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Meet Arc, Brilliant sound for your TV

Meet Arc, Brilliant sound for your TV

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This may be the wrong place for this question, but it looks like the Arc has support for only one HDMI Input/Output. This can be used with an adapter for optical audio in.

I have a TV that has ARC capabilities, but not eARC capabilities. As I understand it, that means I will be able to get Dolby Digital. That’s a step up from the existing Sonos Beam.

As I also understand it, I will not be able to get Dolby Atmos, TrueHD, MAT, or Dolby Digital Plus because of limitations with my television (from 2017) passing through those “feeds”.

If I want to use my Apple TV 4k, which I understand supports Dolby Atmos, is there a way to pass the Atmos audio to the Arc and the picture to the television?

I think it’s great that Sonos is embracing Dolby, but I don’t want to buy a new TV to use all of Sonos’s features. And if I need to buy an A/V receiver, why would I get the Sonos? Maybe there’s something I’m missing?

 

ARC supports Dolby Atmos over Dolby Digital Plus, which is what the streaming services use. You wouldn’t be able to get Dolby Atmos over Dolby TrueHD. 

Hi - is the ARC designed to sit in the open? - judging from the marketing photos.  I have a 65 inch Sony A9 which basically sits on It’s own TV stand Without any clearance just a slim bezel along its base; under which I have a shelf housing my Beam.  If I replace the Beam with the Arc - will the shelf and TV above - block the Atmos up sound characteristics of the new Sound Bar?
 

You will want to give Arc a little space between the unit and anything above it. The upward speakers are not flush with the back of the unit. We recommend a minimum space of 5.5 inches between the top of Arc and any other device or surface. For the best audio experience, it is recommended to either position Arc in a tabletop orientation, or for it to be wall-mounted below your TV.

 

Ryan, along those same lines, is there are recommended minimum space out to the sides, left and right, for the Arc, allowing those side woofers to do their thing?

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This may be the wrong place for this question, but it looks like the Arc has support for only one HDMI Input/Output. This can be used with an adapter for optical audio in.

I have a TV that has ARC capabilities, but not eARC capabilities. As I understand it, that means I will be able to get Dolby Digital. That’s a step up from the existing Sonos Beam.

As I also understand it, I will not be able to get Dolby Atmos, TrueHD, MAT, or Dolby Digital Plus because of limitations with my television (from 2017) passing through those “feeds”.

If I want to use my Apple TV 4k, which I understand supports Dolby Atmos, is there a way to pass the Atmos audio to the Arc and the picture to the television?

I think it’s great that Sonos is embracing Dolby, but I don’t want to buy a new TV to use all of Sonos’s features. And if I need to buy an A/V receiver, why would I get the Sonos? Maybe there’s something I’m missing?

Dolby Atmos isn’t a codec in itself, it’s audio that’s part of a codec for the ceiling direction. Arc supports Dolby Digital Plus, which can carry Dolby Atmos content, compressed, transmitted via HDMI-ARC. The Apple TV sounds like it doesn’t sent Atmos over Dolby Digital Plus and only sends it on higher format streams, I believe MAT, which requires a HDMI-eARC connection. In short, with an HDMI-ARC connection, you are capable of getting Atmos sound via Dolby Digital Plus, depending on the source, and it looks like Apple TV won’t currently do that. However that may be a good question for Apple to confirm.

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Hi - is the ARC designed to sit in the open? - judging from the marketing photos.  I have a 65 inch Sony A9 which basically sits on It’s own TV stand Without any clearance just a slim bezel along its base; under which I have a shelf housing my Beam.  If I replace the Beam with the Arc - will the shelf and TV above - block the Atmos up sound characteristics of the new Sound Bar?
 

You will want to give Arc a little space between the unit and anything above it. The upward speakers are not flush with the back of the unit. We recommend a minimum space of 5.5 inches between the top of Arc and any other device or surface. For the best audio experience, it is recommended to either position Arc in a tabletop orientation, or for it to be wall-mounted below your TV.

 

Ryan, along those same lines, is there are recommend minimum space out to the sides, left and right, for the Arc, allowing those side woofers to do their thing?

Ideally, the sides would be open, but for a minimum clearance, that same 5.5 inch measurement is accurate for the sides as well, to allow for airflow.

