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Mick Swell
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Joined: Aug 26 2020 - 10:05am
Is it possible to achieve True HD Surround Sound on LCD monitor that doesn't have HDMI ARC or Optical Out?

This is my first post ever here (yay) and am looking forward to learning and helping out here on stereophile!

So, I am looking to setup surround sound for my Samsung QM85D via JBL Bar 5.1 (pending delivery).

- Info -

[Monitor]
The QM85D display is a commercial/business grade monitor that does not have any Smart TV features (Wi-Fi access, Apps, TV channel tuner). No Bluetooth, HDMI ARC input, or Optical Out. It only has an Audio Out 3.5mm jack. It supports RGB / VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort inputs.

From what it seems, the TV can only "Stereo Out" from the Audio Out jack, which to my understanding, can only playback left/right audio and is considered Analog (cannot fully utilize surround sound encoded audio).

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Note - I'm aware there are much more TVs out there that can support surround sounds via HDMI ARC and Optical Out, but I got such a great deal on the QM85D that I'm simply just working with what I have :)

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(Surround Sound)
JBL Bar 5.1 has audio inputs for Analog, Optical, and Bluetooth; and video inputs for HDMI and HDMI ARC.

The "ideal way" to run the soundbar is to feed it HDMI inputs from HDMI source(s) then connect to TV/monitor using the HDMI ARC port. This is recommended for HD sound results.

However, in my case, my monitor does not have a HDMI ARC port.

>> The Questions >>
Can I push my JBL Bar 5.1 to produce HD sound by using 3.5mm jack? I presume I cannot, and that it will produce sound like a stereo with left and right speakers and that I would lose out on the centers, above, below, etc.

I'm aware there are HDMI ARC adapters/switch boxes that can possibly receive HDMI ARC input and then HDMI out into the monitor's HDMI port. I haven't specifically found a unit that can do this yet, but I think I can find one. Can anyone confirm this, and that it may help my cause?

Btw, on the HDMI ARC adapters, I cringe at the fact they have to be powered by being plugged in separately -___-

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Anyway, that's all I got for my first post. Thanks in advance to everyone who took the time to read all this and help shed some light!!

Kal Rubinson
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If the display has no smart

If the display has no smart TV features or a tuner, what are you plugging into it to supply it with video and/or audio? Perhaps whatever you are feeding it for video can also supply audio directly to the sound bar.

P.S.: JBL does not show an analog input for the bar.
"Audio inputs: 1 Optical, Bluetooth, USB (USB playback is available in US version. For other versions, USB is for Service only.)"

Mick Swell
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Joined: Aug 26 2020 - 10:05am
Thanks for your response!

Thanks for your response! Definitely a route to try to take audio from external source and try to squeeze HD audio out of it along with video

As for the the soundbar, direct link from JBL shows it has an analog input

https://www.jbl.com/bar-series/JBL+Bar+5.1.html

So far I have fed the monitor a Google Chromecast Ultra (screen mirroring/casting from phone and tablet). I can Bluetooth tablet to Bluetooth speaker and audio works fine, but once I cast onto Chromecast Ultra to move/mirror picture to monitor, it "steals" audio from Bluetooth speaker and plays audio to TV speaker...

If I aux out of TV to external speaker, external speaker will take over audio while picture is playing as desired, but I don't know if it's capable of ~5.1 surround quality (which is what I'm trying to achieve)

I have also fed monitor PlayStation 4 Pro, but used TV speakers, and same with Alien 17 R3 gaming laptop via HDMI cable... The factory speakers are definitely sub par.

If I can take the monitor's input source's audio and direct to soundbar via optical cable or hdmi ARC while maintaining picture on monitor, I'll be where I'd like to be.

Definitely still brain storming and will update once the sound unit arrives

Kal Rubinson
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Last seen: 35 min 44 sec ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
I see the spec at your link

I see the spec at your link and, yes, it includes the analog input which was missing from the one I accessed (and quoted) yesterday. Strange but OK.

You cannot get 5.1 from an analog stereo signal without having it synthesized. The user's manual is light on information about this but there is the suggestion that it might be able to simulate a surround effect:

Quote:

• When the wireless surround speakers are detached from the main bar, sound modes feature specific behaviors: Sound Mode What you hear in the detached wireless surround speakers
Standard-Ambience and special effects,
Music-Mono Mix,
Movie-Ambience and special effects,
Voice-Mono Mix,
Sports-Ambience and special effects.

Beyond that, I cannot help you as my knowledge does not extend far beyond traditional wired audio connections.

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