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Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 17

post #481 of 866
Hi there. I'm looking for a soundbar to pair with the cheap 32" tv in my kitchen/living room. This is a secondary tv, primarily used to watch sports, occasionally kids shows, or news. I'm looking for something basic. The tv is a Westinghouse EW32S5UW, which outputs sound via RCA or optical. I grab OTA from an antenna and have an Apple TV connected via HDMI (primarily for WatchESPN via airplay). Honestly, I'm not sure if the TV will actually output a Dolby signal over optical, or if it just pushes out 2.0. Either way, I'd like the option to decode dolby, but plan to connect everything through the tv. Hoping to keep price on the lower side of the $100-250 range. Subwoofer is not needed, but I'd be happy to have one. Hoping to mount this under the tv with some basic sound bar brackets. The two options I've looked at so far are the Vizio VSB207 (which looks discontinued) around $100 or the Boston Acoustics TVeee 25 around $200. Anything else I should consider?
post #482 of 866
If you have to mount it, that could be a problem but this has gotten some nice reviews here:

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/digital-sound-projector/yas-101/
post #483 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishv View Post

Hi there. I'm looking for a soundbar to pair with the cheap 32" tv in my kitchen/living room. This is a secondary tv, primarily used to watch sports, occasionally kids shows, or news. I'm looking for something basic. The tv is a Westinghouse EW32S5UW, which outputs sound via RCA or optical. I grab OTA from an antenna and have an Apple TV connected via HDMI (primarily for WatchESPN via airplay). Honestly, I'm not sure if the TV will actually output a Dolby signal over optical, or if it just pushes out 2.0. Either way, I'd like the option to decode dolby, but plan to connect everything through the tv. Hoping to keep price on the lower side of the $100-250 range. Subwoofer is not needed, but I'd be happy to have one. Hoping to mount this under the tv with some basic sound bar brackets. The two options I've looked at so far are the Vizio VSB207 (which looks discontinued) around $100 or the Boston Acoustics TVeee 25 around $200. Anything else I should consider?
Since your TV has a SPDIF connection and analog connections a bar Like the Boston A TVEE 26 will work and through the optical connection be capable of Dolby. The BA does decode Dolby. It will mount on the wall with just 2 drywall screws and has a mounting template to tape to the wall so you can put the screws in with perfect alignment. It also has a nice little wireless subwoofer to sit on the ground anywhere in the room near a plug. The tiny toslink optical cable and 9V power connection are easily hidden with a piece of wire mold and it comes with it's own remote or it will learn your TV's remote. The TVEE 25 is a 2-1 but the 26 is 5-1
Make sure to turn off the TV speakers in the Audio menu of the TV setup. The 26 is on sale now at BB for 299. It can be a bit quirky. It's little remote is run with a little flat battery and is not very strong so distance from the bar can compromise the signal and buttons sometimes need to be pushed more than once to get a response. I do not like the flashing red led when in mute mode so I stuck a DIM over it, but then that feature is a matter of choice.
Edited by generallee - 3/28/13 at 4:10am
post #484 of 866
So what is the best sub $1k soundbar out right now? A plus if it has a digital in and an hdmi port. I'd like to get some good base and I have a relatively small living room although it's open a couple sides.
post #485 of 866
Is an optical audio connection from the soundbar to the TV sufficient? Is there a difference in sound quality if I hook up the soundbar with HDMI instead? How about playing Blu Ray player? no extra connection required?
post #486 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoTheEvolution View Post

Is an optical audio connection from the soundbar to the TV sufficient? Is there a difference in sound quality if I hook up the soundbar with HDMI instead? How about playing Blu Ray player? no extra connection required?

To answer your question, you should find no difference in sound quality using an optical cable from your TV to the soundbar or an HDMI cable from your TV to your soundbar. Keep in mind that, for the latter to work, both your TV and your soundbar have to support ARC.