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Hello,

If my understanding is correct, this bar will achieve Atmos 7.1.2

Arc: center, front left, front right, front upward left, front upward right

Sub

Play One/Five: Surround Left, Surround Right

Will it be possible to create a 7.1.4 by adding ceiling rear speakers with Amp?

 

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You are mostly correct, @valynox. On its own, Arc is 5.0.2  due to the upward and side firing speakers inside of it. Due to the changes in audio processing when adding rear surround speakers it continues be a 5.0.2 even with rear surrounds. Adding a Sub makes it 5.1.2. 

 

7.1.4 isn’t possible at this time. But I’ll let the team know you’re asking for it.

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If I were to use a new Samsung TV (nothing mentioned about Atmos)with support for eARC and a Apple TV 4K (support for Atmos) connected to it. Would I get support for Dolby Atmos sound with the Arc? 
 

None of the Samsung TVs seems to support Dolby Atmos, but is that maybe just because of the TV lacking the correct speaker configuration?

You’ll want to check if the TV that you have is able to support Dolby Atmos passthrough. There’s a great list here of TVs with their supported formats: https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough In some cases, onboard apps might not pass Atmos, but HDMI sources can pass it through via HDMI-ARC. Ultimately, that’s going to be a question for your TV manufacturer.

 

Today I have a TV from 2015 with support for ARC. Would it be so that this might work with the Arc and the possibility for Dolby Atmos if I play media from a Apple TV 4K depending on my TV? Or is eARC needed?

I can’t really find any information about what my TV outputs, but it seems like its 5.1. But if i use Speaker Check for Apple TV it handles my setup (Playbar + 2 Play:3) fine - although it’s via optical now since the Playbar is involved. Might this be a good sign?

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Most likely you’ll get Dolby Digital Plus with that setup, which is capable of passing compressed Dolby Atmos content, if that is available. The big question is if your Apple TV will be sending Atmos content. From what others have posted, and what’s shared on their page here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204069, the Apple TV’s Atmos content will only be playable when using HDMI-eARC from your TV to your soundbar, because they only use the high quality formats of Dolby Atmos. This would be a good question to ask Apple or perhaps your TV manufacturer. The Sonos Arc will play Atmos from Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby MAT, you just have to get that audio to us. 

I’ve checked with some people who have tested the Sonos Arc with Apple TV and some of them have gotten Atmos content even without eARC connections, so ultimately I think it depends on your TV and if it can send the Dolby Atmos signal over ARC.

Sorry to go over old ground, this thread has got very technical. 
 

I see play 3’s will be supported but the play 1 answer seems to be skipped over, are play 1’s a definitely no, a definite yes or a watch this space? 

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Sorry to go over old ground, this thread has got very technical. 
 

I see play 3’s will be supported but the play 1 answer seems to be skipped over, are play 1’s a definitely no, a definite yes or a watch this space? 

Definitely yes.

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You are mostly correct, @valynox. On its own, Arc is 5.0.2  due to the upward and side firing speakers inside of it. Due to the changes in audio processing when adding rear surround speakers it continues be a 5.0.2 even with rear surrounds. Adding a Sub makes it 5.1.2. 

 

7.1.4 isn’t possible at this time. But I’ll let the team know you’re asking for it.

 

@Ryan S This is what I wanted to understand given that there are extra speakers on the side why is it that when you add the rear surrounds the audio processing will turn off the side speakers?  Wouldn’t that be a waste of extra sound separation?  Most of the current home theater setups now that handle Atmos are usually 7 main speakers at the minimum.  

Now given that this is not available now but the hardware capability (2 side speakers) is already in the arc, would you say that it would still be probable to achieve a 7.1.2 setup through a future firmware update?  

 

Thank you.

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That’s a great question. The side speakers don’t get turned off when it’s with rear surrounds, they reconfigure to help the left and right channel performance but it doesn’t quite convert into a 7 dedicated channel configuration. That said, the “missing” channels get included in the audio from the surrounds. The 6th and 7th channel audio isn’t “dropped”. 

I’ll check in with the team and if it’s possible for the future add it as a request. No promises, but I’ll get it on the list if it could happen.

That’s a great question. The side speakers don’t get turned off when it’s with rear surrounds, but it doesn’t quite convert into a 7 dedicated channel approach. I’ll check in with the team and if it’s possible for the future add it as a request. No promises, but I’ll get it on the list if it could happen.

