Hey guys. I'm a long-time spectator and first time poster, so please forgive me for breaking any kind of forum etiquette I'm not immediately aware of. I have a ton of respect and admiration for the knowledge here.
I have a number of questions I would love to get some informed help on (I made the mistake of trying to wade through a conversation with 'tech' support using a flow chart). So first, the context.
In my living room I am currently running a Samsung QLED Q7C television (which uses the Samsung One Connect box)... Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4, PS4 VR and an HD Cable receiver (not a set-top, just a small receiver thing).
Up until I got the TV, I ran the entire thing this way..
Consoles ---> HDMI Switcher ----> HTST7 sound bar ----> TV (or One Connect box)
This worked for a long time, able to generate sound from all channels on all consoles.
Then I decided to buy a PS4 Pro and a new TV and...well advancement can be painful sometimes.
I realized right away that I needed a new HDMI switcher that would be able to pass through HDR, 4K and 60hz. For reference here, I purchased a 5x1 switcher and a 1x2 splitter, both by Awakelion through Amazon.
(Both are v2, referring to their latest standards).
I thought that this would be the end of my upgrading run, but I was wrong. After some more fiddling around, I got traced the following issues back to the sound bar (HTST7), or at the least, the communication between the sound bar and the Samsung One Connect.
<<Quick side-note here..for those that aren't aware, the PS4's VR processing unit can NOT pass through an HDR or 4K signal. Because of this, in order for the PS4 Pro to reach max output, the VR processing unit needs to be unplugged. This is why the new 1x2 splitter was for, to create a point to disconnect the VR easiest. As long as it is not plugged into the splitter at the same time, the PS4 Pro could output 4K/HDR.>>
So here were the two setups, and their individual issues..
1) Consoles -----> Switcher
PS4 Pro -----> Splitter Out 1-----> VR PU ----> Switcher
PS4 Pro -----> Splitter Out 2 -----> Switcher (for HDR and 4K gaming)
Switcher Out ----> Sony HTST7 -----> Samsung OneConnect (Q7C TV)
This mimicked my earlier setup, and at first I thought it was good to go. But it turns out that the sound bar could not pass through the PS4's HDR or 4K signals, even without the VR PU plugged in. The manual says it can do 4K at 24mhz, but idk. Anyway, this setup nearly worked, were I able to get the PS4 Pro's full resolution.
2) Same, up to here:
Switcher Out ----> Samsung OneConnect (Q7C TV)
OneConnect ARC -----> HTST7 ARC
Here I hoped that ARC would be the magic bullet. With the OneConnect box being able to correctly display the PS4 Pro's signal, I claimed victory. Until I tested the other consoles. The Switch, Wii U and PS3 were all missing channels of audio through the HTST7. This occurred through both digital optical and HDMI ARC. I tested speaker channels using Disney blurays that include the home theater set-up. Through the original (1) configuration, they held all channels no problem. But here (2) they would only send out Left and Right channels....not even center or sub. Some games played this way were missing their dialogue tracks altogether.
So the video problem solved, but now had an audio problem with all other consoles. I changed HDMI cords, ordered new ones, changed all possible settings within the TV, the consoles themselves and the sound bar.
(I recognize a solution may have been to connect the PS4 directly into the OneConnect and run the other consoles/switcher through the sound bar and then to the OneConnect, but I am trying to create a one-stop shop with regard to having to change sources. I have a lot of tech-challenged guests.
So, as I said before, my conclusion was that for whatever reason, the HTST7 and the OneConnect were not hooking up somewhere. Recognizing that the HTST7 is an aging device, I decided to sell it. Whether I fix this issue or not, upgrading will still be good.
If you're still with me, thanks a ton for hanging through the context
Now where I am currently...
I spent the weekend bouncing between Sony HTST5000, Samsung HKW950 and Sony HTST9. The latter two were much more affordable, and with the HKW950's support of Atmos, I pulled the trigger in that direction. The speakers will be in later today. So...ultimately...here are the questions I have that I'm still struggling with.
1. The HKW950 does not list anywhere that LPCM is a supported format. I don't know if this is because it's just a standard lossless thing or for another reason, but that concerns me because the Wii U, Switch, etc. use this format. I'm afraid of immediately having that same issue. Does anyone know how this works?
2. My decision between the HKW950 and the HTST9 came down really to 7.1 vs. 5.1.4. I have probably an average-sized living room, and am not completely sure how much of a difference this would make. Except in one review, I saw the HKW950 listed as 5.1.4/7.1 .... so my question here is, is the system running at 7.1 when not using the Atmos speakers? Is this how it is able to run formats such as Dolby True HD? If so, then the HTST9 definitely didn't have any upside, unless I'm missing something. Do the extra two channels ultimately matter in the grand scheme of things?
3. Obviously since sound bars don't use a receiver, I think the answer to this is no...but I could be wrong.
Is it possible to add speakers to the HKW950 (side satellites) in order to 'create' a 7.1.4 system?
4. With regard to the issues I had with the HTST7..and in the spirit of always learning, does anyone have any idea why either of those two configurations..or both...had the issue I listed it did? (lack of 4K passthrough, lost audio channels). Or how to fix them or watch for it in the future?
To anyone taking the time to read or respond to this, I can't thank you enough. I have a medical issue and am exhausted with all of the time I'm spending on the floor messing with this stuff...I figured I should go ahead and reach out.