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Old 24-03-2020, 16:46   #1
Raigmore
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Odd difference with two home cinema systems

I have two Home Cinema set-ups as follows:

Lounge: LG 65" C9 OLED TV, Samsung HW Q90R soundbar with rear speakers, Sky Q master box, Sony UBP X800m2 4K BD player

Master Bedroom: Sony 9005 4K 49" TV, Sony HT ZF9 soundbar plus rear speakers, Sky Q mini box and Panasonic DP UB 820 4KBD player

They are both set-up exactly the same way. 4K compatible HDMI cables from the SkY Q box and 4KBD player to the HDMI inputs of the soundbar and then the bar's HDMI out to the TV.

The picture and sound quality is superb for both rooms for Sky Q, Netflix (accessed through Sky) or watching BD and 4KBD movies. But while watching a TV integrated programme like Amazon Prime Video, there is a major and unexplained difference.

In the lounge, clicking Amazon Prime immediately disables ARC (and so the soundbar/ rear speakers go silent) and reactivates the muted TV's speakers. Therefore, I cannot get surround sound while watching an Amazon Prime movie like The Aeronauts in the lounge. We cannot alter this automatic setting change; even the professional who I called was unable to change it.

In the Master Bedroom on the other hand, I can watch Amazon Prime with front bias sound or surround by choosing the option on the soundbar's remote.

Any thoughts on why the lounge set-up does not do this?
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Old 24-03-2020, 18:11   #2
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Is it just the Amazon app, or is it all internal TV apps and freeview channels?
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Old 24-03-2020, 19:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanedaa View Post
Is it just the Amazon app, or is it all internal TV apps and freeview channels?
All TV integrated channels. With the Samsung remote, it normally defaults to ARC with Sky Q or 4KBD player when the devices are switched on. But there is no 'TV' option as such in the soundbar menu; there is a surround sound option.

I can switch the soundbar on first and set it manually to ARC; or, I can manually choose ARC from the TV menu. But when I go to Apps on the TV's menu and choose an integrated programme like Amazon Prime or Freeview, the ARC gets disabled and previously disabled TV's own speakers get reactivated. The soundbar gets muted and ARC becomes unavailable through its own remote. Also, the ARC option fades out (ie unavailable) on the TV menu. This arrangement cannot be changed from the audio menu of either the TV or soundbar.

I am guessing that connecting an optical cable between the TV and soundbar may solve the problem but at present the only optical input on the soundbar is connected to my Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport. I don't want to change that.

With the Sony HT ZF9 soundbar, it is very simple and straightforward. There are 5 source options - HDMI 1 (Sky Q), HDMI 2 (4K BD player), TV (all TV integrated programmes) Analog (for a CD player with its own DAC) and USB. Below that is the audio option - 'Cinema' activates the rear speakers while 'Music' is front bias. I can choose either irrespective of the source. There are others like "News", "Sports" and "Game" but I don't use those much. But any source works with any audio option.

Last edited by Raigmore; 24-03-2020 at 19:16.
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Old 24-03-2020, 19:35   #4
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As it's all internal TV apps/channels it sounds like a configuration problem.

If you haven't already go back to basics. Make sure you're using the correct HDMI port on the TV (HDMI 2 on the C9 I believe) and that you have it set to output sound via Audio Out instead of the TV speakers.

It's a bit weird the Soundbar is displaying ARC when you're using the Sky Q / 4K Blu-ray Player as they're connected to its HDMI inputs and therefore not using ARC.
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Old 24-03-2020, 19:42   #5
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Relevant info from the Samsung manual:

Quote:
“TV ARC” appears in the display window of the Soundbar main unit and the Soundbar plays TV
sound.
• If TV sound is inaudible, press the (Source) button on the remote control or on the top of the Soundbar to switch to “D.IN” mode. The screen displays “D.IN” and “TV ARC” in sequence, and TV sound is played.
• If “TV ARC” does not appear in the display window of the Soundbar main unit, confirm that the HDMI cable (not supplied) is connected to the correct port.
• Use the volume buttons on the TV’s remote control to change the volume on the Soundbar.

NOTES
• Anynet+ must be turned on.
Anynet+ is a HDMI CEC thing on the TV (allowing one remote to control multiple connected devices). It's usually turned on by default.
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Old 24-03-2020, 20:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanedaa View Post
It's a bit weird the Soundbar is displaying ARC when you're using the Sky Q / 4K Blu-ray Player as they're connected to its HDMI inputs and therefore not using ARC.
Sorry, my bad. The soundbar does correctly display 'HDMI 1' for Sky Q and 'HDMI 2' for the BD 4K player.

D.IN is the display for the Optical Cable, which I have connected to the Cambridge Audio CXC. Works perfectly.

Yes, it is the HDMI 2 on the TV's that is ARC and that's where the HDMI from the soundbar is plugged in. "TV ARC" appears on the soundbar if I choose manually either via the TV remote menu or the soundbar itself. Anynet+ in on by default and not touched.

