Near impossible to get Sonos playbar to get 5.1 audio (from HDMI sources) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-23-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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New Sonos owner and pretty new to home audio as well. Dropped serious money on full 5.1 sonos system. My Samsung TV will NOT send 5.1 audio out of the optical port. The Sony TV that was reported to work also would not. Generally, I cannot find a device that'll take multiple HDMI sources and output optical 5.1. Any help/suggestions? I found this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221203009829&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123 but I fear if the TV is connected HDMI, the source will dumb down my audio as well. Correct me if Im wrong on this. I want the 5.1 I paid for.
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post #2 of 44 Old 03-24-2013, 04:45 AM
 
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Do your sources have optical or coax output? You could use a switcher for the optical from your sources. If your sources have digital coax you can use a converter to optical. Or use any RCA switchers and convert to optical on the output if your source don't have optical. With HDMI the source is the boss and when the TV authenticates with the source it identifies itself as a stereo device. So the source only sends a stereo signal. An HDMI switcher doesn't solve the problem as the source has to authenticate with the display. Something like this may work for you.

http://store.audioholics.com/digital-audio-explorer-toslink-selector-switch.html?___store=default&gclid=CPT9wJGjlbYCFYid4AodXBMACA#
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post #3 of 44 Old 04-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Do your sources have optical or coax output? You could use a switcher for the optical from your sources. If your sources have digital coax you can use a converter to optical. Or use any RCA switchers and convert to optical on the output if your source don't have optical. With HDMI the source is the boss and when the TV authenticates with the source it identifies itself as a stereo device. So the source only sends a stereo signal. An HDMI switcher doesn't solve the problem as the source has to authenticate with the display. Something like this may work for you.

http://store.audioholics.com/digital-audio-explorer-toslink-selector-switch.html?___store=default&gclid=CPT9wJGjlbYCFYid4AodXBMACA#

How does this solve the problem if the TV is going to tell what ever is hooked up to it via HDMI to send a stereo signal? I have been reading conflicting reports about this being possible or not with type of switch.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=4#feedback

What you are saying is regardless of this switch whatever I have hooked up to it 2 channel is all you get if you hook it up to a TV?
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post #4 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Do your sources have optical or coax output? You could use a switcher for the optical from your sources. If your sources have digital coax you can use a converter to optical. Or use any RCA switchers and convert to optical on the output if your source don't have optical. With HDMI the source is the boss and when the TV authenticates with the source it identifies itself as a stereo device. So the source only sends a stereo signal. An HDMI switcher doesn't solve the problem as the source has to authenticate with the display. Something like this may work for you.

http://store.audioholics.com/digital-audio-explorer-toslink-selector-switch.html?___store=default&gclid=CPT9wJGjlbYCFYid4AodXBMACA#

This has not been my experience. I bought a 4HDMI in 1HDMI out with toslink out from monoprice for 46 bucks. It did the trick. MY TV was not capable of passing 5.1 with an HDMI source.
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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Yes. Here is the quote from the specifications of that HDMI switch.

"* The S/PDIF Optical (Toslink) and Digital Coax audio output formats are based on the HDMI audio output. If any of the sync devices (e.g., HDTV, Projector, etc.) connected to the output can only support stereo audio, then the S/PDIF Optical (Toslink) and Digital Coaxial outputs will be limited to PCM stereo audio."
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=3#specification

With HDMI the source is the boss and controls everything. The source has to authenticate (some call it handshake) with the display. Repeaters in the middle like this switch have to identify themselves as repeaters and their capability. This switch is a simple repeater and doesn't do audio processing like a receiver. Although it may be able to 'strip' the audio signal it is not an audio decoding device and is not identified as such to the source. In this instance the display is still the audio decoding device and has to tell the source which formats it can decode. Some TVs can decode a 5.1 signal and pass it through to the TV's optical output. For instance most LGs can pass a 5.1, most Samsungs can only do stereo. With most TVs getting cheaper and cheaper they cut out as much as possible and 5.1 decoders are more expensive than stereo and since they are only a stereo device why would they need anything more.

