Projector questions


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  • Contributor III
  • 3 replies
Basic level questions coming here. For the record, I did spend sometime in the forum but wasn't clear on the answers

We are without a TV, and looking to upgrade watching movies from our laptops to a projector (with a chromecast) We like the idea of something that is NOT hardwired or in a permanent location (ie the projector will not be mounted or fixed....) And we already have many sonos speakers throughout the house (porch, shop and kitchen have play:1, living room has a play:5 with our record player connected) --so it seems a shame to not be able to utilize them for any sort of movie watching.

Two questions: I gather a beam is the appropriate speaker to connect to a projector as the others may have an audio delay--true? Is there no way to stream movies and airplay with sonos?

If I can airplay, I'd be interested in getting a second play:5 to pair, but read only the same generation can pair. Dumb question, but how do I find what generation speaker I have?

and lastly, while I really enjoy my sonos--if the suggestion is to buy a beam to be used only when I set up my projector--would a cheaper bluetooth speaker be a better fit? Thanks!

2 replies

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The Beam would be the way to go. Most other solutions - Airplay, Bluetooth, Line-in - introduce a noticeable amount of delay, from somewhat annoying to totally off-sync unusable levels. Analog Line-in from the video player device to one of the Play 5s is the next best thing. I use play 5s gen1 as PC speakers, with audio compression off it is do-able. Furthermore the Beam (and Playbar and Playbar), being designed for use with a TV, will give you some control over lipsync thorough the app, whereas in the other use cases, you will have to accept the A/V sync as it is.

If you do choose a Beam, you will unfortunately enter the rather technical world of getting Sonos to work well with your setup, because it is not standard - Sonos assumes a "normal" TV to be connected.

You need to make sure that the projector can handle ARC, so it can give the audio back to the Beam. For your use case, the projector must be able to send the audio it gets from the Chromecast back to the Beam over a second, ARC capable HDMI interface.
A lot of projectors are not equipped to handle any audio at all, assuming some kind of audio handling (such as by an A/V amp) before the signal comes to it. I have a projector without ARC and have had to resort to an HDMI audio extractor (also because my Playbar lacks HDMI, but that is beside the point here). Projectors are often image-only devices, lacking a lot of the media handling capabilities of modern TV's, which becomes apparent when you want to use Sonos, as Sonos assumes a TV will do the heavy lifting in terms of processing the media and getting audio to the Sonos device.

That being said, when it does work, the Beam will give you an audio experience that is not matched by any bluetooth speaker. You can even pair some of your Play 1s as rear speakers.

Regarding the Play 5:
The Play 5 gen1 and gen2 are easily distinguished by their design:
Gen 1 (discontinued):


Gen 2 (currently sold):

Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Most folks find that Play 1s are enough speaker for surround rear channels, a set of Play 5 gen 2 will work but you'll gain little sound at great expense.

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