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Panasonic SC-HTB500 - Page 6

post #151 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post
That TV is a 2008 model so it doesn't have ARC, which was introduced with 2010 models. You don't have to use high speed HDMI cables.

Here's a post I made about a week ago in this thread to answer a question similar to yours. Just substitute PVR for DVR and PS3 for BD.
Thanks for the answers!

Re: the solution from the other post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl
Connect your BD player to the soundbar via HDMI. Connect the soundbar to your TV via HDMI. That way you have audio direct to the soundbar and the video is passed through to the TV. Leave the DVR connected to the TV and use a digital optical cable from the TV to the soundbar. The optical sends audio to the soundbar.
So I guess the solution would be pretty much this:

But with the "built in tuner" in that diagram being the PVR (and the bluray-ish player being the PS3) instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by splackavellie View Post
Without the ARC advantage and if you can really pick up that 350 for the same price, I'd get that... unless of course you really want the wireless sub.
Well not the same price, the HTCT350 is a tad more expensive but not by much. I was looking at the Pany HTB500 more for a less clutter solution, but without ARC I may just pay the extra bit and go for the Sony HTCT350.
post #152 of 253
Let's talk sound quality on the htb500. I find my self constantly adjusting the volume up during soft dialogue and back down during loud action. Are there some source settings I'm missing? This is one of the reasons I bought this SB so I could stop playing volume jockey! This problem is much worse when watching Bluray than when watching Comcast.

BTW
Panny bd85 via HDMI to htb500 to panny 50g20 ARC via HDMI.

Any thoughts?
post #153 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post
Let's talk sound quality on the htb500. I find my self constantly adjusting the volume up during soft dialogue and back down during loud action. Are there some source settings I'm missing? This is one of the reasons I bought this SB so I could stop playing volume jockey! This problem is much worse when watching Bluray than when watching Comcast.

BTW
Panny bd85 via HDMI to htb500 to panny 50g20 ARC via HDMI.

Any thoughts?
I believe you have everyting connected correctly.

Your problem with volume differences are mainly due to the dynamic range of Blu-Ray/DVD and lesser so with Comcast. Some soundbars and home theater receivers counter the dynamic range issues with DRC (Dynamic Range Compression). Panasonic decided to leave this off. How well DRC works is dependent on the source material and how well the equipment manufacturer implements the various algorythms associated with it. I have owned soundbars from Yamaha and Vizio with this feature and if it worked, it managed to stay hidden quite well. However, on my current JVC unit it works pretty good on some Blu-Ray and DVD material, not at all on others. Depends on how they were encoded and which sound system was used (Dolby/THX/etc). However, on broadcast, it works miracles if the broadcaster implements in their signal. CBS uses this and not only does it keep commercials (from the network, not the local affiliate) from being too loud, it makes them so quiet you would think someone muted the sound.

Some manufacturers advertise compression modes on home theater equipment that are supposed to work on everything. However, for this to work, the equipment would first have to pre-fetch the sound and compare it with the sound before and after to make a decision as to how much to compress or expand what you are listening to. In the digital realm, I know this happens in nano-seconds, but I still wonder if this might no introduce some sonic delay. I have not sampled any of these systems so don't know how well they work in practice.
post #154 of 253
Dr,
Good info. I did notice a drastic improvement this evening watching RED. According to the soundbar indicators, I was getting Dolby, rather than DTS which is what I had been getting when I had the dynamic range issues. Is there a way to force the player to output Dolby rather than DTS, or is it disc specific?
post #155 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post

Dr,
Good info. I did notice a drastic improvement this evening watching RED. According to the soundbar indicators, I was getting Dolby, rather than DTS which is what I had been getting when I had the dynamic range issues. Is there a way to force the player to output Dolby rather than DTS, or is it disc specific?

I believe the soundtrack output is based on how the disc is encoded. I may be totally wrong about this as I have not done any serious research, but believe this is what I read somewhere either in a technical paper or maybe from someone equally as ignorant as myself on this forum. I do remember reading two or three years ago about a number of audio devices that could perform the compression on Dolby content if the soundtrack was encoded properly. My assumption (making an a-- out of me and umption) was this was a proprietery hardware/software handshake thing. Maybe someone more current or more knowledgeable can chime in with a better understanding.
post #156 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

Welcome! This place will have you techno literate in no time, including the "shorthand". Sb is just short for soundbar. ARC is audio return channel, a feature added to TVs and other electronics starting in 2010. Your TV is older than that so don't worry about it.

The Panny soundbar has one HDMI input, one digital optical input and an HDMI output. Connect your BD player to the soundbar via HDMI. Connect the soundbar to your TV via HDMI. That way you have audio direct to the soundbar and the video is passed through to the TV. Leave the DVR connected to the TV as is and use a digital optical cable from the TV to the soundbar. The optical sends audio to the soundbar.

