Does You Sound Bar Really Need Multiple Inputs

JCAZ

Standard Member
With eArc beng the standard that is now being implemented, and assuming your TV and soundbar both have it, do you gain any qualitative benefit in audio or visual quality by plugging into the soundbar instead of the TV?
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
I see that my question has frightened you. You must push through the fear - use the force.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
With eArc beng the standard that is now being implemented, and assuming your TV and soundbar both have it, do you gain any qualitative benefit in audio or visual quality by plugging into the soundbar instead of the TV?
If you have eARC then I'd say no, providing you don't have more devices than HDMI ports on your TV!
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
Thank you. Just upgraded equipment for the first time in many years. Trying to learn the ropes.

Thanks again.
 

htpc_rookie

Standard Member
What surprises me is not so much the lack of hdmi inputs but the lack of audio only inputs. My YSP-2700 has three hdmi inputs but also a 3.5mm jack and a coax input. soundbars may not be ideal for audio only but I for one don’t want to duplicate an audio player.
all soundbars mention an optical input but you can’t configure it as a separate input, it’s for the tv only even if you use eARC.
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
For me, I guess what is important is good audio and video. Don't really care how I get it. That said, if you have a more complex system in mind, your needs may dictate otherwise. All the inputs in the YSP 2700 didn't provide me with as good a sound profile as I am getting with the 800-T. But there is more to it, since the YSP is a sound projector and is hampered by a less than ideal room configuration. Again, YMMV.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Of course it as I would never rely on a TV's eARC implementation for bitstreaming sound. There has been numerous issues with support for specific codecs. Having a dedicated input means you can connect multiple devices and have flexibility.
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
Why would I bit stream sound, does it provide higher fidelity. Do you use your soundbar as a high fidelity option for your music? THanks
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
Been doing some reading it asppears eArc does bitstream in many uncompressed formats, but can be tempermental. Perhpas that is what happened with the YSP 2700. Fortunately, so far so good with the Samsung. Appears I am at least on the right track.
 

dcjs01

Standard Member
I see no reason to have more than one input on a Soundbar for TV audio, whether it is ARC or optical. My Q Acoustics Media 4 has a single optical and my Sonos Beam has a single HDMI to connect to the TV.
i watch a mixture of Sky Q, Blu-ray and TV Apps. A single connection from the TV, that automatically feeds the source that is being watched, is ideal.
 

chenks

Member
if it's just ARC then you won't get Atmos (for example) on the soundbar, as the TV isn't capable of passing it thru the the soundbar.

you need eARC for that, and even then you may have issues.
with the latest LG CX dropping DTS support you'd lose DTS audio support if you were connecting via the TV (be it ARC or eARC).
 
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JCAZ

Standard Member
I see no reason to have more than one input on a Soundbar for TV audio, whether it is ARC or optical. My Q Acoustics Media 4 has a single optical and my Sonos Beam has a single HDMI to connect to the TV.
i watch a mixture of Sky Q, Blu-ray and TV Apps. A single connection from the TV, that automatically feeds the source that is being watched, is ideal.
i agree, i think some ideas outive their usefulness.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I see no reason to have more than one input on a Soundbar for TV audio, whether it is ARC or optical. My Q Acoustics Media 4 has a single optical and my Sonos Beam has a single HDMI to connect to the TV.
i watch a mixture of Sky Q, Blu-ray and TV Apps. A single connection from the TV, that automatically feeds the source that is being watched, is ideal.
Then when you're watching Blurays, you're not getting the best quality sound you can out them.

Your TV is downmixing the audio to basic DD 5.1

What if you'd bought a soundbar with Atmos, but couldn't get Atmos or DTS-HD, True HD, DTS etc. You need an HDMI input on your soundbar to get the best out of it.

Or eARC compatible T^V and bar and pray it works.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Never rely upon a TVs eARC if you are after support for all sound formats and if you are an audio enthusiast.

Behind the scenes, there are some.licensing wars going on and you might see some TVs limiting support to certain codecs.

