You are not currently going to get a solution with your current kit as you hope. If you have a large collection of blurays you need another player, unfortunately, if you want proper transcoding. If you also want to transcode UHD properly then you need the Samsung UHD player. Sadly there are no short cuts regardless of the testing you do.



I genuinely hope you enjoy the soundbar, I love mine.



On that note I'm out.


Chris. Not trying to be confrontational. Not saying you're being dishonest... I was truly curious if you were in the preview program. I know I shouldn't assume anything from a few posts... and I just didn't read you for an avid gamer who would be enrolled in the PP based on that one post .

I specifically said all 5.1 sound bars, not 2.0/2.1... there are quite a few on the market. Of course you would have no way to test a 2.1 bar, and just like a display it should properly report its PCM capabilities via EDID.

How is the Xbox not malfunctioning? The only choice you have with the 950 is to set the Xbox to bitstream... since the bar doesn't support multichannel PCM you cannot select 5.1 or 7.1 uncompressed... hence you are required to use bitstream for MC audio via bitstream.

I can confirm the Xbox is outputting LR and RR to both rear speakers when in this mode and playing back Dolby encoded content... which means it is decoding the TrueHD stream and re encoding it... it should just pass the core DD bitstream, but isn't.

How is the Xbox not transcoding Dolby to DTS (or vice Versace) when the console is set to DTS bitstream output? If not transcoding, what is it doing ?

Regarding your last point ....

With the way things are currently working, you are completely correct.

If a consumer wants to get 5.1 audio from a majority of their non UHD BR collection, they should purchase the Samsung K8500 and understand that they need to change its settings when they want to watch Atmos encoded BR and UHD BRs.... the Ps 4 and Xbox consoles will not do so at this point. The PS4 will only output DTS tracks as 2.0, and the Xbox One will also need settings changed when the bitstream firmware goes into general release in order to listen to any DTS material in more than 2.0.

I'm not trying to rehash my comments over the last two days... just trying to make a definitive statement for others contemplating this bar and supporting your, and others, statements that there are considerations to be made in terms of source components in order to get the most out of this bar.

Again. I apologize if my comments came across as rude or contentious. I've been on here over 16 years... I work hard to be a cordial and good AVS citizen (with a few rare and infrequent failures.).




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post #987 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 11:46 AM
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No problem, not having a great day myself

I have to correct something I said, I was annoyed and didn't really read what I was typing. My understanding of Xbox One is follows. The only way to get DTS Master HD and Dolby True HD sound formats is via PCM, but as we know that doesn't work. DTS to DD transcode DOES work for blurays, but how it's doing it technically I have no idea. What I do know is that the Xbox has to mix in system sounds with the output, perhaps this is why it transcodes rather than plays the core?

There are two problems with this currently. One is a slight but obvious lip sync issue, the other is that the quality seems poor when compared to the output of the Samsung bluray player (which also doesn't have lip sync issues).

On the positive side the beta bitstream for the bluray app works well, I'm currently listening to the first few chapters of Oblivion UHD in Atmos and it's superb. But, just to make things complicated again, the bitstream option is in the bluray app and its either bitstream on/off, in which case there is no option to transcode DTS to DD using a proper untouched bitstream unless there are further options introduced before the public release.

The K950 is great, but it's only downfall to me is the lack of proper DTS support. If they introduce an updated model next year with full support I would buy it. Hell, if they charged a licence fee of £200 for extra formats I'd buy it, in the meantime I don't think there is a better bar on the market.
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post #988 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 05:04 PM
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No problem, not having a great day myself



I have to correct something I said, I was annoyed and didn't really read what I was typing. My understanding of Xbox One is follows. The only way to get DTS Master HD and Dolby True HD sound formats is via PCM, but as we know that doesn't work. DTS to DD transcode DOES work for blurays, but how it's doing it technically I have no idea. What I do know is that the Xbox has to mix in system sounds with the output, perhaps this is why it transcodes rather than plays the core?

Both Dolby and DTS codecs facilitate 2.0 and 5.1 "cores." Each codec handles these differently... Dolby True HD encodes contain a full 2.0 "base" layer, in addition to the mandatory and complete companion DD lossy CBR track.

Since we know the DD output isn't a companion core pass through, and there is an error in the surrounds, I can make an educated guess that the Xbox, knowing it's only hooked up to a 2.0 sink, is encoding the decoded 5.1 DD PCM back into DD 2.0 LtRt, which decodes back into LCRS and hence the mono surrounds. That's a very speculative guess and would be fairly unprecedented. But would explain the behavior. When I have a chance I will test some more using optical and not hdmi through the bar.

I spoke to a very smart friend today who works at a high end CE... the 2.0 DTS feature points to skimping on license fees and limited DSP resources.... it also appears as if the upmixer is not Dolby Surround, which would again point to a bare bones expenditure on licenses. So indeed the internal architecture might be designed around 2.0 PCM.

Fair enough...

HOWEVER... the Dolby Digital, DD+ and TrueHD decoders are outputting 5.1 or 5.1.4 PCM before it hits the DAs...: access to that point in the signal flow might not be available. In the end we're not talking lots of money considering this is a flagship product at this price point and in this category.

Regardless... if it's changeable great. If it isn't it isn't.

We will never truly know me thinks.



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post #989 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 07:30 PM
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FilmMixer, you mentioned you were testing DD+ via ARC and reading your problems with 5.1 PCM I was wondering if you were wanting 5.1 PCM through ARC? You probably already know this and were just doing other testing but ARC is not capable of 5.1 PCM only 2.0 PCM. Just making sure you weren't using ARC and expecting 5.1PCM.
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post #990 of 1996 Old 12-28-2016, 08:06 PM
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FilmMixer, you mentioned you were testing DD+ via ARC and reading your problems with 5.1 PCM I was wondering if you were wanting 5.1 PCM through ARC? You probably already know this and were just doing other testing but ARC is not capable of 5.1 PCM only 2.0 PCM. Just making sure you weren't using ARC and expecting 5.1PCM.

No... understand the limitations.

I'm going to wait until Vizio finishes and pushes the next official release of FW. These last couple of betas have made ARC a little unstable... that being said, many other users have been able to stream DD+ Atmos via ARC... but I think the K950 does not expect or support DD+ over ARC.

I have confirmed that DD via ARC is indeed 5.1 on supported sources, like my Dish Hopper 3, which is where I mentioned the 2.0 PCM EDID might compromise the upstream sources. The K950 works as expected.





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