Help With Dolby Atmos and Apple TV

JT643

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Jeff Terrell
I am trying to get Dolby Atmos out of my new Vizio Atmos soundbar. Here is my hardware:

Apple TV 4K
Vizio Soundbar (SB36512)
Eiki Projector (1080P - HDMI in only)

My problem is that I can’t get an HDMI audio signal from my Apple TV and also to my projector. I have tried an HDMI splitter, but it will only recognize a connection to my projector and not the soundbar.

My question: is there any way to split the output of the Apple TV to send the HD video to the projector AND the HDMI atmos audio to the soundbar? (I believe if I had a 4K projector or tv with ARC I would be all set...but I don’t.)

Thanks in advance!
 

JohnRice

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Not all splitters are the same. You need to be certain the one you try is capable of doing what you want.

Having said that, I'll be brutally honest, you will never get real Atmos playback from a soundbar. An "Atmos" light might light up and it might try to reproduce Atmos, but it's not going to be anything remotely resembling actual Atmos. I'm tossing that out, because it's probably just not worth going to the trouble for. And ARC, in most cases, will NOT provide Atmos. Also, ARC is rarely worth the trouble and rarely works the way it should, despite all the marketing claims.
 
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JohnRice

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...or a player with dual hdmi outputs. Still, going back to the main issue of soundbars and Atmos.

EDIT: Duh, you were asking about an Apple TV 4K.
 

JohnRice

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My problem is that I can’t get an HDMI audio signal from my Apple TV and also to my projector.
OK, I looked up your soundbar, and it has an hdmi output. Your question sounds like you want audio to go to your projector as well as the soundbar. My question is, why would you want that? Traditionally you feed the source output (ATV) to your audio system (your soundbar) then pass the video to your TV/projector. Done.

ARC should never even be a factor with your setup. That is ONLY for passing audio that originates in the TV (apps, tuner, etc.) back to the audio system without needing a second cable. I suspect your projector can't even serve as an audio source, and it doesn't need to, so it's a non issue.
 

JT643

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This is SO helpful!

Yes. At the end of the day, I am attempting to get something out of devices that are not ideal for what I am trying to accomplish.

But, with a small budget and some hand me downs I am trying to have the best I possibly can.

So to answer your question: I thought it would be simple as the soundbar has hdmi in and out. However when I called vizio they said that the out only works with arc (doesn’t make sense to me because I thought Arc was sending and receiving...so why would they call it out and arc???).

At the end of the day, my projector is a few years old and only has Hdmi in (HDCP). So I can only send it the video signal and somehow am trying to send the atmos to the soundbar. This, my struggle...
 

David Willow

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So what happens when you plug the Apple TV into the input on the soundbar and the projector into the ouput on the soundbar? It should pass the video through (regardless of what Vizio says). A quick look at the manual says they are full of it. ;) I say try it.
 

JohnRice

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You still don’t understand how these connections work or are intended to be used. It is infinitely simpler than you are trying to make it.
 
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JohnRice

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At the end of the day, my projector is a few years old and only has Hdmi in (HDCP). So I can only send it the video signal and somehow am trying to send the atmos to the soundbar. This, my struggle...
Your goal.

You've already received the answer twice.

#1
you feed the source output (ATV) to your audio system (your soundbar) then pass the video to your TV/projector. Done.
#2
So what happens when you plug the Apple TV into the input on the soundbar and the projector into the output on the soundbar? It should pass the video through (regardless of what Vizio says). A quick look at the manual says they are full of it. ;) I say try it.
Did I mention? Forget about ARC. ARC means "Audio Return Channel", it's virtually useless, rarely works correctly and doesn't apply to the projector you are using.
 

xx Brian xx

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Don't forget to set the audio and video settings in the Apple TV menu.
For video goto Settings -> Video and Audio -> Format and select 1080p
For audio goto Settings -> Video and Audio -> Audio Format. Change Format should be Off and Dolby Atmos should be On

Brian
 

JT643

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Thanks everyone (and for your patience). I’ll quit referencing ARC too. ;)

I agree that the manual says that should work. And that is what I tried (and it didn’t work) before I called Vizio.

I will try it again and make sure I have the settings right on the Apple TV...I didn’t see “Dolby Atmos” specific setting in audio. I’ll look again and make sure I have the tvOS up to date.

Could be something with my EIKI projector too, right? I will see if I can find another display to double check.

Thanks again!
 

JT643

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So, i am chatting with VIZIO support right now. i have shared with them several videos of samsung products (can't find any for vizio!) that show exactly what i am trying to do.

I am trying to connect my Apple TV 4K to the VIZIO soundbar (HDMI In on the Soundbar) and then the soundbar to the EIKI projector (HDMI Out on the Soundbar) so that I can get Dolby Atmos on the soundbar and pass the video through to my projector.

They keep telling me that it is because my projector doesn't support ARC. Based on all of your feedback, I shared with them that it is not an ARC issue! (See, I am learning!). They said that my projector may not support passthrough. I don't understand that! Isn't the soundbar simply "passing through" the video signal to the display device? So, if the projector can recognize video from HDMI cables, should it recognize the video source?

Thanks!
 

xx Brian xx

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Make sure you are on tvOS 12.1.1 for firmware. If you are not, you will not have Atmos.
 

xx Brian xx

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The Vizio rep has no clue what they are talking about. ARC has nothing to do with the audio if you have it connected the way you state above. Passthrough would be a setting on select receivers, not a soundbar.
 

JT643

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Thanks! I am having them send me a replacement soundbar as I can’t get any sound to the soundbar via HDMI. Thinking there may be an issue with the input. Will update.

Thanks again for all your help!
 

JT643

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So, VIZIO replaced my soundbar. Plugged it in tonight - HDMI In (Apple TV 4K)...HDMI Out (Projector)...and...

IT WORKED!!! Sounds amazing! Thanks for your help! Your informing me helped me be able to push VIZIO for a replacement, and it worked. Thanks so much!
 

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