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    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 2nd Mar 18, 8:12 PM
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    wallofbeans
    Connecting everything to soundbar
    • #1
    • 2nd Mar 18, 8:12 PM
    Connecting everything to soundbar 2nd Mar 18 at 8:12 PM
    Hi All,

    I'm just about to buy a new TV and a soundbar to go with it. I would like the TV and blu-ray player and YouView box to all play their sound through the soundbar. How can I connect them all?

    Is there some sort of pass through option? The TV (Panasonic 40EX700) has HDMI(Arc) and so does one of the soundbars I'm looking at (again Panasonic SCHTB488). I'm not sure what this 'Arc' thing does, but it might be what I'm after here..?

    Can anyone give me any insight into how this could work?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 2nd Mar 18, 9:33 PM
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    Neil Jones
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 18, 9:33 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 18, 9:33 PM
    Google is your friend:
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/hdmi-arc-explained-works-care/
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 3rd Mar 18, 4:51 AM
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    Tarambor
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 4:51 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 4:51 AM
    HDMI ARC is a passthrough option so if the TV and the soundbar support it then you can do that. HDMI ARC is how I have my LG OLED TV connected to my AV amp. Everything connects to the TV via HDMI and the TV sends the sound to the amp. I used to have it configured with everything plugged into the amp and the TV HDMI Simplink telling the amp which to switch to but it was always a bit flakey.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 3rd Mar 18, 10:03 AM
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    Colin_Maybe
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    The simple way I'd have thought is to connect everything to the TV and change the speaker output through the TV settings to optical output which goes to the soundbar (presuming your TV does this). Certainly works perfectly on our Sony.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 3rd Mar 18, 12:33 PM
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    another casualty
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 18, 12:33 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 18, 12:33 PM
    Just flicked through this thread. Good advice already .
    What I do is have everything going through the tv connection sockets.
    Then use audio lead to the soundbar .If you have not got enough sockets like h d m I , you could always buy a hub with more sockets.
    If after that you are still struggling , consider Bluetooth from your device to your soundbar if your soundbar has Bluetooth
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 3rd Mar 18, 6:06 PM
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    wallofbeans
    • #6
    • 3rd Mar 18, 6:06 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Mar 18, 6:06 PM
    OK. So I can do what I thought/ hoped Arc does? I.e. connect the Arc HDMI of the soundbar to the Arc HDMI on the TV. Then plug in the Youview box and blu-ray to other HDMI ports on the back of the TV. And the TV will then send all sound from all devices to the soundbar.

    Is that right?
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 03-03-2018 at 6:10 PM.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 3rd Mar 18, 6:09 PM
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    wallofbeans
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 18, 6:09 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 18, 6:09 PM
    Thanks for this.. I did already do some googling, and saw that link and video, but still wasn't sure if Arc would do what I wanted it to...
    • giraffe69
    • By giraffe69 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
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    giraffe69
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    connect the Arc HDMI of the soundbar to the Arc HDMI on the TV. Then plug in the Youview box and blu-ray to other HDMI ports on the back of the TV. And the TV will then send all sound from all devices to the soundbar.
    This works for me (or would if the soundbar didn't cut out every few days!). I suspect some incompatability between the soundbar and the TV as sound is fine if it is not plugged in.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 5th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    • 7,333 Posts
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    almillar
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    Everything connects to the TV via HDMI and the TV sends the sound to the amp.
    I'm sure that works, but it's not the way you're meant to do it. Everything should be connected to the soundbar or amp, then 1 HDMI between the soundbar and TV. Soundbar then does all the switching. If your TV and amp/soundbar both support ARC (Audio Return Channel), this simply means the TV can sent its audio back down the HDMI lead into the soundbar. Potentially saving 1 cable!
    If you're routing everything though the TV into the soundbar, very few TVs will pass through 5.1 sound, so you may be downmixing proper surround sound into stereo. I'm sure it works and might be convenient, but it's the wrong way.

    OP - what is this 'Youtube' device? If it's one of 3 devices, you want to get a soundbar with 3 HDMI inputs, and if you have ARC on both soundbar and TV, you're set.

    The simple way I'd have thought is to connect everything to the TV and change the speaker output through the TV settings to optical output which goes to the soundbar (presuming your TV does this). Certainly works perfectly on our Sony.
    See above, you might be accidentally downmixing.

    Just flicked through this thread. Good advice already .
    Disagree.