Having multiple HDMI inputs is sensible if you got several sources.

It would be penny wise and pound foolish to hunt for a soundbar with just a single HDMI port.
 
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JCAZ

Standard Member
The bottom line is that eArc is suppose to negate the need for multiple inputs on the soundbar, that is why you are seeing many more new bars with a limited number of inputs.

Now, if practice is not meeting theory that is fine and should be considered. My experience was the reverse, my YSP 2700, with multipe inputs did not work well with my TV and caused blinking of the image and artifacting - it went back. So the so-called optimum solution in my case was a complete disaster. Who knows why. Yamaha will tell you one thing, Samsung another, the forums another, and the beat goes on.

Truth is there are so many combinations of gear and codecs that standing axiomatic on a one size fits all solution is foolish.
 

chenks

Member
The bottom line is that eArc is suppose to negate the need for multiple inputs on the soundbar, that is why you are seeing many more new bars with a limited number of inputs.
only if your TV supports the same codecs that the soundbar does, and more often than not the TV doesn't.

LG dropping DTS support is a prime example.

so to answer your original question, YES the soundbar really does need multiple inputs.
case closed.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
if it's just ARC then you won't get Atmos (for example) on the soundbar, as the TV isn't capable of passing it thru the the soundbar.

you need eARC for that, and even then you may have issues.
with the latest LG CX dropping DTS support you'd lose DTS audio support if you were connecting via the TV (be it ARC or eARC).
Lossy Atmos can be sent over normal ARC providing your TV supports Dolby Digital +. This is good enough for most streaming apps as well as Sky Q.

For me, a soundbar with eARC and 1 HDMI input would suffice. I'm only likely to have 1 device that needs lossless audio so everything else can go into the TV. I'd only need eARC to hopefully eliminate any lip sync issues.
 

chenks

Member
sure, if you're happy with the low quality from "streaming apps".
for this with just 1 applicable device then there won't be any issue, for those that have more than you can obviously agree it becomes an issue, and again you are dependant on the TV not removing codec support whenever they feel like it.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
sure, if you're happy with the low quality from "streaming apps".
for this with just 1 applicable device then there won't be any issue, for those that have more than you can obviously agree it becomes an issue, and again you are dependant on the TV not removing codec support whenever they feel like it.
I'd still be happy to use eARC but would obviously review the TV extensively before any purchase.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and need, but soundbars needing more than 1 input isn't always necessary.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
The bottom line is that eArc is suppose to negate the need for multiple inputs on the soundbar, that is why you are seeing many more new bars with a limited number of inputs.

Now, if practice is not meeting theory that is fine and should be considered. My experience was the reverse, my YSP 2700, with multipe inputs did not work well with my TV and caused blinking of the image and artifacting - it went back. So the so-called optimum solution in my case was a complete disaster. Who knows why. Yamaha will tell you one thing, Samsung another, the forums another, and the beat goes on.

Truth is there are so many combinations of gear and codecs that standing axiomatic on a one size fits all solution is foolish.
Sorry. This doesn't make sense.

Never ever depend on a single HDMI port and TV's ARC/eARC capabilities unless its a personal preference and you are well informed of the cons. I would never invest in a sound system that relies on TV's capabilities. You can see in other forums where insiders say there is a licensing war going behind the scenes causing manufactures to ditch certain audio codecs on their TVs. and just stick with the popular ones that are more aligned to streaming platforms.
 

JCAZ

Standard Member
Sorry. This doesn't make sense.

Never ever depend on a single HDMI port and TV's ARC/eARC capabilities unless its a personal preference and you are well informed of the cons. I would never invest in a sound system that relies on TV's capabilities. You can see in other forums where insiders say there is a licensing war going behind the scenes causing manufactures to ditch certain audio codecs on their TVs. and just stick with the popular ones that are more aligned to streaming platforms.
I think staying informed is always key. But when I read "never" do sometihng when it comes to things like electronics these day, I quickly dismiss that point of view, Things are simply to complicated and in flux to be so strident.
 

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