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Vizio VSB210WS Soundbar - Page 2

post #31 of 144
chethammer,

Welcome to the forums. Can you please post the model number of your 42" Panasonic? I am presuming you are not passing 5.1 audio to the soundbar from your cable box or DVD player. Is this true? I consider it a fatal flaw that this soundbar does not accept multi-channel input from the optical connection.

Chris
post #32 of 144
Who says it does not accept 5.1 optical? Even the 'base' bar (no sub) does. Of course, it is not going to create 5.1 speakers out of that but has fairly good Virtual surround, etc. as well as very good 2.0 or 2.1 sound.
post #33 of 144
My television is a Panasonic Th-42PX60. The optical output specifications for my TV only tell me that it is Dolby Digital. Not sure as to whether or not that is 5.1 capable or not. I would think so. 5.1 has been around longer than my 2 1/2 year old television. The sound is much cleaner through the optical then the RCA's. Unlike another poster above I do care about sound quality, but the other sound bars aren't too much better or worse and the wireless sub is a nice touch. $250 out the door is a pretty good deal also. The other consideration is that the sony system's controls are all in that massive tall subwoofer. If the sub goes so goes the whole system. I rather have the option of not having it if that were to occur. The Vizio sounds quite good without the sub, too.

To answer the first question my cable box and my dvd are going to the TV using HDMI cables. My cable box is a Pace 787X for digital cable and I have a Panasonic DVD Recorder VCR combo. Thinking of going Blue Ray in the future. I figure they'll be down to almost $100 for Christmas. The optical is the only audio from the TV to the Soundbar.
post #34 of 144
If you want 5.1 for broadcasts, DVDs, etc. of course, you have to use the optical connection for the full effect.

But I use analog stereo output also from my DVD player to play CDs through the Vizio box (2.1), and it sounds great!
post #35 of 144
I have the Vizio VF550M. Great TV, but even with its built in sound bar the sounds is not very good. However, it comments here seem to suggest that the visio sound bar or one similar to it would be a big step up and simple. The TV itself has 5 hdmi inputs and a optical out for sound so a whole new receiver seems crazy, particularly if you want to avoid all the wires etc. The manual says the optical cable out is for "HD sources" and that it will pass sound through "regardless of source." But I agree there is a concern it is not passing a full 5.1 or 7.1 signal, so I'm looking to see if anyone knows for sure?

..Doug
post #36 of 144
Quote:


Who says it does not accept 5.1 optical?

I said it and I stand by my statement. On page 11, 13, 15 and 16 of the owners manual -

Quote:


Note: When using the Optical Input on the HD Sound Bar System, be sure to set the source device
output mode to PCM. Refer to the TV user manual for more information about the audio output settings of
the product.

Page 22 states -

Quote:


A = SPDIF compressed format detected.

....

- If Error A, SPDIF compressed format detected error occurs, configure the DVD player (or audio source
device) audio output format setting to PCM or PCM stream. Otherwise, use the Analog RCA inputs from
the audio source to the Sound Bar without configuration of the audio source device.

Link to owners manual

Chris
post #37 of 144
Quote:


My television is a Panasonic Th-42PX60. The optical output specifications for my TV only tell me that it is Dolby Digital. Not sure as to whether or not that is 5.1 capable or not. I would think so.

The answer is not so simple. When watching anything from the internal ATSC tuner, the full signal gets passed out the optical out on the TV. So for example, the prime-time shows that are broadcast in 5.1 will get passed out the optical port in 5.1. The Vizio soundbar will give you an error in this case and you will hear nothing from the optical port.

However, if you have an HDMI source, like a Satellite receiver or Blue Ray, it's not so simple or nice. Multi-channel DD gets passed to the TV from the HDMI connection. but at that point, the TV down-converts the multi-channel out to DD 2.0 to the optical out. So you will lose multi-channel sound going through hdmi into the TV. I don't think all HDMI TV's act this way, but the Panasonic ones do. I can't speak for the newer models either.

Quote:


To answer the first question my cable box and my dvd are going to the TV using HDMI cables. My cable box is a Pace 787X for digital cable and I have a Panasonic DVD Recorder VCR combo. Thinking of going Blue Ray in the future. I figure they'll be down to almost $100 for Christmas. The optical is the only audio from the TV to the Soundbar.

You need to realize, with this configuration, you will not ever get more than stereo out of the TV into your soundbar. Maybe this is fine for your room. The Sony soundbar is actually a 3.1 system, so you get a discrete center channel in addition to the stereo sound on 5.1 sources. The Vizio is a 2.1 system.

