format not supported vizio soundbar

When the format not supported Vizio Soundbar you shouldn’t be worried in the slightest!

We can understand how annoying it is to experience audio problems when planning to watch or listen to something. This is why in this guide we’ll unwrap everything you need to be aware of… 

Typically, the Vizio soundbar experiences audio format problems when your input source is somehow incompatible with your Vizio soundbar.

The playback issues caused due to format incompatibility can easily be resolved by performing thorough troubleshooting!

Let’s dig deeper into the guide!

Vizio Soundbar Format Not Supported – Why?

vizio soundbar format not supported
  1. Incompatible audio format from the input source.
  2. An outdated firmware version on your soundbar.
  3. Incorrect audio format settings on the soundbar.
  4. Loose wiring or faulty audio cables in the setup.
  5. OS or hardware glitches in your Vizio soundbar.
  6. Configuration errors or incorrect Vizio settings.

Let’s begin with troubleshooting!

How to Fix When Format Not Supported Vizio Soundbar?

1. Power Cycle the Vizio Soundbar

The first and easiest step to undertake is to simply power cycle your Vizio soundbar.

This is one of the easiest methods, doesn’t delete anything from your settings, but in most cases, helps.

power cycle the vizio soundbar
  • To power cycle, the Vizio soundbar, unplug the unit from the power!

Then, keep the soundbar unplugged for about 60 seconds, which is enough to refresh all of the soundbar’s operational services.

In addition, the power cycle also helps against overheating and will most certainly, resolve any format-related issues, in case they were just temporary bugs!

Tip: When the power cycle is over, connect the Vizio soundbar directly into the power outlet!

2. Set the Audio Format to *PCM*

One of the first things to do is to change the audio format settings on your source TV to PCM.

set the audio format to pcm

Vizio themselves recommends you switch the TV format to PCM because if your TV is set to another format then you won’t hear any sound from the soundbar due to incompatibility faults.

Here is how to set the TV audio format to PCM:

  1. First, open your TV home screen.
  2. Navigate to the TV Settings menu.
  3. Locate and press on the Audio tile.
  4. Scroll and tap on Digital Audio Out.
  5. Then, scroll down and choose PCM.
  6. Finally, exit the TV Settings menu.

When you are done changing your TV audio format then try playing any sound on your TV to check if it is audible from the soundbar.

If the “Format Not Supported” error appears again then try changing your TV audio format to the “Auto” instead of PCM for auto-detection.

Tip: Reboot your Vizio setup when the changes are done!

3. Inspect the Audio Input Source!

inspect the audio input source

Different input sources have a direct influence on the audio formats and quality as well.

If you are still encountering a “Format Not Supported” error on your Vizio soundbar, it’s possible that you may be using an incompatible input source.

Note: Vizio soundbar is compatible with both HDMI and Optical input sources!

Does your TV have an HDMI port?

  • Get an HDMI ARC compatible cable and plug one end to your TV’s HDMI and another end to your soundbar on HDMI IN port.
  • If not, then get an Optical cable and securely plug one end into your source device’s Optical Out port and another into your soundbar on the optical Optical IN port.
does your tv have an hdmi port

Test the Connection!

Play any video file on your TV and listen for the audio from your Vizio soundbar.

If the sound is coming from your soundbar then that’s great. If the format issue again appears, keep reading! 

4. Inspect the Physical Connection

It’s possible that there can be a physical connection problem between the Vizio soundbar and the source device.

So, the next step is to carefully inspect and reconnect your device’s physical wiring regardless of whether you are using HDMI or Optical cable.

Here is how to inspect the physical connection:

inspect the physical connection
  1. First, unplug your TV and Vizio soundbar from the wall outlet.
  2. Inspect the power cord of the soundbar for any wear and tear
  3. Next, disconnect the HDMI or optical cable from both devices.
  4. Inspect both ends of the audio cable and ensure no damage.
  5. Tightly reconnect the HDMI or Optical cable back to their ports.
  6. Finally, plug your TV and Vizio soundbar back into a power outlet.
Tip: Connect your Vizio soundbar directly to the power outlet.

