HDMI connection conundrum

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  • HDMI connection conundrum
  • IHN
    Member

    We have

    – a Sony telly with two HDMI inputs, both CEC enabled
    – a Phillips soundbar with two HDMI ports, one of which is ARC enabled, the other isn’t
    – a Sky box
    – a Chromecast for Netflixing

    Currently, the only way I’ve found to have the soundbar playing the sound from either source is to have both of them feeding a HDMI switch, and from there to the soundbar and from there to the telly.

    So: source -> HDMI switch -> (IN) non-arc HDMI on soundbar -> (OUT) arc HDMI on Soundbar -> telly

    This works, but is a bit of a pain as the switch is a bit flaky and we have to get off the sofa to switch between sources (I know, the horror).

    Is there any way I can rejig the connections to make it all controllable from the sofa, using the Sky remote (which will control everything telly wise ad the volume on the soundbar) and/or the soundbar remote?

    I’ve tried putting both sources straight into the telly and using an optical cable from the telly to the soundbar, but I can never the get the sound in sync.

    Ideas?

    johndoh
    Member

    I was going to suggest optical but that isn’t working for you.

    However, does the optical option actually automatically switch the soundbar on and play through it as you want it to?

    IHN
    Member

    However, does the optical option actually automatically switch the soundbar on and play through it as you want it to?

    I can’t remember, but I’m happy to switch the soundbar on with the remote of needs be

    johndoh
    Member

    BTW, I plug all my devices into the TV then use the TVs optical output to my soundbar and it all works flawlessly (Virgin box, PS3 and Wii connected to the TV and all play through the soundbar (which switches on automatically when it picks up a signal via the optical cable).

    andyl
    Member

    strange that you lose sync. Optical to an AVR was the normal way to do it before HDMI cables carrying audio.

    IHN
    Member

    What’s your budget?

    £0.

    I want to rejig my current set-up, not buy anything else.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I think you’re shit out, then. The only other thing I can think of would be a less crap HDMI switcher, and that’ll cost more than £0 as well.

    What’s the sync issue? Are they both out of sync, or is it one or the other?

    kelron
    Member

    Does the soundbar have some kind of HDMI passthrough (not sure what the right term is)?

    I have Xbox > soundbar < TV < PS3 all connected with HDMI cables, and a bunch of other stuff connected to the TV by other means.

    I then choose either HDMI in (Xbox) or ARC (TV or anything connected) with the soundbar remote. It sends the Xbox picture to the TV and sound to the soundbar.

    Edit: just looked up what ARC means and that appears to be what I’m doing with my setup. If both your TV and soundbar support ARC you want to use that HDMI port to connect them, then other devices can be connected to either the bar or TV.

    IHN
    Member

    I have Xbox > soundbar < TV < PS3 all connected with HDMI cables, and a bunch of other stuff connected to the TV by other means.

    I then choose either HDMI in (Xbox) or ARC (TV or anything connected) with the soundbar remote. It sends the Xbox picture to the TV and sound to the soundbar.

    Hmm, maybe I try Sky > (HDMI IN) soundbar (HDMI ARC) < TV < Chromecast

    What’s the sync issue? Are they both out of sync, or is it one or the other?

    To be honest, I can’t remember. Deffo the Chromecast was out of sync, can’t remember about the Sky box.

    edlong
    Member

    What’s the sync issue? Are they both out of sync, or is it one or the other?

    Really hoping the answer that comes back for this is “yes”.

    I might be misunderstanding this one, but is the (not quite £0) solution to the “not having to get off your arse” problem to use a switch that has a remote? I got one from Maplin that iirc wasn’t expensive…

    johndoh
    Member

    All that sounds like it overthinks things – use the optical output from the TV and it’ll pick the sound up anyway surely? I don’t have to do a thing to make my set-up work other than switch the tellybox on – the soundbar automatically switches on and outputs sound from whatever source I am using (all my external devices plug in to the TV via HDMI or (in the case of the old Wii) RGB+audio). The soundbar also switches off automatically after a few minutes when it detects there is no source input when I switch device/s off.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Hmm, maybe I try Sky > (HDMI IN) soundbar (HDMI ARC) < TV < Chromecast

    That sounds plausible actually, yes. Try that.

    Milkie
    Member

    If the audio sync is out, usually there is an option hidden in advanced sound settings under Digital Out or something similar, which will let you adjust the audio latency.

    If your TV has ARC HDMI, that should be connected to your SoundBar ARC. Everything else “should” then output the audio wherever you point it.

    IHN
    Member

    Okay, so, an update after last night’s fiddling

    I tried:

    Sky > (HDMI IN) soundbar (HDMI ARC) < TV < Chromecast

    No joy. Sound from Sky was fine, no sound from Chromecast

    I then tried:

    Sky > TV HDMI
    Chromecast > TV HDMI
    TV > Soundbar via optical cable

    Sound from Chromecast was noticeably out, sound from Sky was a tiny bit out. There’s a sound delay tinkering feature on the soundbar, but I don’t want to be messing with that every time I switch source. There’s no latency fiddling option on the telly.

    By that stage wifey was getting a bit peeved, so I left it.

    Tonight’s final attempt is:

    Chromecast > (HDMI IN) soundbar (HDMI ARC) < TV < Sky

    on the probably naive assumption that the Chromecast input signal somehow doesn’t support CEC/ARC, but the Sky one does.

    If that doesn’t work, it’s back to Plan A, and occasionally having to get off my arse to switch sources.

    retro83
    Member

    Not sure how much help this is gonna be, but this is the exact reason i have an AV receiver. It has lots of inputs and you can set per-input latency and it automatically handles all the different sound formats, it works with arc for devices that support it, etc.

    The problem you’ll have I suppose is connecting the soundbar (assuming that’s what you want to use) to the amp. Maybe some have optical out? Dunno. I use hifi speakers with mine.

    stevehine
    Member

    In my experience ARC/CEC can be a bit of a mixed bag; in my previous setup it worked intermittently and with my current tv/amp they simply won’t connect at all so I’ve had to go back to an optical cable between the tv/amp

    On the flip side; I’ve not got any sync issues – but I don’t have any devices connected via the TV; just the built in apps (netflix/iplayer etc)

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