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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i decided to get this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1L786S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 as i just wanted a decent setup and not something with tons of wires or fancy at the moment. As of right now i have it plugged into my tv with the xbone via hdmi to tv.

Am i better off getting an optical splitter or is going through the tv fine? Also my understanding is that bitstream dolby digital via hdmi is the best option in the xbone settings i wanted to confirm that?
 

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So i decided to get this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1L786S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 as i just wanted a decent setup and not something with tons of wires or fancy at the moment. As of right now i have it plugged into my tv with the xbone via hdmi to tv.

Am i better off getting an optical splitter or is going through the tv fine? Also my understanding is that bitstream dolby digital via hdmi is the best option in the xbone settings i wanted to confirm that?
The best answer depends upon your TV. If your TV will pass compressed audio such as Dolby Digital out through its optical cable, then hook up your soundbar there. If not, then hook up the soundbar directly to your "xbone". In either case you would want your xbone to send bitstream so that the soundbar can decode and process the audio.
 

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An optical splitter won't do you any good. The purpose of an optical splitter is to take the signal from a single source device (e.g. an Xbox) and split it so that it goes to multiple audio sink devices (e.g. your sound bar and another device that has an optical input). That isn't what you need as it doesn't sound like you have another device with an optical input. Note that your TV most likely does not have an optical input. Most likely, it only has an optical output. For that reason, it sounds like the device you are considering would be an optical switch, not an optical splitter. An optical switch allows you to connect the optical output of multiple source devices (e.g. an Xbox, TV, Playstation, satellite receiver, etc.) to a single optical input on your audio sink device (e.g. your sound bar).

However, when I looked at the online manual for your soundbar, I noticed that it has 3 inputs (one optical, one coaxial, and one mono RCA). That being the case, so long as you only have 2 source devices (e.g. your Xbox and your TV) that you want to connect to the sound bar, independently, using optical or coaxial cables, then you won't need a switch. Instead, you can use both the optical and coaxial inputs on the soundbar. This can be accomplished either by running optical from the TV to the soundbar and coaxial from the Xbox to the soundbar, or, by running optical from both the TV and the Xbox and using an optical-to-coaxial adaptor on the end of one of the cables where it plugs into the soundbar. Optical and coaxial digital audio cables are essentially equal in most use cases. Both carry the same signal and are capable of the same quality for a simple 6 foot run. The main advantage of optical over coaxial is that it is less prone to interference for extremely long runs (which you don't have). The main advantage of coaxial over optical is that it is more flexible and can be bent into tight loops where space is a concern. So, you would only need a switch if you have more than 2 source devices that you want to connect to the sound bar, independently.

P.S. If your TV is capable of passing 5.1 Dolby Digital audio from an external device, connected via HDMI, through its optical audio output then you are better off connecting all of your source devices (Xbox, Playstation, etc.) to the TV via HDMI and passing the audio through it. This way the TV can adjust the A/V lip sync as needed prior to sending the audio to your sound bar. If you run the audio straight from the Xbox to the soundbar then their could be a lip sync issue between the audio you hear from the sound bar and the video you see on the TV screen. You might be able to manually adjust the audio delay on your source devices and/or sound bar to compensate, but it's simpler to just let the TV do it automatically. The TV can only do this if you pass the audio through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How do i find out if my tv can pass through, i looked in the settings and right now i have it set to external speakers but other than that i am unsure. When i do select bitstream for hdmi in the xbone settings it gives me an error, only stereo uncompressed works.

http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-55LM9600-led-tv

I was not aware of the optical splitter not being able to work for my purpose, i am glad i did not order it.
The xbone only appears to have an optical output and not coaxial.
 

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How do i find out if my tv can pass through, i looked in the settings and right now i have it set to external speakers but other than that i am unsure. When i do select bitstream for hdmi in the xbone settings it gives me an error, only stereo uncompressed works.

http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-55LM9600-led-tv

I was not aware of the optical splitter not being able to work for my purpose, i am glad i did not order it.
The xbone only appears to have an optical output and not coaxial.
This article would lead me to believe that your LG will not pass compressed audio through its optical out, only 2-channel PCM, so I would connect your soundbar to the xbox if you want the best sound. I don't know what the error is about as ,without reading the manual, I would assume your LG can decode dolby digital.

http://www.cnet.com/news/20-tvs-tested-which-sets-can-pass-surround-sound-to-a-sound-bar/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This article would lead me to believe that your LG will not pass compressed audio through its optical out, only 2-channel PCM, so I would connect your soundbar to the xbox if you want the best sound. I don't know what the error is about as ,without reading the manual, I would assume your LG can decode dolby digital.

http://www.cnet.com/news/20-tvs-tested-which-sets-can-pass-surround-sound-to-a-sound-bar/
Thanks for the article that makes sense. It appears LG and Sammy which my room mate and i have do not support it. In the TV settings it does have an option for PCM. The error from the xbone might be because it tried sending the signal got no response and thus an error.