Thanks for the above answer Possumgirl. Now things have changed. I purchased a Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50 3D TV. This set has 3 HDMI inputs. I also have a Panasonic DMP-BDT105 3D blu ray player, a Panasonic SC-HTB500 sound bar and a DIRECTV DVR to connect.

I was thinking of turning off the TV speakers and having all sound come from the sound bar? Is that best?

What is the best way to connect these? Thanking you in advance.
post #157 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulnick9092 View Post

Thanks for the above answer Possumgirl. Now things have changed. I purchased a Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50 3D TV. This set has 3 HDMI inputs. I also have a Panasonic DMP-BDT105 3D blu ray player, a Panasonic SC-HTB500 sound bar and a DIRECTV DVR to connect.

I was thinking of turning off the TV speakers and having all sound come from the sound bar? Is that best?

What is the best way to connect these? Thanking you in advance.

Your connections don't change a lot. BD player via HDMI to soundbar. Soundbar via HDMI to TV's HDMI ARC port. DVR connected to TV. You won't need optical from TV to soundbar anymore as ARC replaces that. You may find though that the Panny is only outputting 2 ch. audio over ARC. If that's the case, also connect optical from the DVR directly to the soundbar and change settings on the DVR to disable HDMI audio out.

You'll want to have VieraLink enabled on the Panny devices so they "talk" to each other. On the TV settings, change speakers to home theater, and enable auto-on and auto-off.
post #158 of 253
Possumgirl
I tried the configuration you outline above but could not get any sound from the comcast dvr to the sound bar. Do you know how to turn off HDMI audio on the dvr? I found I could set the HDMI sound to auto or LPCM but not off.
post #159 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post

Possumgirl
I tried the configuration you outline above but could not get any sound from the comcast dvr to the sound bar. Do you know how to turn off HDMI audio on the dvr? I found I could set the HDMI sound to auto or LPCM but not off.

Hopefully someone with a Comcast dvr can help you out on this one. I don't have a cable dvr, but I've seen posts in several threads about doing this. Sorry that I can't tell you exactly how.
post #160 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post

Possumgirl
I tried the configuration you outline above but could not get any sound from the comcast dvr to the sound bar. Do you know how to turn off HDMI audio on the dvr? I found I could set the HDMI sound to auto or LPCM but not off.

What model Comcast DVR? I will see if I can find you some info.
post #161 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

what model comcast dvr? I will see if i can find you some info.

dcx3400-m
post #162 of 253
A question from an owner (happy) of a SC-HTB500: I have a PS3 connected through HDMI to the soundbar.

When I watch blu-rays or DVD, the source light (DTS/DD etc.) never get alive and it's always switched off.

Didn't care a lot when I bought it, simply because the result was anyway a lot better than the VT20 speakers, anyway I wonder if there's anything I have to do to finally "see" that the PS3 is sending to the SB "real" DTS/DD signal...
post #163 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post
dcx3400-m
  1. Do you have the DVR connected to the Soundbar or TV.
    1. If soundbar, you should have sound
    2. If TV,
      1. If your TV supports ARC, the soundbar should connect to the designated HDMI/ARC port on the TV
      2. If not, you will need to connect the soundbar to the TV via digital (optical) cable
    3. HDMI audio output should be set to AUTO on the DVR menu.
Let me know if that solves your problem.
post #164 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

[*]Do you have the DVR connected to the Soundbar or TV.[*]If soundbar, you should have sound[*]If TV,[*]If your TV supports ARC, the soundbar should connect to the designated HDMI/ARC port on the TV[*]If not, you will need to connect the soundbar to the TV via digital (optical) cable
[*]HDMI audio output should be set to AUTO on the DVR menu.

Let me know if that solves your problem.


drfreeman60,

I would like to send audio directly from DVR to soundbar to try to get multi channel audio. Currently I have sound going from the DVR to the tv and out to the soundbar via ARC, but as I understand, am only getting 2.1 through the ARC. I guess I need to know if 1) Will I be able to tell the difference if I get multi channel audio to the soundbar from the DVR, and 2) how do I get the sound to pass from the DVR to the sound bar via optical cable and how do i confirm this?

Maybe I am completely overthinking this, but anyway, I do appreciate your advice!
post #165 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrd287 View Post

drfreeman60,

I would like to send audio directly from DVR to soundbar to try to get multi channel audio. Currently I have sound going from the DVR to the tv and out to the soundbar via ARC, but as I understand, am only getting 2.1 through the ARC. I guess I need to know if 1) Will I be able to tell the difference if I get multi channel audio to the soundbar from the DVR, and 2) how do I get the sound to pass from the DVR to the sound bar via optical cable and how do i confirm this?

