Originally Posted by rmgrenley
I know that the C9 internal TV apps do not support lossless audio, but is it true that no streaming services such as Netflix provide any lossless audio at this time? (That is, even the ATMOS sound streamed by Netflix provided by a Roku connected to a soundbar would be lossy ATMOS?)
Yes, it is true that no streaming services are currently delivering HD audio. Keep in mind that HD audio streams can run 5-10mbps by themselves and that's on top of the bandwidth needed to deliver the 4K HDR video with H.265 encoding.
If so, then in my non-AVR setup where I will probably only be watching shows and movies from cable and streaming via Roku from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, it wouldn’t make much difference for me to look for an eARC soundbar from another manufacturer and hope for/test for compatibility when I still wouldn’t be getting lossless video.
The only reason someone with your usage might choose an eARC capable piece of hardware is for "future proofing".
Unless I did so hoping that in the future, some streaming providers starting streaming lossless audio.
One more question: if my vacation home set up would be a only sound bar and sub, with or without small wireless rears, will the difference in sound between lossless and lossy audio even be noticeable?
If yes, then maybe the eARC soundbar makes sense for hoped-for future streaming lossless audio (and it might be worth trying the Sony z9F for compatibility as long as I can take it back).
If no, then sticking with the LG SL8YG for compatibility (hopefully) might be sufficient.
I think it would depend on which sound bar as obviously there is a world of difference between an inexpensive $300 sound bar and the really high end ones from Yamaha and others that can have as many as 20+ speakers and deliver 500 watts.
I know that on my audio system (PSB R/L/C/SR/SL speakers plus Infinity bi-directional rear height channels and a decent HST subwoofer) the difference between the higher bit-rate audio tracks and the low bit-rate tracks is quite dramatic.
I was hoping to buy one today to take down to the vacation home this week, so any final opinions would be most appreciated!
I am a proponent of the "buy once cry once" school of thought but I also only update my gear every 5-7 years. If someone swaps things out much more frequently then buying a "future proof" device is less of a concern.