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How to connect everything!, boring I know but being mocked by other half, pls help


Standard Member
Hi there

Please could you summarise how best to connect all my systems up for best quality (I am aware that I possibly need some sort of AV reciever) - just adding a blu-ray player into new setup and not sure how best to connect it all using HDMI cables and/or digital optical cables for the best quality picture and audio (only got a 2.1 soundbar presently)

***3D TV***


***3D BLU RAY***



Distinguished Member
Might not be as easy as i first thought, mainly because you need hdmi 1.4 to get 3d content to work. If you have an amp/soundbar between your source and tv, then it also needs to be 1.4.

We need to know 2 things.

1. does your sound bar support ARC - audio rely channel
2. does your sound bar support hdmi 1.4 - in other words will it pass through a 3d signal.

To find the answers if you don't know them and can't find.

1. Plus an hdmi cable from HDMI 2 on your tv to your HDMI 1 on your soundbar. Choose a digital tv channel on your tv and see if you get sound. Alteratively plug your vigin box into hdmi 1 on your tv and keep sound bar in hdmi 2 and see if you can get sound through your sound bar.

2. Plug 3d bluray into hdmi 1 on sound bar and soundbar to hdmi1 on tv and play a 3d disc and see if you get a 3d image.
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Standard Member
thank for replying!!

Soundbar is a Samsung HW-E551
TV is a Samsung ES8000
Blu Ray is Panasonic DMP-BDT120

We watched a 3D blu ray last night which loked and sounded pretty good to me - but, as I say, we are quite new to home cinema type stuff. At the moment we have got everything plugged into the TV via hdmi which is wrong I think - the soundbar to TV into the TV's ARC HDMI. Optical from TV to soundbar (no idea if this adds anything, just had a cable!)

According to the manual - the soundbar (well it's the subwoofer not the soundbar) HDMI OUT is ARC and will only be anabled when connected to a TV that supports ARC which it does as is going into the TVs HDMI 2 (ARC). All HDMI cables are 4.1a 3d ethernet etc (I think - are all PRO GOLD (1.4a Version, 3D, 15.2Gbps) from amazon)

It all seems to be working fine as is:

Soundbar subwoofer HDMI OUT (ARC) --> TV HDMI IN 2 (ARC)

TV Digital Optical OUT --> Soundbar subwoofer Digital Optical IN

But nothing in the Soundbar subwoofer HDMI IN 1 and 2 - should the Blu Ray and Tivo go in here? Are currently in the TV HDMI IN 1 (DVI) and HDMI IN 3 (MHL) respectively.

I would appreciate you advice about how to optimise this setup as this is obviously a top spec TV and I was really unsure whether to pay more for a full surround sound setup or to get the best out of it or not - so I'd like to optimise it as much as possible first to decide. As I say, we watched a 3D blu ray last night and it looked amazind. sound maybe slightly "muddy" but maybe the limitations of a soundbar?. I am not a massive audiophile so the visual side is possibly more important to me (really happy with this) - just want to see wht I can do with the sound.

Thanks for your help.


Standard Member
PS - havent tried your suggestions yet - will do later as can't get people off the TV at the moment watching the Olympics - just wanted to post that it seems the soundbar and TV are ARC capable (what exactly is this? how important is it?)


Standard Member

2. does your sound bar support hdmi 1.4 - in other words will it pass through a 3d signal.

I don't know the answer to this and can't find it in the manual - I suspect not as not a pricey soundbar? will try 3d blu ray into soundbar later on.


Standard Member
oh hang on - just found this in a review!

"The subwoofer is the conduit for all audio sources. It sports a pair of 3D-compatible HDMI inputs and an output. One of these is ARC (Audio Return Channel) compliant, which means the TV itself can become a source for the sound system. There is also a digital audio input and a USB reader compatible with MP3 and WMA files."

That sounds good? Am at the limit of my understanding really now but am thinking I should try plugging blu ray and tivo into the soundbar and see if it's better ......... do I need the optical cable soundbar --> TV?, is it doing anything?


Distinguished Member
Ok sounds like you should be in a good position

Lets start on the basics, you want everything plugged via HDMI if you can, this should be passing the audio and the visual.

Firstly plug 1 HDMI cable from the output of the Soundbar to the ARC port of your TV. Assuming your soundbar supports ARC, then you should be sorted.

Then plug your bluray into one of the inputs of the Soundbar.

Plug your Tivo into the other HDMI input of your Soundbar

Job done.

I am not sure if Tivo can pass dolby digital via HDMI, it should be able to, but my old skyHD box can't. If you don't get DD to light up on your soundbar then you might need to use optical out from your Tivo into your soundbar.


Distinguished Member
Looking at

Samsung HW-E551 Soundbar blu-horizon

States it supports ARC, which is a result. No mention of 3d support but you said you found somewhere that said it does. The fact it has ARC would indicate its hdmi 1.4, so you should be fine.

I did a google search and it seems Tivo supports DD via HDMI, so your defintely sorted.

The only thing i am not sure on is whether there is special hdmi 1.4 cables or if any hdmi cable will work. I am guessing should be any that you can buy right now but might want to be careful here.
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Distinguished Member

Hmm seems its not 3d ready according to

Samsung HW-E551 - Soundbar review - Trusted Reviews

This might be a problem. As you won't be able to get a 3d image to pass through the soundbar back to the tv.

However your soundbar doesn't support HD audio anyway, so optical (optical audio cables can't pass HD audio such as DTS-HD Master Audio) will work fine.

Plug your bluray directly into your TV via HDMI and then use optical on bluray player to plug into your soundbar. Not the neatest way to do things, but should work nicely.

You might get lucky and your TV might pass the digital audio directly from the bluray back through the ARC, and then then optical won't be needed. Probably best to test this before you connect the optical, since its a neater solution, with 1 cable instead of 2.
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Established Member
Hello all,

I've posted something similar elsewhere, but I think that was the wrong place. My father in law has the same TV and soundbar and was intending on the same config:

  • Sky HD into the soundbar
  • Blu-Ray player (3d) into the soundbar
  • soundbar out into the tv hdmi (ARC) in
  • no additional connection between soundbar and tv

I have this set up at the moment just to test it but I find that the Anynet+ doesn't work with the TV. I am selecting the source on the soundbar as HDMI-1 (the sky HD source). I can see the picture and sound is coming fine, but the tv remote doesn't recognise the anynet+ feature.

If I plug the sky HD into the tv directly and keep the soundbar in the ARC connection, then the anynet + function works.

We want the anynet thing functioning, but only want 1 cable to run from the soundbar to the tv...

Any thoughts?

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