TIVO - Soundbar Recommendation

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ghuido, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Jul 1, 2014 #1 of 29
    ghuido

    ghuido New Member

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    I am working through updating the AV System I have in the basement.

    One the items I am looking at is a soundbar, really don't want a lot of speakers and wires since it is also going to be a child play room.

    I searched the community, and found a lot of questions on Soundbars and TIVO Remotes Codes.

    Like to ask the question of what is a really good soundbar people recommend in the $500-$750 price range.

    I was originally looking at SONOS but wanted to keep an open mind.

    This is a link that had some recommendations i saw

    http://www.whathifi.com/news/best-soundbars-to-buy-in-2013
     
  2. Jul 1, 2014 #2 of 29
    eric102

    eric102 Member

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    I'm using the JBL SB400 sound bar and subwoofer in a large master bedroom with a TiVo mini and it really fills the room up with nice quality sound. I don't know if JBL codes are built into the basic remote but a TiVo slide remote (which I use) learns them easily.
     
  3. Jul 2, 2014 #3 of 29
    ghuido

    ghuido New Member

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    Thanks I looked at the JBL this morning looks pretty good.

    I saw it can learn the TV Volume and Mute so that answer one question I had.

    The other is, what about Power ON.

    Can turning the TV On send the MDMI EC command to turn the soundbar?

    My current set up upstairs if the TV Is turned on the Receiver comes out of standby.

    Hate to give the S.O. the issue of having to turn on both of them.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2014 #4 of 29
    eric102

    eric102 Member

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    The TiVo learning remotes can turn on/off multiple devices at the same time.

    I'm using optical out from my TV so have no idea if the TV's HDMI control could turn on the JBL soundbar. I think the specs say it should but in my experience with other the devices in the past that's no guarantee it will work.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2014 #5 of 29
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I use a Sony Soundbar. I like the Sonys because for years they were one of the few that accepted 7.1 pcm and HDMI inputs. My current Sony speaker bar does that and also accepts the advanced audio codecs like DD+, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD MA, etc.. I got a great deal on it last year at Best Buy for only around $250 with a 4 year extended warranty.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2014 #6 of 29
    MacBrian

    MacBrian Active Member

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  7. Jul 3, 2014 #7 of 29
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Bleh. Get real surround sound. Put the wires under a rug if there's no other way to run them. Nothing will ever be as good as real surround sound.
     
  8. Jul 4, 2014 #8 of 29
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Several LT/All-In Roamios & Minis for sale

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    @ghuido,

    I didn't catch which model TiVo you have, or the TV.

    I think that would be good to know for the folks trying to advise you.
     
  9. Jul 4, 2014 #9 of 29
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Not much point in having a full surround system at every location you watch TV. A sound bar works very good in certain situations. Although I personally wouldn't want to use it in my main viewing area. But many people do. There is certainly nothing wrong with it. And it can be miles better than the audio you will get from the TV speakers.
     
  10. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    I have this and have quite enjoyed it. Real surround with minimal clutter as there's no receiver and the rear speakers are attached to the sub, which wirelessly communicates with the bar. However, if you have more than once source at the TV and your TV doesn't pass 5.1, you get sorta fake surround. The lack of inputs has been a pain point for me. I bought an optical switch that sucks and manually flip the cable for some things. Really annoying. The new, larger 2014 model has dual HDMI inputs but the price is also double...
     
  11. aridon

    aridon Member

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    Polk makes a great sound bar and wireless sub. 4k series I think is the one I have and you can get one for around $350.

    Blowing $700+ on a sound bar is a waste of money. You can get a really nice 5.1 for that from Defininitive Technology for that price.

    You hit severe diminishing returns on sound quality vs price around $400.
     
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    If you sit down and watch TV there, you should have full surround sound. If it's a TV you have for folding laundry or in the kitchen, then the TV's sound or a very small pair of speakers would be fine...

    And a GOOD surround system for the main viewing location is a must. I cringe every time I see someone using TV sound or a soundbar, as they clearly don't understand how critical good surround sound is.
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The majority of people just don't care. Just like they don't care about video quality. I know I will take a decent sound bar over the TV speakers any day. Given how bad the TV speakers are but that is what the vast majority of people use for audio from their TV.

