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connecting Sonos Ray to a TV without an optical output

  • 19 December 2022
  • 11 replies
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Hi,

I’ve seen a similar question with a suggestion of using an hdmi-to-optical adapter

  1. the relevant pages from my tv manual: pg1, pg2, pg3
  2. Are there any downsides to using an hdmi-to-optical adapter? latency issues? sound quality issues?
  3. Is there a recommended converter, or anything I should be aware about in the specs or just buy the cheapest converter?

Lastly, the need for complex connections got me rethinking the suitability of Ray. The TV in question is in the kitchen and is not used for viewing movies, but only broadcast tv (mostly news). The TV internal speakers seem adequate, and I have a couple of Sonos One SL in the kitchen for music.

My plan was to connect the Ray to the TV and move the One SL that is next to the TV to a room that does not have a Sonos speaker. This way listening to music in the kitchen would be with the Ray and the One SL, and the TV’s sound would be enhanced.

Since the connection to the TV is going to be complicated, I think it would be easier (and slightly cheaper) to get the additional One SL to the other room and leave the kitchen setup as-is.

What do you think?

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Best answer by Corry P 21 December 2022, 17:44

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11 replies

Hi. I don't think an HDMI to optical adapter would work. You would need to convert from HDMI-ARC nor HDMI. 

What audio outputs does your TV have.  Does it have coaxial? If so then then a coaxial to optical adapter would be a cheap and easy solution. 

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What audio outputs does your TV have.  Does it have coaxial? If so, then then a coaxial to optical adapter would be a cheap and easy solution. 

As you can see from the manual page links I’ve sent, the TV has RCA (left/right) audio and a 3.5 headphone jack (and naturally, a few HDMI outputs)

Hi  The HDMI connections are essentially inputs not outputs. HDMI2 has ARC functionality so is the one you would use for audio out. But an HDMI  to optical adapter would not work with that.

You could use the RCA out with an RCA to optical ADC, but it's a compromise.

 I would consider finding a non-Sonos soundbar that has an HDMI-ARC connector and stick with your existing Sonos for music. A standalone soundbar should be a fair bit cheaper than a Ray.

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Hi @hros10 

I’m with @John B on this:

Hi  The HDMI connections are essentially inputs not outputs. HDMI2 has ARC functionality so is the one you would use for audio out. But an HDMI  to optical adapter would not work with that.

You could use the RCA out with an RCA to optical ADC, but it's a compromise.

 I would consider finding a non-Sonos soundbar that has an HDMI-ARC connector and stick with your existing Sonos for music. A standalone soundbar should be a fair bit cheaper than a Ray.

Except, of course, for the “non-Sonos” part. You could return the Ray (if within the MBG period) and get a Beam instead. Problem solved.

I’m going to have to disagree with the answers to OPs question, and I’m not sure why HDMI-ARC is brought up.  There are a couple options here.

 

1- If your source for broadcast TV is external (a cable box) that feeds the TV via HDMI, then you can use an HDMI audio optical extractor between the source and TV to feed the Ray.  To be clear, I don’t mean Sonos dongle, but one of the many devices you can find on Amazon for $20.

2- As mentioned already, you can get a RCA to optical convertor box between TV and the Ray.  Again, a $20 purchase  from Amazon.

I don’t see a big issue with either of these two solutions.  We’re talking about a TV in a kitchen for stereo audio only, not a HT with immersive surround sound.  It’s going to be better than the TV speakers alone.

I would not recommend getting a 3rd party soundbar as OP clearly wants to continue playing Sonos music in the kitchen.  A 3rd party soundbar means you now have 2 devices cluttering the kitchen and you don’t get your existing One SL speaker to another room.  As a bonus to getting better TV audio, I expect (have not heard myself) that the Ray sounds better for music than a single One SL due to the stereo imaging.  So you get better TV audio, better music audio, and audio in another room….win win win.

I don’t think the Beam is a good idea as it’s overkill for the kitchen space, and no advantage with the HDMI-ARC input.