To better assist you, can you tell us what sources you have and what soundbar you have? Whenever possible, I always like to connect my sources directly to the soundbar and then pass video through to the TV. Your post indicates that your soundbar has HDMI connectivity so you should have options. There is a good chance that you don't have a soundbar yet. If so, please tell us what sources you have.
Edited by Doctego - 4/2/13 at 1:42pm
post #487 of 866
optical cable goes from my Yamaha YAS-201 to the TV. Also have the Panasonic DMP-BDT 220 Blu Ray player, and that is hooked to the TV via HDMI, as is the Comcast cable box. ... I recall someone saying something about better audio sound hooked differently than how I was told for the full audio capabilities, but so far we've found the sound to be fine hooked up the way it is. I don't see how or why I'd hook it up any other way.

And, yes, there is an HDMI-ARC port, which is what the Blu Ray is hooked to.
post #488 of 866
Anybody have any thoughts about the LG soundbar Model: NB3530A looking to add to my Vizio M3DR46 tv mainly for concert blu-ray's, also like it because it adds bluetooth streaming for sound from my cellphone. Any advice on this model or something similar for the 300.00 price range.
post #489 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoTheEvolution View Post

optical cable goes from my Yamaha YAS-201 to the TV. Also have the Panasonic DMP-BDT 220 Blu Ray player, and that is hooked to the TV via HDMI, as is the Comcast cable box. ... I recall someone saying something about better audio sound hooked differently than how I was told for the full audio capabilities, but so far we've found the sound to be fine hooked up the way it is. I don't see how or why I'd hook it up any other way.

And, yes, there is an HDMI-ARC port, which is what the Blu Ray is hooked to.

I believe the YAS-201 only has optical inputs, no HDMI, so you're limited as to how it can be connected. Since you like how it sounds now it seems you're good to go. However, if you want to do a test on audio from your BD player, run an additional optical cable directly from the BDP to the soundbar. I think there's a settings change on the player to tell it to output audio on optical. Then listen to a movie that has lots of full-range sound. Compare that to how the same movie sounds without the direct connection. The soundbar is supposed to be able to decode DD and DTS. When the audio comes through the TV you get neither. If you don't notice the difference with the direct connection, then just sit back and enjoy. smile.gif
post #490 of 866
I have an LN46A650, and from what I can gather, I'm limited on how to connect my devices. I have a Dish HD DVR, a PS3 and an Xbox 360. Any suggestions on a sound bar below $500? I've read that a separate switching device may be an option? Saw a link from monoprice on another thread. Not sure, though.

This is for a living room in a condo. Odd shaped room, around 15-20 feet x 12 feet.
post #491 of 866
The Toslink manual switch from Mono is from Shin Kin of Tw and is very cheap but works if if if handled right. I have one but it is a PITA and Shin Kin also makes a electronic switch with a remote control but not available from Mono (Amazon). Toslink (optical Digital) splitters are also available but it has been reported that they degrade the signal. Since I never tried one am not positive about this
post #492 of 866
Panasonic VT50 and Oppo 103, looking for a soundbar that is compatible with lossless formats like dolby tru hd etc. Willing to spend $500 or so. Needs to support HDMI audio.
post #493 of 866
I just bought a Sceptre 32" Class LED HDTV E320BV-FHDD TV and think I need a soundbar for it. It's in the "den" room off the kitchen so it's not really used all that much. Mostly in the morning and at night when I'm making meals and some work at home days. I believe (have to double check at home) it doesn't have a optical input, just stereo and a digital coax audio cable inputs. I don't really need anything that great, just something to improve the quality of sound from the TV. I'd like to spend under $100 for it, but would go up if you guys don't think I can find anything decent to improve the TV speaker sound from the TV.
post #494 of 866
In selecting a sound bar one should consider it's functionality with other devices. for instance I have a Boston A TVee 26 bar with a wireless woofer that sells at 349 at BB and on sale for 50 less. It decodes Dolby and Dolby PL## as well as some other lossless formats. It has a digital optical input and a analog input and comes with it's own remote control. My bar's volume control is operable using either it's own remote, my Panasonic remote, or my Harmony 880 remote........But even though (supposedly....ha ha) the Direct tv remote(direct tv rc65) for my Panasonic TCP50UT50 will turn on and off the TV it will not change the inputs on the TV nor will it control the volume on the sound bar. (If I turn the Panny's speakers ON, then the Direct tv remote will control the volume of the TV self. contained speakers. The D remotes really are cheapo so unless you want to invest in a Harmony remote that you can program, don't be disappointed. This problem occurs with many if not all sound bar's.

