So what does 'passthrough' or 'compatible' mean anyway? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 06-26-2019, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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So what does 'passthrough' or 'compatible' mean anyway?

I posted another thread about an issue I had with the Sony HT-X9000F soundbar I bought to match my 49XBR900F TV. But I'm starting this with a more general question.

I went for that soundbar as it was going to be easily integrated with the TV and was the entry model that had, as a feature, compatibility with Dolby Vision and other HDR formats. My usual source is my Apple TV and I like DV very much, so this was key for me. Compatibility is listed as a feature of the X9000F, while the cheaper ones are noted as *not* being so compatible. Here's what the Sony site describes:

"Enjoy all your movies in 4K HDR quality
With the latest 4K HDR 18 Gbps pass-through and HDCP 2.2, the HT-X9000F is made for the latest home theater formats including Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma."

So when I got the soundbar I connected my Apple TV to the soundbar, and the soundbar to HDMI 3 on the TV, the one input that has eARC. And...no Dolby Vision. (The Apple TV goes through a test handshake and tells you when it's not working; when it doesn't work it reverts to 4K, standard profile.) Note that I was using 'known good' hdmi cables that all worked fine going directly from Apple TV to TV. I went through all the various settings, the ones you're probably going to say 'did you try X' about. But nothing.

Posted about it here and on the Sony site and put in a query to Sony. Finally got to a phone conversation with a Sony CSR, we talked past each other for a while, as if he didn't understand what I was asking about. Eventually he said 'connect the Apple TV to HDMI 2 and leave HDMI 3 connected to the soundbar.' And that works! Dolby Vision looks good, sound sync seems okay.

The soundbar sounds good to me, probably not up to the standards of many here, but it's a big improvement over the builtin TV speakers.

So I solved the problem but here's my question: if the Apple TV with the Dolby Vision picture is going directly to the TV, it's does not 'pass through' the soundbar at all. Presumably what the soundbar gets via eARC is the audio signal, not the picture. Heck, if this is how it works, why wouldn't any soundbar be compatible with HDR and DV?

Am I missing something here? Do other soundbars that have this supposed feature work the same way? It sure sounds like most of you connect your source to the soundbar and then out to the TV.

Last edited by Chicago Al; 06-26-2019 at 04:10 PM.
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