Maybe I am completely overthinking this, but anyway, I do appreciate your advice!

To get sound from the DVR to the soundbar, bypassing the TV, connect the DVR optical output to the soundbar optical input. You should then have multi-channel audio from your Blu-Ray via HDMI, DVR via optical to the soundbar. Your soundbar should have some type of display or LED indicating when receiving multi-channel DTS or Dolby.
post #166 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60
To get sound from the DVR to the soundbar, bypassing the TV, connect the DVR optical output to the soundbar optical input. You should then have multi-channel audio from your Blu-Ray via HDMI, DVR via optical to the soundbar. Your soundbar should have some type of display or LED indicating when receiving multi-channel DTS or Dolby.
Thanks! Not sure what I was doing wrong but it is working now!
post #167 of 253
First off, this forum is amazing!!! I have spent so many hours reading up info here, and I am very grateful to everyone who takes the time to post here..

I have a SCHTB500 soundbar hooked up to my Sharp LC52LE920UN via the HDMI ARC channel..

I exchanged my tv just yesterday and have noticed that the sound on my PS3 is very faded...no punchiness to the bass...

I am using Dante's Inferno as a reference guide to see how this soundbar sounds...on my first set, if I turned off all the sound modes on the soundbar, I would get a punchy sound...

However, with my second set, with the exact same setup, I have to turn on the Virtual Sound mode to get any sort of bass during gameplay...this is very evident when I do the holy cross attacks in the game..

What am I missing here....I could tell straight away that the soundbar sounded a little off last night but I waited till today to give it a full run through...I am really bummed that I have to turn on the VS mode and this ends up giving me hollow like sound....I just want to turn off all modes and get my sound crisp and punchy...

Please help for this is very frustrating....I have an exam day after and am very keen to know why this is happening...
post #168 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by itarrow View Post

I have one in a room where I have:

- a wi-fi range extender for wi-fi connection
- a PS3 (connected to a wi-fi router through the range extender)
- a WII (again, connected to a wi-fi router through the range extender)
- a SKY satellite receiver
- a Panasonic 50" VT20 (again, connected to a wi-fi router through the range extender)
- an a/v wireless and IR transmitter (operating on 5.8 and not 2.4)
- a cordless phone

and everything works fine so far (tough it's less than one week that I have the SC-HTB500).

The subwoofer is about 5 mts. from the soundbar.

Not sure if this answers your question, anyway hope it helps.

In my room with the htb500 I use the tv, wii, ps3, xbox360, bt-300 bd player, and the wireless router itself, all wireless. Throughout the house there are also 3 computers, 2 iPhones, and a second tv and my TiVo, all wireless.

The only thing that causes issues with the sub is my old wireless gamecube controller that I use sometimes with the wii. The contention will short out from time to time. I just have to turn off the sub while the controller is on and it will find a new channel. It is a pain in the ass though so I don't really use the wavebird (gamecube controller) very much anymore.
post #169 of 253
I'm thinking about getting this SB to match up with a Panny 58s2. I see now that they're coming out with a SC-HTB520 SB in a couple of months. Does anyone know what the difference is between that one and this one? Is it just the cosmetics? On paper, they seem to be very similar.
post #170 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapointer View Post

I see now that they're coming out with a SC-HTB520 SB in a couple of months. Does anyone know what the difference is between that one and this one?

I too would like to know the difference. I've been watching for a clearance special on the SC-HTB500 and it would be nice to know what may be missing as compared to the newer model.
post #171 of 253
the only way to know for sure, wait. This is always a crapshoot. With televisions, you are usually assured of getting a better product with the newer item. With popular priced audio, this can go either way. If the specs look similar, that's probably because they are. Unless you see something you feel you could not or should not live without, my advice is always to keep cash in your pocket. Waiting for something better is always a long wait.
post #172 of 253
Just looked at the specs for the HTB-520. If Panasonic's web site is accurate, the 520 is only 2.1 channels and does not include the rear speakers. It appears that the current model would definitely be the way to go and that Pany has decided to dumb down their unit the same as JVC with their new soundbar.
post #173 of 253
I called my local Costco warehouse yesterday and discovered that there was exactly one unit (SKU 548535) left in the area. It was 25 miles away but I decided to go get it and I'm glad I did: The sealed box was labeled "last one" and priced for clearance. Given Costco's return policy, I didn't think I could go wrong.

