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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 2
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 6th Mar 18, 4:53 PM
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    wallofbeans
    Which is why I'd always recommend using the TV as the hub with just the one connection to the soundbar.



    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.
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I'm open to other options on the soundbar front, the problem is I have a maximum width of just over 90cm so many are immediately out of the running.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 7th Mar 18, 2:04 PM
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    almillar
    The soundbar has one HDMI and one optical socket.
    You've got 2 HDMI devices (plus the TV). The best thing to do would be to get a soundbar with 2 HDMI in.

    Which is why I'd always recommend using the TV as the hub with just the one connection to the soundbar.
    Err, we've been discussing why we need to be cautious with this recommendation 'always'.
    the soundbar the OP is interested in is only 2.1 so even if it didn't pass-through 5.1
    Bingo. Everything I've said doesn't matter for OP, he's maxing out at 2.1 sound anyway. But if you ever decide to upgrade, you could be stuck. I'm just saying that the way it's usually done, is everything goes through the amp. As Tarambor hints at, doing it this way can help with lipsync issues - a TV generally won't.

    In OP's situation, with a 2.1 soundbar, the original suggestion seems fine - we can't improve on it without upping the budget significantly.

    So - with that planned equipment - soundbar into the ARC input on the TV via HDMI. PS3 via HDMI into TV, and Youview box via HDMI into TV. Done.

    I got the specs for my TV from the downloadable manual which states it's two channel linear PCM, Dolby Digital & DTS output
    Sorry for sticking at this, but I'm still not 100% convinced that means you're getting 5.1 sound!

    That link OP provided is an utterly excellent resource, which I will likely refer to next time I buy a TV
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 7th Mar 18, 2:13 PM
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    wallofbeans
    You've got 2 HDMI devices (plus the TV). The best thing to do would be to get a soundbar with 2 HDMI in.



    Err, we've been discussing why we need to be cautious with this recommendation 'always'.


    Bingo. Everything I've said doesn't matter for OP, he's maxing out at 2.1 sound anyway. But if you ever decide to upgrade, you could be stuck. I'm just saying that the way it's usually done, is everything goes through the amp. As Tarambor hints at, doing it this way can help with lipsync issues - a TV generally won't.

    In OP's situation, with a 2.1 soundbar, the original suggestion seems fine - we can't improve on it without upping the budget significantly.

    So - with that planned equipment - soundbar into the ARC input on the TV via HDMI. PS3 via HDMI into TV, and Youview box via HDMI into TV. Done.



    Sorry for sticking at this, but I'm still not 100% convinced that means you're getting 5.1 sound!

    That link OP provided is an utterly excellent resource, which I will likely refer to next time I buy a TV
    Originally posted by almillar
    Quick note: I don't have a PS3 but do have a blu-ray player. This doesn't change the advice though.

    I'm also confused by these soundbars. It is 2.1 but the specs go on about 5.1 and it has a surround button. How can that do anything when it's only got two speakers inside?

    Also, I'm up for changing the soundbar option and to spend some more money, but I'm struggling to find ones that will fit in the 90cm gap I have. Soundbases don't help as I only have 27cm of depth to play with. Suggestions welcome!
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 07-03-2018 at 2:15 PM.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 7th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    Err, we've been discussing why we need to be cautious with this recommendation 'always'.
    Originally posted by almillar
    Which is why I said I'd always recommend that way, whether anyone else decides that's right for them is entirely up to them.


    I'm just saying that the way it's usually done, is everything goes through the amp.
    Is it? I highly doubt that's how 'it's usually done' because it's entirely dependant on your equipment/budget. I'd wager there's way more cheap soundbars sold with very limited inputs so using the TV as the hub is the defacto standard.

    As Tarambor hints at, doing it this way can help with lipsync issues - a TV generally won't.
    Sorry, but that's pure nonsense. If everything goes through the TV then any audio sync problem will be at the same level for all inputs and can simply be adjusted on the soundbar itself just once (presuming it allows this).

