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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I decided to go all in on the Airplay multi-room system for the house. I'm using the Philips DS8800W for each of the 4 rooms. I also have a 5.1 system in the upstairs media room, that is ran by a Sony DN-1040 Airplay Receiver . Then each of the 3 TVs have a 3rd Gen AppleTV. All this connected via two Airport AC Extremes (one upstairs and downstairs), with a ethernet connected 2009 iMac as the media server.





I said all that to say that I want to add a airplay enabled sound bar to the living tv. I've looked all over for one that supports Airplay natively and I found two. Both are over $1,500 each. So I can ignore those. Is there one that I'm not finding or can I just plug in a good soundbar via optical to my living room AppleTV, then via HDMi to the tv and get the same effect? This is the last piece of the puzzle to complete my multi-room airplay system.
 

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Your best bet would be finding a soundbar that comes on if it senses a signal being sent to it (I am referring to using an Apple TVs optical out). I cannot speak to how many soundbars do this. I know the Sonos Playbar does. I think it is a very nice soundbar for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I may just go that route. The Sonos Playbar has two optical inputs, which I would connect one from the TV and the AppleTV. Also a bonus, my TV (Vizio m701-a3r) will output 5.1 via optical, from a HDMI source.
 

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Unfortunately the playbar only has one optical in (it has two ethernet ports). So you would only be able to connect one optical cable at a time and switch back and forth. Seems like a pain but it works this way I assume because automatic switching can get easily messed up if you have more than one device outputting a signal at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the correction. I must have read incorrectly. I think that I'll go for the Vizio 5430w-C2. It has decent reviews, HDMI & optical out and half the price of the Playbar.
 

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You can connect your devices to the TV and use the TVs Optical out to the sound bar. The TV would do the switching then.
 

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The vizio is a good value for the price. It will have trouble filling a larger room. The playbar works great in all but the largest rooms. The hdmi out isn't a huge upgrade unless the soundbar has several hdmi inputs. Then you can use the soundbar as your hdmi switch and benefit from higher quality audio when available.
 
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