 

Personally, I wouldn’t want the side firing speakers to act as side surround channels.  The reason being that the audio needs to bounce off the walls to reach the main listening area, right?  Well one side of my room is windows and the other is essentially open space.  Not ideal.  I would rather side audio be played over the rear or ceiling channels where appropriate, rather than side.

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That’s a great question. The side speakers don’t get turned off when it’s with rear surrounds, they reconfigure to help the left and right channel performance but it doesn’t quite convert into a 7 dedicated channel configuration. That said, the “missing” channels get included in the audio from the surrounds. The 6th and 7th channel audio isn’t “dropped”. 

I’ll check in with the team and if it’s possible for the future add it as a request. No promises, but I’ll get it on the list if it could happen.

@Ryan S Ok I’m getting mixed messages.  I watched a YouTube video of Digital Ramble wherein Cullen Harwood explained how the ARC still performs at 5.0.2 with the surrounds but he specifically mentioned that the side speakers turns off and sends that discreet channel to the rears.  Could you confirm that your interpretation is the correct one and that the sides will become part of the front LR’s?

I understand that when you add rears of course the side speakers will not be acting as surrounds anymore but rather I would want to accomplish a much more wider sound stage. If the sides are turned on and firing audio then of course that would help with the separation.  Ultimately my preference would still be a dedicated 6th and 7th channel in the future rather than just an assisted front LR.

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I’ll check in with the team and Cullen to make sure then circle back with you!

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I’ll check in with the team and Cullen and circle back with you!

 

Thanks Ryan!!

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Ok, I just had a chat with Cullen about this @jinjin19. When using surround speakers with an Arc, the side speakers aren’t disabled but they stop producing the dedicated surround channels and shift to support the left and right sounds. The surround function on those channels is turned off which is what he meant in that video, but the speakers themselves don’t go silent.

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Ok, I just had a chat with Cullen about this @jinjin19. When using surround speakers with an Arc, the side speakers aren’t disabled but they stop producing the dedicated surround channels and shift to support the left and right sounds. The surround function on those channels is turned off which is what he meant in that video, but the speakers themselves don’t go silent.

Ok gotcha, Thanks for clarifying Ryan!

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Thks Ryan for this clarification!

i would love to be able to throw a second pair of Ones to build a 7.1.2 or even better a pair of ceiling with Amp to build a 7.1.4 :)

i don’t know if the WiFi bandwidth/SonosNet would be strong enough to support it :) 

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I’ll pass along the requests for you.

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Question: My Sony TV currently has one HDMI “arc” input. And into that input I am connecting my cable box. Meanwhile, my playbar is connected to the TV via optical. In this current set up I’ve been able to successfully pass through Dolby 5.1 with no problem. Now if I get a new Sonos arc, I would have to use this one “arc” HDMI input on my TV. Thus needing to reroute my cable box HDMI to a non-arc HDMI input on the TV. Is that going to lead to possible dolby pass-through problems? Basically is it critical that my cable box be connected to my TV via an arc HDMI input or will any HDMI input suffice? I’m trying to figure out if I’m one arc input short on my TV.

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You should be able to move that cable box to your HDMI connection without issue. The ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, which is used to send audio to a device like a soundbar. The biggest thing you could miss is that HDMI doesn’t have CEC, which is what’s used to send commands to the TV. The cable box isn’t likely using CEC for much. But the Sonos Arc will use CEC with voice control to issue commands to the TV.

The ARC designation on that port means that it is the only one that the TV sends a signal back out to a speaker on. All of the ports will accept a regular HDMI signal, but the TV uses just that one port to reflect back out the HDMI-ARC.  So even devices connected on other ports can still send a signal to your Sonos as long as the Sonos is connected to port 1. 

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You should be able to move that cable box to your HDMI connection without issue. The ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, which is used to send audio to a device like a soundbar. The biggest thing you could miss is that HDMI doesn’t have CEC, which is what’s used to send commands to the TV. The cable box isn’t likely using CEC for much. But the Sonos Arc will use CEC with voice control to issue commands to the TV.

Thank you Ryan! 

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The ARC designation on that port means that it is the only one that the TV sends a signal back out to a speaker on. All of the ports will accept a regular HDMI signal, but the TV uses just that one port to reflect back out the HDMI-ARC.  So even devices connected on other ports can still send a signal to your Sonos as long as the Sonos is connected to port 1. 

Appreciate the input! (No pun intended) 

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