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Quick Question about soundbars


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#1 of 5 Guest__*

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Posted February 14 2010 - 05:53 PM

haven't set up a HT system in about 8 years, and what I have is a simple system at that....I'm moving into a new apartment and am leaving my old system behind

space and mounting constraints have led me down the soundbar path, i think...i don't need a knock your socks off system, just better than the factory TV speakers

i have a samsung LCD, xbox 360 and a ps3 that i want hooked up to the bar...i have very limited experience with HDMI and its capabilities, so I'm not sure exactly how my setup would be wired....

i'm assuming that my ps3/xbox will be hooked up to the TV as they are now and the TV will be hooked to the sound, correct??  sounds newbish, i know, sorry!!!

as i'm writing this, i think its making more sense, but i wanted to get some feedback from you guys here because i want to make sure i have enough inputs where i need them so i can get everything set up

thanks!!


#2 of 5 Jason Charlton

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Posted February 15 2010 - 02:49 AM

Hi Robert, welcome to the forum.

Do you have a specific budget in mind for your system?

Sony makes two soundbars - the HTCT-100 and the HTCT-500.  The HTCT-500, in partcular, is a neat unit in that the subwoofer module acts pretty much like an A/V receiver.  It has several video inputs (3 HDMI, 2 component, 1 composite) and does analog-to-digital upconversion of video signals.  In addition, it has 3 digital optical inputs, 1 digital coaxial input, and 2 analog audio inputs - in short, it has enough connectivity to support your games system(s), PLUS a Blu-Ray player and digital cable/satellite.

With a setup like this, you would actually connect all of your sources to the subwoofer unit, and then run a single HDMI cable from there to your TV.  All video and audio switching is then done by remote to the subwoofer.

The HTCT-100 is not as fully-featured - it doesn't have any of the analog video connections, and fewer analog audio inputs, so expandability in the future may be a bit limited.

There are other units out there, but to my knowledge, few have quite the level of A/V sophistication and expandability as the Sony 500.

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#3 of 5 Guest__*

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Posted February 15 2010 - 05:11 AM

Jason, thanks for the help!  I appreciate the links and the product info...

Budgetwise, that Sony 500 is prob a bit much if I were to buy it right when we moved in, but if i held off a month, i could swing it

Like I said, now that I have the added components and the newer technologies, I'm a bit lost!

Rehashing for my own benefit.... all of my components (ps3, xbox, cable box, etc) will plug into the bar (assuming it's one of those Sonys, or something with comparable hookups) and then a single HDMI wire will run from the bar to the TV... right?

Right now, when I switch between inputs, I do so on the TV's remote, but with this setup, I would do it all through the bar?  Is it just as easy as pressing "Input" until I get to the desired component?  or is it more difficult than that?  (my girlfriend, who i'm moving in with for the first time, is HORRIBLE with remotes and will freak if it's more than like 2 buttons to put the cable back on lol)

Thanks again!


#4 of 5 Jason Charlton

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Posted February 15 2010 - 06:06 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Cowper 

Rehashing for my own benefit.... all of my components (ps3, xbox, cable box, etc) will plug into the bar (assuming it's one of those Sonys, or something with comparable hookups) and then a single HDMI wire will run from the bar to the TV... right?

Right now, when I switch between inputs, I do so on the TV's remote, but with this setup, I would do it all through the bar?  Is it just as easy as pressing "Input" until I get to the desired component?  or is it more difficult than that?  (my girlfriend, who i'm moving in with for the first time, is HORRIBLE with remotes and will freak if it's more than like 2 buttons to put the cable back on lol)

 
You are correct on both counts.

The "analog-to-digital conversion" feature of the 500 is what really adds to the "convenience" factor here.  No matter what type of video connection is used from the source to the sound bar, they all get converted to output via HDMI.  Because of this, you just keep the TV set to that HDMI input and never have to change it.

There may be other sound bar options out there that have both analog (composite/component) and digital (HDMI) video connections, but unless they specifically mention "analog-to-digital conversion", then you'll need to run one video cable of each type from the sound bar module to the TV.  The consequence is that you would then have to change inputs on the sound bar AND the TV when switching between sources that have different types of video connections, and it won't be obvious to anyone but you which input on the TV is the right one.

Regardless, if you ever find yourself in the market for a universal remote control (a subject for another day) - the Logitech Harmony remotes are ones you should definitely consider.  They are very easy to operate and program, and incredibly versatile.

Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#5 of 5 Guest__*

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Posted February 15 2010 - 08:24 AM

again, thanks for the help, you really cleared it up for me!





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