Please advise on Sound Bar Purchase and Setup to use with TiVoHD

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jjberger2134, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

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    Hi - I am thinking about adding a Soundbar to my very basic setup. I have a TiVoHD connected via HDMI to my Samsung LCD TV (circa 2009). I also have a DVD player (standard not Blue Ray) connected via HDMI.

    I have been reading about Soundbars and I am hoping to add one to enhance the very basic sound quality of the TV. I do not have the room for a full home theater setup, nor do I want the expense of one.

    I have narrowed down my list to a few sound bars in the $200-$300 range, but it appears that I can't program the TiVo remote to control the volume on my leading candidate - Vizio VHT215. Basically, I went to the TiVo settings menu and under "AV" there is no listing for Vizio. Thus, it appears to me that the sound bar would not be able to be controlled by the TiVo peanut remote. All I really want to be able to just use the TiVo remote that everyone in the family is used to. I don't have a Harmony remote and if I need a second remote just for volume, I think my wife will kill me.

    So a few questions - first, do people have the Vizio model and what do they think of it? Second, can the Vizio be setup with the TiVo remote - am I missing something? Finally, any other recommendation on Soundbars to fulfill my requirements above?

    Thanks.
     
  2. dishrich

    dishrich Active Member

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    You'd probably be better off with the Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25 soundbar; I just put one in for a client that just needed something simple - but that sounds good.
    I also just bought one off WOOT (refurbed) last week for $140 for myself - but you should be able to find one online for less than the $300 they sell for at Best Buy.

    This one does NOT even come with it's own remote - because it learns the IR codes from ANY IR remote itself. You can program the volume/mute & input selection with your existing (Tivo) remote - OR the TV remote itself. It has an optical, & a L/R phono & 3.5mm stereo analog inputs. You can simply run 1 optical cable from your LCD TV to the soundbar & you're all set; the (audio) inputs would automatically change when you switch them on the TV itself.

    http://www.bostonacoustics.com/US/P...ics_US)&SubCatId=Soundbars(BostonAcoustics_US)
     
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I have no personal experience with sound bars but had a friend by one when she got her first HD TV earlier this year. She ended up getting a Panasonic Plasma, blu-ray player, & sound bar. Apparently having them be one brand allows her to use the TVs remote for all three devices.

    So I would check and see if Samsung makes one that would be controlled by your TV. A 2009 TV might be too old but you never now.

    Good luck,
     
  4. MeInDallas

    MeInDallas Member

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    I have 2 Vizio sound bars. They are great for the money, and have an awesome sound, but unfortunately I have never been able to control them with my Tivo remotes. I was actually surprised at the sound that comes out of these sound bars, thats why I got the second one. I usually dont buy anything other than Sony products when it comes to TV's, but the speakers on flat screen TV's are horrible these days. The Vizio sound bars were cheap at Walmart, and the reviews were really good on them. At Walmart you can return almost anything even without a receipt, thats why I went for them. If you're looking for a sound bar you can control with the Tivo remote, you probably need to look at another brand.
     
  5. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation on the BA TVee25. I will take a look at that one, but it may be a bit large. Samsung does make a soundbar but the reviews that I have seen are terrible. The Vizio seems to get the best all around reviews (especially for the money). I really can't buy it though given the need for two remotes. That is very unfortunate.

    Any other ideas?
     
  6. dishrich

    dishrich Active Member

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    Go to a Best Buy & look at it for yourself; I think you'll find it's NOT that large in person. The soundbar itself is not that big, & also has wall hanging slots, if you would need that.
    Matter of fact, I was surprised how small the sub is - & even MORE surprised by just HOW much bass that little cube puts out! I turned up the volume on it only about 1/3; it definitely is capable of rattling the floor! :D
    Obviously you can also be confident that something made by BA is NOT going to be junk, either. ;)

    Also another soundbar brand that works (learns) ANY other remote: (but I believe these are slightly larger than the BA's)

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0036ORATQ...&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&ref=asc_df_B0036ORATQ
     
  7. poppagene

    poppagene User

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    Why not get a tivo glo remote and use the learning feature to mimic the volume up and volume down from the vizio sound bar remote.
     
