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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so Im looking at getting a soundbar since they are a fairly easy way to improve tv sound with low clutter and as well feature a simulated 5.1 which I would enjoy(of course I know its not gonna be like the real deal.)


I know that most TV's do not output in 5.1, so if I wanted 5.1 sound through my blu-ray/cable, etc. would the proper way to hook this up be as follows? I guess im more or less wondering if the wiring schemes ive come up with will net the results that Im thinking they will.


Option 1) Have all my devices hooked to my TV through HDMI(for video) and then run opticals from the devices to the soundbar for 5.1?


Option 2) Run a optical from blu-ray(and hdmi from Blu-ray to tv for video) to soundbar and have everything else hooked up simply HDMI to TV and then ran a set of rcas for audio from the tv to the soundbar? This would only give me 5.1 for the Blu-ray correct and the rest hooked up through hdmi/rca combo would be 2.1?


Option 3) Hooking up everything to my tv with hdmi and then simply running an optical from sound bar to the tv. This would only give me 2.1 for everything correct?


Sorry for the stupidity, ive only been researching soundbars and all this 2.1 to 5.1 connecting and converting and such for only a couple days, so its fairly new to me still. TV is a Samsung LN46B640 BTW, if that matters.
 

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From what Ive learned in the last week through my own research and other peoples responses on here...

Basically, run whatever device's sound you want greater than 2.1, to the bar directly. Run the those device's video to your TV. (coax digital, toslink or HDMI required for 5.1 sound)


Whatever devices you dont care about the sound or they put out 2.1 or less, run to your TV and your TV out to the bar for sound.

(In either case can use RCA, coax digital, toslink or HDMI for sound)


Hope that helps =)



All your "guessed" scenario outcomes are correct from what I can see.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by abajetta2 /forum/post/19582734


Thanks Gen, anyone else care to (double) verify or elaborate more?

Your assumptions in your first post are accurate, although the inputs available on any given soundbar can limit #1. Soundbars that only have digital optical in may only have one input, at most two. You didn't say how many components you need to connect and whether they all have HDMI out.


The current most popular bars (subject to changing hourly
) with members here are the Sony (CT-150/CT-350), and the JVC TH-BA1. Many people also like the Vizio bars although the newest 510 model seems to have some QC issues.


The Sony has the most flexible connections with 3 HDMI in/1 HDMI out, 2 dig. optical in, 1 dig. coax in, 1 RCA in. All connections are on the subwoofer which is not wireless, plus the IR is on the subwoofer making placement an issue.


The JVC has two dig. optical and 1 RCA in. The sub is wireless.


Your TV may or may not pass 5.1 audio over the digital out from your cable box. Assume it doesn't, but you might want to look over in the TV section of AVS to find a thread for your model and see if anyone knows for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey thanks.


Yeah Ive been looking at the Vizio VHT210, although i dont really like its styling at all or the fact that there is no DTS decoding which kind of defeats the purpose of trying to get a surround effect right? At least on a DTS movie since you have to turn on PCM, which im under the impression decreases sound quality and limits the suround effect...?


Also been looking at the sony CT150, although the lack of wireless sub kind of sucks, it seems to be a decent sounding and looking bar.


Also debating on the JVC DA1 but no place here sells it, and if something doesnt work out i dont wanna deal with any hassle returning.


And my other choice is the Samsung HW- C450 which they dont seem to be very popular.. at least on here. I love the looks of them, and will match my tv nicely along with the wireless sub. So I dunno what im gonna pick yet



Oh and I dont understand what you mean about the cable box and tv. I know for a fact that my tv or any samsung for that matter outputs 5.1 through any port. I dont know if thats what you were getting at or not.
 

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The Vizio does simulated surround no matter what the input. Some hear a difference with components connected directly. On last years Vizio, I did several comparisons of sound from Blu-Ray direct to the sondbar and then Blu-Ray via HDMI through the TV and neither me nor my wife could convincingly tell any major differences.


The HW-C450 just received a good review and recommended rating from Home Theater Magazine. I have listened to one and remain unimpressed. They gave it high praise for the way it handles music. I only heard TV audio through it.


The Sony sub-woofers actually need to be pretty close to line of sight as the remote sensor is in the sub. Wired sub sould make littl difference here.


Your TV will output 5.1 for anything from its internal tuner. Unless your TV is very old, it will output stere only for anything connected via HDMI due to DRM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats another thing I dont get, what do you mean by internal tuner?... I was under the impression that most tvs dont output 5.1 through hdmi or optical ports but they downconvert it to 2.1. The tv is only a year or two old and the manual said it doesnt output 5.1, and other devices need to be connected to a hd receiver or whatever instead of the tv to allow 5.1. Which maybe I'm still misunderstanding.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by abajetta2 /forum/post/19590248


Thats another thing I dont get, what do you mean by internal tuner?... I was under the impression that most tvs dont output 5.1 through hdmi or optical ports but they downconvert it to 2.1. The tv is only a year or two old and the manual said it doesnt output 5.1, and other devices need to be connected to a hd receiver or whatever instead of the tv to allow 5.1. Which maybe I'm still misunderstanding.

If you receive TV over-the-air, the TV is using its internal ATSC tuner and it will output 5.1 audio (when available) from its optical port. However, for any devices connected to the TV via HDMI, 5.1 audio is downmixed to 2 ch. when its output on optical. As I have learned from Drfreeman's informative posts, that is a digital rights management issue that TV manufacturers have agreed to abide by.


All that said however, apparently some TVs do output 5.1 audio over optical from cable/sat receivers connected to the panel. Even when the manual says otherwise.
 
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