5. Test Using a Different Audio Source

Using a different source device is a valid and great solution to consider especially when you are still experiencing a “Format Not Supported” error.

So, to tighten the circle of possibilities even further, test whether the format will be supported when streaming from another device!

Here is how to use a Vizio soundbar with a different device:

test using a different audio source
  1. First, get access to a different TV or Gaming console.
  2. Then acquire an audio cable such as HDMI or Optical.
  3. Then, connect one end of the cable to a different source.
  4. Next, connect the other end to the Vizio soundbar input.
  5. Then, select the audio source and format on the devices.

If the sound is coming from your soundbar using a different source device then possibly there is a problem with your previous source. Some possibilities include faulty input or input audio ports.

If you are still experiencing format issues, keep reading!

6. Test Using a Different Audio Cable!

Another possibility is that you are using a defective cable with your Vizio Soundbar. If there is no physical damage to your HDMI or Optical cable, it’s not excluded that the cable is defective.

The Solution?

  • If you are using an HDMI cable, try using an Optical cable.
  • If you are using an Optical cable, try using an HDMI cable.
test using a different audio cable

If you were previously using an HDMI ARC cable but your TV does not have an Optical cable port, try with a proven HDMI cable.

Feel free to disengage a cable from another setup in your home just to test whether the audio transfer would work on your Vizio soundbar without errors.

Tip: You can find cheap HDMI cables at nearby technical stores!

7. Update Vizio Soundbar Firmware!

Outdated firmware leads to various issues because over time the Vizio soundbar manufacturers release firmware updates to fix bugs and improve the performance.

So, the format support error might only be resembling an outdated version, which causes misconfiguration in the operation!

update vizio soundbar firmware

Here is how to update the Vizio Soundbar in easy steps:

  1. Insert a Formatted USB drive into your PC.
  2. Then, navigate to the Vizio Support Page.
  3. Download the Current Firmware (latest OS).
  4. Then head over to your computer Downloads.
  5. Copy and paste the firmware files to the USB.
  6. Turn on the Vizio soundbar in the power source. 
  7. When your soundbar is on, unplug the power.
  8. Next, plug the USB drive into the soundbar port.
  9. Connect the soundbar back into the power outlet
  10. Your soundbar will begin to blink the front lights.
  11. Wait until the lights on the soundbar stop flashing.
  12. Then remove the USB from the Vizio soundbar.
Note: Make sure to update your source device firmware too!

8. Factory Reset the Vizio Soundbar

factory reset the vizio soundbar

If everything is set up and configured correctly but your Vizio soundbar is still experiencing any format issues then you need to perform a factory reset.

This method solves the software issues from the device but unpairs the soundbar from the subwoofer and erases all settings.

Here is how to factory reset your Vizio Soundbar in easy steps:

  1. First, power off your soundbar using the remote.
  2. Then, unplug the Vizio soundbar from the power.
  3. Hold down the Power button on your soundbar.
  4. While holding the button, plug the cord to power.
  5. Your Vizio soundbar will soon start blinking light.
  6. Then release the Power button and simply wait.

When your Vizio soundbar is reset completely then attempt connecting it to your source device and test for the audio connection.

In case the file is still not supported, check what to do next…

Need More Help?

contact vizio customer support

If the same format issues continue to persist even after resetting then contact Vizio Support and let them know of your problem.

Their professional team will help you in the best possible way so best of luck.

Quick Recap:

When the format is not supported Vizio soundbar, then set your TV digital audio to “PCM”, and inspect the wiring between the soundbar and source.

Furthermore, test with different audio cables or even a different source device before resetting the Vizio soundbar.

Read Next: How To Update Vizio Soundbar? – Complete Guide

Nicole B