Thanks for the information.
I tested my system tonight and compared what it sounds like when I output bitstream (mix) from optical (which outputs dolby digital 5.1) to my ct500 soundbar from my ps3 and compared it to what LPCM sounds like when the PS3 is hooked up through my ct500 with HDMI. I tested using the Blu Ray movie 300. When testing LPCM via HDMI I did turn on the LPCM audio track on the blu ray.
IMO, it sounds drastically better with LPCM via HDMI. Everything from volume, to bass, to clarity. I'm no audiophile, but LPCM via HDMI sounds much better imo. So it must help even though there is really only 3.1 actual channels.
I generally just use the Sony Sound Field "movie." I haven't used the other sound fields much, but to my ear movie sounds the best.
The reason I got a sound bar to begin with is because I have a kid and another kid on the way. I just can't have speakers with removable speaker grills and wires for kids to get into.
The thing that has me most confused is that most sound bars don't have HDMI switching at all. Alot of them just have one optical input. So they are obviously expecting you to route sound from your tv to the soundbar. For example this system:
In the case of the one above it's even more confusing since it has rear speakers. Basically, am I right that any system that doesn't have HDMI switching the best possible sound you are going to get out of it is 5.1 Dolby Digital?
In order to get LPCM 5.1/7.1 sound you have to have an AVR/HTIB/Sound Bar that has HDMI switching.
If that is the case is there any worthwhile Sound Bar/HTIB systems that are either 2.1/3.1 like I have ... or 5.1 like that vizio (since it wouldn't require running cables from the tv to the back of the room - since the rears connect to the sub) that actually have HDMI switching. The thing is that I am going to need at least 3 to 4 HDMI inputs.
It sounds like in order to get what I want I am going to have to buy a new system that has HDMI switching and supports 3d HDMI passthrough.
I heard around the net that Vizio is going to be making a 54" sound bar that has HDMI switching. If they include the wireless sub/rear speakers maybe this would be what I am looking for.
Are there any other systems on the market that would allow for rear speakers wirelessly kinda like the vizio system does? http://store.vizio.com/home-theater/s4251wb4.html
but has HDMI switching.
I haven't looked at dedicated AVR's in awhile. Can you buy pre-packaged or piece meal systems where at least the back speakers are wireless?