The moment I activate Amazon Prime or other TV integrated programme, the ARC, no matter how it was switched on, gets deactivated and the TV's own speakers come on at the same time.
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Old 24-03-2020, 21:59   #7
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That's very strange.

Seems unlikely to be a cable issue as if you're getting 4K video passed through it shouldn't have any trouble with ARC.

ARC does in general seem to have a lot of quirks.

I'm stumped tbh. Try a power cycle (turn it off and on again)??

Here's a troubleshooting guide that covers the TV settings a bit more: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/support/pro...-from-speakers
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Old 25-03-2020, 07:29   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanedaa View Post
That's very strange.

Seems unlikely to be a cable issue as if you're getting 4K video passed through it shouldn't have any trouble with ARC.

ARC does in general seem to have a lot of quirks.

I'm stumped tbh. Try a power cycle (turn it off and on again)??

Here's a troubleshooting guide that covers the TV settings a bit more: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/support/pro...-from-speakers
Tried everything; not just me but a visiting pro. Might be a TV specific quirk.

Not a major issue because I don't watch Freeview much anyway, as we have a big Sky Package. Netflix is enabled through Sky and so there is no rpoblem with surround sound. It is really an issue with only Amazon Prime video as far as we are concerned but since the surround sound with that works perfectly in 2 other rooms, I'll just leave it.
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Old 25-03-2020, 07:30   #9
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This might be a bit too simplistic, but on my Panasonic (I know I know different brand) you can simply disable TV audio/speakers via the sound settings. Is this possible on your TV?
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Old 25-03-2020, 08:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
Tried everything; not just me but a visiting pro. Might be a TV specific quirk.
They should work together.

eg. https://www.avforums.com/threads/lg-...ndbar.2260241/

another that had issues - https://www.avforums.com/threads/hel...lg-c9.2276967/

Something's clearly preventing it, but I have no idea what it is.
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Old 25-03-2020, 08:57   #11
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Quote:
The only disadvantages of connecting to the directly to the TV is that the C9 will not pass through DTS or Dolby ATMOS sound. For that you currently have to connect directly to the sound bar. Good news is the built in applications that supports the advance audio formats will pass to your sound bar.
Kanedaa, the above quote is an excerpt from one of the posts in the first link that you sent. I agree completely.

Despite several others doing so, I never wanted to connect the Sky Q box or the 4K BD player directly to the TV. That connection would then completely be dependent on ARC functionality for surround sound and if there are problems with ARC, then AQ will suffer. Also, like the poster says, the C9 may not allow Atmos to pass through into the soundbar.

By connecting the devices to the soundbar and then to the TV, all available audio options can be accessed. Other than the aforementioned issue with TV integrated programmes with one of the two soundbar systems, the audio works perfectly.

My Sennheiser RF wireless headphones (non-Bluetooth) are plugged into the TV's headphone jacks, the only ones available (since soundbars don't have them). In the lounge, I have to manually change the audio option from HDMI to 'Line Out' to mute the soundbar (deactivates ARC) and make the headphone audio (Sennheiser RS 175) activate. It takes a few seconds only and the simulated surround effect from the headphones is excellent.

But if I choose Amazon Prime (or other TV integrated programme), the ARC deactivates anyway and although the TV's speakers get enabled, headphones don't work. Weird.

In the Master Bedroom, I have none of these problems even though the cables and connection maps are exactly the same. Surround Sound works with ANY source, including TV integrated; if I want, I can switch to front bias with any source. All through the Sony HT ZF9's excellent remote layout. There is a Sennheiser RS 195 plugged to the TV and if I want to activate that, all I have to do is put the soundbar on standby by pressing the button; that's it, complete with muting the external audio. Switching it back on is just as simple - switching the bar back on. Headphones work with any source in the same way.

I'll take this opportunity to comment on the brilliant simulated surround effect from the RS 195 - unbelievable. I was watching the original The Terminator on Netflix the other night with open audio; as we all know, the surround effect for that film is patchy at best. Then the wife came to bed and wanted me to swap to the headphones, which I did. The audio through the RS 195 was dramatically better. IMO, the Ł300 or so is worth every penny.

Last edited by Raigmore; 25-03-2020 at 08:58.
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Old 25-03-2020, 11:15   #12
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I'm not suggesting rewiring your setup, I'm just saying those threads both say the C9 works with the Q90R using the ARC function.

The part that's not working for you is the most basic ARC function - sending audio to the soundbar. There's clearly a fault / handshaking issue / settings problem somewhere. Identifying it is the issue.
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Old 25-03-2020, 12:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanedaa View Post
The part that's not working for you is the most basic ARC function - sending audio to the soundbar. There's clearly a fault / handshaking issue / settings problem somewhere. Identifying it is the issue.
Accepted that there is a fault with ARC in the lounge system but it IS working to some extent and I'll tell you why. There is another device connected to the system which I did not mention to avoid confusion with the post. My old Panasonic DMP BDT130 is also there; I retained this because it was hardware hacked back in 2013 by Multiregion Magic to enable me to play my Criterion BD discs, which were Region A locked back then. I now have about 60 very good films on Criterion and a few other sources, all Region A locked; they will not play on the 4K BD player because it is region free only for 4K discs.