My Harmony software recognizes every device however, it requires a adapter to control PS3. Since my spouse doesn't want to learn how to use another remote and is not techie inclined she has to use 2 remotes when watching Direct TV.

I am satisfied with the BA sound bar as the audio is very much an improvement over the TV speakers. The fact that the digital optical out will give me 5-1 surround or 2-1 stereo at my choice and has remote changeable analog inputs to allow connection to my ipod or for those who have older TV's that output analog stereo a low cost option. For those who want to spend more $$$ and have higher end equipment one will probably want a Bar with both HDMI in AND HDMI out to attach to their HDMI ARC TV input.

Most of all don't rely upon advice from sales people.rolleyes.gif.
post #495 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanksno1 View Post

I just bought a Sceptre 32" Class LED HDTV E320BV-FHDD TV and think I need a soundbar for it. It's in the "den" room off the kitchen so it's not really used all that much. Mostly in the morning and at night when I'm making meals and some work at home days. I believe (have to double check at home) it doesn't have a optical input, just stereo and a digital coax audio cable inputs. I don't really need anything that great, just something to improve the quality of sound from the TV. I'd like to spend under $100 for it, but would go up if you guys don't think I can find anything decent to improve the TV speaker sound from the TV.

In my opinion, any soundbar will improve the TV speaker sound. Something simple like the VIZIO VSB200 should work. You can use standard RCA cables or you can get an adapter like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=2947&seq=1&format=2
post #496 of 866
Hi folks - Forum (and Soundbar) newbie here. I started a thread asking for input few days ago and got no response.... So i hope its ok to ask my question inside this thread. Basically, I'm looking for advice on whether to buy the Yamaha YAS-201 or Boston Accoustics TVee 26?

I recently bought a plasma TV (Panny 55VT50) and am now looking to buy a soundbar with wireless subwoofer to mount on the wall just above the TV. The soundbar will be used almost exclusively for high def TV (and an occasional Blue Ray movie) and not for music or gaming. I don't need anything too fancy or elaborate... I simply looking for an easy way to get much better sound than the TV's built-in speakers..... And i really like the idea of the extra umph that a sub can provide. It's a modest size den approx 11ft X 14ft.... And my max budget is $400.

Both of these soundbar's seemed impressive at Paul'sTV.

* Yamaha YAS-201 - $400

* Boston Accoustics TVee 26 - $350

I'd greatly appreciate any opinions or advice on these two soundbars (or others you think would be a better option in my price range). I know the YAS101 w/o the subwoofer has received great reviews, but I haven't seen too much written about the YAS201 with wireless subwoofer. The sales guy was pushing the Boston Accoustics, but I haven't been able to find many reviews/opinions on it online, although i did see a few folks in this thread that seemed fairly happy with it.


MANY thanks!
post #497 of 866
What are the soundbars with true wireless satellites speakers ? (not connected to the subwoofer or soundbar)
I have been searching for one of these...

Thanks !
post #498 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by hgarber View Post

Hi folks - Forum (and Soundbar) newbie here. I started a thread asking for input few days ago and got no response.... So i hope its ok to ask my question inside this thread. Basically, I'm looking for advice on whether to buy the Yamaha YAS-201 or Boston Accoustics TVee 26?

I recently bought a plasma TV (Panny 55VT50) and am now looking to buy a soundbar with wireless subwoofer to mount on the wall just above the TV. The soundbar will be used almost exclusively for high def TV (and an occasional Blue Ray movie) and not for music or gaming. I don't need anything too fancy or elaborate... I simply looking for an easy way to get much better sound than the TV's built-in speakers..... And i really like the idea of the extra umph that a sub can provide. It's a modest size den approx 11ft X 14ft.... And my max budget is $400.

Both of these soundbar's seemed impressive at Paul'sTV.

