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Bontra
Channel Surfer

Soundbar with volume passthrough for older television (no ARC)

My parents have an older Panasonic 42 Plasma TH-42PX80U. These were made way before ARC. Looking for options to deliver louder sound for my father who has resisted getting a hearing aide.

If I get a soundbar the has ARC, which the Roku also has, does the TV also need to have ARC?
The soundbar has HDMI in & out. So if it goes: Roku -> Soundbar -> TV
Then I can just select "external sound" on the TV which will turn off its internal speakers, and it does not need to decode any ARC.
Is this correct?
If not, would welcome other suggestions.
Thanks

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4 REPLIES 4
Strega
Roku Guru

Re: Soundbar with volume passthrough for older television (no ARC)

As long as all sources go through the sound system, ARC is not needed at all. Where ARC gets interesting is if you have sources that don't go through the sound system, such as over-the-air TV, smart TV apps, a cable box etc.  In that case, ARC can be used to send the audio (back) out of the TV.  (And even in these cases, many older TVs can do that with another connection such as optical.)

We finally got mom to get hearing aids, and now it's dad who plays the TV too loud. And dad is saying all the things that mom used to day, such as he'd be fine if other people just stopped mumbling!

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Streamer317
Roku Guru

Re: Soundbar with volume passthrough for older television (no ARC)

Better off buying a TCL Roku TV. Plasma is so outdated 

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Bontra
Channel Surfer

Re: Soundbar with volume passthrough for older television (no ARC)

@Strega
Right, that's what I was hoping.
When soundbar has 2 HDMI ports, one way would be
cable/dvd/roku -> TV -> Soundbar
Here: 2nd SB HDMI not used, TV is HDMI switch

Another would be
Roku -> Soundbar -> TV
Here: 2nd SB HDMI used, no HDMI switch needed

The simplicity of the volume control is another important factor.
So with the later, the volume button on the Roku will control the soundbar volume, as they both support ARC, correct?

@Streamer317
Re: new TV, more cost, we're buying 2 new devices instead of one.

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Streamer317
Roku Guru

Re: Soundbar with volume passthrough for older television (no ARC)

@Bontra  You can buy a 32” Roku TV for $200. 

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