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Why does a bluray look better when player is connected directly to TV? (1 Viewer)

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L

Locutus1

Is it a known issue that a blu-ray player will produce a better picture when connected directly to TV instead of to soundbar which is then connected to TV? If the answer is “yes”, you can just tell me that (and if there's anything I can do about it like buy higher quality HDMI cables) so I know and then you can ignore the details below. Thanks.

I connected blu-ray player, cable box, and streaming media player to the soundbar and connected the soundbar to the 1080p TV. Then when I watch blu-rays there is flickering on the screen. The 1.4 cables from blu-ray to soundbar and soundbar to TV are brand new. If I connect the blu-ray directly to the TV, with either of the 2 cables, there is no flickering. The picture is good. There's also no flickering when I watch broadcast TV and the cable box is connected to the soundbar. There's also no flickering when I use the media player which is also connected to soundbar. Since there's no flickering when I watch broadcast TV or use media player, the soundbar must be fine. I tried connecting blu-ray to soundbar using a different hdmi input on soundbar and the problem is the same.

So the problem is with the blu-ray player. It's fine when connected directly to TV but not when connected to soundbar. Then I realized I should try swapping out the new blu-ray player for my old one. So I connected my 8-year-old blu-ray to soundbar and soundbar to TV. The flickering is still there. I was wondering if this is a common issue. Could there be a problem with the strength of the video signal coming from the blu-ray? So if it goes straight to TV, it's fine, but if it goes to soundbar and then to TV, the signal degrades resulting in poor picture quality. The blu-ray is the only one trying to put 1080p picture on the TV. Maybe higher quality hdmi cables would make it work. The new blu-ray player is Sony and 3 months old. Soundbar is Sony and 2 weeks old. Thanks for any info.

Currently, I have blu-ray connected to TV, optical and hdmi from TV to soundbar, cable box and media player connected to soundbar. So when I use blu-ray, sound comes through optical. When I use other devices, sound comes through hdmi arc. Either way, sound from my 330W(220 + 110 external subwoofer) soundbar is excellent so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on better audio when I watch a blu-ray.
 

Al.Anderson

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This doesn't happen with a decent home theater receiver. You don't mention your sound bar, but I venture it's the problem and not very good, or defective.
 
L

Locutus1

This doesn't happen with a decent home theater receiver. You don't mention your sound bar, but I venture it's the problem and not very good, or defective.

I don't mention it? I said it's Sony, 2 weeks old, 330W with external subwoofer. The only thing I didn't give was the model #: CT780. It has many good reviews for a $500 soundbar.
 

Adam Gregorich

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I agree completely with Al. There is something amiss with the sound bar. Under normal circumstances there should be no difference since it's a digital signal coming from the Blu-ray player.
 
L

Locutus1

I agree completely with Al. There is something amiss with the sound bar. Under normal circumstances there should be no difference since it's a digital signal coming from the Blu-ray player.

You're both wrong. Today, I connected the blu-ray to a different TV - I got a 40" Sony LED Smart TV for free via Airmiles - and there was no flickering. So the problem is my TV. The cable from the soundbar to the TV connected to the TV in HDMI 1 which is ARC. When I connected the blu-ray directly to the TV I used HDMI 2 because HDMI 1 was taken. Now, I tried connecting the blu-ray to the soundbar and the soundbar to HDMI 2 on the TV. It's much better. So HDMI 1 on the TV is bad and the soundbar is fine. That means I would use optical from TV to soundbar since HDMI 2 on TV is not ARC.
 

Martino

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From your previous posts:

"I connected blu-ray player, cable box, and streaming media player to the soundbar and connected the soundbar to the 1080p TV."

"Now, I tried connecting the blu-ray to the soundbar and the soundbar to HDMI 2 on the TV. It's much better"

"So HDMI 1 on the TV is bad and the soundbar is fine. That means I would use optical from TV to soundbar since HDMI 2 on TV is not ARC."


-- Glad you got your issue diagnosed, but if this is just an issue with the ARC connection from the soundbar to the TV on HDMI 1, then moving that connection to the HDMI 2 input should fix your issue.

Then all of your inputs will go to the sound bar as before, and the output from the sound bar will go to HDMI 2 on the TV.

There should be no need to use the optical connection from the TV back to the sound bar...will go back to:

"I connected blu-ray player, cable box, and streaming media player to the soundbar and connected the soundbar to the 1080p TV." -- using the HDMI 2 input on the TV...
 
L

Locutus1

From your previous posts:

if this is just an issue with the ARC connection from the soundbar to the TV on HDMI 1, then moving that connection to the HDMI 2 input should fix your issue.