    But with my main display I went to surround sound with five speakers in 1991 and then to a 5.1 system in 1996 and a 7.1 system in 2001. Which is what I've been at since.

    I was skeptical when I first got a sound bar around six years ago for a secondary viewing location. But it did a great job in a small rectangular room producing sound on the sides of the room. Plus it handled 7.1 pcm audio and had HDMI inputs. A full fledged 7.1 system was not going to happen in that room. Well at least not with the TV. I used to have a 7.1 system on my PC in that room 12 years ago but got rid of it a while ago. But the PC monitors are on a different wall.
     
  14. MacBrian

    MacBrian Active Member

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    @davezatz: Your website was very instrumental in my decision to buy the Vizio! Thanks, I'm very pleased with it after having gone through and returned other alternatives. I have my Tivo Premiere connected to the Vizio via the Optical port. I have an Apple TV connected via the digital coax port using a Monoprice optical-to-digital coax adapter. Finally I have a Mac Mini attached using the analog audio in (earphone plug), so unfortunately I'm only getting stereo (not digital) from the Mac. I'm got an old Harmony 649 I use to handle all the input switching. I rarely watch movies on the Mac Mini so it's OK to have just stereo sound coming from it. The Vizio sound bar has been a hugely successful solution to the awful TV speakers and the Spousal Approval Factor is 99% since the Harmony is only needed when switching to something other than the Tivo! (We use the Tivo Glo remote for everyday Tivo use because it controls the power and volume on the sound bar and because the Tivo remote is the BEST REMOTE EVER.) heehee...
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That's the problem. That's why the MSOs get away with sending over-compressed signals that look like crap, and why there's so much junk on the audio side out there...
     
  16. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    I don't do any surround sound. I used to be big on it, but got tired of it because....

    I spent too much time fidgeting with the sound levels, and other settings when I had 5 speakers and a sub woofer. It really annoyed me as much as excited me.

    That was probably 6 years ago or so. I haven't gone back to or thought about surround since.

    I do have a good HK AVR3600 receiver and some bookshelf RTI Polk Audio speakers. Even then I just started looking recently at a simple soundbar that takes up less space and is less hassle.

    I just want is something that plugs into my tv and outputs enough nice clean sound to fill a living room and uses the tv remote. I tried a cheap Vizio many years ago and returned it.
     
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Sounds like something was wrong with that setup, or you didn't have an AVR with automatic calibration... Mine can do all the balancing automatically. It's super easy to do.
     
  18. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Sound level calibration is a factor of where you sit and nothing can automatically calibrate as you switch sitting positions.

    Then programming is always different in how it treats the surround levels and cable always messes with the sound processing. And then some programming was annoying with surround. Some just repeated what the front speakers had in the back. Then there was often noticeable static in the back speakers in some programming because the back speakers were much closer to my ears than the front speakers.

    And then I always remember switching modes to accommodate various programming. And the more you get into making sure the sound is "perfect" the more you tend to be annoyed by little differences and the more time you spend time fiddling or wondering why xyz is different than before.

    then messing with different remotes or making sure receiver turned on when you turned on the tv and turned off when you turned off the tv. And then surround limits your ability to say move the couch to a different wall or something.

    AT the end of the day I did without and haven't looked back or missed it. I guess for me finding great programming is 99% of the battle. And once I achieve that then it is hard for me to be dissatisfied.

    All I really want and I think a large part of the market wants is a simple dumb set of clean sounding speakers that seamlessly plug into the simple tv experience of on/off and volume adjustment. The user, other than seeing it, shouldn't even know it is there otherwise.
     
  19. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    SOmething was wrong with your setup. I've been running a 7.1 system in my main display area since 2001. I've never had any issues like that. And I've used five, 7.1, receivers during that time period. And what's available today is miles better than what was available back then. For the last 6.5 years I've been using a Denon 3808 and have been very pleased with it. If I had issues like that then I would probably sour on a surround system. But I started using my first surround system in 1991, in a 5.0 setup, and since then I couldn't go backwards in my main setup.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    nothing was wrong with my setup.

    one person can be pleased with the same thing that turns another person off.
     

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