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post #1 of 3 Old 06-30-2020, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Outdoor TV with Sonos

We are finally constructing our outdoor pavilion which will have a TV over the fireplace. I'd like to have 4 speakers in the pavilion for the TV and to have music playing. We currently have two other outdoor zones both powered by Sonos amps so ideally I'd have this zone connected to Sonos as well. Overkill? Possibly.. but my thought was if I have a game on the TV and I'm over by the pool or in the outdoor kitchen, I can play the sound from the TV on either zone (useful when sports come back at some point?). I'm going to use a Roku to stream to the TV. I think I narrowed it down to 2 options, 1 cheaper and less complex and the other more expensive and more complex. The run from the TV to the inside where equipment will be stored is about 75'.

Option 1: Put the Roku outside with the TV, run a cat6 cable from inside to the Roku, Roku HDMI to the TV, then an optical cable from the TV to the inside and use either a Sonos optical cable adapter or an optical cable to RCA to connect to the Sonos amp. Then speaker wire from the Sonos Amp to the speakers in the pavilion. Pros: cheaper and less complex components, no long HDMI runs, Roku outside so I can easily use the remote. Cons: Roku is outside, relying on a 75' optical cable + connectors for the sound

Option 2: Put the Roku inside with the Sonos and use something like a Monoprice Blackbird 4K HDBaseT . It would be Roku to Blackbird with cat6 cable to TV outside. Sound would return to the transmitter where I could use the RCA out to connect to the Sonos then speaker wire from the Sonos Amp to the speakers in the pavilion. Pros: I future proof myself a little in case I want to add extra video components inside, Roku is inside (although the TV isn't going to be an outside TV so..) Cons: I watched this review (
) and he couldn't get sound to work from the RCA output on the Blackbird, which would basically be a pointless system for me then.

Am I missing anything going with Option 1? If it doesn't work out, I have the cat6 cable and can try option 2? Or is there a better HDBaseT alternative to the Blackbird that will work for my system?

Last edited by shwank; 06-30-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-08-2020, 05:36 AM
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Two points to make about the Sonos Amp may not be aware of that will effect your decision. First, while the Amp has RCA inputs and the HDMI-ARC 'input' (or optical with adapter), on the ARC port should be used for TV audio. The audio coming in from the ARC port will be played immediately in order to avoid lip sync issues with the TV. The RCA port is for audio only source, and will be delayed/buffered so that the audio can be played in sync with other rooms in your Sonos system.

Which brings me to the 2nd point. If you group your pavilion zone with your pool zone(s), with TV audio from the pavilion, the audio won't play in perfect sync (not without setting changes anyway). The pool will be slightly behind the pavilion audio, which can create an echo effect if you can hear audio from both zones at the same time. You can adjust the pavilion zone to delay audio to match the pool zone, but then you have lip sync concerns to be consider. This might not be a big issue for you personally. I currently haven't set up this way in my backyard and lip sync isn't bothering me much. However, my current setup is only a couple weeks old and have not done much serious watching out there yet.

That said, I'm not crazy about either option. A 3rd option would be to place be to use an outdoor enclosure for the Sonos amp and located it at/on the pavillion itself. That way, you do not have to do any long runs between the house and pavillion at all, other than electricity. Roku connected to TV, and TV connect to Amp via HDMI-ARC without any signal conversions in between. I haven't done this myself, but have heard of others who have done this without any issues.

The one thing I would do is make sure that you have good WiFi coverage in your backyard, for personal devices, roku, and the Amp. For the Amp, and controlling Sonos, you need your home and outside WiFi to be on the same subnet. I'm guessing you already have this is place though, since you've been using Sonos outside with the pool already.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-08-2020, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melvimbe View Post
Two points to make about the Sonos Amp may not be aware of that will effect your decision. First, while the Amp has RCA inputs and the HDMI-ARC 'input' (or optical with adapter), on the ARC port should be used for TV audio. The audio coming in from the ARC port will be played immediately in order to avoid lip sync issues with the TV. The RCA port is for audio only source, and will be delayed/buffered so that the audio can be played in sync with other rooms in your Sonos system.

Which brings me to the 2nd point. If you group your pavilion zone with your pool zone(s), with TV audio from the pavilion, the audio won't play in perfect sync (not without setting changes anyway). The pool will be slightly behind the pavilion audio, which can create an echo effect if you can hear audio from both zones at the same time. You can adjust the pavilion zone to delay audio to match the pool zone, but then you have lip sync concerns to be consider. This might not be a big issue for you personally. I currently haven't set up this way in my backyard and lip sync isn't bothering me much. However, my current setup is only a couple weeks old and have not done much serious watching out there yet.

That said, I'm not crazy about either option. A 3rd option would be to place be to use an outdoor enclosure for the Sonos amp and located it at/on the pavillion itself. That way, you do not have to do any long runs between the house and pavillion at all, other than electricity. Roku connected to TV, and TV connect to Amp via HDMI-ARC without any signal conversions in between. I haven't done this myself, but have heard of others who have done this without any issues.

The one thing I would do is make sure that you have good WiFi coverage in your backyard, for personal devices, roku, and the Amp. For the Amp, and controlling Sonos, you need your home and outside WiFi to be on the same subnet. I'm guessing you already have this is place though, since you've been using Sonos outside with the pool already.
Thanks for this! I was actually going to come back and reply with what I decided.

Re: RCA vs ARC. Yes, after a lot of research, I read the RCA is more for audio and the ARC HDMI is made for TV, which should help with the lip sync issue.. hopefully! I just tested out all the long cables to my current Sonos Amp and it played fine. Unfortunately, the TV is in one room and the speakers were connected elsewhere (running through my current WHA) so it was hard to tell if there was a lip sync issue. But, I noticed the Vizio tv I'm using has a lip sync adjustment so hopefully that should help.

I am less worried about other zones having issues with lip sync given I won't be able to see the TV from those areas but the potential echo issue does make sense. Given how my speakers are / will be angled, I generally don't hear much outside of those zones. But if it's an issue, I guess I could play with delays on the Sonos and TV.

So far, testing Option 1 seems to work but I do like your option of moving the box outside. I guess since I already bought all the wires and ran the conduit from my basement to the pavilion, I'll try it indoors (my other Sonos amps are indoors but in a different area of the house). If it doesn't work, I'll move it outdoors. I do have decent Wi-Fi to where the TV will be located (which is where I could put the Sonos as well) but for now, I have an cat6 cable running from a Google Wifi point in the house out through the same conduit so I will have wired Ethernet at the TV for the Roku. With the Google mesh, I have points throughout the house that give me pretty good coverage outside where I'd need to control the Sonos.

This seems like overkill for just a TV outside.. haha.. But I guess setting it up now with a little extra work and cost should hopefully be nice for years to come.
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