Question LG SK1D soundbar - Need basic help to get the best out of it

Wagnelles

Novice Member
Hello everyone,

I have an LG SK1D soundbar, a basic 2.0ch 100W unit, I got it bundled with my Philips TV. Nothing fancy compared to what I see here, but surely an upgrade over the TV speakers. And it was free lol. The soundbar manual says it's compatible with Dolby Audio, PCM, and DTS Digital Surround, however, there's no indicator to know which format I am using (or none that I know of). I feel overwhelmed with options.


There are 2 ways I could use the soundbar:

1 - Devices connected to the TV via HDMI, and the soundbar connected to the TV via optical. The TV digital output settings are set to send "Stereo uncompressed" audio. There is also "Multichannel" and "Multichannel (bypass)" options, but I don't know if I should use those instead of stereo uncompressed. Does the soundbar have any kind of virtual surround that could somehow make it able to work with 5.1? I have no idea, but what about the aforementioned DTS Digital Surround? And for the devices I'm using, I truly have no idea if the audio formats would work with this setup. It's certainly more convenient, but I would be willing to change if there are ways to improve the audio quality (and ways to use the formats).

2 - I could buy an optical Splitter (3 in, 1 out) and connect everything directly to the soundbar. I imagined this could be better, but I would have to deal with 2 extra optical cables, one extra outlet being used, and the inconvenience of having to switch between sources everything I chance the device I'm using.

To test it out, I've connected my PS3 directly to the TV via optical and I didn't really notice any difference in quality (compared to the sound going through the TV and then to the soundbar). That said, I don't know if I chose the correct format options available on the console, other than PCM. There is Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 available on the, but as the soundbar is 2.0ch. Kinda the same situation as before, as I don't know if I should set multi-channel audio. There is also no way to disable PCM 2 ch, and when playing a game (or watching a movie on the TV), I don't know which formats are being used.

As for the PS4, it only has 3 options (PCM, Bitstream Dolby, and Bitstream DTS). It is currently at BTS Dolby as it sounds a bit louder but not necessarily better (I don't really know). And I'm not sure which option to use on the PS4, in both situations that I mentioned. See how confusing things are for me?

Here's the soundbar's website, if anyone willing to help wants to check its features: LG 2.0 ch Sound Bar with Bluetooth Connectivity | LG UK

Thanks in advance.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
As it is a 2.0 soundbar and according to the specifications defaults to add pseudo effects, I would feed it LPCM 2.0 at all times. If you don’t like the pseudo effects turn them off so it is 2.0 stereo.

ther is no display since all the soundbar can deliver is stereo or pseudo enhanced stereo. It does that from only 2.0 channels whether those are in LPCM or extracted from (compressed) DD or DTS DS 2.0 channels. It cannot use any extra channels in a compressed bitstream of their codecs so delivering them is moot.

DD and DTS Digital Surround can deliver multi-channels but the soundbar will work best when it receives the uncompressed LPCM 2.0 channels.

HDMI must include LPCM 2.0 in any version of the standard. Set any device connected to the TV to that and the TV to passthrough.

Differences between the PS set to bitstream DTS and PCM will be due to the codec compression of the two channels you need and soundbar decompression of them. PCM 2.0 will be the audio intended to be heard. The soundbar will play that as intended and all you need to do is decide if yprefer pseudo effects added by the bar or not.
 

Wagnelles

Novice Member
As it is a 2.0 soundbar and according to the specifications defaults to add pseudo effects, I would feed it LPCM 2.0 at all times. If you don’t like the pseudo effects turn them off so it is 2.0 stereo.

ther is no display since all the soundbar can deliver is stereo or pseudo enhanced stereo. It does that from only 2.0 channels whether those are in LPCM or extracted from (compressed) DD or DTS DS 2.0 channels. It cannot use any extra channels in a compressed bitstream of their codecs so delivering them is moot.

DD and DTS Digital Surround can deliver multi-channels but the soundbar will work best when it receives the uncompressed LPCM 2.0 channels.

HDMI must include LPCM 2.0 in any version of the standard. Set any device connected to the TV to that and the TV to passthrough.

Differences between the PS set to bitstream DTS and PCM will be due to the codec compression of the two channels you need and soundbar decompression of them. PCM 2.0 will be the audio intended to be heard. The soundbar will play that as intended and all you need to do is decide if yprefer pseudo effects added by the bar or not.
Hey there, thank you so much for the reply.