    So - with that planned equipment - soundbar into the ARC input on the TV via HDMI. PS3 via HDMI into TV, and Youview box via HDMI into TV. Done.
    No argument there although they don't need to use the ARC enabled HDMI port as there's no need for the return channel, they can use any HDMI port (unless there's some function of the ARC feature that I'm not aware of).

    Sorry for sticking at this, but I'm still not 100% convinced that means you're getting 5.1 sound!
    It's plugged into a soundbar with two 6cm forward facing speakers and two downward 7cm speakers (from memory) for bass with a couple of tuned sideways facing ports for surround effects so I'm 100% certain it's not playing 5.1. I'm not certain of why you would doubt the manual though that states it does pass it through.

    That link OP provided is an utterly excellent resource, which I will likely refer to next time I buy a TV
    Yes it is, and it's almost 100% of the sets that all pass through Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound although they're all newer than mine (I think).

    Given the above why would you doubt that mine does? I'm genuinely puzzled.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 7th Mar 18, 3:41 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    I'm also confused by these soundbars. It is 2.1 but the specs go on about 5.1 and it has a surround button. How can that do anything when it's only got two speakers inside?
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    My Yamaha YAS 103 soundbar has two 6cm forward facing speakers and two downward 7cm speakers (from memory) for bass with a couple of tuned sideways facing ports for surround effects. Any 5.1 input is processed and then output in a simulated 5.1 surround field.

    It's never going to be quite as effective as a (decent) 5.1 system but it beats it for simplicity and neatness (something my wife very much insisted on ).
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 7th Mar 18, 3:50 PM
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    wallofbeans
    My Yamaha YAS 103 soundbar has two 6cm forward facing speakers and two downward 7cm speakers (from memory) for bass with a couple of tuned sideways facing ports for surround effects. Any 5.1 input is processed and then output in a simulated 5.1 surround field.

    It's never going to be quite as effective as a (decent) 5.1 system but it beats it for simplicity and neatness (something my wife very much insisted on ).
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I assume that is quite a lot fancier than the panasonic soundbar I am looking at though, which I got the impression from the manual, only has two speakers inside along with the external sub.

    I'm going to have a google for yours now though. it sounds good!
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 7th Mar 18, 4:10 PM
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    wallofbeans
    Sorry, but that's pure nonsense. If everything goes through the TV then any audio sync problem will be at the same level for all inputs and can simply be adjusted on the soundbar itself just once (presuming it allows this).
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I don't think the Panasonic SCHTB488 does do this. But I think the TV does.

    I'm starting to think I should be looking for a soundbar that offers a few more whistles and bells.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 7th Mar 18, 5:15 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    I assume that is quite a lot fancier than the panasonic soundbar I am looking at though, which I got the impression from the manual, only has two speakers inside along with the external sub.

    I'm going to have a google for yours now though. it sounds good!
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    Sorry, perhaps I should have said but mines superseded now (a few times I think) although I presume the most recent versions are of similar quality. I think I paid 150 for it so that would put it at a similar level to the one you're considering perhaps?

    I don't think the Panasonic SCHTB488 does do this. But I think the TV does.

    I'm starting to think I should be looking for a soundbar that offers a few more whistles and bells.
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    You may not have any issue with lip sync anyway so it could be a mute point (no pun intended).

    Having a look at Panasonics & Richer Sounds websites yours appears to have just one speaker in the soundbar itself (surely a mistake?) plus the wireless subwoofer which appears to be a weird setup but apparently it works well.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 7th Mar 18, 5:20 PM
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    wallofbeans
    Sorry, perhaps I should have said but mines superseded now (a few times I think) although I presume the most recent versions are of similar quality. I think I paid 150 for it so that would put it at a similar level to the one you're considering perhaps?



    You may not have any issue with lip sync anyway so it could be a mute point (no pun intended).

    Having a look at Panasonics & Richer Sounds websites yours appears to have just one speaker in the soundbar itself (surely a mistake?) plus the wireless subwoofer which appears to be a weird setup but apparently it works well.
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    I think they mean one speaker unit, as in one soundbar. But I think it's two speakers inside. I'm not sure though.