Chris
post #38 of 144
Quote:


If you want 5.1 for broadcasts, DVDs, etc. of course, you have to use the optical connection for the full effect.

This is not true. You will get an error if you pass DD 5.1 into the optical input of the Vizio Soundbar.

Quote:


But I use analog stereo output also from my DVD player to play CDs through the Vizio box (2.1), and it sounds great!

Proves my point, you aren't even using the optical connection.

Chris
post #39 of 144
Not an audio or videophile, I need some clarification on the capabilities of the vizio soundbar. Just purchased a panasonic TC-P50C-1 and the vizio soundbar. I can receive audio when tuned to a non hd channel, however, I don't receive audio when tuned to a hd channel. TV only has optical audio out. Manual states that if an ATSC channel is selected the digital audio out will be DD and when an NTSC channel is selected the output will be PCM. Does this mean that I can't use the soundbar for HD broadcasts since they are not PCM an soundbar requires PCM. If so, is there any ay to correct? Appreciate any feedback!
post #40 of 144
drbklb,

I would recommend getting a different sound bar due to the "fatal flaw" I described earlier with the Vizio soundbar. You are experiencing the same symptoms I mentioned. There is a work-around. This device from Gefen converts DD5.1 to PCM. But you would do far better returning the Vizio soundbar and buying another soundbar that supports DD. It's amazing to me the Vizio soundbar actually made it to market with this flaw.

Chris
post #41 of 144
Thanks for the input. I'm not surprised but Amazed that the vizio sound bar will not accept Dolby Digital from the optical audi. Is Panasonic the only manufacturer that will not let you covert DD to PCM. If so maybe Panasonic is the faulty party here.
post #42 of 144
The fact that the Panasonic passes through the same broadcast signal out the optical jack, seems like a good design. If I had a full-blown DD receiver, in the same room as the TV, I would want the unadultered sound like the Panasonic delivers. You may also check to see if your Panasonic TV allows you to downmix everything to PCM? A setting perhaps? I know my Panasonic Plasma does not have that option.

I also find it amazing that the Visio offers an optical input yet doesn't decode DD. It seems like an incredible lack of forethought. They went cheap basically. How many people do you suppose just return the Vizio because they can't figure out why they can't get sound when they're watching TV? It works sometimes and doesn't work other times.

Most people I imagine, that care about serious audio won't use the TV as a switcher anyway. They would route all external inputs into a DD receiver. But that means, speakers, etc. In my case (a bedroom), I wanted a clean install, with no other components save a soundbar. The Sony I mentioned performs quite well in this regard. I hate to sound like a Sony fanboy, I'm not. But they simply have designed the most capable soundbar in terms of hdmi/optical inputs.

Chris
post #43 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougski View Post

I have the Vizio VF550M. Great TV, but even with its built in sound bar the sounds is not very good. However, it comments here seem to suggest that the visio sound bar or one similar to it would be a big step up and simple. The TV itself has 5 hdmi inputs and a optical out for sound so a whole new receiver seems crazy, particularly if you want to avoid all the wires etc. The manual says the optical cable out is for "HD sources" and that it will pass sound through "regardless of source." But I agree there is a concern it is not passing a full 5.1 or 7.1 signal, so I'm looking to see if anyone knows for sure?

..Doug

Is it really a 'soundbar'? A few 15W speakers sounds about what most displays have.
Any 'real' soundbar is a step up for most any display, and much of that has to do with superior enclosure. But if you want the best surround, a soundbar will not get it. Only, a good HT system will.
But I have noticed many soundbars sound better than the real cheapie mini 5 speaker HT systems I've heard as far as audio quality.
Of course, Def Tech, Klispsch, Infinity, KEF, etc. make some very good sounding small systems for about the same price as some high end soundbars.
But for secondary applications (BR TV, etc.) soundbars work out very well IMO.
post #44 of 144
Sorry for the dumb question but why are some people concerned that the unit does not accept a 5.1 signal.
It is a stereo speaker so what difference would it make?
I have a Panasonic Plasma and a Pana Blu-Ray player.
Why would I not just simply hook it up to my TV with an RCA or SPDIF cable?
I am very much into sound quality so I look forward to being educated.
BTW...I only purchased it yesterday but I am very pleased with the sound in general. Sub is a bit boomy and the Pseudo Surround is not that great but I really did not want to pay for a Yamaha bar.
Many thanks.
post #45 of 144
You are probably better off with this unit than with the Yamaha Sound Projector or Sound Bar. I purchased the Vizio about three months ago and am quite frankly delighted.

