Question Some questions about soundbar connectivity

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by kipper15, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. kipper15

    kipper15
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    I'm posting this on behalf of a friend of mine who I saw recently. He asked me because of my interest in hi-fi and home cinema but I don't have all the answers, hence this post.

    Unhappy with the sound from TV speakers, he is looking to add something to his TV/DVD player setup to improve the sound. My friend and his wife told me they often put the subtitles on - specifically when watching DVDs - as they find the speech hard to follow. I have the same problem watching DVDs and blu-rays on my bedroom setup, where I'm relying on the TV speakers!

    As for my friend's setup, the TV is roughly 7 years old, full HD spec with HDMI and SCART connectors. I understand there is optical but my friend cannot recall how many (possibly only one). Television is watched using Freeview channels, no cable or satellite box. Films are watched on a DVD player, a Panasonic model of early 2000s vintage.

    I said to my friend that a low-cost way of improving the sound would be to add a soundbar. Beyond that, he'd have to invest in a home cinema setup with AVR, speakers etc. The latter option is not so appealing due to being able to keep equipment away from prying hands (two young children), as well as cost.

    At the moment I am waiting for my friend to confirm if the TV has a HDMI socket marked ARC (Audio Return Channel). My understanding is that if it has this, then only one HDMI cable would be needed to connect the TV to the soundbar....but if no ARC on the TV, then an optical cable is also required to connect the TV to the soundbar. Is this correct?

    The other question I have relates to the other devices connected to the TV. There is the aforementioned DVD player connected via SCART, and also a Nintendo games console connected via a cable with red, yellow & white RCA connectors. I think this is composite?

    So that leads to the question of sound processing of the DVD player and also games console used by the young children in the family.

    How will the audio for the DVD player be processed, given that its connection to the TV is via SCART? Can the soundbar even process it? Do they need to change to a different connection (i.e. optical) to the TV or soundbar directly? I don't know how many optical ports the TV has, or how many you usually get on a soundbar either! I am not familiar with soundbars at all, having a 5.1 setup myself.

    Or is this a futile exercise and they'd be better off investing in a blu-ray player? I have suggested they invest in a blu-ray player anyway, given that the cost of the players has come down so much and the discs are comparable to DVDs now in terms of price. Not only that, but the DVD player is SD and a blu-ray player will give them HD picture and sound (and at the very least upscale to near-HD quality when watching DVDs), which will mean they get more out their expensive (at the time) HD TV!

    And what about the games console? I don't know if it has a HDMI port or not (yet).

    I realise I don't yet have all the information I need but some advice/suggestions and answers to my questions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. kipper15

    kipper15
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    Anyone?
     
  3. kipper15

    kipper15
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    Revising an old thread here....my friend has not progressed with this but wants to in the next couple of months.

    I can confirm there's no ARC on the TV and no HDMI on the DVD player. I haven't got clarification yet on whether the games console has HDMI port.

    Can anyone provide some answers to my questions? Would appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  4. JayCee

    JayCee
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    Connect everything to the Tv and the TV's optical to whatever soundbar he buys.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    As above once you can see and hear the connected Source on the TV you can pass the audio Out to a Soundbar via the TV's Optical Out - not all Soundbar have Optical In so you have to look for that Feature.

    Audio - you could also look at a Soundbase if the TV is on a conventional TV Stand.

    Room - is the TV in a corner and is the room a regular four walls or open plan?

    DVD Playback - there will be little or no advantage in using a BD Player to upscale the images, the TV is already doing that for you/them.

    BD Playback - will look better than DVD Playback.

    Joe
     
  6. kipper15

    kipper15
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    Thanks for the comments. But the DVD player cannot connect to the TV as it has no HDMI...
     
  7. JayCee

    JayCee
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    The DVD player has a scart and you've said the Tv has a scart.
     
  8. kipper15

    kipper15
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    You are quire right! Sorry I had forgotten about that. Regarding the connecting of everything to the TV, I always thought the soundbar should be the hub? Like an AV receiver in a full HT setup. But that makes sense what you say about doing it that way.

    One thing I won't do again is try and use this site on a mobile phone, I was pressing wrong buttons! Pressing the icon to say post was funny when I meant to click on the useful icon etc.

    Cute cat by the way :) GREAT animals. Don't have one myself but I do like them a lot :)
     
  9. kipper15

    kipper15
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    I had suggested a couple of different soundbars at the time I was originally looking into this, and both had optical inputs. The TV is on some furniture with plenty of room for a soundbar in front of it and roughly central along a straight wall, not positioned in a corner or at an angle I guess yes with DVD playback the picture will be upscaled by the TV but I'm still encouraging him to get a Blu-ray player...as it will look better, like you say...
     
  10. JayCee

    JayCee
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    You could just connect the DVD and Optical out from the TV directly to the soundbar if you want.

    "Mork" sadly passed away 7 years ago aged 20 years, 6 months while we were on holiday in Florida. It broke our hearts & we didn't enjoy the rest of the holiday.
    He had a great nature and was so laid back.
    We still miss him.
     
  11. kipper15

    kipper15
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    I guess that option would also work with SCART from the DVD player to the TV. Or if they upgrade to blu-ray just hook the blu-ray player to the TV with HDMI. There's no ARC so the optical will need to be used for TV sound anyway.

    One of the soundbars I was looking at is the Panasonic SC-HTB680. This has an optical input as well as a couple of HDMI ports. The Nintendo games console could stay as is through the red/white/yellow cable direct into the TV. The children are young and won't be fussed about sound either way!

    Mork lived to 20? That's a good innings for a cat. Not surprised you miss him. Always hard when a pet passes away, they are part of the family. I find it hard enough when neighbour's cats I get attached to pass away...
     

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