I also have a amazon fire stick that is connected to the tv via hdmi, i assume it is not sending the appropriate signal either? Is there any way to get dolby digital etc; with that since there is no optical or coaxial on it?
 

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Thanks for the article that makes sense. It appears LG and Sammy which my room mate and i have do not support it. In the TV settings it does have an option for PCM. The error from the xbone might be because it tried sending the signal got no response and thus an error.

I also have a amazon fire stick that is connected to the tv via hdmi, i assume it is not sending the appropriate signal either? Is there any way to get dolby digital etc; with that since there is no optical or coaxial on it?
If you have nothing else connected to your XBone's HDMI input, you could connect the fire stick there and should get dolby digital through the optical cable coming out of the XBone. I don't have an XBone, but I understand there was an update that allows it to pass through Dolby Digital as a bitstream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes it does support that. But i would need to have the console on to use it, so then i may as well just use netflix and hulu on the xbone, i prefer the fire stick because it has a little better gui.
 

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Yes it does support that. But i would need to have the console on to use it, so then i may as well just use netflix and hulu on the xbone, i prefer the fire stick because it has a little better gui.
Unfortunately, you're going to have to make a choice. Your soundbar doesn't accept HDMI, your FireTV stick only has an HDMI output and your TV can only output a Dolby 5.1 bitstream from its internal tuner and streaming apps, either via optical or HDMI ARC. So, your options are...

1) Connect both the FireTV stick and XboxOne to your TV's HDMI inputs and then connect an optical cable from your TV's output to the sound bar's input. Your TV will pass Dobly 5.1 from its internal OTA tuner and streaming apps, but it will only pass stereo from the XboxOne and FireTV to the sound bar. You might not even be able to tell the difference since it's a sound bar creating simulated surround sound and not individual speakers placed all around you.

2) Same as above except you run an optical cable from the XboxOne to your soundbar as well. You'll need to purchase an optical-to-coaxial adaptor to plug between the end of one of the optical cables and the coaxial audio input on the sound bar. This will allow you to pass true 5.1 surround sound from both the TV and the XboxOne to the sound bar. The adaptor is cheaper than an optical switch, which would be another option. You would only get stereo from the FireTV, but you might be able to live with that.

3) Same as above except that you plug the FireTV stick into the HDMI input on the XboxOne instead of the TV. This will give you the ability to get true discrete 5.1 surround sound from all 3 sources (FireTV, XboxOne, and your TV) to your sound bar. However, as you mentioned, you would have to turn the XboxOne on and select the HDMI Input as your source to use the FireTV stick. Technically, Microsoft put the HDMI input there for exactly this purpose, but I could understand if you didn't want to have to mess with two separate remotes/UI's. Does the FireTV stick use an IR remote control or is it Bluetooth? If it's IR then you might be able to control it directly using the XboxOne controller and/or voice and gesture commands.

4) If that doesn't sound appealing, you could purchase an HDMI audio disembedder and plug your FireTV stick into that. It will split the audio out from the video, giving you a way to get optical audio and HDMI video from the FireTV stick. However, you would then have 3 optical cables (one each from your TV, XboxOne, and FireTV), but only two digital audio inputs on your sound bar. So, you would need an optical switch with at least 3 inputs and one output. You would not need the optical-to-coaxial adaptor if you go this route. Note that the cost of the HDMI audio disembedder plus the cost of your existing FireTV stick would probably pay for the full blown FireTV. Iirc, the regular FireTV has an optical audio output, so that might be an alternative. You would still need the optical switch.

5) Your last option would be to return the sound bar and buy a different one that has at least 2 HDMI inputs and one ARC-capable HDMI output. In this case, you would plug the FireTV stick and the HDMI cable from the XboxOne into the HDMI inputs in the new sound bar. The HDMI output from the sound bar would carry the video to the TV and the audio from the TV would go to the sound bar thru the same HDMI cable once you enable HDMI CEC on your TV (assuming your TV supports HDMI ARC).
 
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