I think you need an amp with home theater bypass (this feature has a lot of names). But those get really expensive and is usually a line-level feature, not a speaker-level feature.
So, are we talking AVR or pre-pro or integrated amp?
Hey everyone I happened upon this thread, did some searching and wasn't able to come up with anything so I thought I would post.
I am a huge fan of Sonos, I bought my first player which was an S5 before they renamed it to Play 5 about 3 years ago and shortly there after bought 2 more of them. Recently I bought their Play Bar and after messing with it for a while I decided to add Two Play 1's to use as Rears.
At first I wasn't very impressed with the sound from the Play Bar but after doing some digging I realized that it wasn't getting a "Dolby" Signal out of my TV. My TV will only pass Dolby from an OTA Signal not cable. With this in mind I first got an optical splitter which worked well but then went with an HDMI Switch that has an Optical Out which works great!
It is well documented that Sonos does not do DTS but was wondering if there is someway around it. I am trying to play Backed Up Blu-Ray Images through my Media Player but get no sound at all. I have the same issue with my Blu-Ray player but that has a setting that I can output 5.1 instead of DTS / 7.1 which works.
Has anyone worked around this?
Well I am literally backing up my Blu-Rays so I have the actual Discs, I would really like to get 5.1 out of them since I have the Play Bar Set up with Two Play 1's as my surround speakers and they sound really awesome. After doing some research It seemed like there was a way to Rip a Blu-Ray that is in DTS and "Convert" the soundtrack down to 5.1. I tried doing this today with one of my Pixar Movies and it worked Great. Before I had no audio whatsoever after it worked fine. Then I tried to do another one and haven't been able to get that one to work using the same process (Clown BD and its associated apps). So unless I am missing something (which is entirely possible) I am still looking for a solution.
Another possibility which I an open to is getting a new / different player, maybe there is one out there that can process the sound itself and convert the output (like some Blu-Ray Players do) so that I get 5.1.
Any thoughts / suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Marc I've been using DVD Fab for many years and really like their product. I tried their Blu-Ray Option and wasn't impressed with it but that was with an older Version. Since then I upgraded it to Version 9.x and they made it look a whole lot simpler but it did exactly what I wanted it to do including Ripping to an ISO and converting the Audio track from DTS to AC3 in the process. I've only tried it with a few of my Discs so far but think that this will work for me for now.
Now on to your questions - When I first got my Play Bar I was happy with it as it does a good job at Simulating Surround Sound but I thought that this was a waste so I ended up getting an HDMI Switch from Monoprice that has an Optical Output. This allowed me to connect each of my devices to the switch and get 5.1 out out in to the Play Bar. I am not going to lie this makes a HUGE difference and once you hear that difference you will NOT want to go back! The only way my TV puts out Dolby is if you are getting a signal off the air. Why this is I don't really know. The downfall for this is that you now have another device with another remote. This isn't a deal breaker for me at all but might be for some.
Connect - See above for the connections and Yes this is used to connect Sonos to your existing Components and the Optical out from what I am reading it used to connect a Sub. This will NOT pass dolby digital since there is no way to get the Dolby Into it to be passed out of it (hope that makes sense).
Stereo Question - You can set it up either way. By default they are technically "Mono" but you can set up any two Play's (1's, 3's, or 5's) in a Stereo Pair which will give you a true left and right channel separation. Once you set up a Stereo Pair it will show up as a single device and not two separate players. This also holds true for the Play Bar with Rears and the Sub, they just show up at one "Room" and the individual components are hidden.
Your Setup - I think that this would sound great but like art this is very subjective! I haven't heard many complaints about Sonos sound quality ever. Even their Play 1's which are so small sound pretty amazing and get rave reviews from all different sources. The Play Bar, rear surrounds and sub will play music beautifully and the sub add so much more to it. I don't think your room is too big for this set up at all as these have lots of volume and never any distortion.
