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Vizio is apparently using the same technical model as ZVOX sound bars. The desire is to create as much simplicity as possible, and they do this by allowing the tv remote to control the sound bar volume. Many tv's, and the new Vizio's are among them, feature variable analog audio outs, allowing this functionality. You can take your blu-ray, cable box or satellite receiver to the tv via hdmi and then out thru analog to the sound bar. A good digital multichannel, multi-speaker ht will always be superior to any sound bar. But given the nature of sound bars - cramming everything into one box and using phase control to simulate surround effects - simplicity is the name of the game. The ZVOX sound bars are clearly overpriced relative to their technology. Looks like Vizio saw that as an opportunity.
 

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Just picked one of these up from Costco for I think a really good price. This was a perfect solution for me. I didn't want a surround system in my bedroom. My flat screen (Panasonic 42" Plasma) is mounted on the wall and I need to keep the area clear because it's the path through the bedroom. So I didn't want any components at all. Or the very minimum something that cleanly mounted on the wall like the TV.


I had been looking at soundbars for a while. I was really getting dissapointed that there wasn't anything out there that was a reasonable price. The other requirement was I wanted something with optical digital in as well as analog. I wanted this because my TV has an optical out and I was having some issues with multi-channel (DD 5.1) inputs via hdmi playing from my TV speakers.


My only connections to this TV are HDMI, which I can run Satellite, PS3, Xbox 360 and a computer. And also an antenna for local channels. I didn't really care about hdmi inputs on this speaker system. But an optical connection is great. And I also didn't want to spend that much money on a bedroom system.


One nice thing about this system is I hear Vizio will come out with wireless headphones that integrates into the system. That is also great since there are times I want to watch TV in bed and not disturb my wife.


In terms of sound, I have only spent a little bit of time listening. But so far it seems far superior to the TV speakers. Vocals seem clean and there is nice range as well. The sub seemed a little boomy and I have turned it down. I didn't really expect the sub to do that well. In fact I'm not even sure I like having a sub in the bedroom. It's not why I bought it. But it is pretty cool that it is wireless. And it does seem to work pretty well - if a bit boomy.


In conclusion I think this is a great value and a nice package for a secondary room situation. I highly recommend it for that.


Chris
 

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Anyone else have any opinion on this? It looks like Vizio will be releasing a $200 version that will have a wired subwoofer instead of wireless. That's cheaper than the CT100 and if it sounds better and has more function, this will be the affordable soundbar to beat.
 

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Thats all these TVs need really if you want a decent stereo sound.


Ive hooked just a small powered subwoofer to my vizio and it really thickened up the sound nice.


When viewing the tv from directly in the front the onboard speakers have a decent amount of highs and seperation to give a nice stereo feel but just lack the thickness speakers get from a larger size and cabnet.


Just hide a small woofer under the bed and it should sound fine. My VO32L did
 

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Thats all these TVs need really if you want a decent stereo sound.

I actually noticed a huge improvement of the soundbar alone over the TV speakers. Even though the TV speakers were fine for a bedroom application. I'm still undecided about the sub. It's too big to fit under the bed, btw. I'm just not into cheap boomy subs. But again, the sub is not why I bought this unit.


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddenleavez /forum/post/16454128


Anyone else have any opinion on this? It looks like Vizio will be releasing a 200 version that will have a wired subwoofer instead of wireless. That's cheaper than the CT100 and if it sounds better and has more function, this will be the affordable soundbar to beat.

The Vizio soundbar doesn't have HDMI ports (it has very limited ports actually, your better off getting a YAS) or isn't able to output PCM...

It might beat out the CT100's price (for now until the CT500 comes out, then the CT100 is going to be severely discounted) but not tech wise...

I know the Vizio soundbar works great along with the Vizio TV's because that's what it was meant for...
 

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I guess I'm at a loss to understand why you would need hdmi inputs on a soundbar? I run hdmi to my TV, then optical to the soundbar. There is no hdmi out on my TV. These things surely can't resolve the differences between lossy audio vs the new lossless audio (TrueHD, etc). I can barely tell the difference on my big system. I guess it might have been nice to have a hdmi passthrough so I could run hdmi first to the soundbar, then to the TV. But this is not any more convenient than hdmi to the TV, then optical to the soundbar.