* Yamaha YAS-201 - $400

* Boston Accoustics TVee 26 - $350

I'd greatly appreciate any opinions or advice on these two soundbars (or others you think would be a better option in my price range). I know the YAS101 w/o the subwoofer has received great reviews, but I haven't seen too much written about the YAS201 with wireless subwoofer. The sales guy was pushing the Boston Accoustics, but I haven't been able to find many reviews/opinions on it online, although i did see a few folks in this thread that seemed fairly happy with it.


MANY thanks!
I have a TV26 and is great......but you can not.....no way.....control the volume with a Direct TV remote. Either you must use the remote that came with the 26, your Panny remote, or a Harmony remote. BEST B has a bunch of reviews and show the bar as a 3 star but I think it deserves a higher rating. It is an easy set up but the remote that operates it is so small users will want to have a armchair "couch potato" so it does not get lost. The Panny remote does program the sound bar and works well. BTW BB had the 26 on sale for 299 2 weeks ago. The 26 has a learning function that allows one to program their TV remote to the bar. D combines a bunch of pronto codes in their remote then gives it a number and says it is an "exact match". code 11480 for the 55UT50. It is NOT an exact match. I have thrown the D remote in the garbage and use my Harmony 880. I regret that Logitech is going to close down or sell their remote business.
If your Panny is wall mounted as I did you might want to buy a strip of wire mold or drill a couple of holes in the wall to hide the power and toslink cable.. The 26 's only draw back is when using the volume control, the bar flashes the fact that the volume is being increased/decreased but since the toslink cable to the TV is one way all the TV will display is "speakers Off" and no level bar or number is displayed so volume is tuned by ear rather by sight. To me this is very minor. The fact that I can turn the bar off and the speakers on at will is easy.

Don't know anything about the Yammy.

I really like the sound of my 26 and the fact that the wireless woofer can be set separately as to volume and the woofer can be placed anywhere in the room. Since I also have wireless headphones (Sony DMR DS2600) digital optical fed wireless headphones, rather than trying to split the optical signal, I use a Shin Kin remote switch ( tAOS-42TR-B) hat will change inputs where input 1 goes to the panny, input 2 to the blue ray, input 3 to the Direct TV, and input 4 goes to the game box. since the switch has dual optical outs, it feeds both the sound bar and the headphones. This way if my wife wants quiet in the house, I simply reduce the bar's volume to zilch and then use the headphones which have both a manual off on and volume switch on the ear piece.

Do some more research if you have D*. Their technical forum is filled with request, complaints from customers about incompatibility with their sound bar's. D* may start supporting Samsung Bars because S* is one of the biggest suppliers of electronic devices. (provided they don't get nuked).
Edited by generallee - 4/14/13 at 10:36am
post #499 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

I believe the YAS-201 only has optical inputs, no HDMI, so you're limited as to how it can be connected. Since you like how it sounds now it seems you're good to go. However, if you want to do a test on audio from your BD player, run an additional optical cable directly from the BDP to the soundbar. I think there's a settings change on the player to tell it to output audio on optical. Then listen to a movie that has lots of full-range sound. Compare that to how the same movie sounds without the direct connection. The soundbar is supposed to be able to decode DD and DTS. When the audio comes through the TV you get neither. If you don't notice the difference with the direct connection, then just sit back and enjoy. smile.gif


So I connected the Blu Ray to the soundbar with an optical cable and I'm *fairly certain* the sound is even better. Turned up the volume very loudly and definitely felt more of a surround sound.
post #500 of 866
I have a Yamaha YAS-201. Very nice overall, but given the large size of our family room, I knew this soundbar was a little 'too small.' That said, the sound quality is very nice. However, I really wish the subwoofer's output was even better. Has anyone out there purchased a second subwoofer to attach to this soundbar? Results?
post #501 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by generallee View Post

For those who want to spend more $$$ and have higher end equipment one will probably want a Bar with both HDMI in AND HDMI out to attach to their HDMI ARC TV input.

