What is Dolby Vision passthrough? What is the big deal if a soundbar does not support it? (HW-K950)

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by Syonora, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Syonora

    Syonora
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    Pardon my lack of understanding of this topic as I am new to soundbars and cannot find any good explanation on the internet. I am looking to buy a soundbar, and am researching what to buy. One of the things I see Samsung HW-K950 owners complain about is the lack of "Dolby Vision passthrough". What does "Dolby Vision Passthrough" and it not being supported mean and why is it a big deal?

    When I look at the Amazon page for the product: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-HW-K950-ZA-Soundbar-Technology/dp/B01I0HW12O

    I see something about "4K Pass-Through" that is supported. Is 4K passthrough not the same thing as Dolby Vision passthrough? I am very confused because I thought Dolby Vision has to do with visuals, and Dolby Atmos has to do with the sound. Why does Dolby Vision passthrough even matter for a soundbar?

    I see a different soundbar like the Sony ST-HT5000 supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision passthrough.

    I see something about receivers supporting or not supporting Dolby Vision passthrough... in the setup I am looking to have, I just want to get two things. TV (which supports Dolby Vision and Atmos) + Soundbar and connecting the two with HDMI. Does "Dolby Vision Passthrough" matter to me? Should it even be a factor I should be concerned with? Why do others seem to complain about it not being there?
     
  2. PlasmaManiac

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    I’m no expert, I’ve only come back into the scene and drowning in all these new formats which have surfaced during my absence.

    Right, this is how must sound bars work; You would typically connect say a Blu-ray player to one of the HDMI inputs on the sound bar, you then connect the HDMI ARC out to the TVs ARC HDMI input.

    So, the Blu-ray player sends both bitstream audio (encoded to Atmos by the sound bar) and video. That video is then ‘repeated’ (not strictly passed through) in order to send the video to the TV.

    Because it is ‘repeated’, the sound bar needs to be able to recreate the digital video signal in the exact same manner.

    Just because a sound bar is stated as having 4K pass through, it does not mean it can also pass through HDR or Dolby Vision for that matter.

    I’m sure someone with more knowledge will chime in, but my understanding is that Dolby Vision is another variant of HDR. Appears to be the next big thing as far as visuals is concerned so it would be nice to have.

    You could get around this (assuming your Blu-ray player can output Dolby Vision and the disc has Dolby Vision content) by connecting the Blu-ray player directly to one of the HDMI inputs on the TV (not the ARC HDMI connections, leave those as is).

    However, in doing so I would think you would lose Dolby Atmos as ARC HDMI cannot pass bitstream data back to the sound bar.
     
  3. Syonora

    Syonora
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    So what your saying is the most popular soundbar... the Samsung HW-K950 cannot support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos at the same time. To do that, you need either a Sony soundbar or a LG soundbar. Is that right?
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Dolby Atmos - is Dolby's Immersive audio format, Dolby Atmos

    Dolby Vision - is Dolby's dynamic High Dynamic Range format, Dolby Vision - Dramatic Imaging at Home or in the Cinema

    'Why does Dolby Vision passthrough even matter for a soundbar?' - it will only matter if you have Dolby Vision (DV) enabled Source device, DV encoded content plus a Display capable of processing the DV signal.

    If your Display is DV enabled and you are using its onboard streaming Apps to access DV encoded content you do not require DV support on your Soundbar.

    Joe
     
  5. sub routine

    sub routine
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    Doesn't really matter imo.
    If your TV supports Dolby vision then stick all the hdmi inputs into the TV. Then arc out to the soundbar and you'll be fine.
    If your TV doesn't support Dolby vision then your fine.
     
  6. Syonora

    Syonora
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    I don’t know what this means, but the Samsung HW-K950 doesn’t support Atmos over ARC? So this means any Atmos content has to be plugged directly into the Soundbar?
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Syonora

    ARC - currently can support DD+ which supports compressed Atmos, though as you point out both ARC enabled devices (Display + Soundbar) would have to support DD+ for it to work.

    eARC (coming soon to new Display and Audio devices) - will support uncompressed HD and Atmos, though again both eARC devices will need to support those formats.

    If the Soundbar you are considering lacks support for the Features you require move on to a different Soundbar.

    The content you plan to view and which device you will be using as the 'Source' (External or Display's Streaming Apps) will dictate what connectivity you use and what Features your various devices have to support.

    Joe
     
  8. gkatz

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    hi;
    do both sides need to support earc?
    for example, if I have a earc supporting TV will my soundbar also need earc support? or can I keep my atmos soundbar (e.g: ysp5600 or similar) which does not have earc support and enjoy uncompressed HD audio?
    also, I am almost sure I read that earc specifically can be done via firmware updates as it does not require that much bandwidth. can you confirm this?
    thanks!
     
  9. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    eARC - any of the new features it offers will require that both devices are eARC capable and support the Features you require.

    ARC > some manufacturers are offering Firmware updates on some devices to enable partial compatibility with the HD and Immersive audio codecs, unless you know for sure your kit is tagged to be updated I would not simply assume it will be.

    At this stage it is all a guessing game - some combinations of 'old and new' kit will work better than others in terms of offering your HD and Immersive audio between a New TV and your legacy AVR or Soundbase/Soundbar.

    Joe
     

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