Since the Samsung HW Q90R soundbar has only 2 HDMI inputs and these are being used by the Sky Q main box and the 4K BD player, I have plugged the BDT 130 directly to HDMI 1 input of the OLED TV. The TV's HDMI 2 is the ARC one and has an Audioquest 4K compatible cable (yes, we have tried changing this to see if it was a cable fault. No joy) going to the TV, the only direct connection between the TV and soundbar. If I switch on the DMP BD130 and then the TV, a"Panasonic recognized" message appears on the screen and the soundbar defaults to ARC, which then works perfectly, surround sound and all. I have watched region A locked Criterion BD The Game on this set-up. The film has DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and the surround sound worked perfectly.

The unintended ARC disablement seems to be for TV integrated programmes only.

Last edited by Raigmore; 25-03-2020 at 12:03.
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Old 25-03-2020, 12:24   #14
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Well that's just weird

ARC sounds like a headache, which is a shame as I'll probably have to use it (eARC anyway) or ditch my 5.1 setup should I ever upgrade to a 4K TV.
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Old 25-03-2020, 12:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanedaa View Post
Well that's just weird

ARC sounds like a headache, which is a shame as I'll probably have to use it (eARC anyway) or ditch my 5.1 setup should I ever upgrade to a 4K TV.
Hmm, I just had a thought. Could my problem be some sort of ARC / eARC setting issue between the TV and soundbar? On paper, both the LG C9 and the Samsung Q90 are supposed to be eARC capable; the Richer sounds guy said that the soundbar that he delivered had the necessary firmware update and I took his word for it.
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Old 25-03-2020, 12:46   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
Hmm, I just had a thought. Could my problem be some sort of ARC / eARC setting issue between the TV and soundbar? On paper, both the LG C9 and the Samsung Q90 are supposed to be eARC capable; the Richer sounds guy said that the soundbar that he delivered had the necessary firmware update and I took his word for it.
Possibly. If there's an option on the TV to specifically enable eARC it wouldn't hurt to try it.
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:31   #17
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Slightly off topic, apologies, but Raigmore how are you finding your two soundbars from a sound perspective ?

Any noticeable differences ? Do they both support digital optical in ? And do they both use wireless rear speakers ? I know the Sony does but wasn't sure about the Samsung

Last edited by AdamBrunt; 26-03-2020 at 11:41.
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:55   #18
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Originally Posted by aliman5000 View Post
This might be a bit too simplistic, but on my Panasonic (I know I know different brand) you can simply disable TV audio/speakers via the sound settings. Is this possible on your TV?
That's the point I/m trying to stress. In both rooms, the TV speakers have been disabled via the settings. In the Master bedroom (where there is NO problem), they get enabled automatically and only when I place the soundbar on standby, at the same time activating the headphones. These are Sennheiser RS 195 wireless and the surround effect is unbelievable.

In the lounge, where the aforementioned problem exists, the disabled TV audio gets enabled by itself if I choose to watch a TV integrated programme like Amazon Prime (it would have affected Netflix too but I access that through Sky), at the same time disabling the soundbar and so ARC. So I don't have surround sound; but what is more surprising is that the headphones (Sennheiser RS 175 in this case) don't work even though they are plugged directly into the TV. But everything else, including the headphones, works perfectly for Sky, 4K BD and CD; it is only TV integrated programmes.

The A-V pro seemed nonplussed by this and tried for an hour to fix the setting without success; he did not charge me for that hour, by the way.

Quote:
AdamBrunt: Slightly off topic, apologies, but Raigmore how are you finding your two soundbars from a sound perspective ?

Any noticeable differences ? Do they both support digital optical in ? And do they both use wireless rear speakers ? I know the Sony does but wasn't sure about the Samsung
OK. In the lounge, the audio is ruled by Samsung HW Q90R Soundbar with rear speakers that are part of the standard package. The surround audio is very good and immersive for open listening, a bit better (but not by much) than the Sony. But the Samsung's remote is basic and setting the audio to suit you is awkward.

The Sony HT ZF9 combined with the dedicated but optional SA Z9R rear speakers in the master bedroom runs close to the Samsung in Audio Quality while costing about half as much. The remote control is excellent and allows you to set whatever combination of audio you like irrespective of the source.

They both have wireless rear speakers, standard with the Samsung and optional with the Sony. They are powered rears of course.

They both have digital optical inputs. I am using the Samsung one for my Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport. The Sony one is not being used; the Sony (not the Samsung) has a 3.5 mm analog audio input into which I have plugged in my old NAD C540 CD player with its superb DAC.

Last edited by Raigmore; 26-03-2020 at 15:37. Reason: Further information
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