Thanks for your enthusiasm, and I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying your set.
The HT-BD8200 was designed with the slim mounts that are available on the 2009 product lines. Not that it can't be used, but the ultra-thin designs of the panels this year are designed to be complimented with the HT-BD8200. This explains why the design is thin.
Your suspicions are correct in that it may not work for your situation unless the player is mounted that disc length's away under the unit. I'm not aware of any customizing brackets, as the brackets that come with it are the only ones I know are available today. So "building out" seems to be the best option, at least in this scenario.
The output of the television - through optical - is downconverted to 2.1, with the exception of the tuner input for the television. Since the soundbar is one unit (well, with the sub, of course), all of the audio inputs would technically be 2.1 anyway. The processing is what would allow you to get the Virtual Surround, and all that is done inside of the HT-BD8200. Even a 5.1 audio signal would be down-converted, processed and then sent through the speakers.
The way I read the specifications on the HT-BD8200, it doesn't appear to have an ethernet port. If it DOES, then yes, you may be able to use a splitter - well, a "switch" - to connect multiple devices, which also leaves room for future upgrades. And they can be relatively inexpensive. But if it doesn't have eithernet, then the WIS09ABGN dongle (@ $80) will get you connected wirelessly.
I'd have to wait to work with the player itself to talk more about the streaming media capabilities. I'm hoping it will be more user friendly - as it should play more formats than the television - again, I have to work on on it.
The LNxxA950 units - as spectacular as they are - don't have the necessary processing or memory to be able to process, store or stream widgets. The technology wasn't available last year for the televisions, so unfortunately, I can say with much certainty that the widgets will not be available for your television.
Oh, and to get to your other question, I believe it may have to re-read and re-populate the entire databank. It seemed to do that to me, on a much lesser scale with much less content, but that was my impression.
Does that help? Again, thanks for the upbeat post. If I can help further, let me know - and I'll work on getting that network information and ethernet confirmation.
Dear Mr. Samsung,
I currently own a LN46A950 and am absolutely loving it!! I have been holding out for the Samsung HT-BD8200 Sound Bar to arrive and it looks like it should be in my local Best Buy soon (I have yet to see one in person). I can't believe I haven't watched a Bluray on this Uber-TV as of yet!!!!The wife doesn?t want me to turn our living room into a ?Man Cave? by setting up a standard surround system with multiple components and speakers?so this seems like a great compromise. Plus I think I have her ?sold? on the idea. I do have a few questions I was hoping you (or anyone else) might be able to help me out with:
I?ve mounted the LN46A950 on the wall with a tilting bracket. It extends about 6 inches from the wall. My intent was to mount the Sound Bar directly below the TV in order to hide the wires behind it and avoid having to cut more holes in the drywall in order to ?snake? the wires a mere 4-6 inches. Considering the ?slot loading? design and that the Sound Bar protrudes 1.85 inches from the wall (according to the Sammy website) , I have a feeling this mounting option may not work because I won?t be able to actually load discs because the TV will be in the way?..your thoughts? I may have to just ?build out? the Sound Bar with a 2 x 4 in order to make it flush with the TV. Or are there any customized mounting brackets that Samsung makes or aftermarket mounts that you are aware of??...I'd really hate to have a hunk a wood behind my system in order to make it usable.
I was planning on running a optical cable from the TV to the Sound Bar in order to hear audio from my cable box. I thought I read on another post that the TV actually converts audio from 5:1 to 2:1 stereo. If this is correct, would the Sound Bar function in Virtual Surround as it is intended if configured this way??...or should I run the optical cable directly from the cable box to the Sound Bar (bypassing the TV) in order to achieve the best possible sound?
I have the TV hardwired to my Wi-Fi router via an Ethernet-LAN cable in order to access the info link service and access pictures and video located on a 2 TB NAS Server/hard drive. I?d like to take advantage of the Ethernet-LAN capabilities (Netflix, Pandora, Home Media....etc)of the Sound Bar as well, but really don?t want to snake another cable 2 floors. Can I simply use an ?Ethernet Splitter? ($1.99 @ Radio Shack) in order to ?split? the current cable behind the TV and connect both the TV and the Sound Bar to my Wi-Fi router.....will it work? I realize I could use the Wi-Fi dongle and go wireless for either the TV or Sound Bar, but would prefer to hardwire if possible and if it would only cost me a few bucks for the splitter and short cables?why not!?!?! If it won't work, I may just "dongle" the TV for infolink and hardwire the Sound Bar for everything else considering the data needs for streaming video, music....etc
Getting home video, pictures, music etc to play on my TV has been a challenge??I?ve had to create ?mklinks? http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7813_102-0.html?messageID=2985906&tag=commProfileMain;profileBot#2985906 in order to access info on my NAS server from the TV, plus my laptop has to be p n running. Also it won?t play most of my music files due to compatibility issues. It?s not very user friendly and because of this, I don?t use the feature that often. The Sound Bar also appears to have the capability to do this as well (I thnk). Is this feature provided through the PC Share Manager software similar to the TV??...or is it something new?...with a better interface and hopefully more user friendly.
Curious to know if there has been any firmware updates on the LN46A950 regarding the widget feature? I looked on the Samsung Website and didn?t see anything listed??could this be something available in the future as a simple software upgrade?
Sorry for writing a ?bible of a post??but I figured I hit you with everything in a single post.
Samsung fan for life!!