Suggestions to connect Vizio soundbar with my projector

crypticlight

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Hello everyone,

I have a 3D projector (Optoma GT1080) and Vizio soundbar 5.1 audio system (SB3851-D0), and I use Chromecast to cast a lot of content. I have been exploring different options to get best out of this setup given following I/O on each device:

Optoma GT1080:

    2 x HDMI (1.4a 3D support) + MHL v1.2
    Audio Out 3.5mm
    12V trigger
    3D-Sync
    USB service


Vizio SB3851-D0:

    Analog Audio Input - 3.5mm stereo mini jack
    Digital Audio Input - RCA (Coaxial / SPDIF)
    Digital Audio Input - Optical (Toslink)
    USB Input - USB (for .WAV Audio Playback)
    HDMI Input - HDMI
    Output 1 - HDMI ARC


Currently, I have them setup as Chromecast connected to projector on HDMI port. And Soundbar connected to projector through 3.5mm analog audio.

Now, I have 2 questions:

    Is there a better way to connect these without spending a lot.. may be like $50-60 to add a converter/extractor?
    If I understand correctly, current setup sends 2CH audio to the soundbar, however, soundbar does some processing to provide surround sound experience. How do I tell the difference between this processed 5.1 vs real 5.1?

Thanks.
 

crypticlight

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Thank you. This looks like a good solution. Any recommendations for an input selector?
 

crypticlight

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I can't recall if I tried it or not, but I did think about it. Doesn't HDMI (ARC) need ARC port on both sides. Optoma projector doesn't have one so this may not work, not sure though?
 

robert600

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I'm not sure either but I did find this which sounds promising...

'With this particular sound bar, you CAN eliminate the receiver. The sound bar has surround decoding software/hardware just like your Onkyo receiver does. Since this particular Vizio sound bar has an HDMI output, it passes the video signal from the source thru the sound bar and on to the TV.'

where's 'americanaudiophile' when you need him? He knows this stuff way better than me for sure. I would try it though.
 

robert600

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I'm going to take a stab in the dark - bear in mind i have no clue lol.

I'm thinking if the tv/projector has an arc connector you get 2 way communication - if it doesn't than the arc connector on your Visio is essentially an hmdi out connection - which is all you want at the moment ... take it right out to the optoma.

here's what i mean by a 2 way connector. you know how you have 2 hdmi inputs on your optoma. well if one those were ARC and you connected it to the ARC of the VISIO then ... not only would you get the stuff happening you want now (chromecast etc.) but also ... if you were to hook say a blu ray player to the other port of the optoma - the optoma would send the sound to your Visio (this is the bit you're missing out on cause the optoma doesn't have ARC but who cares - you don't need it).

that's my story and i'm sticking to it - at least until i know better lol.
 

crypticlight

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Very interesting! Your story does look believable.. Was that content you read specific to this soundbar model?

Let me give it a shot once I get back from work today.. Will let you know.
 

robert600

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yes ... specific to your model ... that hdmi arc out connector is a very, very nice feature ... I've never seen a sound bar with one! There may be some setting in the menu of the Vizio to tell it to output the video to the connector but I wouldn't be surprised if it just did it automatically.
 

crypticlight

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Holy moly!! This really works, soundbar sent out the video automatically to the projector. Superb!! Thank you for the idea.

Only thing that may not work is (still to be tested) is any other HDMI source connected to projector would not be able to send sound back to soundbar since projector port is non-ARC. But I don't really need that for now.
 

robert600

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Excellent! the sound should be much, much better than with the 3.5 analogue!