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Hi @melvimbe 

I admit I did assume that “broadcast TV” would be built into the TV itself, but you are correct - it could indeed be an external box, which would change the available options.

In a kitchen, the advantage of having voice-assistant functionality is considerable - being able to turn on the TV with a voice command while hands are covered in dough, for example. Beam would add this as an option, with HDMI in use. And, we don’t know the size of the kitchen, so perhaps Beam would do better there anyway. My statement was mostly based on “if your TV has HDMI-ARC but not optical, get the sound-bar with an HDMI socket” thinking, though - not a bad option if a refund is available and cable/device clutter is unwanted.

Hi @melvimbe 

I admit I did assume that “broadcast TV” would be built into the TV itself, but you are correct - it could indeed be an external box, which would change the available options.

In a kitchen, the advantage of having voice-assistant functionality is considerable - being able to turn on the TV with a voice command while hands are covered in dough, for example. Beam would add this as an option, with HDMI in use. And, we don’t know the size of the kitchen, so perhaps Beam would do better there anyway. My statement was mostly based on “if your TV has HDMI-ARC but not optical, get the sound-bar with an HDMI socket” thinking, though - not a bad option if a refund is available and cable/device clutter is unwanted.

 

In the interest of having a useless debate due to boredom, I’m going to disagree again. 😁 While I agree that having hands free voice control is useful in a kitchen, I will remind you that OP currently has an Sons One SL in the kitchen.  I presume then that OP isn’t interested for voice control now, since they were not previously.  As far as the size of the kitchen, again, we’re coming from having an existing One SL in the space, which OP appeared to be happy with.  No consideration for possibly upgrading to a stereo pair, although perhaps wasn’t aware that was an option.

Al that said, I was thinking that the TV was not HDMI-ARC capable...and I was wrong about that.  Indeed, using a Beam instead of the Ray would eliminate the need for a convertor and provide a little less clutter in that regard.  Also, the Beam would be more useful if you ever want to move it to a different room.

So I’m willing to accept a draw here.

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The OP originally stated they have a stereo pair of One SLs in the kitchen, but intended to move one of them to a new room and keep the other in the kitchen to use with the Ray.

It is not clear however, if they think they can pair the Ray and one One SL surround (which isn’t possible) or if they intend to group the two devices (Ray and One SL)  in the kitchen.

The OP originally stated they have a stereo pair of One SLs in the kitchen, but intended to move one of them to a new room and keep the other in the kitchen to use with the Ray.

It is not clear however, if they think they can pair the Ray and one One SL surround (which isn’t possible) or if they intend to group the two devices (Ray and One SL)  in the kitchen.

 

Dang.  I missed that.  I lose.

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thanks all

I wasn’t aware of the issues related to grouping or pairing One and Ray. I found this post which mentions an irritating 75ms delay between the speakers.

I’ll stick with the TV’s speakers and get a One SL for the other room (I was about to order an hdmi audio extractor...).

btw, the post defines the Sonos terms: “group”, “pair” and “bond”. I am using the two One SL in the kitchen as a “group”, while the post states that speakers in the same room should be paired and grouping applies to different rooms.

My understanding was that since I use two speakers to “fill” the room with sound, and not necessarily have a “right” and “left” speaker I should group them together. Am I correct in my assumption, or should I try and pair the speakers

Yes, you’re correct in your assumption.

Paired speakers have a defined left and right channel, with one going to one speaker, the other channel to the other speaker.

Grouped “rooms” play the same thing. You can have stereo paired speakers in a room, or single speakers, or even a full home theater setup. Each “room” will play the same thing. 

Bonded speakers are a slightly special case. The Sub is always bonded to another device/speaker, and plays only the frequencies sent to it. Bonded surrounds play the surround channel sent to them from the front soundbar/device, or, when streaming music to that “room”, they can play either “ambient” support to the front device, or a full stereo signal, depending on the choice made in the Sonos controller for that room (under surround audio)