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sound bars

by Packers54 / November 5, 2013 1:16 PM PST

I purchased a Yamaha sound bar recently for my bedroom and it's connected to my Toshiba TV via an optical cable. While the sound is good it isn't true Dolby Digital surround sound , it's most likely only 2 channel stereo . To achieve the Dolby Digital I would have to individually connect both my blue-ray player and my Direct TV receiver audio outs to my optical in sound bar. The problem is the only out ports on both my Blu-ray player and the DirecTV receiver are digital outs, not optical outs. What I would like to know is if it would really make that much of a difference in sound quality in a sound bar to purchase digital/optical splitters to connect it those Dolby Digital surround sources? I would have to get two of them ( I cannot find any splitters with two digital ins and two optical out ports in one unit). and each splitter would need a plug in for their individual power sources. Once again, would this make that much a difference in audio quality for a sound bar?

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Clarification Request
Just a WAG...
by Willy / November 6, 2013 4:14 AM PST
In reply to: sound bars

Some TVs may an optional audio selection directly on the remote control. It allows to select what audio feature you want and of course, select it. It may have what you want but the required sound bar and/or connections need to be correct too. Thus, it can be selected properly but "NO" audio is outputted which may infer either no true ability or no path for that selection. Understand, all these feature become a PITA and having the correct config setup is just as important besides the h/w based features needed. In other words *ALL* has to be right and with all these setting, things can go awry. Just my 2-cents -----Willy Happy

All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2013 1:53 PM PST
In reply to: sound bars

Almost all sound bars are stereo and the pass through from a TV is almost always stereo with few exceptions. This is well discussed but let's hear more.

You would get your 5.1 if you had a 5.1 sound system and went from source to your 5.1 system. Passing it through a TV often knocks it down to stereo.

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Well, let's look at the physics . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 5, 2013 8:59 PM PST
In reply to: sound bars

If you have speakers in front of you how do you expect to get sound from the rear? Just won't happen.

Optical and/or digital coax signals cannot be split like cable or speaker wires.

I used to sell these things. I know how they work. They're a rip off for what they're hyped to do. If you want, as you say, true surround sound, you need more speakers. That's just the way it is.

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by Packers54 / November 6, 2013 1:17 AM PST

Thank you for your information about the coaxial digital to optical converters. While I know the sound bar would never compete with my "true" 5.1 sound system I have in the living room, I just wanted to know if it was worth it to get that last green indicator light (Dolby-DTS) to light up on the sound bar. The sound is still much better than the cheap internal TV speakers, and with your information on the lack of value of converters, I will end my pursuit in this matter. Thank you again.

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One more Reply
by Packers54 / November 6, 2013 3:42 AM PST

I just checked a response to my same inquiry on a AVS form and a guy said it would make a tremendous difference hooking up the sources directly to the sound bar if it was a Yamaha 101. Which it is.....but if the coaxial digital to optical converters are crap like you say, once again, I think I'll stay with the current hookup.

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