Dec 3, 2015
Hi folks,

Samsung LED TV UN60F7100 1 HDMI, 1 ARC HDMI, 1 optical
Samsung Sound Bar HW-J8500 (9.1 channel), 1 HDMI, 1 ARC HDMI, 1 optical, 1 AUX in
Samsung Blu Ray BD-J7500 (7.1 channel) 2 HDMI, 1 optical, 7.1 analog outs
Comcast HD DVR (5.1 channel)

When I purchased the sound bar and blu ray player, the salesman said to connect a digital optical cable from the TV to the sound bar and connect the blu ray player and the Comcast box to the TV with HDMI cables. I did that and it does get sound to the sound bar from all the devices.

The problem I see with that set up is that I believe the TV only outputs stereo. So am I losing the surround sound from the Comcast box and the blu ray player? Or does the TV pass through all the channels to the sound bar? Unfortunately, the Samsung manuals are the farthest thing from useful and their customer support is about the worst I've ever experienced. Then when I went looking elsewhere for answers I found this amazing resource.

Could someone tell me the best way to connect these devices so I can get the best picture AND take full advantage of the 5.1 audio channels of the Comcast HD DVR and the 7.1 audio channels of the Samsung blu ray player? Are standard HDMI and optical cables sufficient or do I need any special type of cables.

And finally, I'd also like to minimize the number of remotes I need to use if that's at all possible. All three Samsung remotes are Anynet capable but I don't really understand what Anynet does or how to set it up. I do not believe that the Comcast remote has Anynet though.

I hope there are some kind souls here that can give me the guidance I so desperately need.

Thanks very much!

If you had a surround sound system you would be losing something if the TV doesn't output surround sound, With the soundbar there might not be any difference.
First check the TV audio menu and see if you can change the output mode. If not then you could try connecting the optical cable directly to the BD player. If you do notice an improvement then you would change your connections.
You could connect the BD player to the soundbar with HDMI. Connect the DVR to the soundbar with optical.
Connect the soundbar to the TV (use the HDMI ARC input so you have a way to get sound from the TV to the soundbar for the internal sources like the tuner or smart functions). Connect the DVR to the TV with HDMI.
The Samsung Anynet is probably their version of CEC. Might not work with connections set up the new way, You would still need the DVR remote for sure.
I second using a Logitech Harmony remote to make the setup easier to use. If you can spring for one that operates via RF or WiFi, rather than IR, it will operate more reliably. These require a box to go at the equipment.
You can use the Harmony app over WiFi.
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