My first time putting together a home theater, have a couple questions about audio...

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My first time putting together a home theater, have a couple questions about audio...

  • Not exactly sure which TV I will buying yet but I have decided to buy a sound bar with it. Upon looking up different sound bars, I learned about something that their HDMI ports have known as "ARC". Apparently if my HDTV supports this, I can plug the HDMI cable into the ARC port on the HDTV from the ARC port on the sound bar. The result of this will have all devices that have their audio cables plugged into the TV to output their sound from the sound bar, rather than the HDTV speakers. 

    What I want to do is plug all my component cables for the Wii (and PS2) into the HDTV, then have ARC output the sound through the sound bar to get surround sound. However my concern is will the "ARC effect", for lack of a better term, ONLY work on devices plugged into the HDTV with a HDMI cable? Since the Wii only supports a Stereo RCA cable, I was wondering if it would be incompatible with the "ARC effect", as the whole reason it is attractive to me is because the sound bar I am buying doesn't have a Stereo RCA port on it...

    I was also looking at this one which does have a Stereo RCA port on it, but it is a tad over what I want to spend, plus I'm not sure if the RCA plug will reach the RCA port while the component cables are still plugged into the HDTV...

    I would also like to know if either of those above models supported Dolby Pro Logic II, or is this something that all sound bars support by default (If not how do I got about determining that)?

    Any help is appreciated!

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, I am trying to get Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound out of the Wii as it does not support Dolby Digital, nor will it support DTS. Will ARC support Dolby Pro Logic II?

    EDIT2: Another question. If an audio stream is in a certain format that is below/above the format being given to it (For example, Dolby Pro Logic II stream, yet I have the TV/sound bar set Dolby Digital, or I have the TV/sound bar set to DTS HD, and all I'm giving it is a Dolby Digital signal.) what will happen. Will the sound bar just give me the highest quality audio stream provided by the source that it can give me, or will it try to up/downmix the sound? I presume there is an option to just auto decode the audio, and does that work on a hierarchy (Highest quality first, then keep going down until the sound bar finds the highest quality audio stream it is receiving)?

  • TVs do not have the ability to accept an analog audio signal and covert it into a digital audio output (via HDMI ARC or optical/coaxial) so, no, this unfortunately will not work in the manner you've described.

    Your best bet, based on your stated sources, would be to select a powered sound bar that offers both digital and analog audio inputs. This way, you can use the digital audio output of the TV (HDMI ARC, optical/coax digital) for your HD video sources connected to the matching digital input of the sound bar, and connect the analog audio outputs of your Wii/PS2 directly to the analog audio inputs of the sound bar. In this scenario, you'd just have to switch the input on the sound bar when you select the one of the game consoles as the video input on the TV.

    Hope that helps!

    Anyone else have a good recommendation?

  • Thanks for the reply,

    My Denon will apparently come with a 7" Female stereo minijack-to-male RCA adapter cable, so I can just use the Mini Stereo Audio port to output audio.