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpete /forum/post/16458799


I guess I'm at a loss to understand why you would need hdmi inputs on a soundbar? I run hdmi to my TV, then optical to the soundbar. There is no hdmi out on my TV. These things surely can't resolve the differences between lossy audio vs the new lossless audio (TrueHD, etc). I can barely tell the difference on my big system. I guess it might have been nice to have a hdmi passthrough so I could run hdmi first to the soundbar, then to the TV. But this is not any more convenient than hdmi to the TV, then optical to the soundbar.


Chris

With Sony CT100 you can really hear the difference between the Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital. Also many TV's will not pass DD 5.1 from the HDMI input to the optical out. The Yamaha YSP's probably will sound good with any audio source, but with smaller/cheaper sound bars you can notice the difference between HDMI and analog sources.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpete /forum/post/16455337


I actually noticed a huge improvement of the soundbar alone over the TV speakers. Even though the TV speakers were fine for a bedroom application. I'm still undecided about the sub. It's too big to fit under the bed, btw. I'm just not into cheap boomy subs. But again, the sub is not why I bought this unit.


Chris

Well thats what i thought anyway when i had my amp and stuff down to rewire everything i just hooked up a little bass box that comes with a computer out from the digital out of the cable box and it didnt sound bad using the onboard stock speakers. I didnt watch any movies or anything it was just somthing to listen to while i was tinkering around and i didnt think it soudned bad.
 

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Also many TV's will not pass DD 5.1 from the HDMI input to the optical out.

That's a very good point. My Plasma (Panasonic Viera) only passes pcm 2.0 from the optical out. I only have hdmi running to this TV. For my bedroom system, that's not much of an issue. I didn't really feel like I needed a true 5.1 system. But the real problem is not getting any sound at all out of the optical out on DD 5.1 sources. When I watch Satellite via hdmi, a DD 5.1 soundtrack will NOT play on the TV speakers or through the soundbar. I can configure the audio to pass pcm and that works (and also proves that DD 5.1 is not being passed).


I have the same problem with the PS3 through the hdmi connection running into the TV. I get no audio at all for DD 5.1 sources. So I have to change the audio on the PS3 to pcm and then it works through the optical out of the TV.


The only problem is I share Sat and PS3 with other rooms via hdmi distribution boxes. The other rooms, my home thater in particlar, can handle all the audio via hdmi. So it's a pain to keep reconfiguring my sat receiver and my PS3 depending on which room I'm in.


So for this reason, I'm returning the Visio soundbar and just bought the Sony. Thank god for a generous return policy at Costco. It looks like the Sony will solve my audio problems. It can handle multi-channel DD and DTS. For basically the same price, this is a no-brainer for me.


One last comment on the Vizio soundbar. I was listening to it at high volume last night and it's pretty good actually. It plays way louder than I need in the bedroom. And the wireless sub actually makes it a snap to install this thing. It works pretty well. The Sony is going to present a problem with the "wired" sub since my hdmi source is in the middle of a wall. I don't really want a wire dangling down the wall across the bedroom for whereever I eventially put the sub.


Chris
 

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Well, I just received the Sony CT100 and basically I am very dissapointed. There is definately a problem with the CT100 and my hdmi repeater system. It works plugged directly into the PS3, but doesn't work downstream of my hdmi repeaters. I have no problem getting picture and sound from the PS3 directly to two different TV's (both hdmi). But as soon as I go through the Sony CT100, I get no picture and no sound. The same signal path has no problem with my hdmi satellite receiver going through the CT100. So this is definately an interaction between my ps3, the repeater system and the CT100. It's pretty ironic that I'm having problems with a Sony device talking to a Sony device.


Before I return it, I guess I will give a call to Sony. But there's no denying the CT100 is the problem. Also, since this is a Vizio thread, I would have to give a big edge to the Vizio in sound quality and design. The soundbar itself has much bigger drivers and is more substantial. Plus the wireless subwoofer makes installation a breeze. The only thing lacking on the Vizio is the hdmi inputs (which didn't work for me anyway on the Sony with my PS3). The Sony is pretty wimpy in comparison. Too bad both solutions didn't work for me.