I do not use either of the sound processing modes (surround/volume limiting) as they both seem to add compression and other unnatural artifacts to the sound.

The Vizio was very open and dynamic which is why I gave it high marks over my previous setup using a Yamaha YSP costing about 10 times as much.

I was looking for decent hi-fi type sound. Didn't really matter if this was one, two, five or seven channels. My son is now quite happy with the Yamaha with his home theater and I am very content with the Vizio. I also tried a Sony CT-100 in between these two, but was less than impressed with the soundstage and dynamics. Same problem as with the Yamaha, everything sounded very constricted.

Also, congrats on the Pany plasma and Blu-Ray. I also upgraded my TV to a new Pany V10 and BD60 Blu-Ray player and have the best looking and sounding home theater yet in my home. Even my wife is giving me compliments and no longer thinks I am crazy to spend the money for the improved TV when our three year old 42" Pany plasma was still looking terrific. But not in the ballpark with Panasonic's 2009 models.
post #46 of 144
By the way, the 5.1 question was not dumb. I know quite a few people that believe that if they have a Blu-Ray or DVD with 5.1 sound and they miss anything, they are not getting what they pay for.

Unfortunately, most of these same people have no idea how to properly set up a 5.1 system. At my former home I had a very high end ($15,000) surround system and paid to have it properly calibrated. This worked well, but I had more than one friend comment that they couldn't hear the surround speakers or the sub-woofer. When I explained to them that you should not be aware of this, their reaction was, why pay for it. Most homes have the surround speakers as loud as the front speakers and the subs so loud, the bass is always there. This is not what you her in a properly calibrated movie theater.

When I moved to a smaller condo (although an even larger open space living area), I decided to take only my front speakers, amplification and subs which I set up in my sun room and we enjoy music there. The family room (20x45 with 17' ceilings) has the TV and soundbar. New family room was actually too big for succesful surround which is why I ditched most of the equipment from the old home and went with the Yamaha three years ago.

By the way, Panasonic's built-in speakers with the current models sound much better than the ones with my three year old plasma. Just not quite full enough and definitely no low end. I did retain the Yamaha sub to go with the Vizio soundbar.
post #47 of 144
I just picked up the 200 model with no wireless sub at Wally-World for $128 since I was less than enthralled with the speakers in my new Samsung UN40B6000. While I have no interest in going back to a multi-speaker home theater setup, I attached a Velodyne sub I had laying around from a previous setup. Eventually I'll probably move to a higher-end sound bar, but for now this deal was too good to pass up.

I'm still playing around with the setup, mainly the volume level and crossover freq on the sub itself, but I have a couple of questions:

1) Does the Vizio sound bar have any sort of cross-over or do the speakers in the sound bar continue to output the same frequencies when an external sub is connected?

2) Does the volume adjustment on the sound bar adjust the level on the sub output? I had to order an optical cable, but have it connected with an RCA cable right now so there probably isn't much low frequency audio being passed from the tv to the sound bar (and/or I have the sub crossed over too low right now). I would have preferred to run the output from the TV into the sub and the high-pass output of the sub to the sound bar, but the audio output from the tv is fixed.
post #48 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topmounter View Post

I just picked up the 200 model with no wireless sub at Wally-World for $128 since I was less than enthralled with the speakers in my new Samsung UN40B6000. While I have no interest in going back to a multi-speaker home theater setup, I attached a Velodyne sub I had laying around from a previous setup. Eventually I'll probably move to a higher-end sound bar, but for now this deal was too good to pass up.

I'm still playing around with the setup, mainly the volume level and crossover freq on the sub itself, but I have a couple of questions:

1) Does the Vizio sound bar have any sort of cross-over or do the speakers in the sound bar continue to output the same frequencies when an external sub is connected?

2) Does the volume adjustment on the sound bar adjust the level on the sub output? I had to order an optical cable, but have it connected with an RCA cable right now so there probably isn't much low frequency audio being passed from the tv to the sound bar (and/or I have the sub crossed over too low right now). I would have preferred to run the output from the TV into the sub and the high-pass output of the sub to the sound bar, but the audio output from the tv is fixed.