I'm just a newbie with soundbars and everything home theater. But I've figured-out that the HDMI ARC output is important, the TV control will be able to set volume on soundbar. HDMI ARC is found on some budget soundbars. The low cost Sony HT-CT150 is a couple years old now, but it features 3 HDMI inputs that add flexibility for TV sets with only one or two HDMI inputs.
http://sound-bar-review.toptenreviews.com/sony-soundbar-review.html
http://cnettv.cnet.com/sony-ht-ct150/9742-1_53-50091328.html

Maybe there is a better $250 soundbar out there now, but I haven't found it.

This CT150 was on clearance at the major retailers about 6 months ago, unfortunately I came late to the party. Now you have to pay full price when you can find them, which I take to mean they are holding their own against newer models.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/15/13 at 2:44pm
post #502 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

I'm just a newbie with soundbars and everything home theater. But I've figured-out that the HDMI ARC output is important, the TV control will be able to set volume on soundbar. HDMI ARC is found on some budget soundbars. The low cost Sony HT-CT150 is a couple years old now, but it features 3 HDMI inputs that add flexibility for TV sets with only one or two HDMI inputs.
http://sound-bar-review.toptenreviews.com/sony-soundbar-review.html
http://cnettv.cnet.com/sony-ht-ct150/9742-1_53-50091328.html

Maybe there is a better $250 soundbar out there now, but I haven't found it.

This CT150 was on clearance at the major retailers about 6 months ago, unfortunately I came late to the party. Now you have to pay full price when you can find them, which I take to mean they are holding their own against newer models.

A common mistake that I see people making is confusing ARC with HDMI-CEC. The simple way that I like to think of it is that ARC allows you to use your TV as a switch by being able to connect all of the sources to your TV and then run a single HDMI cable from your TV to your soundbar. As for HDMI-CEC, you can utilize that feature without using ARC. That allows your TV remote to control the soundbar, for example. ARC refers to connectivity where HDMI-CEC refers to controllability. If you have a soundbar with 3 HDMI inputs and 3 or fewer HDMI sources, you don't need to worry about ARC. You can connect all of the sources directly into the soundbar and then connect the HDMI OUT from the soundbar to the TV.

This is a super simple description but, hopefully, it makes sense.
post #503 of 866
My journey of discovery continues. After reading more about ARC and HDMI-CEC, what you say generally makes sense, but I would pick some bones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

The simple way that I like to think of it is that ARC allows you to use your TV as a switch by being able to connect all of the sources to your TV and then run a single HDMI cable from your TV to your soundbar.
OK, but you might not be using TV as your switch, switching could be done elsewhere, perhaps in the soundbar, or not at all. The ARC is just a protocol run over a dedicated wire on the HDMI cable that allows audio from the TV to flow out to another component.
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4/arc.aspx

This guy discourages the use of the TV as a switch, since the ARC audio format is limited:
"ARC can convey Dolby Digital, DTS, and PCM, but none of the advanced codecs, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, or DTS-HD. After all, none of these codecs are used with over-the-air, cable, or streaming content."
http://www.hometheater.com/content/hdmi-audio-return-channel-conundrum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

As for HDMI-CEC, you can utilize that feature without using ARC. That allows your TV remote to control the soundbar, for example. ARC refers to connectivity where HDMI-CEC refers to controllability.
Ya, this sounds right, well said. (But I see comments on internet that muddle this distinction.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

If you have a soundbar with 3 HDMI inputs and 3 or fewer HDMI sources, you don't need to worry about ARC. You can connect all of the sources directly into the soundbar and then connect the HDMI OUT from the soundbar to the TV.
Had to scratch my head on this one, guess it makes sense. In this configuration, your remote would have to be talking to your soundbar to control volume, not the TV. (Or perhaps the TV accepts commands from remote, relays them to soundbar via CEC protocol, assuming the TV and soundbar speak the same version of CEC)

This "HDMI-CEC" is confusing. It does not seem to be a fixed protocol, otherwise equipment from different manufacturers would easily interoperate. Evidently, each company has their own flavor. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI:
Trade names for CEC are Anynet+ (Samsung); Aquos Link (Sharp); BRAVIA Link (Sony); HDMI-CEC (Hitachi); E-link (AOC); Kuro Link (Pioneer); CE-Link (Toshiba); RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) (Onkyo); RuncoLink (Runco International); SimpLink (LG); VIERA Link (Panasonic); EasyLink (Philips); and NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi)

Doctego, when you are connecting equipment from different manufacturers, I don't believe you have any HDMI-CEC action. The problem I was exploring was hooking a Sony soundbar to a Panasonic TV, VIERA Link isn't going to talk to BRAVIA Link. I think what is happening there is that there is limited integration, but at least you can control the sound level through the TV remote. The audio signal being sent back to the soundbar over ARC has been adjusted by the TV.

