Beam - no TV sound from optical/HDMI cable

  • 22 July 2019
  • 6 replies

I cannot make the Beam work with my telly; it's got the optical Audio output (no ARCH) so I used provided HDMI-to-optical adapter. The beam recognizes it during the setup, but again, no sound.
I saw suggestions to unplug other HDMI cables from the telly, but this is how the signal comes to it - through a single HDMI from a receiver, so how can I test the speaker if no signal is provided to the telly and, consequently to the Beam?
I used a different (working) HDMI cable with the provided adapter, no luck.
I then hooked the Beam to the PlayStation 3 optical audio -- no sound from there either.
Is the adapter faulty or shoulod I send the Beam back for a replacement?

Also, the Beam works great streaming Spotify from my phone.

Thank you

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6 replies


Have you checked the audio output from the TV is set to the external optical port and is the TV also outputting PCM audio, or better still a Dolby Digital audio signal to the Beam?

Have you set the Beam's audio source in the Sonos App to “TV”, that’s if 'TV autoplay' is not currently enabled in the Sonos Room Settings?

Also it’s advisable to set all cables in place whilst all devices are powered off (not in standby) and ensure you remove the plastic cap from the optical cable, as mentioned in the Sonos manual.
I will just add...

It is possible (but rare) that your TV, if it’s quite old, may not pass-through (or convert) the audio received from its HDMI ports to its optical port. If that turns out to be the case (check with your TV manufacturer) then all is perhaps not lost ... However, in such a case, you will need to cable your TV input peripherals (Receiver/PlayStation etc) to an “HDMI Video/Audio Splitter/Switch” and connect that splitter/switch to the TV via HDMI ...Connect its optical port to the Beam. Simply attach the peripherals to this using their HDMI connection.

Such devices are available via Amazon and other similar websites.

Note your TV peripherals will need to output PCM/Dolby Digital audio to work with the general 'run of the mill' V/A splitter/switch. Look for ones that support Dolby Digital 5.1 output, but that’s only if this turns out to be a relevant issue with your particular TV setup.
thank so much for a prompt response, much appreciated.

My telly is in fact quite old, Dec 2007 as it turned out. It's a plasma Panasonic TH-42PC77U.

I ended up bypassing the receiver (serving primarily as an HDMI hub) and hooked up PS and apple tv directly to the telly and the sounds is now playing. Not sure if it's a better sound to my current Yamaha receiver/soundbar, but I'll test it out for a few days.

Thanks again for your help.

I think my brother actually has that TV and I just found its manual here (not sure if the link will work?)...

It does definitely support Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

You probably just just need to play a DD 5.1 audio source. A film off Netflix, for example.

If you goto 'About my Sonos System’ in the Sonos App and find your Playbar in the list of devices, it will show you the audio type it is receiving for output. So check that says Dolby Digital 5.1 and ensure you are playing a decent audio source for testing the PlayBar.
Ha, what are the odds?!?

Well, streaming a movie from Netfix through appleTv does not sound like DD 5.1and I think this is why:

When audio from other equipment connected to this unit [tv] via HDMI is output using “DIGITAL AUDIO OUT” of this unit [tomek: optical in this case], the system switches to 2CH audio. (When connecting to an AV amp via HDMI, you can enjoy higher sound quality.)

That said, 2CH stereo might be the best this setup is capable of and the reason I got Beam was, hopefully, to improve the sound. The app confirms this: Audio In: Stereo.

Other options you can think of?

See my earlier post, not all TV's (particularly older ones) pass-through a DD surround signal via their HDMI connections and perhaps that is your issue. You may need to check with the TVmanufacturers support desk, but an A/V splitter will often resolve the issue, as explained. That’s if it does turn out to be the case for your make/model of TV.

Some make/models of TV capabilities, in this regard, are shown on this website. You may want to search and check if yours is listed:

Hope that assists.👍