If you take the optical from the sources it will be 5.1 if set up correctly in the source. HDMI doesn't change the sources optical output. So using an optical switch is the best way to go if your TV doesn't have a 5.1 decoder. It is a pain to have another piece of equipment in the mix. I would avoid adding anything to the HDMI chain for this purpose as it is just likely to cause more problems. Here is another excellent quality switch with a remote, it is not cheap but it is not a simple pass through device like the other optical switch. It will also work if you only have coax outputs on your source.
http://www.inday.com/da4x/da4x.htm
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I completely understand what you are saying. What Im saying is this has not been my physical experience. My TV will not pass 5.1 via HDMI sources. When I added the splitter, I get 5.1 now.
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post #7 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterFramer View Post

How does this solve the problem if the TV is going to tell what ever is hooked up to it via HDMI to send a stereo signal? I have been reading conflicting reports about this being possible or not with type of switch.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=4#feedback

What you are saying is regardless of this switch whatever I have hooked up to it 2 channel is all you get if you hook it up to a TV?

Most T.Vs do not output anything more than stereo out of the optical port (because? licensing fees I think). So you will have to bypass your T.V in regards to audio if you want 5.1.

Basically, the HDMI cables from your devices will go into this box, and from this box an HDMI cable will transmit video to your T.V, and will output 5.1 audio via optical/coax to your Sonos Bar.
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydego View Post

I completely understand what you are saying. What Im saying is this has not been my physical experience. My TV will not pass 5.1 via HDMI sources. When I added the splitter, I get 5.1 now.

Wow! I think you got lucky. I don't know why a TV would accept a 5.1 signal and then convert it to stereo for the optical output. I guess it had to be converted to stereo anyway for the TV speakers so maybe that's why. Most TVs will pass 5.1 to optical for internal sources such as an antenna or included apps. I think mileage will vary with this type of switcher. I'm glad it worked for you.
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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My TV WILL do 5.1 for its own tuner, and only its own tuner.
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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post #11 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nr5667 View Post

Most T.Vs do not output anything more than stereo out of the optical port (because? licensing fees I think). So you will have to bypass your T.V in regards to audio if you want 5.1.

Basically, the HDMI cables from your devices will go into this box, and from this box an HDMI cable will transmit video to your T.V, and will output 5.1 audio via optical/coax to your Sonos Bar.

exactly
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post #12 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 06:03 PM
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So we still have conflicting information. This seems like a major oversight on Sonos's part. Anyways I have a question for you guys. I have a Pioneer 5020 and I have not been able to get it to output 5.1. BUT the goofy thing is it has a setting to select either Dolby Digital or PCM for the digital output. But then it just down samples anyways. What a tease! Why have the option in the first place?

I think I am just going to have to give that monoprice box a shot when it comes back in stock. Otherwise its an optical switch. Now I have to figure out how to wall mount this thing without violating firecodes.... As great as sonos is I think they F'd up on the design of this thing. Oh well... least I have 45 days to send it back.
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post #13 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by joeydego View Post

This has not been my experience. I bought a 4HDMI in 1HDMI out with toslink out from monoprice for 46 bucks. It did the trick. MY TV was not capable of passing 5.1 with an HDMI source.

I over looked this post... I'm going to give it a shot myself.

Are you wall mounting your bar?
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post #14 of 44 Old 04-07-2013, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I over looked this post... I'm going to give it a shot myself.

Are you wall mounting your bar?

no, its just sitting in front of the TV.
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post #15 of 44 Old 04-09-2013, 07:50 AM
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Hello all

HDMI Into and Optical Out of many HDTV’s is limited to 2.0 and even where 5.1 is available it may only be for the TV’s internal Tuner.

Our Octava HD41-ARC has been pretty popular as a way to get 5.1 from Multiple Sources (Inc. an HDTV’s ARC enabled HDMI port) into the PLAYBAR via the Optical out on the Octava Switch.

The Optical Out on the Octava Switch can be set to HDMI Input, Optical Input or ARC so covers pretty much all of the bases.

http://www.facebook.com/Octavainc/posts/217822978357749

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If I've helped 'Like' me on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Octavainc

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post #16 of 44 Old 05-03-2013, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

Hello all

HDMI Into and Optical Out of many HDTV’s is limited to 2.0 and even where 5.1 is available it may only be for the TV’s internal Tuner.

Our Octava HD41-ARC has been pretty popular as a way to get 5.1 from Multiple Sources (Inc. an HDTV’s ARC enabled HDMI port) into the PLAYBAR via the Optical out on the Octava Switch.

