I have a new mancavebarn outbuilding served via wifi from house. I have a surround sound system and receiver, just installed a TV and soundbar. I planned to use the TV as the main source of video, and it works using ARC with the receiver, but there is no way to ARC to the soundbar and I am using the optical cable which means I have to separately adjust the volume on the receiver and soundbar.
Is there a better way to connect (maybe splitting the HDMI ARC out of the receiver and separetly connecting to the soundbar and TV?
I don't think they were thinking of splitting ARC when it was conceived and the distribution amp won't provide for that anyway. Unless you have an unusual arrangement you don't use a soundbar with an AV receiver and speakers at the same time. It just screws up the surround sound.
If you are trying to use the soundbar as a center speaker then connecting it to the TV won't do that. You would have to connect it to the center channel output of the receiver. You could use a speaker to line level converter to provide an output that can connect to the aux input of the soundbar. After you set the level of the soundbar once you then use the receiver remote to control the volume.