HDMI ARC connection
If you have a fairly new TV, you might have noticed one of the HDMI ports has another acronym underneath it reading ARC. ARC (or Audio Return Channel) is a little known secret in the HD TV world as there isn’t a great deal of information pushed out from TV manufacturers on it.
The main benefit of using ARC is its convenience. You just need a single HDMI lead connecting the TV to the soundbar, so all your other sources can stay plugged into the TV. All of the TVs audio is sent down the HDMI cable to the TVB2. It uses a clever piece of technology called CEC (Consumer Electronics Controls), which lets you control the volume of the sound bar using just your TV remote, removing any remote control learning and switching between different remotes. Essentially your TV will become the ‘hub’ for all of your sources including Sky boxes and Blu-Ray Players as long as they’re all connected to the TV. So if you connect the sound bar using the HDMI (ARC) connection to the HDMI (ARC) port on your TV, all the other devices plugged into the TVs HDMI ports will automatically run sound through the TVB2.
So if you have ARC, use it! Just make sure your HDMI cable is relatively new. ARC was introduced in HDMI version 1.4 in 2009. HDMI cables don’t usually have the version number on them anymore so make sure you check if it’s ARC compatible before you buy. If it’s labelled ‘High Speed’, you’re good to go.
One thing to look out for with ARC is that each TV manufacturer has a slightly different interpretation of it. Some TVs will work flawlessly and output everything using ARC, but some will only output the TVs inbuilt tuner and HDMI sources, leaving out any smart features like BBC iPlayer and Netflix. So although it’s meant to be super convenient, it depends how your TV handles it (which isn’t super convenient…)
So if ARC isn’t playing nicely or you just don’t have it, then the next step is to use an optical connection. Much like ARC your sources can all stay connected to the TV, but here you connect the TV to the TVB2 and send the audio signal down this optical connection instead. If you want to stick to just using your TV remote to control the TVB2s volume, it’ll need to learn the volume commands of the TV remote. Here’s how to do it:
To learn volume up, on the end of the soundbar hold down the button with the box/arrow on it and the + button on the TVB2 unit for 2 seconds. ‘LEARN’ and ‘VOL’ should appear on the display. Point your TV remote at the unit and double press the volume up button. When successful, the display will read ‘OK’. Simply repeat the above replacing volume up with volume down to program the opposite.
Next down the pecking order is the regular HDMI input on the soundbar. Plug your sources (Sky Box, games consoles etc) into the TVB2 using the HDMI inputs and then connect the soundbar to the TV using a regular HDMI connection. The main difference here is you’ll have to manually switch between the HDMI inputs whenever you want to use that device with the TVB2 remote. Not quite as convenient as ARC or optical, but not overly complicated either. All the inputs also have 4K pass through, so you’ll still get your top notch images along with top notch sound.
If you’re using any of the above three methods, it’s worth mentioning that you should set the source/TVs digital output to stereo/2 channel. The TVB2 can only decode stereo signal and some sources like Netflix and Sky Boxes sometimes output audio in Dolby 5.1, DTS or Dolby Digital. So if you’re getting no sound, make sure you check this out first.
If you don’t have any of the above connections we suggest throwing your TV out of the window rock and roll style and heading down the shops. If that’s not really an option, you can use the AUX connection (and save on new double glazing) This connects via the TVs analogue or headphone output. We can’t stress enough that this connection should be your last resort, as the quality of sound is more dependant on the TVs internal processing when using AUX. You have been warned.
Bluetooth with NFC
If you’re sick of messing about with cables, you can also use the TVB2 as a compact music system. Connect your smartphone or device to it via Bluetooth as you would normally or by NFC if your device supports it (and if you’re not sure what NFC is, here’s some revision for you) Simply tap your device on the NFC logo on the side of the soundbar to pair it. Just make sure you select it using the Bluetooth button on the TVB2 remote and you’re good to go.
What about the subwoofer?
The subwoofer just needs power! It’ll connect wirelessly and will be pre-paired with the TVB2, so no miles of cable snaking around the room to the subwoofer. Just plug in the subwoofer power, position where you want it and it should connect within 60 seconds. If it fails to connect ‘NOSUB’ will be displayed on the sound bar, so unplug, reposition and make sure the subwoofer is within range (the maximum is 10m) to connect with the TVB2. After you’ve connected the subwoofer for the first time, it should automatically connect straight away.
Hopefully we’ve given you an idea of which way you’ll connect your TVB2 to your TV. If you’re still unsure make sure you leave us a comment or contact the support team here for further inquiries.