The Optical Out on the Octava Switch can be set to HDMI Input, Optical Input or ARC so covers pretty much all of the bases.

http://www.facebook.com/Octavainc/posts/217822978357749

Joe

Joe

If one is using the Octava HD41 and the currently selected HDMI input contains DD+ audio, what will be sent to the Optical out?

Same question for your HD11, for that one HDMI input

Is it possible to configure either of those devices to send vanilla DD to the optical out in this situation?

If the answer is no, can you suggest any product by octava or otherwise, (or combination of products) that could do that?
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post #17 of 44 Old 05-27-2013, 06:20 PM
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What about this Ambery decoder?
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post #18 of 44 Old 05-30-2013, 11:16 AM
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I'm curious, by "5.1 Sonos system" do you mean the Playbar as LCR and two Play 3's for surround and the sub?
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post #19 of 44 Old 10-24-2013, 06:44 AM
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Has anyone found a viable solution for this? (Any of the splitters truly work?) And can it support several inputs?
(If I have TIVO, XBOX both going into splitter then the HDMI to TV and OPtical out to SONOS, will the volume control still work with the Sonos and will the Sonos pickup whatever audio source is active between TIVO/XBOX?)


I am considering a new TV and would focus on one with a 5.1 DD Optical OUT (that supports HDMI passthrough) if a certain model/mfr is confirmed for supporting it.

My current 50" Panasonic Plasma about 5-6 years old only passes DD out via its own tuner. So using my TIVO as my cable tuner, I lose the 5.1 by the time it gets to my SONO Playbar.

Thanks.
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post #20 of 44 Old 10-24-2013, 09:48 AM
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I don't think the Sonos Playbar was the right product if you wanted dolby digital from your blu ray and/or cable/sat box. It only has one optical in and even that seems to be only for off air and network movie apps.

I ran into the same situation with my Panasonic Plasma, reason why I passed on the Sonus. The optical out is 2.0, so I don't use it. Instead I connect my blu ray player direct to my Zvox by way of optical and my cable box by coax. The Zvox has a digital decoder and all I have to do is select the proper input on the box. This is my secondary system and I have been happy with the results.
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post #21 of 44 Old 11-12-2013, 06:13 AM
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I just ordered the TOSLINK selector. Should know in a week or two if that solves my issue where my TV outputs Stereo only to my Sonos Playbar.
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post #22 of 44 Old 11-19-2013, 06:25 PM
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Good luck with the selector.

FWIW HDMI to optical 5.1 out works on my Sony KDL40EX640 (from DirecTV box, Apple TV, and Panasonic BR player).
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post #23 of 44 Old 12-10-2013, 08:03 AM
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Hi NatasNJ,

 

Did the Toslink work for you? I just got the playbar and only Stereo is being outputed to the playbar from my Samsung UN55ES7500 TV. 

I am looking for a solution to get proper DD to my playbar. Thanks for your feedback.

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post #24 of 44 Old 12-10-2013, 12:00 PM
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Digital Rights Management

Most TV's will output the input for over the air broadcasts. If you are using your TV's tuner vs. that supplied by a cable or satlellite providor, you will get audio at whatever the network or local affiliate are sending. If the program you are watching is in 5.1, you will get 5.1 from either the digital or HDMI ARC output.

Due to restrictions from the music industry, most TV's will only pass 2-channel from any connected source such as a DVD or Blu-Ray Player, game consoler, cable or satellite converter box. If you desire 5.1, and feel that there will be an audible difference, you must connect the audio output from the source directly to your audio system whether that is a soundbar, receiver, pre-amp, etc.

If you have multiple sources and limited inputs from your audio device, you will need a head end device to switch between inputs, either toslink or HDMI.

For the Sonos system, if you have all five physical channels, you would be best served by an HDMI switch.

Components to the HDMI switch. HDMI switch to the Sonos playbar. HDMI to ARC input between the playbar and your television.

David

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post #25 of 44 Old 12-10-2013, 12:15 PM
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Ok Thanks.