No I don't think that projector can send anything out over hdmi. So for another source to go to the projector you'd have to go through the Visio. You could get one of those swichable multiple hdmi input / 1 hdmi output thingies (or just unplug the hdmi from the chromcast and plug it into the bluray player) ... but that's down road! Enjoy the improved sound!
 

robert600

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Just thought I should check something ... you did disconnect that 3.5 connector wire ... right? If you haven't ... be sure and do that. If you then don't get sound, You may have to tell the Visio to use the hdmi input from the chromcast not the 3.5 analogue input (since you had it previously using that). Does that make sense?
 

crypticlight

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Yup, I took care of that.. Changed inputs.. Compared outputs by playing back to back using test videos on youtube and few others and the quality is way way way better. I'll think of getting that input selector later maybe, but for now I'm loving this super quality surround sound! Thanks again.
 

krish_76

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First of all, Thank you very much as this thread was god send for me. I've been scouring the internet and this is the exact set up i have. So, I am planning to get a SB3851-D0 myself for benq-1085ST and looks like this set up will hold good for me.
However, There is another cheaper option i am looking at, the vizio S3851x-C4. I think the only difference here is that it doesn't have HDMI (just these - 3.5mm analog input,1 RCA left/right input,1 digital coaxial input,1 optical input).

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-vizio-bluetooth-sound-system

So, If i am not wrong i can't get a genuine 5.1 with this right? Basically, The my audio device needs to have a HDMI option for my projector to send a 5.1.

Also, i wonder what will happen to my another HDMI input.

1) roku on the projector - This i same as crypticlight's cenario which i know will work once i get the soundbar and plug the roku to the soundbar.
2) laptop to projector (HDMI 2) - How do i get this to work and get a 5.1 audio when i get the soundbar?
 

crypticlight

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I'm glad this thread helped you. Now that I have spent few months with this new setup, here are my 2 cents on your questions -

Yes, you can get 5.1 with S3851x-C4 since the soundbar supports it but that will be analog quality. However, digital (hdmi) quality is way superior. Initially, I was wondering how to verify if audio I'm getting is analog or digital but when I played them back to back, there was such stark difference that one cannot miss it. So, just for that, I would say invest more and get digital quality and once you have heard it, you won't be able go back!! There are other features like DTS TruVolume on my soundbar that worked very poorly on analog and now I just love it on digital!

Now, for the 2nd hdmi - if your projector does not have HDMI/Optical audio output port or HDMI-ARC port, then you cannot get digital audio using your 2nd HDMI. However, you can get HDMI splitter and connect it on soundbar's HDMI port where you can connect multiple devices at once.

Hope this helps.
 

krish_76

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ok, so i got my vizio delivered yesterday and did the set up as below. But i am not sure if sorround sound works fine or not. For certain music, the rear satellite just goes mute and for some time it's a muffled music. But then again for certain videos it works fine. Just want to make sure that there are no issues with my set up and the devices. How does dolby/5.1 play in yours? For eq, if i play the 2nd video the R/L surround channel also seems to come from the bar. I know we have got a budget set up, Just want to make sure that i am getting the best it can do. Also, any idea on the optimum sound setting? the remote is crap so i control it from smartcast app. i have bass,treble,center,sub and surround balance set to 0 and sorround volume set to max...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ttYSpt8oiw - This works, except LFE, expected[/b]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqVCPE8_ntE - L,R surround doesn't o/p anything when the video says so
 

robert600

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Which model of visio did you get and how exactly have you connected to the projector and to whatever it is you are using to play the videos?
 

krish_76

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model - SB3851-D0.
roku goes into hdmi in of the soundbar. and the arc out from soundbar goes to projector HDMI in. satellite speaker at the back of my couch (by the side of couch to be precise, couch is flush against wall).

The only negative thing that i am aware of is my soundbar placement, its just 2-3 inch above the floor cz i got greedy and got myself a 150 inch screen and there is hardly 2 feet left b/n floor and screen bottom
 

robert600

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the wiring set up seems perfect.

I've never used roku but is there a setting in it to tell it to enable 5.1? I'm also not sure how good those utube videos are to test a receiver.

If it were me ... and i wanted to test the receiver - I would plug something that I had a bit more control over into the hdmi input of the receiver. Do you have for instance, a laptop with hdmi out, or a blu ray player or a dvd player with hdmi out?
 
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