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Panasonic SC-HTB520, Panasonic TV and AVR setup

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi,

A friend has asked to help with her setup, and for the first time I'm lost. Before I drive 50 miles to connect it all it's worth gaining some knowledge. I have no experience with soundbars.

She has a Panasonic G25 plasma display and a Panasonic SC-HTB520 soundbar. Input sources are a Panasonic blu-ray and Dish DVR. Apparently everything worked fine (although looking at the connections manual for the soundbar I don't know how) with these two devices connected. Now she has added a Roku, audio will only play through the TV. Apparently when first turned on there is audio from the Roku for a few seconds before it goes mute. I do not know how the devices are connected, the cords confused her

I'm guessing this has something to do with HDMI ARC. What little reading I have done would indicate this only works with one input, I don't know how she has it working with two.

In order to get all three devices working I suppose I could install an HDMI switch (which one?). She has also indicated that an AVR would work, as she would also like a headphone jack.

If there is some crazy magic that can be used to just connect all three devices and have them work that would be great, otherwise either of the two options above are the next step.

If someone can verify:

HDMI output from soundbar to TV HDMI1 (ARC) input
HDMI output from AVR to soundbar HDMI in

Will this pass both audio and video (the panasonic soundbar appears to pass through vid, not sure) such that the AVR can be used to switch the three input sources? Otherwise, will I have to use an AVR with two HDMI out, splitting audio and video?

Note: the Panasonic soundbar also has optical input, although this is only 2 channel, and without the benefits (whatever they are) of ARC.

For reference, here is the documentation link to soundbar:
http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/SCHTB520.PDF

Thanks much in advance.
post #2 of 3
Let's start with ARC. It sends audio from the TV (including any gear connected to the TV) to an external sound system. Panny TVs only output 2 ch. stereo from connected devices. Since the Panny soundbar is a 2.1 system this isn't necessarily a terrible thing as it will apply its own DSP to a stereo signal.

Typically, you'd connect the BD player via HDMI to the soundbar to get full 5.1 audio for movies. The other devices would connect to the TV and ARC would be used to send audio out to the soundbar.

With powered soundbars, an AVR isn't usually in the picture. I have no idea if your idea would work to use the AVR simply as an HDMI switch. You'd have to be able to tell the AVR to send audio to "TV" instead of attached speakers. I'm just guessing here, but the AVR might downmix audio in that case to 2 ch. stereo. If that happened, you'd gain nothing.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

I'd done some reading after posting this, I am now a veritable ARC of knowledge.

We traced out the connections, which seemed fine. I had thought it might be the Roku itself, odd that it would play a bit then cut out. There was a setting on the remote to toggle between [something that escapes me] and TV, the TV setting worked fine. The [something that escapes me] setting worked well with the other two devices.

Sorry for the mind block, and lack of time to get it right, but wanted to thank you for your help.
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