From what I understand, the best way to use this is by feeding it with uncompressed audio (more specifically, PCM 2ch 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96kHz) and use the effects that the bar has itself. I'll have to double-check if my TV is adding any form of processing to the audio. Despite TV's "Stereo uncompressed" option that I mentioned seems correct, there are also volume controls from the TV, so I wonder if what the bar is receiving is the actual uncompressed audio.

What about Dolby Digital and DTS Surround support that the manual mentions? Is there any way I could test them? Manual says that DRC function "optimizes volume for Dolby Digital content". I am unable to notice any difference, which probably means I haven't played any DD content so far.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
What about Dolby Digital and DTS Surround support that the manual mentions? Is there any way I could test them? Manual says that DRC function "optimizes volume for Dolby Digital content".
It can add effects but only to 2.0 channels. The two codecs it mentions can do a number of channels so I would say “support” merely means it can decode 2.0 channels (both codecs are compressed) and maybe add a bit of effect.

Personally I wouldn’t bother feeding t anything but uncompressed 2.0 - LPCM and then decide right I liked the effects it adds or not....

The TV digital out setting mag well be processing what you input. So say a device connected is set to output DD 5.1 the TV will decode it and send PCM 2.0 out. It it may simply be taking the PCM 2.0 audio regardless and outputting that. Often there is another setting for soeakers where you need to turn off the TV speakers - especially for the optical output.
 

Wagnelles

Novice Member
It can add effects but only to 2.0 channels. The two codecs it mentions can do a number of channels so I would say “support” merely means it can decode 2.0 channels (both codecs are compressed) and maybe add a bit of effect.

Personally I wouldn’t bother feeding t anything but uncompressed 2.0 - LPCM and then decide right I liked the effects it adds or not....

The TV digital out setting mag well be processing what you input. So say a device connected is set to output DD 5.1 the TV will decode it and send PCM 2.0 out. It it may simply be taking the PCM 2.0 audio regardless and outputting that. Often there is another setting for soeakers where you need to turn off the TV speakers - especially for the optical output.

Thank you. I've set my devices to output PCM audio. As for possible TV audio processing, here's the options that I have:

  • TV speakers turned off
  • Digital Audio Format: Stereo (uncompressed)
  • Digital out leveling: 3 options (More, Medium and Less), this raises a flag as a default TV processing that I cannot turn off. It is set to "more", as it is louder.
  • Digital out delay: On (TV says I should turn off if a sound delay is set on my audio device. As the bar doesn't have that, it's on, but it raises yet another flag that the sound is being processed.
  • Digital out offset - 0 msec. This option is disabled if I turn off Digital out delay.

I guess I will have to test wiring one device directly to the bar and see if I notice any difference.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
The audio delay stuff isn’t really TV processing - I meant the TV shouldn’t process the audio codec itself. If you are inputting PCM 2.0 (stereo uncompressed) into an HDMI socket I presume that setting won’t as any TV processing. I would try setting each device connected to the TV to PCM 2.0 out (as you have) and try the TV setting for passthrough if you think your current settings are mucking it up. If there is no difference, the TV isn’t processing since the input is already stereo uncompressed.

audio delay doesn’t change the codec - just delays the stream by the number of milliseconds set. As you are going through the TV to the soundbar, audio can only get behind the video if the TV processes it and delays it - that is, the delay setting will only make that delay worse. If you have no audio delay as you are, the TV is most likely not processing the audio. If you have a delay with that at 0 or off on the TV, try the passthrough setting so the TV definitely doesn’t hold up the audio by processing it.

Digital out levelling again shouldn’t alter timing or processing. I believe that is a bit of digital adjustment of sound levels between sources so they are more consistent. Any setting there should be ok as long as it is set to your liking.

Connecting the devices to the soundbar will do away with any setting issues :) you will still need optical for TV source audio of course but that stereo uncompressed setting you have now looks good for that as well. It “should” sound the same as passing through the TV with no processing there.

Also if you go to the soundbar first and passthrough video to the TV, the audio delay setting on the device connects dtk the soundbar will actually be useful. The audio may get ahead by the time the video gets to the TV and is processed.

With the older equipment you have where there is no video functionality to lose (4K/120, VRR etc), connecting to the soundbar is IMHO the way to go. Putting the TV between the device and the soundbar introduces complications you don’t need To bother with. As long as the soundbar passes through the video as desired to the TV, connect all A/V devices to the soundbar I reckon .
 

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