Most helpful critical review
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
CT150: How to Connect & Configure to Get Proper Surround Sound.
on December 30, 2012
This device is almost too easy to set up as there are some major pitfalls that take a few minutes to unravel. I was having problems getting the subwoofer to produce real sound, and the overall sound was very flat. The unit is rather secretive about being misconnected & misconfigured. Here is the proper way to connect and configure the unit to get actual surround sound and proper bass. After that, I'll talk about a major shortcoming with it.
First off, make sure you use the "Display" button on the remote. This reveals whether the unit is receiving "1.0 channel", "2.0 channel" or "5.1 channel". You must be sending "5.1 channel" audio to this device or it will sound like a $20 pair of speakers.
The most common problem is using the included optical cable. It turns out that most TVs won't send 5.1 channels over the optical cable unless you're watching antenna TV. So ditch the optical cable and connect the system using HDMI only.
Secondly, make sure all of your devices are sending 5.1 channels to the device. You'll need to dig up your owner's manuals and go through the audio settings on your Blu Ray, Roku, Cable Box, Satellite, etc.
Just to make things even more complicated, some streaming apps still send 2.0 channels, so make sure the apps are also sending 5.1 channels. Sometimes this setting is shown when you pick the movie under "audio & subtitles". Also, if you're watching a DVD or Blu Ray, make sure you select the proper audio track (.e.g "5.1 surround" NOT "stereo").
At every step, keep using the "Display" button on the remote to confirm the "5.1 channel" signal. Eventually this will light up and you'll notice a big improvement in sound. But until then you won't know what good sound is.
At this point you'll be getting some real audio out of the device. IF you still want it to shake the walls, you can increase the subwoofer in "Amp Menu" -> "Levels" -> "SW Level" -> "+6". If your photos aren't falling off your wall at this point, something isn't set up right. Go through my advice above.
There's a major shortcoming with the CT150, and that is lack of support for "Dolby Digital Plus", "Dolby True HD" and "DTS HD". This means that you cannot play surround sound on the Netflix app w Roku. Other devices (e.g. PS3) may do downcoding, but Roku does not. This means Netflix + Roku + CT150 = stereo sound--which is worthless. This is pretty critical if you consume most of your video through the Roku as I do. See the owners manual page 36 for a complete list of supported streaming encodings. I was rather disappointed when I read this. i.e. don't buy this unit if you use Roku + Netflix.