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I'm looking for a sound bar that provides an on-screen display on my TV of the volume level. Seems like such a simple thing -- but I feel like I'm searching for the Holy Grail!


I have a Samsung un55b7100 TV and no current audio system at all...just the TV's internal speakers -- which are horrible and one of them buzzes which is hugely annoying. The audio out jack is a fixed volume level not controlled by the TV, so the TV's built-in volume level indicator doesn't appear because the remote's volume up and down don't work on the audio out jack. Unfortunately the TV doesn't have an earphone jack which would be ideal to maintain an on-screen volume indicator with an external set of speakers.


I tried a Panasonic sound bar but ended up returning it for lack of a USEFUL visual volume level indicator on either the sound bar or the TV screen. Spousal approval factor: ZERO. When the phone rings and I need to turn down the volume, the spouse needs to be able to see that I'm doing it...and an on-screen display is the perfect answer. "Turn it down!" or "Turn it up!" is best and most quickly answered with a visual on-screen status. Right?


Little sequential flashy lights that really don't show volume level, or little .25" numbers on the front of the sound bar that are too small to be read at a normal distance are some of the other "solutions" I've found, neither of which meet either my expectations.


Does ANY sound bar provide an on-screen display of the volume level?


My DVD player is due for updating. Should I buy a combo DVD player/speaker "theater in a box" setup? Would a system like that provide an on-screen volume level indicator?


Help!
 

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You covered a lot of things here. I have a Samsung TV and a Samsung HW-E450 soundbar. When connected via optical, I had to use the soundbar remote and the volume number was displayed on the screen. When connected via HDMI and with HDMI-CEC activated, I can use the TV remote and it is not displayed. Obviously, you know your wife better than I do but my wife is fine with seeing flashy lights on the screen because that shows her that I am doing something with the volume. Since it's not getting any louder and she knows that I'm not a complete idiot, this suffices. It all depends on whether you could sell this to your wife.


As for whether you would be better off with a HTiB solution, that depends on your budget and needs. Personally, I would never want to use a combo. BD players are cheap enough where I don't see the need.
 
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