  8. swerver

    swerver Member

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    That's what I was just going to say, the tivo slide remote can learn commands from another remote. Not sure if that works with the regular remote.
     
  9. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

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    Hmm...interesting idea. Currently, I have a standard remote and I don't think that it is programmable. This is something that I can look into. Do you know if the GLO is programmable to any IR device or just specific ones from a list?
     
  10. poppagene

    poppagene User

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    The tivo glo should be able to learn from any IR remote. In the case of learning from a device, you need to learn both the volume up and volume down seperately.
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    It can learn most but not all. I've had a couple of IR frequencies it would not learn.
     
  12. dishrich

    dishrich Active Member

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    OK, so now instead of just spending $$$ on the BA soundbar, he has to then spend more $$$ on a new Tivo glo remote (w/a Vizio bar) - & this makes more sense because??? :confused: :confused:
     
  13. Torgo

    Torgo Member

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    I've been looking at soundbars as well, and my concern w/ the Vizio brand is that it seems that almost weekly one of the dealsites is selling refurbished Vizio soundbars.
    I realize refurbs are fine, but when you see a lot of a specific brand/model, I wonder if their failure rate is higher than others...

    (Like I said..just a concern, I'm sure we'll hear about everyone who has one that works fine for the next week..TCF style)
     
  14. swerver

    swerver Member

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    Well, if you have a tivo you should have a slide remote anyway, it's great. Also it's only $40. How much extra is that BA setup again? It's just an option anyway, he can decide what makes the most sense for him. :up:
     
  15. MeInDallas

    MeInDallas Member

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    I wondered about that myself when I bought mine, I noticed the same thing about all the refurbs listed everywhere. I dont know if all soundbars are this way, it was the first issue I had ran across when I got the first one, but the Vizio soundbar will only work if you have a PCM output on your DVR or TV. You know where you go into the Tivo and change the Dolby output to PCM. My TV's do not have that option, so if I'm just using the TV with like an antenna and no Tivo, then the soundbar is completely useless. I wonder if this resulted in a high return rate of these soundbars. That was just my guess about it. So far I've had good luck with mine, but like everything else, that could change in a matter of hours. ;)
     
  16. poppagene

    poppagene User

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    A used glo or slide remote on ebay or amazon isn't a lot to get a remote that works for the purpose. You should'nt have to limit the soundbar you buy by what works with the remote that came with your tivo.
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Well, I can't speak to the sound bar issue, but in general one can obtain a better system by spending more money. It is not always true, but one usually gets the quality for which one pays. Certainly in the case of the glo remote, I can say I have never found a better dedicated remote and almost never found a better remote of any sort - including some very expensive universal remotes. It's well worth the money just for its performance, suitability for use with any sound device aside. I think it likely the OP would be pleased with the glo remote, regardless of what sound bar he might decide to purchase.
     
  18. takeshi

    takeshi Member

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    "Makes sense" is subjective. If the OP thinks the BA is too big (and therefore not relevant) and wants to stick with Vizio and one remote then it makes sense. Don't just assume that your preferences are universal.

    If you're going to use refurbs as an indicator if failure rate then you need to consider the volume of the company's sales -- not just the number of refurbs.

    Yet another subjective matter. I have a Tivo and have no need for a slide remote. Be careful using "you" where you should be using "I".

    In general but I wouldn't recommend operating solely on price. Shop on whatever happens to be better (one of those highly subjective words) for you considering needs/preference/budget/etc. In addition to not always being true there tends to be a curve instead of a linear relationship where the return on investment diminishes as price increases.
     
  19. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I have a Sony soundbar from four years ago that works very well. It handles, DD, DTS and 7.1 PCM. It has worked very well. I'm sure they have a newer one now and it might even handle DD+ or better. That is my only complaint. Most soundbars don't handle the advanced codecs, it would be nice if mine at least handled DD+, but that was not an option several years ago with the sound bars.
     
  20. Torgo

    Torgo Member

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