Whatever the crossover is, is not stated in their spec. Of course, it is fixed. I use a JBL sub with the non-sub unit and have the sub set between 100Hz and 110Hz and the level by ear.
Experiment for the best sound, maybe using a good musical CD with some decent bass, making sure it's not too boomy and blends in nicely with the sound bar (no holes in response).
I am giving you the same advice, maybe a little more, than what Vizio support told me. It works quite well!
post #49 of 144
Many mahalos for the input guys.
One question.
Right now I have the Vizio bar and sub connected to my Panasonic via SPDIF.
From what I have read here that will not work in certain circumstances.
So would I be better served connecting the BR player using SPDIF and the TV or cable box via RCA's?
BTW.....I am a bit of an audio nut and I own a very high end system. I am very happy with the sound quality of the Vizio bar so far. Especially for the price. :-)
post #50 of 144
Oh...one more question.
Anyone have any luck controlling the soundbar with a Pioneer or Scientific Atlanta DVR remote?
post #51 of 144
I have a question about this soundbar. I currently have my Samsung TV hooked up to a shelf system (the stereo is several years old), and I noticed that if I have the sound going through the stereo and the TV at the same time, that the sound comes out of the TV a split second sooner than the stereo (I have D* going into the TV via HDMI. I have the stereo connected with av cables (red and white), and I have already connected the audio out (red and white) from the D* receiver directly to the stereo. I stopped into to Wally World and looked at this sound bar, and the only connections are red/white. Does the sound come out of this behind HDMI like what I have now? Or is there something else I can do with the sound to my shelf system? All I am looking to do is get better sound than the TV speakers. If I can do something to my current setup, that is fine too.

I will say that it sounded good (obviously not great) with the setup that WM was using.
post #52 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topmounter View Post

1) Does the Vizio sound bar have any sort of cross-over or do the speakers in the sound bar continue to output the same frequencies when an external sub is connected?

2) Does the volume adjustment on the sound bar adjust the level on the sub output? I had to order an optical cable, but have it connected with an RCA cable right now so there probably isn't much low frequency audio being passed from the tv to the sound bar (and/or I have the sub crossed over too low right now). I would have preferred to run the output from the TV into the sub and the high-pass output of the sub to the sound bar, but the audio output from the tv is fixed.

1. The sound bar has no crossover - speakers continue full range when sub is connected. They seem to roll off sharply below about 80hz, so the lack of a low end crossover shouldn't matter very much.

2. The volume adjustment on the sound bar does control the level to the sub output. Actually, the bass passed to the the soundbar/sub should be the same whether using optical or RCA.

I am using a similar setup and must confess, this sounds much better than the Yamaha sound projector sound bar costing ten times as much that I was using prior to this.

I don't care too much for either of the sound processing modes. The both add a definite sonic signature to the sound.

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.
post #53 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauidj View Post

Many mahalos for the input guys.
One question.
Right now I have the Vizio bar and sub connected to my Panasonic via SPDIF.
From what I have read here that will not work in certain circumstances.
So would I be better served connecting the BR player using SPDIF and the TV or cable box via RCA's?
BTW.....I am a bit of an audio nut and I own a very high end system. I am very happy with the sound quality of the Vizio bar so far. Especially for the price. :-)

I currently have my Vizio soundbar connected to the TV via RCA because it was easier to get to without moving the TV. Lazy. I have all of my components connected to the TV via HDMI. This way I don't have to change anything but the source on the television and I have not noticed any sound deficiency via RCA.

My high end system is now strictly stereo with subs and is in another room where my wife listen to music and read. The Vizio is an excellent upgrade to the built in speakers with most TV's. I tried it just to see what things sounded like in a $127 soundbar and was so thrilled I kept this and gave my much fancier Yamaha to my son.

I am not sure about the remotes. I use a Logitech Harmony and it controls the Vizio without difficulty. I purchased the Logitech three years ago after finding that there were no codes for my Scientific Atlanta remote that would work with the Yamaha. It was a good purchase and can make anyone's life much simpler.
post #54 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeo View Post

I have a question about this soundbar. I currently have my Samsung TV hooked up to a shelf system (the stereo is several years old), and I noticed that if I have the sound going through the stereo and the TV at the same time, that the sound comes out of the TV a split second sooner than the stereo (I have D* going into the TV via HDMI. I have the stereo connected with av cables (red and white), and I have already connected the audio out (red and white) from the D* receiver directly to the stereo. I stopped into to Wally World and looked at this sound bar, and the only connections are red/white. Does the sound come out of this behind HDMI like what I have now? Or is there something else I can do with the sound to my shelf system? All I am looking to do is get better sound than the TV speakers. If I can do something to my current setup, that is fine too.