One thing I should mention that you may not know - The Sonos Play Bar does NOT currently support DTS Sound. This can be a HUGE problem for some people depending on their set up. When I first connected my Blu Ray Player for my HDMI Switch and tried to watch a movie I had no sound. Thankfully the Blu Ray player is able to "Downmix" the audio to 5.1 which works awesome. I also Backup movies which can be an issue but some programs will do the Downmixing as well.
If you have anymore questions fire away =)
This sounds like an odd way to set up the rears. Remember the rears are just for Surround Sound and will not give the full audio track. I would put the "Rears" in the same room as the Play Bar otherwise you aren't getting the full use of them and will take a lot away from the experience for sure.
What happens when you are a Sub / Rear Effect to a Play Bar is they are all grouped together and can not be controlled individually unless you remove them from the group. A lot of people have complained about this and there might be an easier solution coming soon but that is up to Sonos. My suggestion would be to go with separate players in the Kitchen (Play 1's or 3's) and you can add them to a "Group" with the play bar when you want / need to hear TV otherwise it will be a pain to add them and remove them all the time.
Here is what mine looks like... As you can see it shows the Left and Right but doesn't even show the sub. So to answer your question yes they are "Married" together until you remove them (divorce) which means you have to add them again. The process is relatively painless but it takes a few minutes.
Be warned Sonos is addictive, trust me on that. I started with a single S5 (before the renamed them) and now I at least one of ever one of their products!
Honestly I don't listen to much music (other than Concert DVD's / Blu-Ray's) through my Play Bar as I have it dedicated to my TV. That said it does do a "Simulated Surround" with the rears but it sounds pretty good considering.
The Sub is also married to whatever Player you set it up with. As with the Rears you can Remove it from that player but then you have to go through the setup to add it to another player. So not that you would want to do this but you can set the sub up in one room and pair it with a player somewhere else in the house. Of course you can also group players together so you could have the same music playing throughout the house.
Since I am playing with music through my Play Bar right now it does a really, really good job. It sound much better than my S5's do and I really love their sound. Of course the sub adds to much to it.
I did some searching and it seems like some of the Samsung and Sony TV's pass it out. The question is how can you tell for sure? The manual of my TV gives the impression that it does but it took me contacting Sharp to find out that it "Does" but only when tuning an HD Signal OTA otherwise it is only Stereo. Hopefully more and more will in the future. I know that is a common thing with all sound bars not just the Sono's. If a TV doesn't put out Dolby it doesn't really matter what sound bar you have. I don't plan on upgrading my TV anytime soon but I will certainly look for one that does pass it when it comes time to upgrade.
I assume you have multiple components in the basement? How are you switching them to your TV now? Is there a way to get optical out of whatever you are using now? If not adding a switch in shouldn't be that much of a big deal. For me it is well worth it. I did it for watching movies but now that I have 5.1 all the time just regular TV is so much better!!!
Well that is my point, if you are going to put something in the basement that is going to do the switching for you already just get something that has optical out and you only need 1 Optical Out. Each device will be connected via HDMI no need for the optical that is how I am doing it. If you are going to be running an HDMI Cable up to the TV for each device then that is different but you could still do an HDMI Switch with the TV. Instead of using the TV to switch just use the HDMI Switch and you will have Dolby out from ALL of your sources. Obviously a TV that puts out Dolby from the HDMI Sources would be best. You would think that would be common not the hardest thing to find these days.
Yes and Yes, I have all of my components (TIVO, HTPC, BluRay and Media Player) all going to it and I get Dolby out of all of them (Except the HTPC which is an issue with it and not the switch). So as you said you will be running each of the devices to the switch then the switch will connect to the TV with a Single HDMI Cable. The switch passes the Audio Signal from each of the devices out of the Optical Connection which would need to be ran in to the Play Bar or whichever sound bar you decide to go with.
I am using This switch from MonoPrice it is Remote Controlled, it works very well and it wasn't that expensive at all.