From comments at Amazon, I see that some people can not control volume on a soundbar using TV control when connected via optical audio cable. They have success when using an ARC-enabled HDMI port. Could it be that sound levels on the optical audio out are constant, unaffected by TV remote? It would be strange if ARC and optical behaved so differently. Or does this prove that CEC is running the show afterall, even between equipment from different manufacturers?
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/16/13 at 1:56am
post #504 of 866
.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/16/13 at 1:21am
post #505 of 866
You can "pick bones" if you wish. It's all good. I mentioned that I simplified this. I did so because of the thread we are in.

I am a little confused here:
Quote:
OK, but you might not be using TV as your switch, switching could be done elsewhere, perhaps in the soundbar, or not at all. The ARC is just a protocol run over a dedicated wire on the HDMI cable that allows audio from the TV to flow out to another component.
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4/arc.aspx

This guy discourages the use of the TV as a switch, since the ARC audio format is limited:
"ARC can convey Dolby Digital, DTS, and PCM, but none of the advanced codecs, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, or DTS-HD. After all, none of these codecs are used with over-the-air, cable, or streaming content."
http://www.hometheater.com/content/hdmi-audio-return-channel-conundrum

First, you say that this might not be using your TV as a switch and then you say that someone discourages using your TV as a switch. For the record, I am for NOT using ARC unless completely necessary. What you gain in convenience, you often lose in sound quality.
Quote:
Had to scratch my head on this one, guess it makes sense. In this configuration, your remote would have to be talking to your soundbar to control volume, not the TV. (Or perhaps the TV accepts commands from remote, relays them to soundbar via CEC protocol, assuming the TV and soundbar speak the same version of CEC)

This "HDMI-CEC" is confusing. It does not seem to be a fixed protocol, otherwise equipment from different manufacturers would easily interoperate. Evidently, each company has their own flavor. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI:
Trade names for CEC are Anynet+ (Samsung); Aquos Link (Sharp); BRAVIA Link (Sony); HDMI-CEC (Hitachi); E-link (AOC); Kuro Link (Pioneer); CE-Link (Toshiba); RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) (Onkyo); RuncoLink (Runco International); SimpLink (LG); VIERA Link (Panasonic); EasyLink (Philips); and NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi)

Doctego, when you are connecting equipment from different manufacturers, I don't believe you have any HDMI-CEC action. The problem I was exploring was hooking a Sony soundbar to a Panasonic TV, VIERA Link isn't going to talk to BRAVIA Link. I think what is happening there is that there is limited integration, but at least you can control the sound level through the TV remote. The audio signal being sent back to the soundbar over ARC has been adjusted by the TV.

From comments at Amazon, I see that some people can not control volume on a soundbar using TV control when connected via optical audio cable. They have success when using an ARC-enabled HDMI port. Could it be that sound levels on the optical audio out are constant, unaffected by TV remote? It would be strange if ARC and optical behaved so differently. Or does this prove that CEC is running the show afterall, even between equipment from different manufacturers?

HDMI is extremely moody. Getting 2 pieces of equipment to play nice can cause issues but, often times, they can do this successfully. I have a Samsung TV that does NOT have ARC and a Samsung HW-E450 soundbar. Obviously, ARC is out of the question. I can control the soundbar's volume with my cable remote. I did this by activating AnyNet+ on both devices. If I had an LG TV, I would activate AnyNet+ on my soundbar and Simplink on my TV. The concept is the same. Some get along better than others but that is the process.

