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Need help setting up my Sony HTCT550w sound bar (hdmi or optical)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Im an audio newbie so i know nothing about audio please help. I Just purchased this Sony sound bar and i have no clue on what cables to use to connect it to my tv, hdmi or optical. I have a 60 inch led vizio E601i-A3 with no prior sound system and everything is connected to the tv via hdmi, except the xbox 360 (component). Also, anything i should know about setting this up with regards to the soundbar or tv settings?
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironskull View Post

Im an audio newbie so i know nothing about audio please help. I Just purchased this Sony sound bar and i have no clue on what cables to use to connect it to my tv, hdmi or optical. I have a 60 inch led vizio E601i-A3 with no prior sound system and everything is connected to the tv via hdmi, except the xbox 360 (component). Also, anything i should know about setting this up with regards to the soundbar or tv settings?

Whenever possible, I recommend connecting everything directly to the soundbar. What do you mean by "everything"? Your soundbar should have 3 HDMI inputs. Do you have an HDMI cable to go with your XBox 360? Post what sources you have connected to your TV and we can help you.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Its a first generation xbox 360 so it does not have an hdmi port. Everything else that is connected to my tv is a ps3 and blu ray playe rand they are connected via hdmi.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironskull View Post

Its a first generation xbox 360 so it does not have an hdmi port. Everything else that is connected to my tv is a ps3 and blu ray playe rand they are connected via hdmi.

I'm not a gamer at all but doesn't that XBox have an optical out? If so, you can connect an optical cable from the XBox directly to the soundbar. Keep in mind that this would only be for audio. You would also need to get video to the TV. Don't worry, though. You already have video going to the TV from the XBox with your current setup.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Should the connection for the sound bar from the sound bar to the tv be optical or hdmi? Which one is better?
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironskull View Post

Should the connection for the sound bar from the sound bar to the tv be optical or hdmi? Which one is better?

It should be HDMI. While I don't think that there is any noticeable difference between HDMI and optical from an audio standpoint, step back for a moment. You are connecting sources to the soundbar directly via HDMI. Outputting the soundbar to the TV via HDMI allows the video signal to pass through. HDMI allows both video and audio to pass through. With this configuration, you wouldn't have video if you didn't output the soundbar to the TV via HDMI.

How I would do it is this. I would connect all of your sources (except the XBox 360) to the soundbar directly via HDMI IN. I would connect HDMI OUT on the soundbar to an HDMI input on your TV. I would also connect the component video from the XBox 360 to the TV. Finally, I would connect an optical cable from the XBox 360 to the soundbar.
post #7 of 22
Let me add something regarding the Xbox connection. Does your Vizio TV support ARC? If so, the HDMI cable from the soundbar to your TV should go into the HDMI (ARC) port. You can then leave your Xbox connected as is, as I suspect you're using analog audio anyway and the box may not have digital out. If it does have digital out, then do as Doctego suggested.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your help, by any chance do you know where I can find the optimal settings for this specific sound bar?
post #9 of 22
Check out this thread for any questions you may have with this Sony Soundbar.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1321861/sony-ht-ct550w

User LBJ2 posted settings somewhere in the thread. I don't remember where though.

When you are up and running let us know how it sounds. I plan on buying the same soundbar this weekend.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ill post the results, Im eager to hear how this sounds since I was pretty torn between this sound bar and the Samsung 550 at $400. Hopefully i made the right choice.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Does the type of HDMI cable used for these connections matter? My HDMI cables are almost 2 years old and i heard that 1.4 HDMI cables are the only way to fully unlock premium sound from this sound bar. Thouhts?
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironskull View Post

Does the type of HDMI cable used for these connections matter? My HDMI cables are almost 2 years old and i heard that 1.4 HDMI cables are the only way to fully unlock premium sound from this sound bar. Thouhts?

How long are your runs? Unless you have long runs, you will probably be fine. It either works or it won't so give it a shot.
post #13 of 22
ironskull, it's a common misconception but there is no such thing as a 1.4 HDMI cable. There are, however, high-speed HDMI cables. Usually you need to use one of those between TV and external audio if you'll be using ARC. The high-speed is also recommended for 3D video. But you don't get "better" sound from one cable to another.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
If you dont mind could you please break down what ARC is and whether or not this sound bar and my vizio e series 60 inch has it. If so What are the benefits?
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Found out my hdmi1 has it
post #16 of 22
I assume you mean your TV has ARC. smile.gif The soundbar definitely does. ARC=audio return channel. When both the TV and the external audio system support ARC, the same HDMI cable that you use between the audio system and the TV to send video TO the TV, can be used to send audio FROM the TV to the external system. That eliminates the need to use a separate optical/coax cable from the TV. ARC is just a convenience feature. Now the only times you need to send audio out from the TV are: 1) you use the TV's internal tuner; 2) you have source devices connected to the TV; 3) you use smart apps (like Netflix) on your TV.
post #17 of 22
When utilizing ARC, you will generally only get 2 channel audio, correct?
post #18 of 22
ARC outputs the same audio that you'd get via optical or coax. With most HDTVs that's 2 ch. for attached source devices.

For the internal tuner it's 5.1 when that is being broadcast. For the smart apps I think the audio depends on both the app and the TV.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

ARC outputs the same audio that you'd get via optical or coax. With most HDTVs that's 2 ch. for attached source devices.
For the internal tuner it's 5.1 when that is being broadcast. For the smart apps I think the audio depends on both the app and the TV.

Please help clarify this for me so I don't misinform people here. ARC to me seems to be more of a convenience, especially when your sound bar might only have 1 HDMI input while the TV might have more. With ARC, you can keep all of your sources connected to your TV via HDMI and then connect the TV to the sound bar with 1 HDMI cable. That convenience could come at the price of diminished sound quality, though. Whenever possible, connecting the sources directly to the sound bar will produce the best sound.

Back to the OP, I wouldn't use the ARC connection with his setup as his sound bar has 3 HDMI inputs. At least that's the way that I understand it.
Edited by Doctego - 12/28/12 at 6:41pm
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironskull View Post

Ill post the results, Im eager to hear how this sounds since I was pretty torn between this sound bar and the Samsung 550 at $400. Hopefully i made the right choice.

So how does it sound? This model is on my list too, but not at the top at this point.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

Please help clarify this for me so I don't misinform people here. ARC to me seems to be more of a convenience, especially when your sound bar might only have 1 HDMI input while the TV might have more. With ARC, you can keep all of your sources connected to your TV via HDMI and then connect the TV to the sound bar with 1 HDMI cable. That convenience could come at the price of diminished sound quality, though. Whenever possible, connecting the sources directly to the sound bar will produce the best sound.

Correct on all counts. ARC is also handy for people like me who view TV via antenna. Even though my source devices are connected to my AVR, I still need to output audio from the TV tuner so ARC eliminates the need to run an optical cable out.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just finished setting up the sound bar and I am very pleased with it. The sound is great, my only issue is that the sound sometimes sounds hallow, almost like it echos. I'm still playing around with the settings in hopes that i can reduce the echo/hallow sound, if anyone has any ideas on how to reduce this problem please tell I am currently using the settings posted here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1346319/sony-ht-ct550w-owner-settings as a jumping point for my bar. All in all i'm very pleased with this sound bar, popping in some blu rays and some video games to truly test it out.
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