    Why is it a weird set up? It seems to be quite normal. Loads of them have soundbar and subwoofer and at least half are wireless like this one.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 7th Mar 18, 6:22 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    I think they mean one speaker unit, as in one soundbar. But I think it's two speakers inside. I'm not sure though.

    Why is it a weird set up? It seems to be quite normal. Loads of them have soundbar and subwoofer and at least half are wireless like this one.
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    I meant it seems weird if (and I'm still not sure) there was only the one speaker in the bar itself. The Panasonic website says:-

    FRONT Configuration 1-way 1 speaker, Bass-reflex
    Speaker Unit Full Range: 4.5 x 12 cm Cone Type

    &

    SUBWOOFER Configuration 1-way 1 speaker, Bass-reflex
    Speaker Unit Woofer: 16 cm Cone Type

    So if that's right then there's just one big oval speaker unit in the bar. Just seems odd but if right it obviously works well. BTW more speaker units doesn't necessarily make a better soundbar.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 7th Mar 18, 8:14 PM
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    wallofbeans
    I've found a polish website reviewing this soundbar and it's big brother. I'm not sure how well the review is translating what they are saying, but there is mention of '2 x elliptical broadband transducers in the beam' and I wondered what they meant by that..?

    They also mention stuffing a handkerchief into the subwoofer to dampen the sound!

    http://www.benchmark.pl/testy_i_recenzje/panasonic-htb488-688-test.html
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 8th Mar 18, 8:25 AM
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    Colin_Maybe
    I've found a polish website reviewing this soundbar and it's big brother. I'm not sure how well the review is translating what they are saying, but there is mention of '2 x elliptical broadband transducers in the beam' and I wondered what they meant by that..?

    They also mention stuffing a handkerchief into the subwoofer to dampen the sound!

    http://www.benchmark.pl/testy_i_recenzje/panasonic-htb488-688-test.html
    Originally posted by wallofbeans
    That'll be two Speaker Unit Full Range: 4.5 x 12 cm Cone Type Speakers which makes more sense than Panasonic's own website

    So it is a genuine 2.1 soundbar.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 8th Mar 18, 8:44 AM
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    DoaM
    a mute point (no pun intended).
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    No pun needed, as the word you were looking for was moot.
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    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 8th Mar 18, 8:47 AM
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    Colin_Maybe
    No pun needed, as the word you were looking for was moot.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    Damn, I missed that
    • almillar
    • By almillar 8th Mar 18, 12:46 PM
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    almillar
    Which is why I said I'd always recommend that way, whether anyone else decides that's right for them is entirely up to them.
    But then you're potentially stripping the 5.1 sound out. The point of my pedancy!

    Is it? I highly doubt that's how 'it's usually done' because it's entirely dependant on your equipment/budget
    Yes, I wasn't clear enough, I'll expand on 'usually done' - usually done with home cinema amps. That's the angle I was coming from and what I have experience with.

    You say:

    Sorry, but that's pure nonsense
    but then

    can simply be adjusted on the soundbar itself just once (presuming it allows this).
    Is it nonsense or not? Does lipsync sometimes need to be adjusted for, or not?

    the manual though that states it does pass it through.
    It doesn't explicitly say 5.1 DD and DTS, that's all. The way I know on any amps I've experienced, is that it'll disply Dolby Digital or DTS on the amp's screen AND all the speakers will be lit up on it, rather than just 2.

    Yes it is, and it's almost 100% of the sets that all pass through Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound although they're all newer than mine (I think).
    Given the above why would you doubt that mine does? I'm genuinely puzzled.
    I know, I'm being pedantic and, perhaps, overcautious, but OP is about to spend hundreds of pounds. Your TV is very new, as are the TVs in that list. I'm talking about, let's say, 2016 and back TVs. But you're speaking about 2017 onwards TVs. You're talking as if everyone has these, and TV sound passthrough downmixing isn't an issue. You've been able to update me on the situation, that newer TVs generally seem to have finally solved this silly problem, but you don't seem to believe my caution that there are plenty of 'old' TVs out there that simply don't pass everything through as is.

    I'm starting to think I should be looking for a soundbar that offers a few more whistles and bells.
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