Question

Bought Dad a Play Bar but.......

  • 3 February 2018
  • 8 replies
  • 481 views

I bought my Dad a play bar for Christmas/birthday/fathers day. He loves it. It is the first piece to replace his old, terribly outdated and terrible surround sound system. He hooked it up with no issues. But......he has his cable box, Xbox and dvd player to hook up to it. How do you control the volume of the Xbox or any other device? I was looking to get him a simple receiver to plug into for all of his HDMI devices and then have the optical out of the receiver to the sound bar. He does not want all of the cables hanging from the back of his TV because its mounted on the wall.
He just purchased the sub and wanted to get Play 1s for the rear to round out his "theater".

What are your suggestions on getting all of this together in the most cost effective way to have any source come through the Sonos system?

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8 replies

All the devices should be connected to his TV set with HDMI. The TV set then outputs the sound to the PLAYBAR. You set up the TV's remote to control the volume of the TV. Since all devices are connected to the TV, then the volume for each one is controlled by the remote for the TV.
All the devices should be connected to his TV set with HDMI. The TV set then outputs the sound to the PLAYBAR. You set up the TV's remote to control the volume of the TV. Since all devices are connected to the TV, then the volume for each one is controlled by the remote for the TV.

So i want to skip connecting to the TV part all together. He has the TV on the wall and does not want cable hanging from the TV or run a bunch of cables in the wall (again).

I found the below on Amazon. Its an HDMI switch that includes the Fiber Optic out. I also have a Harmony 650 smart remote that can then control the volume of the play bar.

So my question is, is this a work around or substitute from connecting all of the HDMI cables to the TV and running the fiber optic to the play bar? The remote will control the sound and the switch controls the video to the TV.

https://smile.amazon.com/Monoprice-Blackbird-Digital-Coaxial-Optical/dp/B01GCGKLNQ/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518296163&sr=8-13&keywords=monoprice+hdmi+switch

https://smile.amazon.com/Logitech-Harmony-Infrared-Universal-Programmable/dp/B004OVECU0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1518296641&sr=1-1&keywords=harmony+650&dpID=41Ih-lhLb6L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
Never used one myself, but if you peruse a few of the posts in the Home Theater section of this forum, you'll see there are a lot of people who use something like this. I'd think it would work, and as a Logitech user myself since they first came out, I know that should work.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I'd say it's a substitute. I used to use one, but mainly because my TV didn't provide a 5.1 audio output, so I used an HDMI switch with optical output to get around that. I added the switch to my Harmony system and had it change HDMI inputs on the switch instead of the TV for my different activities. In my use, it was a workaround to get 5.1 audio since my TV didn't offer it. So I got the audio out before it went to the TV. In your case, you don't want all the cables visible going up to the TV, so it's a substitute for the TV's built-in capabilities.

Just want to point out that even though that Monoprice switch says it supports 4K, it's only HDMI 1.4, so it can only do 4K at 30fps. Most newer 4K devices need HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 to function in 4K. Just something to note if the TV is a 4K model from the past couple of years.
Userlevel 7
I use the Octava - HD41-ARC. Well worth the $200+ USD price. See it here: http://www.octavainc.com/Product%20Solutions.html

I have xBox, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Google Fiber TV connected to it. Optical out from TV to Playbar for all sources. The xBox and Playstation are my Blu-Ray players.
Userlevel 6
Badge +15
If you use the TV to control the system, make sure that your TV remote controls volume on the optical out - not all TVs do. My LG with WebOS 3.0 does not.
Harmony remotes are your friend 🙂
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Even if you have all the HDMI hooked to switch and the optical from switch to the TV. You still use the TV remote and the Playbar will still respond to the TV remote (even though the TV audio is actually not being used). The TV remote still sends IR signal to the Playbar for it to adjust its volume. Switch or no switch it works the same.