I would recommend spending more time reading here. This is a great place and there are people here that have forgotten more about this stuff than I know. I take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt.
post #506 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

First, you say that this might not be using your TV as a switch and then you say that someone discourages using your TV as a switch. For the record, I am for NOT using ARC unless completely necessary. What you gain in convenience, you often lose in sound quality.
I get that you are not advocating using the TV as a switch, you were just pointing out that ARC is useful in such a structure.
I was really just relaying the details I learned, and it came off argumentative.
The point I was leading up to is that ARC is not only useful for the purpose you cite, perhaps it is also useful in connecting equipment from different vendors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

HDMI is extremely moody. Getting 2 pieces of equipment to play nice can cause issues but, often times, they can do this successfully. I have a Samsung TV that does NOT have ARC and a Samsung HW-E450 soundbar. Obviously, ARC is out of the question. I can control the soundbar's volume with my cable remote. I did this by activating AnyNet+ on both devices.
Sure, the HDMI-CEC works its magic when you have equipment from the same vendor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

If I had an LG TV, I would activate AnyNet+ on my soundbar and Simplink on my TV. The concept is the same. Some get along better than others but that is the process.
I am skeptical that the HDMI-CEC typically works between different vendors. If you've experimented, I believe you, but I'd like to hear from others experiences.

I will test theories when I receive my Sony HTC-150 soundbar and try to control it from a Panasonic plasma tv. With some different cable configurations, I should be able to isolate whether the TV volume is being communicated to soundbar using HDMI-CEC, or if the soundbar is setting volume based on level it gets back on ARC wire. Based on others reports, no ARC = no luck.
post #507 of 866
Quote:
when you are connecting equipment from different manufacturers, I don't believe you have any HDMI-CEC action. The problem I was exploring was hooking a Sony soundbar to a Panasonic TV, VIERA Link isn't going to talk to BRAVIA Link.
Not true. CEC between different manufacturers usually works quite well, although not always or perhaps not all functions.

In the particular case of the Sony soundbar and the Panny TV, CEC will work perfectly. I own a Panny ST30. I had a Sony CT-350 connected to it. All source devices connected to the CT-350 and HDMI to the TV. The TV remote controlled volume because it is the TV that is in control with CEC. I have since ditched the soundbar and gone to a 5.1 setup with a Denon AVR that also supports CEC. Still works perfectly.

As Doctego already explained, ARC is a convenience feature if you need to send audio out from a TV. It is independent of the other CEC functions.
post #508 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

Not true. CEC between different manufacturers usually works quite well, although not always or perhaps not all functions.

OK, I have little hands-on experience to go by, I'm just trying to make sense of the online chatter. Glad to hear that CEC is rosy.

I suspect that the suggestion that HDMI-ARC is *required* lives-on at Amazon and elsewhere because many are connecting with just optical digital cable, no HDMI at all. Then they switch to HDMI-ARC and viola!

Perhaps HDMI (non ARC) plus optical digital audio works just as well as HDMI-ARC.
post #509 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

OK, I have little hands-on experience to go by, I'm just trying to make sense of the online chatter. Glad to hear that CEC is rosy.

I suspect that the suggestion that HDMI-ARC is *required* lives-on at Amazon and elsewhere because many are connecting with just optical digital cable, no HDMI at all. Then they switch to HDMI-ARC and viola!

Perhaps HDMI (non ARC) plus optical digital audio works just as well as HDMI-ARC.

Optical works just fine. ARC is never "required". When connecting a TV to external audio, the audio output from the TV should be exactly the same whether using optical or ARC. TVs do not pass lossless audio regardless of connection method. Where HDMI has the advantage, is if you are connecting a BD player directly to an external audio device because HDMI can carry lossless audio and optical cannot.
post #510 of 866
Need recommendation on best sound-bars with sub-woofer under $500, to pair with a 55-60 inch TV.

Would love to have HDMI or Optical in. Also would like 5.1 simulation without rear speakers to watch movies and listen to music from a connected AppleTV. Bass doesn't have to be earth-shaking, but enough to add an impact to the scene on-screen. I am not planning to add a BD player to this setup.

I'm coming from a Vizio VBS210WS sound-bar, which has issues with overheating and losing input signal. So I would like a more reliable brand/model.

Thanks!
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