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Other Hi-fi and AV junkies anonymous

Discussion in 'General' started by Mister_Tad, 16 Jun 2020.

  1. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Optical input is perfectly fine and always works all the time.

    HDMI ARC is technically better in terms of codecs it supports but real world difference is minimal of any for a soundbar, especially for streaming content, and it doesn’t necessarily work all the time. There is one HDMI port on most TVs designated the ARC.

    FWIW I have two soundbars (Bluesound) that have both HDMI and optical inputs, and use the optical on both.

    Some soundbars have HDMI passthrough, these are much less common but the soundbar has the input devices attached, can switch between them and outputs video to the TV.
     
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  2. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    HDMI ARC (the older standard), from what I can tell, is basically SPDIF over an HDMI cable - meaning it supports 5.1 audio. The newer eARC standard is higher bandwidth, so supports all the fancy stuff like 7.1, Atmos, etc. Most soundbars are not going to be that good at surround sound, so this isn't really a concern.

    I haven't read the whole thing, but this might help: https://www.whathifi.com/advice/hdmi-arc-and-hdmi-earc-everything-you-need-to-know

    If you do use ARC/eARC then you should also get HDMI-CEC support - meaning you should be able control the soundbar's volume from your TV remote. But HDMI-CEC can be extremely... flaky. I've never had an issue with it, but on the other hand @Mister_Tad and others have had loads of problems with CEC doing weird things (switching inputs when you don't want it to, turning devices on/off when you don't want it to, etc).

    I use eARC on my soundbar, but that's because mine supports Dolby Atmos. It's not exactly a "true Atmos experience" (although I've been extremely impressed with the surround performance), but it'd bug the absolute crap out of me to have a supported feature that I wasn't using.
     
  3. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    That might be overstating how problematic I’ve found it… in my experience it’s something that’s worked just fine most of the time, and I’ve never had major issues with it on a simple setup (I.e. one source, simple on/off and volume).

    On a setup with multiple sources I’ve found it to occasionally screw up, switch to something for seemingly no good reason, turn something on/off I didn’t want etc. Not all the time, but enough to piss me off, or more notably piss my daughter or wife off and come to me and ask me to fix it.

    IMO “most of the time” isn’t good enough. Hence my derision.

    Stopped using it for such setups in favour of just switching sources manually and they were fine with that, but use C4 for control for pretty much everything now.
     
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  4. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    Honestly, the “wife acceptance factor” is one of the most important considerations for me these days! :grin:
     
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  5. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Yeah, the CEC stuff annoys the absolute piss out of me. It mostly works on my receiver, but if I do something brazen like watch a bluray and then turn the player off and all the other stuff, when I next turn the TV/receiver on, boom. On goes the bluray player. Only solution is to turn the player off, turn the xbox on, switch the receiver inputs, and turn it all off again.

    I'm sure he's going to buy whatever he finds in his budget, but I was just hoping to get some way to finding brands that don't make total dogshit soundbars should he bring it up again
     
  6. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    I must be one of the few people around here who’s never really had a problem with CEC :lol:.

    To be fair though, I do have a pretty simple device chain. No AV receiver and the only gaming device hooked up to the TV is a Windows PC.

    I guess in general the “usual” well-known brands are probably a safe bet: Panasonic, Philips, LG, Sony, Samsung, Sonos, etc.
     
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  7. lancer778544

    lancer778544 Multimodder

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    Same here actually though again, it's just a simple Samsung TV and Samsung soundbar for the parents. The one remote control for volume, channel changing and turning everything off is the main reason for going CEC over optical for them really.
     
  8. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    There’s definitely a time and a place for it.

    I’ve actually switched back to CEC from IR on a TV+AppleTV combo, swapped from the old style to new style remote and the blaster on the new one seems to control the volume inconsistently (press the button and nothing happens for a second and then volume changes several levels) for some reason, with CEC one click = one volume level.
     
  9. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    **Heresy Warning**
    My aged 2.1 PC speakers have died and I have been looking for a solution with cabinets sum 150mm high due to desk design.

    I happened upon an old Yamaha centre speaker in the attic and am going to try is as suggested by @Vault-Tec as a monitor stand and mono 'soundbar'.

    I have a small amp that I can use, so the whole thing will be a free experiment.

    I just read this online "A cheap'n'cheerful way to get a mono output is to drive your single speaker bridged between the R+ and L- outputs. This will sum the two audio signals in phase to give the correct mono signal."
    Is this OK to do?

    I know that there will be numerous better solutions, but this is here and at no cost!
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    You may be able to mix stereo into mono with some sort of adapter? That way you won’t miss out on sounds.
     
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  11. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    I was digging into this further up the thread. From what I could gather, if he's struggling with having enough ports or enough of the right ones (eg. HDMI 2.1 for consoles), then don't forget:
    ...so if he was to use the ARC as a sound/CEC channel he needs the soundbar (or the TV) to be accepting enough device inputs for his uses.
    This is true, but apparently relies on the TV to output that codec via eARC and for your audio device to be able to use it properly (which a standard 2.1 soundbar most likely won't be).
     
  12. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    No. Bridging works when the signal on both channels is the same, trying to do it with a stereo signal will result in all manner of wrongness.

    Bridging also halves the effective impedance and can cook an amp that’s not up to the task.
     
  13. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    whilst ive got the ceiling down ive been thinking about how i want to build lighting in the room so it can become both a living room and a "film night" upon command but i have'nt got a clue on where to start on implementing it.

    anyone have any recommended articles or stuff i can look at over the xmas period?
     
  14. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Richer Sounds are actually quite helpful in this respect (or at least the chap on the phone with me was, don't know if that was just lucky).
     
  15. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    Hmm might have a chat with them when I go to pick up the ceiling speakers in the new year
     
  16. Yaka

    Yaka Multimodder

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    phillips hue or lifx are the most used lights for this both work with alexa and logitech harmony
     
    Last edited: 24 Dec 2023
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  17. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    Outside of specialist home cinema stuff, I’d probably say Hue is about the best for “smart” lighting systems. Has a lot of integrations with other systems/services, and tends to keep software/firmware up to date.

    Pricey, though. If you were going to install spot lights, for example, a pair of RGB GU10s would cost you £60: https://www.johnlewis.com/philips-hue-white-and-colour-ambiance-wireless-lighting-led-colour-changing-light-bulb-with-bluetooth-5-7w-gu10-bulb-pack-of-2/p4749499 EDIT: And that’s without the controller hub.
     
  18. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    So here's a thing that's nagging at me - if I wire my phone into a speaker and crank the ds on the phone, I assume (rightly or wrongly) that I'm running the battery down more as I increase the volume since it must be amplifying the output internally.

    But if I connect to a Bluetooth speaker and turn the phone up, does this run the phone down any quicker? I'm thinking not, since it's just "connected and sending a musical datastream" on the basis you can't (can you?? Surely not) amplify over Bluetooth.

    Right, right?

    PS. Marshall have shiit customer service but make great kit.
     
    Last edited: 24 Dec 2023
  19. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Another vote for Hue, it’s flexible, priced well, integrates with basically everything.

    Figure in some indirect lighting for cinema use - an uplit tray ceiling or coving, or some floor level lighting out of view bounced off a wall or two if you don’t want to build anything.

    Your “cinema mode” would bring the lights down but also turn off any direct light sources.

    You can get the same capabilities for much cheaper with things like Shelly, but you don’t want to use their UI, and would really need a master of masters to do any reasonable integration.
     
  20. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat. New Improved Version.

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    You can certainly adjust the level of a digital output but, you are indeed not amplifying so, it shouldn't affect phone power consumption.
     
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