    Is that right?
    No, see above - connect everything into the soundbar, then the soundbar into the TV, is best.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 5th Mar 18, 3:20 PM
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    wallofbeans
    I'm sure that works, but it's not the way you're meant to do it. Everything should be connected to the soundbar or amp, then 1 HDMI between the soundbar and TV. Soundbar then does all the switching. If your TV and amp/soundbar both support ARC (Audio Return Channel), this simply means the TV can sent its audio back down the HDMI lead into the soundbar. Potentially saving 1 cable!
    If you're routing everything though the TV into the soundbar, very few TVs will pass through 5.1 sound, so you may be downmixing proper surround sound into stereo. I'm sure it works and might be convenient, but it's the wrong way.

    OP - what is this 'Youtube' device? If it's one of 3 devices, you want to get a soundbar with 3 HDMI inputs, and if you have ARC on both soundbar and TV, you're set.



    See above, you might be accidentally downmixing.



    Disagree.



    No, see above - connect everything into the soundbar, then the soundbar into the TV, is best.
    Originally posted by almillar

    Thanks for the reply. I'm still confused then. I'm not sure how can I plug three different devices into the soundbar as it only has one HDMI port. It does have optical as well but that only covers the TV and the blu-ray player or the YouView box. But not all of them. I assume it's more expensive (and probably too long for my 90cm width space) soundbars that have multiple HDMI ports.

    I don't have a lot of devices, a blu-ray player and YouView seems like a standard amount of devices so surely there must be a way to connect them all and not have to downgrade the audio.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Youtube" device? Did you mean the YouView? It's a freeview hard drive recorder type thing.

    I'm back to being baffled as to the helpfulness of 'Arc' then...
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 5th Mar 18, 5:58 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    The simple way I'd have thought is to connect everything to the TV and change the speaker output through the TV settings to optical output which goes to the soundbar (presuming your TV does this). Certainly works perfectly on our Sony.
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I'm sure that works, but it's not the way you're meant to do it. Everything should be connected to the soundbar or amp, then 1 HDMI between the soundbar and TV. Soundbar then does all the switching. If your TV and amp/soundbar both support ARC (Audio Return Channel), this simply means the TV can sent its audio back down the HDMI lead into the soundbar. Potentially saving 1 cable!
    If you're routing everything though the TV into the soundbar, very few TVs will pass through 5.1 sound, so you may be downmixing proper surround sound into stereo. I'm sure it works and might be convenient, but it's the wrong way.
    Originally posted by almillar
    See above, you might be accidentally downmixing.
    Originally posted by almillar
    Not on my setup for sure. It's a Yamaha YAS-103 which doesn't even have HDMI inputs, connected to a Sony KDL-50W755C which passes through Stereo, Dolby Digital & DTS sound streams.

    Obviously you may well be right about the OP's equipment as I don't know the specs.


    very few TVs will pass through 5.1 sound
    I don't have any stats to back it up but I suspect that's a very sweeping generalisation that's probably incorrect.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 5th Mar 18, 6:18 PM
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    wallofbeans
    For reference -- the plan was to buy a PANASONIC 40EX700B TV and a PANASONIC SC-HTB488. Connecting already owned BT YouView+ Recorder and SONY BDP-S6500 Blu-Ray player to them.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 5th Mar 18, 8:02 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    For reference -- the plan was to buy a PANASONIC 40EX700B TV and a PANASONIC SC-HTB488. Connecting already owned BT YouView+ Recorder and SONY BDP-S6500 Blu-Ray player to them.
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    Since both the TV & soundbar support HDMI(ARC) I think you should use the TV as the hub with the soundbar connected via the HDMI(ARC) port. That should get you everything you want and make it very easy to use.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 6th Mar 18, 1:32 PM
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    wallofbeans
    Since both the TV & soundbar support HDMI(ARC) I think you should use the TV as the hub with the soundbar connected via the HDMI(ARC) port. That should get you everything you want and make it very easy to use.
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I am worried about causing clashes or sync issues, and am happy to work it a different way if it will work more smoothly. I don't want a work around if it's going to potentially be problematic.

    The soundbar has two inputs (HDMI and optical) so I'm only missing how to connect the third input.

    I've been hearing about the idea of an HDMI switch (or even an optical version - as all the devices have optical out) and wonder if that will help this issue?
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 06-03-2018 at 1:38 PM.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 6th Mar 18, 1:53 PM
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    almillar
    I assume it's more expensive (and probably too long for my 90cm width space) soundbars that have multiple HDMI ports.
    I guess so - you're replacing a proper amplifier and 5+ speakers. Even a basic amp would have 2 HDMI inputs (plus an output) for around 150.
    Can we agree that you need 2 HDMI in then, and have a look around? And what's the budget? Mush better to do this now, than when you get all the kit home!