Chris
 

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Chris .. if your not into a YSP setup you might try the YAS 71. I found it to have a much fuller sound than the CT....It has 2 optical inputs making it simple to hook up to the ps3 and cable box... they have been discontinued so you'll likely find deais,,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpete /forum/post/16465304


That's a very good point. My Plasma (Panasonic Viera) only passes pcm 2.0 from the optical out. I only have hdmi running to this TV. For my bedroom system, that's not much of an issue. I didn't really feel like I needed a true 5.1 system. But the real problem is not getting any sound at all out of the optical out on DD 5.1 sources. When I watch Satellite via hdmi, a DD 5.1 soundtrack will NOT play on the TV speakers or through the soundbar. I can configure the audio to pass pcm and that works (and also proves that DD 5.1 is not being passed).


I have the same problem with the PS3 through the hdmi connection running into the TV. I get no audio at all for DD 5.1 sources. So I have to change the audio on the PS3 to pcm and then it works through the optical out of the TV.


The only problem is I share Sat and PS3 with other rooms via hdmi distribution boxes. The other rooms, my home thater in particlar, can handle all the audio via hdmi. So it's a pain to keep reconfiguring my sat receiver and my PS3 depending on which room I'm in.


So for this reason, I'm returning the Visio soundbar and just bought the Sony. Thank god for a generous return policy at Costco. It looks like the Sony will solve my audio problems. It can handle multi-channel DD and DTS. For basically the same price, this is a no-brainer for me.


One last comment on the Vizio soundbar. I was listening to it at high volume last night and it's pretty good actually. It plays way louder than I need in the bedroom. And the wireless sub actually makes it a snap to install this thing. It works pretty well. The Sony is going to present a problem with the "wired" sub since my hdmi source is in the middle of a wall. I don't really want a wire dangling down the wall across the bedroom for whereever I eventially put the sub.


Chris

Sorry you've been having all these problems, hope you find a solution. Have you, or anyone else, had much luck with the SRS Truevolume feature? Living on the middle floor of a three floor condo we spend a lot of time mashing the volume control when commercials come on or an actor speaks softly after an action sequence. That was the factor that most interested me in the Vizio compared to the Sony, Samsung, and Yamaha equivalents.


I read the CNET review which was unimpressed, although "Blackhawk Down" is a tougher test than would be the case at our home. We have a Vizio 42" LCD from about 4 years back and are watching in a smallish living room.


Many thanks!
 

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Have you, or anyone else, had much luck with the SRS Truevolume feature?

I did check out that feature and it worked pretty well. I was impressed.


Here's an update to my last post. I bought the Sony, but it is giving me endless grief as well. It does solve the problem of being able to process multi-channel audio via hdmi (or optical/coax I presume). But that unit has handshaking problems with my PS3 and a hdmi distribution amplifier I have inline. When I have the distribution amplifier present, I get no video and no audio from the Sony soundbar. It's strange because I don't have a problem with my Satellite, Xbox 360 using the same path. Also the PS3 going directly into the TV works as well (bypassing the distribution amplifier).


After a call to Sony, there is nothing to be done. My problem is not common, nor do they have any fixes or workarounds. I may return the Sony as well. I'm still experimenting.


Chris
 

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Maybe I'm missing something here..lots of cons on the Vizio Sound Bar based on too few inputs. We are talking about a

ZVox only has one pair of RCA stereo inputs, and no digital for all their models which range all the way up to $600.


It's hardly an issue, and as a 'one box' solution none of these are ever going to give you true Home Theater sound anyway. But they are good for what they are designed for...cheap but decent sound for a small room, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videoaddikt /forum/post/16645104


Maybe I'm missing something here..lots of cons on the Vizio Sound Bar based on too few inputs. We are talking about a

ZVox only has one pair of RCA stereo inputs, and no digital for all their models which range all the way up to $600.


It's hardly an issue, and as a 'one box' solution none of these are ever going to give you true Home Theater sound anyway. But they are good for what they are designed for...cheap but decent sound for a small room, etc.

Actually, I'll honestly say that the yamaha's soundbars blur the line between soundbars and full fledge systems. Yamaha's surround is so astonishing, you swear you have a 5.1 surround sound system. Heck, I love my CT100 but I know this...
 

