Dolby Atmos with soundbar

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by Abaddon, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Abaddon

    Abaddon New Member

    I recently purchased the LG SJ9 soundbar which is set up for Dolby atmos. However, my TV (also LG) is several years old so does not have atmos support.

    Is there any way I can get atmos? I know that I can't utilize a receiver with the soundbar and was told that if I hooked up an atmos DVD player, I would have to use several different audio sources for different inputs.

    For example, I was told that I would have to connect the DVD player directly to the soundbar, then utilize an optic cable for the cable box since there is only one arc input on the soundbar.

    Is this correct? Why can't I hook up the DVD player to the TV, leave the connection to the soundbar as is, and have the DVD player process the surround mode? Why would the tv have to directly support this feature?

    Hopefully my question is clear.
  2. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month


    What kind of audio inputs does the soundbar have? You should not need a receiver as the soundbar has an amplifier built in. You might be able to simply hook the soundbar up to your TV with HDMI or possibly an optical output and it will play audio for whatever source you are on. That is how I have my Vizio soundbar hooked up. No receiver.

    As far as Atmos, most likely the soundbar is compatible with Atmos soundtracks and has some psycho-acoustic logic built in to simulate surround sound. It may sound good but true Atmos requires dedicated overhead speakers. If you weren't looking to do a whole complicated home theater setup I wouldn't worry about it. A soundbar on level of cost and commitment is like level 1. A full blown Atmos setup is like level 8. You need a receiver and at least 7 speakers plus a sub to due true Atmos.
  3. Abaddon

    Abaddon New Member

    Thank you for the response.

    The soundbar has 2 HDMI inputs: 1 standard and 1 Arc. It also has an optical.

    I know that the soundbar could never give me true atmos due to the lack of additional surround speakers so agree that it most likely has simulated atmos.

    The issue for me is that LG is telling me that I need a TV that has support for atmos in order to utilize this feature but this seems incorrect to me.

    I've had surround setups in the past and as long as there was something (receiver, DVD player, etc) that can decode the audio stream, then it shouldn't matter.

    Are soundbars different this way?

    I also forgot to mention that the tv has a HDMI arc input. Atmos is only possible through this connection, correct?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  4. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I don't know that there is such thing as an Atmos TV. I think the HDMI cable should carry the Atmos audio signal. It sounds like you're getting bad advice from LG. A modern soundbar should have plenty of audio decoding options built in. I have to run but I'll take a closer look on the internet when I get back. What is the actual issue? Are you getting no audio?
  5. Abaddon

    Abaddon New Member

    No, I'm getting audio, so no problem there. I do agree that the advice seems incorrect.

    I do know that some of the newer LG televisions have atmos decoding. Thinking that if anything, perhaps LG made it so you HAVE to have one with that option in order to receive atmos. I think that would be the only reason customer service stated that.

    Thanks again for all of your time! I'll continue to research.
  6. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Ah, that makes sense. Well to be fair, like I said, you really aren't going to get true Atmos from a soundbar which is fine. Soundbars are much better than they used to be. I use one in my living room setup where I don't have a full surround system. If it sounds good, I wouldn't sweat it. Spend time getting the subwoofer volume balanced for your room etc.
  7. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Hi and welcome to HTL. The LG web site says it contains two up-firing speakers to create an Atmos effect, so make sure when you set it up that there is nothing above those speakers. The manual says something about your TV needing an ARC channel for proper operation with the sound bar, so perhaps that's what they are talking about. Also, if you use the optical input it defaults to stereo only.
    CJ likes this.
  8. RJ

    RJ Member War Zone Member

    I think what he is trying to do is connect his BluRay to the TV, and have the TV's ARC send audio to the soundbar. If that is the case, I would assume that the TV would need to be able to "pass through" the Atmos signal to the soundbar. This might be what LG is trying to say to you...that the TV cannot pass through the Atmos signal.

    However, like you mentioned, if you plug the BluRay directly to the soundbar, it should work just fine. You would just have to switch audio inputs on the soundbar when you change sources.
  9. capsuleri

    capsuleri Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    First welcome to HTL. I am not sure if it will work if you have multichannel receiver use it as a hub. Plug in the DVD to it, connect the Soundbar to the HDMI (ARC) from the receiver, connect the TV to the HDMI out from the soundbar. If the receiver has two zones use zone like this and the other zone like a normal setup.

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