    Youview - sorry, yes, must have scanned past that! You've got an HDMI DVD player, and a Youview box.

    I'm back to being baffled as to the helpfulness of 'Arc' then...
    You're watching the TV, via the TV's own tuner. You can listen via the ARC going 'backwards' from the TV to the soundbar. Also applies to anything else you plug into the TV, but the limitation is that it is probably limited to stereo, not surround.

    Not on my setup for sure. It's a Yamaha YAS-103 which doesn't even have HDMI inputs, connected to a Sony KDL-50W755C which passes through Stereo, Dolby Digital & DTS sound streams.

    Obviously you may well be right about the OP's equipment as I don't know the specs.

    I don't have any stats to back it up but I suspect that's a very sweeping generalisation that's probably incorrect.
    Yes, I'm generalising since I have (had) no model numbers. For you specifically, you've got a non HDMI amp/sundbar. We're talking about HDMI kit, where HDMI is the best way to connect. I can only assume you're using optical?
    And before we do actually disagree, I want to confirm that you actually get DD and DTS *5.1* streams. It could say DD, but could still be 2 channel.
    I have experience of a handful of TVs, including ARC equipped ones, 100% of them do not support 5.1 and 0% pass through surround sound. It's an obvious omission, and an obvious thing to upgrade, so I would actually like to be proven wrong over time, but from my research over the years, I found 'very few' TV's that support it, so I'll stick by that.

    PANASONIC 40EX700B
    https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/televisions/4K-LED-TV/tx-40ex700b.specs.html

    Sony KDL-50W755C
    https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/televisions-projectors-lcd-tvs-android-/kdl-50w755c/specifications

    The spec sheet doesn't mention the number of channels - this is the problem, it's hard to find this info.
    I think you should use the TV as the hub with the soundbar connected via the HDMI(ARC) port
    I disagree, until OP can find out for sure that it won't be downmixed. Both these TVs are newer than anything I have though, so I'm genuinely interested to find out if the manufacturers have sorted it out.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 6th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
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    Tarambor
    I am worried about causing clashes or sync issues
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    You'd get those no matter what. I've had them when connecting with HDMI, optical cable and headphone socket. Sync issues are more down to image processing in the set top box and TV which is why even Sky boxes have an option to delay the sound in steps of 10ms up to 120ms.

    I don't have any stats to back it up but I suspect that's a very sweeping generalisation that's probably incorrect.
    by Colin_Maybe
    Sdly it isn't. Even my 2000 OLED TV didn't until it had a firmware update last year.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 6th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
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    almillar
    I've been hearing about the idea of an HDMI switch (or even an optical version - as all the devices have optical out) and wonder if that will help this issue?
    This is the kind of rubbish workaround that we're trying to avoid - hold tight and we'll get the right device.
    As far as I can see, you've got 2 devices to connect INTO the soundbar, and one to connect OUT OF the soundbar (the TV) - is that correct?
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 6th Mar 18, 2:10 PM
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    wallofbeans
    This is the kind of rubbish workaround that we're trying to avoid - hold tight and we'll get the right device.
    As far as I can see, you've got 2 devices to connect INTO the soundbar, and one to connect OUT OF the soundbar (the TV) - is that correct?
    Originally posted by almillar
    Blu-ray player and Youview hard drive recorder, plus the TV itself, all need to get audio to the soundbar.

    The soundbar has one HDMI and one optical socket.

    I've had a browse of other soundbars and you have to go quite expensive to get more than one of each input, there are some with two and rarely anything with more. Why are these so low on connections? Surely there are people with a playstation etc to connect too.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 6th Mar 18, 2:17 PM
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    wallofbeans
    This perhaps answers some questions, not for the TV I'm looking to buy but others:

    https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 6th Mar 18, 4:35 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    Why are these so low on connections? Surely there are people with a playstation etc to connect too.
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    Which is why I'd always recommend using the TV as the hub with just the one connection to the soundbar.

    This perhaps answers some questions, not for the TV I'm looking to buy but others:

    https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    Nice find, although it's relatively limited in scope they're almost universally 5.1 pass-through capable.


    @almillar, yes I'm using optical. Of course the Yamaha YAS soundbars are standalone with no separate sub-woofers (for the price they're excellent) and the soundbar the OP is interested in is only 2.1 so even if it didn't pass-through 5.1 I don't think it would make the slightest difference to them. I got the specs for my TV from the downloadable manual which states it's two channel linear PCM, Dolby Digital & DTS output.
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