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Feature Request: L-PCM support via the HDMI input for Beam

  • 23 August 2018
  • 8 replies
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Seeing as the Beam has an HDMI input, I'd like to request adding support for 5.1ch L-PCM. If you could please add support for this, it would warrant an instant buy for me, as I am among the 20+ million current Nintendo Switch owners, a console which unfortunately only supports surround sound via L-PCM. If other posts on this and other forums are anything to go by, I'm sure adding such a feature would further the demand for the Beam.

I hope you'll consider this. Thanks!
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Best answer by Ryan S 23 August 2018, 22:05

Hi Andreas, I'll pass along the suggestion for you and add it to the format requests. I don't have any details to let you in on, and it sounds like you've got all the details already. The Beam will play stereo PCM and if feed a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal, it'll get played in full, and if you have surrounds it'll add on top of that.

You would also need to make sure that any device along the line from your Switch to the Beam that touches the signal can pass it. Your TV may automatically convert it to Dolby Digital, or it could downgrade it to stereo PCM anyway.
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Userlevel 7
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Hi Andreas, I'll pass along the suggestion for you and add it to the format requests. I don't have any details to let you in on, and it sounds like you've got all the details already. The Beam will play stereo PCM and if feed a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal, it'll get played in full, and if you have surrounds it'll add on top of that.

You would also need to make sure that any device along the line from your Switch to the Beam that touches the signal can pass it. Your TV may automatically convert it to Dolby Digital, or it could downgrade it to stereo PCM anyway.
Thank you Ryan. I appreciate it.
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Along the same lines, some way to get 5.1 audio from a Gaming PC into a Sonos surround sound setup (Beam, Pair of Play 1s and a Sub). Few if any games support AC-3 and surround output is usually out of discrete connectors for fronts, center, rears and sub. NVidia cards will put out PCM but seems only to be stereo at least with Y Samsung KS8000.
Agree, uncompressed 5.1 PCM should be the highest priority feature to add. Also support for Dolby Atmos is requested, your customers will pay even more money to get this in place so please don't be scared for the cost, go ahead and test us!
Userlevel 2
+1 for me too. Was going to purchase a Beam to combine with a couple of Play 1’s we have in the lounge (after our 5.1 amp broke) but no chance without this feature. Back to the old school until you’ve caught up I’m afraid :(

Real shame as we have SONOS all over and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend for music.

Any chance of an update once this is implemented? I assume it will be, as this rules out a huge market! (All of us Nintendo Switch owners).
Userlevel 7
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So Nintendo are really too cheap to pay for a Dolby license? Wow.
+1 This is really a required feature, only supporting dolby surround is a little ludicrous we need L-PCM 5.1 support at least so when apps decode audio like DTS, it can go straight into bit perfect L-PCM 5.1 instead of having to be re-encoded into dolby digital just to support Sonos. Your lack of codec support generally is a little concerning and I won't be expanding my Sonos setup until we have some more options here.

I am also aware of ARC's serious bandwidth limitations and frankly it was a mistake making your input's so limited on the beam (but for those of us requiring L-PCM I'm hoping there is a way to split the audio off before it hits the TV, although because of the Beam's limited input options I can't find a way that would even be able to support 5.1...)
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
HDMI ARC cannot physically pass PCM 5.1. That would require eARC, which would require new hardware (as well as a pretty modern TV). DTS is of course the technically feasible way of supporting more audio formats, but Sonos has been clear since the very beginning that they will not support DTS.

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