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Originally Posted by da1writer /forum/post/16647931


Actually, I'll honestly say that the yamaha's soundbars blur the line between soundbars and full fledge systems. Yamaha's surround is so astonishing, you swear you have a 5.1 surround sound system.

That may well be true! I did not mean to generalize to ALL soundbars.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something here...

Yes, I think you are missing something. Sound Quality was not an issue for me at all.


Some people, like myself want to connect their Plasma with only an hdmi cable. My equipment is in another room and all I want in my bedroom is a clean look and no components. My Plasma is mounted on a wall with no other boxes. The problem is that audio across hdmi can be downconverted to pcm 2.0 or not converted at all when passed through the TV. It depends on the TV. I got no audio at all through the TV speakers when watching multi-channel sources via hdmi. This included Satellite and PS3 in my case. I can change the settings on the source devices to pcm 2.0, but I am sharing these devices with a bigger system that can handle multi-channel and it was inconvenient to keep switching from multi-channel to pcm 2.0 depending what room I was it.


So I started looking at a soundbar for one reason. To enable me to listen to multi-channel audio in my bedroom. I really didn't care about sound quality or even a surround experience. I just wanted to not have to reconfigure my source devices whenever I wanted to watch Satellite or PS3 in my bedroom.


The Vizio has two fatal flaws, imo. One is that it has no hdmi inputs. It's perfectly reasonable to encounter installations with only an hdmi cable running to the Flat Screen TV. The other flaw is the optical input cannot handle multi-channel output. It can only handle pcm 2.0. My Plasma takes the hdmi input and passes the audio out the optical port on the back. But the Vizio could not handle multi-channel audio and I got silence.


So in my case, the Vizio soundbar did not solve my problem and I took it back. I found the Sony HTCT100 in the same price range that does solve the problem. It has hdmi inputs and optical and coax connectors that all handle multi-channel audio. It terms of sound quality, the Vizio was probably better, but again that was not an issue at all for me. The wireless sub on the Vizio was also very convenient. But for me, only the Sony solved my problem. I didn't find another product on the market that handled hdmi and multi-channel audio. Maybe that's changed by now?


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpete /forum/post/16649112


Yes, I think you are missing something. Sound Quality was not an issue for me at all.


Some people, like myself want to connect their Plasma with only an hdmi cable. My equipment is in another room and all I want in my bedroom is a clean look and no components. My Plasma is mounted on a wall with no other boxes. The problem is that audio across hdmi can be downconverted to pcm 2.0 or not converted at all when passed through the TV. It depends on the TV. I got no audio at all through the TV speakers when watching multi-channel sources via hdmi. This included Satellite and PS3 in my case. I can change the settings on the source devices to pcm 2.0, but I am sharing these devices with a bigger system that can handle multi-channel and it was inconvenient to keep switching from multi-channel to pcm 2.0 depending what room I was it.


So I started looking at a soundbar for one reason. To enable me to listen to multi-channel audio in my bedroom. I really didn't care about sound quality or even a surround experience. I just wanted to not have to reconfigure my source devices whenever I wanted to watch Satellite or PS3 in my bedroom.


The Vizio has two fatal flaws, imo. One is that it has no hdmi inputs. It's perfectly reasonable to encounter installations with only an hdmi cable running to the Flat Screen TV. The other flaw is the optical input cannot handle multi-channel output. It can only handle pcm 2.0. My Plasma takes the hdmi input and passes the audio out the optical port on the back. But the Vizio could not handle multi-channel audio and I got silence.


So in my case, the Vizio soundbar did not solve my problem and I took it back. I found the Sony HTCT100 in the same price range that does solve the problem. It has hdmi inputs and optical and coax connectors that all handle multi-channel audio. It terms of sound quality, the Vizio was probably better, but again that was not an issue at all for me. The wireless sub on the Vizio was also very convenient. But for me, only the Sony solved my problem. I didn't find another product on the market that handled hdmi and multi-channel audio. Maybe that's changed by now?


Chris

I think I said I was not generalizing to all Soundbars but considering the popularity of the ZVox I think the Vizio offers more too. That was my only point.


I'm glad the Sony worked out for your situation! nice price...I might even consider it myself, most any soundbar audio has to be better than those two crickets they call speakers in most small displays.
 
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