Then all of your inputs will go to the sound bar as before, and the output from the sound bar will go to HDMI 2 on the TV.

This is exactly how I have the HDMI cables.

There should be no need to use the optical connection from the TV back to the sound bar...will go back to:

"I connected blu-ray player, cable box, and streaming media player to the soundbar and connected the soundbar to the 1080p TV." -- using the HDMI 2 input on the TV...

ARC on TV is only "HDMI 1". "HDMI 2" is not ARC. I tried it. On soundbar, port is called "HDMI ARC". Cable has to go between HDMI ARC port on both devices, otherwise it won't work. Video from all devices goes from soundbar to HDMI 1 on TV and audio comes back because HDMI 1 is ARC. That doesn't happen with HDMI 2. With soundbar plugged into HDMI 2 I get no sound so I use optical cable. This is how it is explained in the soundbar's user guide. That's how I knew to set it up that way. I think devices usually have ARC on only 1 port.
 

Martino

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"Video from all devices goes from soundbar to HDMI 1 on TV and audio comes back because HDMI 1 is ARC"
"With soundbar plugged into HDMI 2 I get no sound so I use optical cable."

The video and audio are both contained in any HDMI connection coming from your devices. Your sound bar should be pulling the audio off of the incoming signal, and sending the video only to the TV. You should not be using your TV speakers at all, so there should not be a need to send the audio signal to the TV. So when you say you get no sound when plugged into HDMI 2 - no sound from the TV speakers would be correct, but you should be getting sound out of your sound bar.

The Audio Return Channel connection will return audio to your soundbar from the TV if you want to hear menu clicks or other sounds that are generated by the TV itself, otherwise there is no need to get audio back from the TV.

I did a little research on your sound bar, and found this help site:

https://us.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/34162/c/65,66/p/41901,44406,92955,70431/

For some reason, it does say that you have to have and use the ARC channel, or connect an optical cable to hear the sound. This does seem kind of strange, but that is what the Sony documentation says.
 
L

Locutus1

"Video from all devices goes from soundbar to HDMI 1 on TV and audio comes back because HDMI 1 is ARC"
"With soundbar plugged into HDMI 2 I get no sound so I use optical cable."

"Your sound bar should be pulling the audio off of the incoming signal, and sending the video only to the TV. You should not be using your TV speakers at all, so there should not be a need to send the audio signal to the TV. So when you say you get no sound when plugged into HDMI 2 - no sound from the TV speakers would be correct, but you should be getting sound out of your sound bar.

The Audio Return Channel connection will return audio to your soundbar from the TV if you want to hear menu clicks or other sounds that are generated by the TV itself, otherwise there is no need to get audio back from the TV."

You have ARC all wrong. HDMI carries audio and video. The soundbar sends audio and video to the TV. The TV outputs the video to the screen and if the TV's port is ARC it send the audio back to the soundbar. If it's not ARC, you have to use optical to send it to the soundbar. The site you referred me to says what's in my manual. It's the same. It says if you have ARC on the TV and soundbar, connect a cable and you won't need optical. If the TV doesn't have ARC, you will need optical. Both the site and my manual say that. How could I be using the TV speakers if I'm using a soundbar? You have to use one or the other. As I said before if I plug the soundbar into HDMI 1 on the TV, I get sound without the optical so HDMI 1 is ARC even though it doesn't have the ARC label. If I use HDMI 2 on TV I get no sound unless I use optical. That's what it says in the manual. It's also what it says on the site you referred me to:

"If your TV has an HDMI terminal (without ARC) and an optical digital audio out terminal:

For some BRAVIA models and any other TV that has an HDMI IN terminal that does not support ARC, use an HDMI cable (sold separately) to connect the HDMI IN terminal on the TV to the TV OUT (ARC) terminal on the Sound Bar. Then, connect the TV's Optical digital audio output to OPTICAL IN on the Sound Bar (In order to hear TV audio, it is necessary to connect using an optical digital audio cord)."

Notice the last sentence in brackets: "In order to hear TV audio, it is necessary to connect using an optical digital audio cord". TV audio - not just menu clicks. You mention this at the end of your post. So the site you referred me to says what's in my manual. What's the point in sending me to a site that says exactly what I've been saying?

Here's a site called Digital Trends that explains things in great detail with pictures:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/hdmi-arc-explained-works-care/

Scroll down to The Power of ARC. Read and look at the pictures. The left pic is my setup. So this site says the same thing the Sony site and my Sony soundbar manual says. You're wrong. Let it go.
 

Martino

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I am not trying to pick a fight here - but I am not wrong - your soundbar seems to be an exception to the normal rule of connections, and I am glad I put in the time to look up your issue and try to help (NOT), only to be told by a new member I don't know anything about ARC.

