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Connecting new TV to soundbar by Bluetooth rather than optical - quality difference?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by charltonfan1, 28 Apr 2019.

  1. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,056

    Location: Reading

    Neither remote on my new Samsung TV can control the volume on my sound bar when it is connected via optical. Previous TV this was not the case and the TV remote could adjust the volume when connected the same way.

    If I connect the new TV to the sound bar by Bluetooth I am able to use the new remote to adjust volume.

    Is audio over Bluetooth significantly worse than Optical?
     
  2. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2016

    Posts: 7,407

    Yes
     
  3. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,056

    Location: Reading

    Fair enough.

    Why can't my Samsung remotes control my sound bar like my old remotes could?
     
  4. Begbie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

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    Location: ....

    Try it and see if YOU notice the difference?

    The opinion here is irrelevant.
     
  5. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2016

    Posts: 7,407

    Not opinion it's fact. Compare bitrate of optical and Bluetooth bandwidth and conversion downgrade

    Certainly it won't be better.
     
  6. Psycho Sonny

    Suspended

    Joined: 21 Jun 2006

    Posts: 38,366

    I dont understand how you could control sound through optical are you sure it wasn't hdmi?

    Optical is for sound only afaik.

    Optical will be better than bluetooth but it also depends on the quality of the soundbar.

    If your soundbar cost less than £500 new chances are you wouldn't be able to tell the difference as it won't be good enough
     
  7. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

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    Location: Reading

    Previously the TV remote control was picked up by the soundbar automatically without me needing to pair it so the TV volume didn't come into it.

    Now the Samsung remote control tries to adjust the TV volume which is fixed

    Unsure why my LG and BTYouview remotes are picked up by the sound bar and the Samsung smart and dumb ones aren't

    It's a £200 sound bar (Vizio) FYI
     
  8. lucid

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 May 2010

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    Location: Cheshire

    @hornetstinger is correct. In absolute terms there's no arguing that standard bluetooth compression mangles the audio signal.

    What you're talking about is whether the listener notices that difference. In a sense then, you're both right; it's just that one view is objective and the other subjective.


    There's something more to this question, and so far (by post #7, as I write this) no-one has mentioned it. TTBOMK, Bluetooth doesn't support Dolby Digital 5.1 but optical does. That means whether or not the user notices the additional compression, the audio going in to the sound bar will always be a maximum of stereo only, and so any surround effect that the sound bar can muster up will only ever be ProLogic/PLII (at best) or some pseudo-surround fudge-up if Vizio choose not to licence the DPL decoders.

    In subjective terms, one could rightly argue that the user can't hear the difference because the sound bar is a stereo only device or doesn't really do surround, or the audio it produces isn't high-enough resolution to show the difference. In objective terms though, there's no avoiding the fact that optical supports DD and DTS multichannel bitstream audio whereas BT does not, or at least as far as I'm aware.
     
  9. lucid

    Soldato

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    Posts: 5,860

    Location: Cheshire

    There are a couple of possibilities: One is that the LG TV was altering the volume of its Optical output, and the other is that out-of-the-box, Vizio uses LG TV audio IR codes rather than Samsung. Without realising or remembering it, you may have set up the Youview box remote to control the old LG TV, and so by extension it talks to the Vizio sound bar as well.

    Coming back to the first idea, where TVs alter the optical audio out, it's convenient but very bad practise. Reducing the 'volume' of the bitstream signal reduces the resolution too.


    Have a read of the Samsung TV manual to see if its possible to program the remote to talk to the Vizio.
     
  10. Jamesyboyjim

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2008

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    With the Samsung TV's if you go into settings and set the sound source to external rather than internal speaker you can then configure the remote via codes to control an external source.
     
  11. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

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    Location: Reading

    Thank you both. Will give those a try later as well as test if I can hear the difference between the two input methods
     
  12. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

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    Location: Reading

    Success!

    Just realised how to find the universal remote menu on the TV and Vizio was one of the recognised home theatre brands so paired up nicely
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2019
  13. Puzzled

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 Jul 2003

    Posts: 8,398

    Good to see you got it fixed, surprised a £200 soundbar doesn't have HDMI Arc though.

    Can't remember which brand but saw a TV advert going on about Bluetooth speakers and thought that must sound terrible. I'm amazed a Wi-Fi standard hasn't replaced it yet.
     
  14. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

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    Location: Reading

    It was actually £100 now i check the invoice and bought 3 years ago which might explain the lack of HDMI ARC