This morning I submitted my complaint to the CEO and then went back to looking at a test file I had been using. The file was from:
I played this directly through the Web Browser on my Samsung TV.
I had tried this last night and did not get it to indicate acceptable surround sound using the wireless set up but it did indicate a degree 5.1 separation when the optical connection was used.
However, this morning, when I changed the Audio Format on the TV to Dolby Digital, one of the 5 files available, the top listed namely, “1. 5.1 Surround Sound AAC test” clearly demonstarted discrete separation of all channels, including the sub-woofer. None of the other files dd so.
Surprisingly, this worked equally well whether using optical or the wifi only connections.although having to reconfigure Surround Sound on the App when changing sources back to D.IN
I followed these steps:
Set Soundbar to D.IN
Set TV Speaker ouput to Audio out/Optical
Checked Group in Multiroom App set to Surround Sound
Set HDMI to PCM (probably irrelevant)
Set Audio Format to Dolby Digital
Used the test file 5.1 ACC and noted discrete separation of all 5.1 channels with proper volume levels.
Accessed TV Settings
Selected “[AV] Samsung Sounbar K650 + 2CH (Wi-Fi)”
Noted Soundbar connects through WiFi
Noted that the Speakers were automatically regrouped in the Multiroom App when changing from Optical to Wi-Fi.
Played the test file again and the result was identical to that using Optical
The particular test files are I think, simply the one file formatted to different codecs. and so are based upon a single recording but only the one behaves as I think it should. Yet, when watching TV through SKY, Netflix etc., the WiFi still fails to deliver an obvious surround sound effect. Is the abilty of the TV/Soundbar to decode various formats very restricted? (I am no expert on audio file formats as you can see.)
I would be interested to hear if anyone can replicate this and your views on what implications it has for a wifi solution.
<I have edited this to make it clearer>
I have no problem achieving channel separation on either optical or WiFi. The problem over WiFi is with the lack of volume on the rear speakers. The volume of the rears is fine over optical. The drawback of optical though is a noticeable delay on the audio. Not all the time but enough to cause frustration. I have tried many test files and get real 5.1 from most of them.
Never again Samsung products for me. When this equipment goes down, I will choose another brand, much more respectful of its customers. Engineers unable to balance sound levels are just amateurs. If the group 5.1 is dissociated, the sound level of the sound bar is 10x higher than the level of an R3. With the sound bar alone, level 6 is correct. For an equivalent sound level with R3 alone, you have to set the level to 35. Sorry for the translation. My language is French and I do not speak English.
Just sent my email to Sean A****r, Senior Customer Services Executive UK & Eire as follows.
With the subject of... Try being a Samsung customer yourself.
Dear Mr A****r,
Here's a chance for you to take ownership of this problem.
How about you become a secret shopper and invest £627.00 in Samsung customer service.
At John Lewis HW-K650 for £329.00 + 2 x R1 speakers £149.00 (each) = £627.00
Feel free to shop around for a better price.
Collect it yourself or have it delivered, you too can experience the hours of frustration trying to get it to work as a 5.1 surround system. Contact customer services and spend hours on the phone, join an online forum and have your hopes dashed with the promise that the next firmware update will fix the problem.
In all seriousness, get the kit and try it yourself.
Mystery shopping (definition from the internet)
(related terms: mystery consumer, secret shopper) is a tool used externally by market research companies, watchdog organisations, or internally by companies themselves to measure quality of service, or compliance with regulation, or to gather specific information about products and services.
10. Noted that the Speakers were automatically regrouped in the Multiroom App when changing from Optical to Wi-Fi.
11. Played the test file again and the result was identical to that using Optical
After this point, if you adjust the volume level, do the rears immediately drop in volume?
I have just tried the test file in the Web Browser app again and the top listed file 5.1 SurroundSound AAC Test, is the only one which delivers truly discreet output to the separate channels. Whether the others should or not, I do not know. However, having repated the tests of WiFi v Optical, the optical seems to give slightly relaively louder sound from the rears with this particular file. I hasten to add, I have not measured the levels objectively.
When I alter the volume either up or down the levels of the rears do not drop in volume but maintain their relative volume.
I tried downloading some of the files from that site to a USB stick but cannot get any to function like the one I have highlighted.