You should check your reading comprehension, as from the link you provided it says the same thing:

From the ARC link you provided:

"While audio and video from various sources is going directly to an A/V receiver in this kind of setup, any audio coming from the TV still needs to get to the receiver somehow"

If your TV is the source of the sound (over the air antenna or a smart TV with an internet access) - then you need some way to get that audio to the sound bar - and ARC will work for that. This is not your situation - as your incoming devices do not include over the air or smart TV access - that is what is meant by TV audio, and in your original post, you are not using the TV as an audio source.

"I connected blu-ray player, cable box, and streaming media player to the soundbar"

So not sure what you meant here:

"In order to hear TV audio, it is necessary to connect using an optical digital audio cord". TV audio - not just menu clicks. You mention this at the end of your post. So the site you referred me to says what's in my manual. What's the point in sending me to a site that says exactly what I've been saying?"


Also from your link source:

"Another important point to consider is that the above method of connection is preferable for those who want to utilize the full sound capabilities of DTS and Dolby surround sound from Blu-ray, DVD, and gaming content. In many cases, connecting a component to the TV directly will reduce the signal to two-channel audio, and it may also reduce the sound resolution. Routing the audio signal through the receiver instead will preserve the original, high-definition audio signal, ensuring you get the best possible experience."

Other folks with connection issues may read your post, and end up messing up their connections for your sound bar corner case.

For normal Home theater receivers with sound processing, the audio from the incoming HDMI cables is processed first, and you can decided to pass on the audio to the TV or not. There will be no down conversion (from 7.1, or 5.1 down to 2.1) or other processing being done by the TV if you go through your ARC connection. Because of this issue, it is recommended that you use your receiver as the hub and not your TV and ARC connection. Your link source says the same thing as noted above.

For some reason, from your description your sound bar isn't processing any of the incoming audio from the sources, but rather waiting for your TV to pre-process the signal first.

I was surprised by that, so looked a little deeper and found for your setup, that was a requirement. This strange exception as noted and passed back to you with a documentation link. So in your case, it seems like that may be the only way to hook it up.

It is normally not recommended to use your TV as the hub and use ARC for signal processing - but in your case, it would appear you would be better off doing just that.

If the sound bar is not processing the incoming audio signal, having it as the hub makes no difference, and in your case seems to mess with the video. You are better off hooking all devices directly to the TV, and using an optical cable to output audio only to your sound bar.

You seem to now be happy with your setup - but if video issues show up again, try hooking up your HDMI devices to the TV directly and use a digital audio out to the sound bar.


 
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L

Locutus1

If the sound bar is not processing the incoming audio signal, having it as the hub makes no difference, and in your case seems to mess with the video. You are better off hooking all devices directly to the TV, and using an optical cable to output audio only to your sound bar.
I didn't read all of what you wrote. I'm following the manual, the Sony site and the site I referred you to. They all give the same instructions if you don't have HDMI ARC. If I use HDMI 1 on the TV, I don't need the optical so that must be ARC but the picture flickers on some blurays so I don't use it. There's much less flickering if I use HDMI 2 but no sound. According to everything I've read that means HDMI 2 does not have ARC so I use the optical which is what both sites and the manual say to do. The sound quality is very good. Other people agree who have heard it. Connecting the devices directly to the TV is not good because the TV only has 2 HDMI ports, one of which has flickering on some blurays. I have 3 devices and the soundbar has 3 input ports.

THE SOUNDBAR IS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE FLICKERING.

As I said, I tried a different TV and the flickering was gone. Sound also worked without an optical cable. The soundbar is fine. The video problem is caused by the TV especially HDMI 1. I proved that by connecting the bluray directly to HDMI 1 on the TV. I’ve said all this in previous posts yet you’re still trying to blame the soundbar. Using HDMI 2 I have found only a few seconds of flickering at the start of 1 bluray. I may replace the TV if I find more flickering on other blurays but currently it’s not needed. What you’re telling me contradicts what I’ve read in many places and what I’ve found just by experimenting. It works. Why would I spend time trying to change it? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

your soundbar seems to be an exception to the normal rule of connections, and I am glad I put in the time to look up your issue and try to help
Help what? I set it up according to the manual and it works well that way. I had already tried everything possible before your first post. I had already found the cause of the flickering before your first post. Nothing you have said has made me change anything because I had already tried everything. Everything in this thread since your first post is pointless. The issue was solved. I didn't need your help and I still don't. I'm not interested in anything you're saying. What a waste of time. You're determined to shove your help down my throat no matter what. Stop helping.
 
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