Setting up Viera Link was super easy with my GT25. I have the soundbar sitting behind the TV for the time being since we haven't finished the riser we're making to avoid blocking the remote sensor and 3D emitters. In the meantime, I guess I need to fiddle a little with the various modes to get the best sound for the room.
post #174 of 253
One thing I noticed on the new 520 sb is that it has what looks like 6 speakers. The 520 has a weird glossy see thru front and you can clearly see 2 big 2 medium and 2 small speakers on each side. The bar itself is also VERY small in comparison, which with lack of box may explain the addition of speakers to keep it up to par. The current 500 only has 2 2.5" speakers, one on each end. Either way it makes me wonder. Inputs are the same and features are the same. But more speakers in the bar. Smaller thinner unit. And the sub is smaller and downward firing instead of kelton type. I wonder if it is going to be much better.
post #175 of 253
When you say "thinner", do you mean in depth or vertically?

Surely the answer to inadequate speakers in the set surely doesn't lie in a shallower soundbar. If the height has decreased, Panasonic may be responding to customer concerns about blocking the IR senson and 3D sensors.

In any case, I've been using the SC-HTB500 for a couple of days now and I guess I'd rate it a 3.5. That's provisional given that it's still sitting behind the TV but it does add some much needed depth to ordinary TV watching.

I hooked things up in the recommended way (BD Player -->SB -->TV with a separate HDMI cable from my cable box to the TV). The surround sound setting on my U-Verse box is inactive so I guess I have to use a TOSLink cable to get (virtual) Surround Sound for TV content? Or should I connect the BD Player to the SB via TOS Link and use the ARC port for the U-Verse box? I'm beginning to think that this unit needs at least one more HDMI input port.

UPDATE: I found some information about the 520 at the Panasonic UK site. The dimensions of the two products are shown as 1029 x 108 x 58mm for the 500 and 1018 x 75 x 44 mm for the 520 so the new model is both shallower (1.73 inches vs 2.28 inches) and slimmer (2.95 inches vs 4.25 inches). That would still block the remote sensor and IR emitters on my GT25; perhaps the stands for the new 2011 models lift the panel an inch or so higher.
post #176 of 253
Maybe it was to make the sensors work better. I have mine on the shelf below the tv and it works fine. I like that it's slimmer and the buttons are on the top instead on the bottom of the front. But what gets me is the extra speakers. I like the sound of the 500 but I can't help to feel silly that the whole bar only has 2 speakers. When you look at most other bars they have 4-6 some with a L C R. Also with the sub firing into the floor I would imagine a fuller sound with less shock. I kinda wanna get it, but do u guys think that with less of a box they needed the extra speakers to provide the same quality? Maybe the upgrade is only aesthetics?
post #177 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilejunkie View Post
I kinda wanna get it, but do u guys think that with less of a box they needed the extra speakers to provide the same quality? Maybe the upgrade is only aesthetics?
It's hard for me to imagine that there would be enough difference in the sound quality to justify swapping between the 500 and the 520-- especially if, as Amazon indicates, the price is going up by $50. I would be more interested in seeing some functional improvements such as better sub-woofer control and volume compression. Another HDMI input port would be nice too.

I'm not complaining mind you; the SC-HTB500 is certainly an improvement over the the built-in speakers. If I were looking for an upgrade though, I don't think I would start at the 520.
post #178 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilejunkie View Post

Maybe it was to make the sensors work better. I have mine on the shelf below the tv and it works fine. I like that it's slimmer and the buttons are on the top instead on the bottom of the front. But what gets me is the extra speakers. I like the sound of the 500 but I can't help to feel silly that the whole bar only has 2 speakers. When you look at most other bars they have 4-6 some with a L C R. Also with the sub firing into the floor I would imagine a fuller sound with less shock. I kinda wanna get it, but do u guys think that with less of a box they needed the extra speakers to provide the same quality? Maybe the upgrade is only aesthetics?

Just keep in mind that the current bar is designated as 5-ch and includes rear speakers. The new unit is 2-ch only without the rear speakers. Soundwise there may be little difference other than the surround effect.
post #179 of 253
I recently purchased a 50" Panny S2 and I was thinking of getting this sound bar. The TV is on a stand, so if I understand correctly, the IR for my remote to the tv will be blocked. How do I get around this? Also, can the soundbar be mounted to the wall above the tv or is this not proper placement for audio?
post #180 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by gryd View Post
The TV is on a stand, so if I understand correctly, the IR for my remote to the tv will be blocked. How do I get around this?
You have two options:
  • put the TV on a 2"+ platform -- you can do that with a couple of sheets of plywood or a row of 2" X 4"s
  • Get an IR blaster and mount it behind the speaker bar (not an option with a 3D TV). The Panasonic version is no longer available but you can find compatible items online for about $10 or so.
Note: Since the newer model will be out soon, you might want to be on the lookout for a closeout special somewhere.
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