 

I just ordered the "Monoprice 4x1 HDMI Switch w/ TOSlink & Digital Coaxial Audio Output (Audio Return Channel/3D/CEC Support) " from amazon, and I will connect my PS3, my Cable box and my apple TV to it. Output will go to my Samsung "UN55F7500"  TV and then will have my Sonos Playbar directly connected to the switch via optical fiber.I'm also expecting to get a higher sound quality than just connecting the Sonos directly to the TV, even though I do not have a Sub and Play1s/Play3s behind. 

I guess that's the correct configuration, I will post results once I receive the switch from amazon. Hope this will do the trick. 

 

Cheers.

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post #26 of 44 Old 12-10-2013, 12:46 PM
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It should do the trick. However, if you have the playbar only, I am not sure you will hear any benefit from going to all of this trouble. The playbar should be able to put out L-C-R with little if no sonic difference from the 2-ch signal that would come from the TV via either HDMI ARC or optical out. I have owned a number of soundbars from cheap ($97) to expensive ($1,600) and I have only had one where I and my wife could hear the audible differences between 2-ch and 5-ch being input to the soundbar. The lone exception was a 4-ch soundbar from JVC. As far as that goes, I have not heard a soundbar that had a discernible difference between analog and digital signals. In fact, I could make most people believe that the analog sounded better just by switching from digital to analog. It seemed that either my 2009 Panasonic plasma either sent just a little additional voltage via analog or the analog inputs on the soundbar were more sensitive than the digital inputs making the analog about 2db or 3db louder. This was the old audio store trick. Which ever speaker you wanted to sell the most of, just adjust the pots on the switching system to make that speaker sound louder. Most people didn't listen long enough or hard enough to realize what was happening and would usually think that the louder speaker sounded best.

My ears are old, so you can discount some of this. There may be some subtle differences that I miss. I just hate to see anyone possibly waste money for some perceived benefit that may be nothing more than a placebo type effect or to make the setup of their system difficult when one of the benefits of owning a soundbar is supposed to be simplicity.

There was a time, early 1980's, when I owned a wonderful vacum tube preamp from Audio Research. Had only three inputs for about six components. I also had three video components for a Sony studio monitor TV that had only a single video input. I had a switcher for audio signals, a switcher for video signals and a notebook for my wife so that when I traveled she could hopefully get picture and sound when she wanted to watch something on TV.

David Freeman
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post #27 of 44 Old 03-31-2014, 09:47 PM
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I can confirm that the J-Tech Digital Hdmi to Hdmi + Audio Splitter works great for extracting the 5.1 Dolby Digital audio signal from your components and sending it on to the SONOS Playbar. It works especially well if you insert the splitter between your TV and an HDMI switch!

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post #28 of 44 Old 04-01-2014, 12:27 PM
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On another thread I posted that the Sharp 757 series does have pass through capabilities.

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post #29 of 44 Old 04-01-2014, 12:32 PM
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Cut and pasted from a post of mine.

 

 recently bought a Sharp 70le757u, and I have been researching the web for an answer as to whether or not it will pass DD 5.1 through the optical. I want to connect a Sonos Playbar and sub, hoping to add a couple play 3's in the rear. I have read hundreds of threads trying to find my answer to this. I want to know before I unbox the tv or if I have to take it back and get a tv that does have pass through.

I have found my answer, I think. Maybe some of you more tech savvy peeps can add any insight if I am just reading what I want to see. this is taken directly from the manual

 

~You can output digital audio to an AV amplifier or similar device whose DIGITAL AUDIO INPUT terminal is connected to the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT terminal on the TV. Please select an audio output format compatible with the audio format of the program you are watching and the equipment connected.

 

PCM: For connecting to equipment that does not support Dolby Digital and DTS. The same audio (main, sub, or main/sub) as the audio of the program being viewed is output. 2-channel audio with a sampling rate of 48 kHz or less is output as linear PCM audio.

 

Bitstream: For connecting to an audio system that supports Dolby Digital and DTS. Audio is output through both the main and sub channels.

 

NOTE • Analog channel audio and video input audio are output in PCM mode even when "Bitstream" is selected. • PCM digital input signals are output in PCM mode even when "Bitstream" is selected.

 

Thanks for looking.

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post #30 of 44 Old 04-01-2014, 09:39 PM
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I have a Sony w900, which passes 5.1, and ive found that the Xbox One, when set as bitstream will pass through every blu-ray ive tested as 5.1 to my Sonos set up according to the Sonos app

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