I will say that it sounded good (obviously not great) with the setup that WM was using.

Usually the best way to connect a soundbar, HTIB, or full fledged surround system is to turn off the internal speakers with the TV. If your TV has variable out, then you should be totally ready to go. If not, you will need to control the sound to the Vizio with their supplied remote or look into an all-in-one remote like the Logitech Harmony.

The sound from this little unit is truly amazing. It will definitely beat the internal speakers from most TV's and actually sounds better than any other soundbar or HTIB that I have heard costing less the $2,000.00. And I have heard quite a few in quite a few different homes.

Plus, no wires running everywhere.
post #55 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

Usually the best way to connect a soundbar, HTIB, or full fledged surround system is to turn off the internal speakers with the TV. If your TV has variable out, then you should be totally ready to go. If not, you will need to control the sound to the Vizio with their supplied remote or look into an all-in-one remote like the Logitech Harmony.

The sound from this little unit is truly amazing. It will definitely beat the internal speakers from most TV's and actually sounds better than any other soundbar or HTIB that I have heard costing less the $2,000.00. And I have heard quite a few in quite a few different homes.

Plus, no wires running everywhere.

OK. What is variable out? Without being at the TV, I know there is red/white out.
post #56 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeo View Post

OK. What is variable out? Without being at the TV, I know there is red/white out.

variable out = the TV volume control adjusts the "audio out" from the TV.
post #57 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topmounter View Post

variable out = the TV volume control adjusts the "audio out" from the TV.

Oh, OK. Thanks.

I hope it does. That would make the wife happy.
post #58 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

1. The sound bar has no crossover - speakers continue full range when sub is connected. They seem to roll off sharply below about 80hz, so the lack of a low end crossover shouldn't matter very much.

They likely have a built-in crossover (probably only a cap) associated with the sub output. Not that it is an issue in any case.
post #59 of 144
Just wanted to share:
My father owns a YSP-3500 that he probably overpaid for, and a yamaha sub hooked up along with a 50in samsung plasma in his living room, which is a fairly large room, and it sounds amazing. Upstairs he had the Bose 321 (thanks to my mother), and would continually complain about not hearing dialogue, poor bass response, etc. He finally had it after the dvd player that comes with the system just stopped playing half of his very large dvd collection.

I took him on a trip to best buy, purchased a samsung blu ray player (p1600, they had it marked down to 129 and he had a bunch of Best Buy gift cards.) We then walked over to Sams Club and picked up the Vizio with wireless sub after much convincing (he truly believed that it would be a piece of junk.)

Long story short, Had everything hooked up for him in about 20min, threw on Transporter 3 on blu ray, and proceeded to shake the house. The sub was placed in the back of the room, behind the listening positions, and we could not tell the difference between this 260 dollar piece of equipment and the ysp downstairs. It sounded great, and he is now pissed that he spent about 900-1000 bucks on the ysp-3500 downstairs.
Thank you AVS forum!
post #60 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevChelios View Post

Just wanted to share:
My father owns a YSP-3500 that he probably overpaid for, and a yamaha sub hooked up along with a 50in samsung plasma in his living room, which is a fairly large room, and it sounds amazing. Upstairs he had the Bose 321 (thanks to my mother), and would continually complain about not hearing dialogue, poor bass response, etc. He finally had it after the dvd player that comes with the system just stopped playing half of his very large dvd collection.

I took him on a trip to best buy, purchased a samsung blu ray player (p1600, they had it marked down to 129 and he had a bunch of Best Buy gift cards.) We then walked over to Sams Club and picked up the Vizio with wireless sub after much convincing (he truly believed that it would be a piece of junk.)

Long story short, Had everything hooked up for him in about 20min, threw on Transporter 3 on blu ray, and proceeded to shake the house. The sub was placed in the back of the room, behind the listening positions, and we could not tell the difference between this 260 dollar piece of equipment and the ysp downstairs. It sounded great, and he is now pissed that he spent about 900-1000 bucks on the ysp-3500 downstairs.
Thank you AVS forum!

Yep,, the Vizio w/the wirless sub is pretty impressive.

I have owned a bunch of YSP's and the Sonys CT-100 and CT-500 and I am very happy with my current Vizio.

I actually purchased the Vizio w/sub thinkng I would be returning it the next day,,,, what a supprise it was after I hooked it up and turned it on.

Cheers
Davyo
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