Is it possible to connect a Playbase to a TV without using the optical port?

  • 29 July 2021
  • 3 replies

I’ve had a Sonos Playbase connected to my Samsung TV via a digital optical cable for a few years now but the flap on the optical port on the back of the TV has broken off and won’t hold the cable in anymore.  For a while I have been able to keep it working by just taping the cable in place (crude but it worked!) but it is incredibly sensitive and the slightest knock to the cable breaks the connection.  That was annoying but I was managing with it, but it’s now so sensitive I can barely get it to connect at all.  Replacing the port in the TV would be about £250 and given this door flap seems to be a common weakness, I’m not keen to spend that much money.

After a lot of searching online, I’ve bought a HDMI audio converter which in theory allows me to connect the optical cable from the Sonos to the converter and then connects from the converter to the HDMI ARC port on my TV.  The TV recognises that it is connected and gives me an additional speaker option to select from the sound menu, however I can’t get any sound out of the Sonos.  I’ve been told that the only way the Playbase can connect to a TV is via a direct optical cable so I may be completely wasting my time trying, but I wanted to ask if anyone else has had a similar problem and any success of connecting a Playbase to a TV in any way other than the optical port?  Thanks for any help in advance!


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3 replies

So, without knowing the make/model of that “audio converter” device, it’s hard to know.

Since you’re restricted to an optical input, you’d need a standard HDMI switch with an optical output. There’s dozens of models out there, you can search on Amazon, and buy local, if you prefer. It will take an HDMI input, and pull off the Dolby Digital signal and send that out via optical, which you can then connect to your PLAYBASE. Note, however, that the switch will not change a signal type, so you need to restrict the source device to send only a stereo (less preferable) or Dolby Digital (best preference) signal. 

Thanks for the reply.  I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong but have just realised that I had the digital cable in the input side as well as the HDMI cable :face_palm_tone2: It’s now working perfectly now I’ve connected to the output!  I thought I would post the link to and photos of the audio converter I bought in case anyone else has the same problem - £15.99 from Amazon vs £250 to get the port repaired on my TV!  And the Sonos technical team told me it wasn’t possible to connect to this type of converter from a Soundbase, which didn’t make sense to me, so it’s worth it to keep trying if anyone else gets the same wrong advice!



I have a playbase also.  My LG television was advertised it had 5.1 out using optical cable but it does least without having to pay a tech to come out and change the internal menu of the tv.  I solved the problem by using optical audio out on my Comcast cable box to the playbase optical.  It works great and I do get 5.1 without the tv optical being used.