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Basic questions for everyone..

I have noticed that most soundbars don't seem to have HDMI ports for audio input, just the optical and analog. Now, I'm not even sure if having an HDMI audio feed would offer any discernible improvement over a digital optical feed. I know HDMI can provide lossless audio to a 5.1 and larger surround system, whereas optical cannot, however my presumption is that a soundbar isn't as complex a system and can still get uncompressed (lossless? 2.1)? I was all ready to buy a Yamaha YAS-203 until I noticed the lack of an HDMI input, since I have no idea if that means I'm not even going to be able to tap into the speaker's full potential.
 

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Optical will sound fine & not make an audible difference with most soundbars. Just like component video will work just as well as HDMI for most video applications.(except 1080p)

I actually prefer component for FIOS as it offers more flexibilty with video & volume control. (no zoom with HDMI)
 

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Basic questions for everyone..

I have noticed that most soundbars don't seem to have HDMI ports for audio input, just the optical and analog. Now, I'm not even sure if having an HDMI audio feed would offer any discernible improvement over a digital optical feed. I know HDMI can provide lossless audio to a 5.1 and larger surround system, whereas optical cannot, however my presumption is that a soundbar isn't as complex a system and can still get uncompressed (lossless? 2.1)? I was all ready to buy a Yamaha YAS-203 until I noticed the lack of an HDMI input, since I have no idea if that means I'm not even going to be able to tap into the speaker's full potential.
I just bought a LG NB5541 that has a HDMI input. This input allows for another source input since the sound bar uses one of the TVs HDMI ports for the ARC sound back to the sound bar. Unfortunately, on the LG, you must choose the HDMI input on the sound bar's input list which turns off the ARC function. On Sony you can do both at same time
 
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