Soundbar with ARC (no e-ARC) tv: choose one with 2xHDMI or upgrade tv first?

@MoodyBlues - DTS lost the streaming battle by a near 100% margin so has become irrelevant for most ‘Home’ kit.

The SONOS Arc now supports DTS, just not the higher resolution variants.

Have you considered keeping a stereo system for music and adding a multi-channel Soundbar for movies and TV viewing.

eARC moves the ‘Hub’ of the system to the TV and manufacturers like SONOS have responded with Soundbars which do not require a costly HDMI license and instead require the TV to handle signal switching etc

Joe
 
@MoodyBlues - DTS lost the streaming battle by a near 100% margin so has become irrelevant for most ‘Home’ kit.

The SONOS Arc now supports DTS, just not the higher resolution variants.

Have you considered keeping a stereo system for music and adding a multi-channel Soundbar for movies and TV viewing.

eARC moves the ‘Hub’ of the system to the TV and manufacturers like SONOS have responded with Soundbars which do not require a costly HDMI license and instead require the TV to handle signal switching etc

Joe
I understand that about DTS, but fact of the matter remains that regardless of whether we're talking about DTS:X, DTS-HD MA or any other variant, those still exist in one way or another. Lots of people having built up their movie collection and I recon about 75% of my Blu-ray collection (±300) is DTS-HD MA as primary and Dolby Digital 5.1 or PCM as fallback.

Again, while I understand that in the streaming age it's not a requirement anymore, would it really have killed the product or profit margins that much if they simply included it? I think not, point in case being the 50/50 split in those who do offer it or don't. Samsung and Sony soundbars do offer this, but Sonos and LG don't, just like their TVs. It's probably saving just $5 per product in licensing and that's most likely on the higher end.

No, I haven't considered keeping two systems, since in our new home the receiver already sticks out like a sore thumb compared to everything. We want a cleaner setup since our requirements and wishes have changed over the years.

Luckily I still have pretty good headphones and my car has one of the best sound systems out there. So good music quality isn't totally lost on me.

By the way, I've just decided to purchase the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar since this is coincidentally a weekend that we have almost nothing in our agenda and with the 14 day return periods over here, it's almost a no-brainer.
 
DTS licensing, like HDMI licensing, is costly and manufacturers have decided to cut out the costs where they can, highlighted by the likes of SONOS and BOSE with eARC/ARC ‘only’ Soundbars.

Go back a few years and everything sported every badge out there, which for enthusiasts meant you paid for the licence, and feature, multiple times in a multi-device system.

Hiding kit away is another solution to the problem you could consider.

Hopefully the Samsung delivers the sound you require and supports the features and formats you are after, enjoy the trial period.

Joe
 
DTS licensing, like HDMI licensing, is costly and manufacturers have decided to cut out the costs where they can, highlighted by the likes of SONOS and BOSE with eARC/ARC ‘only’ Soundbars.

Go back a few years and everything sported every badge out there, which for enthusiasts meant you paid for the licence, and feature, multiple times in a multi-device system.

Hiding kit away is another solution to the problem you could consider.

Hopefully the Samsung delivers the sound you require and supports the features and formats you are after, enjoy the trial period.

Joe
Thanks! I will definitely post my experience after trying it out a bit. You've made some pretty good suggestions indeed, though I have to admit that not all (like the HDMI switch box) sound that appealing to me at first, but who knows if I can't find a great soundbar out-of-the-box experience, I might still change course.
 
Thanks! I will definitely post my experience after trying it out a bit. You've made some pretty good suggestions indeed, though I have to admit that not all (like the HDMI switch box) sound that appealing to me at first, but who knows if I can't find a great soundbar out-of-the-box experience, I might still change course.
Interested to hear how you got on with the Samsung system?

I'm at a similar crossroads, I have an even older Onkyo TX-SR608 reciever, with a Harmon Kardon 5.1 speaker setup, with wired rears. At one point we had HD-DVD, Bluray, all through the AVR, in a nice shaped room in a flat.

Now we're in a converted barn with a TV in the corner, yep the rears are wired in but arn't in the best positions the Audessy setup workes well and sounds decent. But the HD-DVD is defunct, the Sony Bluray is 1080p, i upgraded my TV most recently about 2019 to a panasonic 55GZ950 which is great but only has ARC (not eARC). We now watch most stuff through the in TV apps, Netflix, amazon and disney, or our firestick with HBOmax/Peacock accounts (we have family in the USA). So mostly sound is now delivered via ARC to the old onkyo to give 5.1. This if fine, but the onkyo is dieing HDMI inputs ramdomly don't work which has prompted me to think about a refresh.

I'm thinking soundbar might be the simple way to go as it removes the speakers scattered around the room, the sub and the reciever. I could just get a new reciever like a Denon S660H plug in my current 5.1 speakers feed ARC from the TV, and attach the old blu-ray, and skyq to it. It'll work fine, i still will only have 5.1 and no atmos.

I liked the look of the HK 1100 soundbar as it would do the DD+ ARC from the TV, and i could attach something else through the second HDMI eg SkyQ or Firstick or whatever in future. I'd clear the speaker clutter, i'd lose the receiver, and I'm thinking for 90% of the stuff we normally watch/use sound will be decent. I'm just getting too old hah.
 
Will be interesting to read your thoughts about the Samsung soundbar Moody. I have an earlier version.

Are you still planning on not using any surrounds? I totally understand your frustration about their looks and size. Why can't somebody (Sonos I am looking at you) come up with a design like the Apple mini HomePods which would be brilliant for surrounds? Personally I feel that 2 rear speakers make way more difference than having Atmos soundbar without them. IE. the 2 rears way better than the Atmos effect. So I reckon if you do try the surrounds then you will want to keep them there ... so be warned.
 
Definitely,though it wood have to be proper 5.1 ,rears is a must and a wide front stage .
 
Thanks! I will definitely post my experience after trying it out a bit. You've made some pretty good suggestions indeed, though I have to admit that not all (like the HDMI switch box) sound that appealing to me at first, but who knows if I can't find a great soundbar out-of-the-box experience, I might still change course.
Any updates on your experience?
 
I have a 65" LG C1 without DTS which is no problem to me at all as you can easily convert this to multi-channel PCM (like 5.1 or even 7.1). I'm not an expert regarding surround sound and soundbars. I have an LG DSP9YA with subwoofer and additional rear speakers (all wireless) and I am very suprised with the quality I get. Most of you probably consider this not good enough but as an old fashioned stereo audiofile I can still enjoy some surround concert blu-rays a lot and certainly series and films sound amazing with this simple setup that cost me less than €600.
 

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