Dealing with HDMI ARC issues on Amp and input choices


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I have an Amp hooked up to our living room TV in our house. (I also have a home theater setup using Sonos in our barn/guest house with the big screen TV.) I’m really fed up with the Amp, after any blackout or power flicker, losing all settings. I’ve been using regular stereo audio input pulled from an HDMI switcher to feed the Amp. Whenever we get a power flicker, my Sonos devices lose their groupings and settings. (Which, really, is pretty sad considering that pretty much any device, in 2021, can save such settings in non-volatile RAM - except the high priced Sonos!)

Every time we start up the TV and there’s been a power flicker (which we often don’t know has happened), we get silence. So, instead of using my IR all-in-one remote, I have to pull out my phone and run the Sonos controller and change the Amp input BACK to “Line In,” where I always leave it. What’s amazing (and sad) is that this system is on a UPS. Everything on that UPS keeps behaving normally during an outage or power flicker, but the Amp still loses it’s input setting. (We have a full house generator - if power is totally out, within 40 seconds the generator kicks in and restores power. With a UPS and the generator, this Amp is never without power - yet it’s so sensitive that after a power flicker, it loses settings!)

So, first, it’s really small of Sonos to not have a way to store a setting like that.

Second is a bigger issue. I took the output from the HDMI switcher and ran it into a splitter so I could run one HDMI cable to the projection TV and one to the Sonos Amp. Simple solution, right?

Nope. Then Sonos says, “No arc, gotta fix it.” I’m using equipment that supposedly uses ARC, but I don’t see why it’s needed, since the audio comes from my Apple TV and my Sony BD player. All Sonos has to do is read the audio signal off the HDMI cable.

I want to eliminate this continual pain in the rear. My wife hates, and I mean HATES having to change the Sonos Amp inputs if she wants to watch TV by herself whenever this has happened. I find it an annoyance that, on any kind of up-to-date system in 2021, shouldn’t exist.

I would like to be able to do one of the following, in order of preference:

  1. Just hook the HDMI cable from the HDMI splitter to the Amp and not have to deal with ARC and just use the normal audio from the Apple TV or Sony BD player. Both output audio on HDMI, so sound coming back from the TV is really not a problem.
  2. Keep the “Line In” setting all the time, so it’s not lost every time there’s a power flicker or outage.

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66 replies

Many A/V receivers can support both HDMI and HDMI-ARC, but the installation is not “plug and play” as is typical with SONOS.

There are still some “kinks” that the industry needs to work out. HDMI needs to serve multiple masters. The movie industry has intellectual property protection as a top priority. In some respects, because of all the hoops that equipment designers need to jump through, I’m not sure if the movie people care if you can play the movie or not, only that you cannot copy it. If the copy protection limits quality in some way, this is OK. As a source is selected there is a copy protection negotiation that must succeed before play is allowed. Failure will usually result in a silent, black screen, however, sometimes there are displayed messages.

Another aspect is the HDMI-ARC that we are grumbling about here. HDMI-ARC requires two different hardware paths and a means for the consumer to work through a maze of setup options. Then there is the maze of video and audio formats. TV’s and audio systems need to negotiate and figure out shared capability. A user could have some legacy equipment that does not support 2K, 4K, or the emerging 8K and 10K formats. A TV or projector that supports only one audio or video format is a non starter. “EDID” (Extended Display Identification Data) is the technology that allows units to negotiate formats. An EDID fail can result in no audio or video as a source is selected.

And, there is “CEC” (Consumer Electronics Control) that attempts to ease control of a large collection of components. The goal of CEC is to allow the user to drop a DVD into a player and the player will power up other units and select inputs without any user action. A favorite CEC fail is the middle of the night cable box update ending with turning the cable box turning ON. The cable box then sends out the CEC notice -- resulting in TV play. Another interesting fail results after turning OFF the TV, and turning OFF the DVD player in an attempt to go to bed. Unfortunately, since the cable box is still ON, CEC can assume that the user really wanted to watch cable, and the TV and A/V system will startup again to watch cable -- requiring another shut down by the user. Since this restart may require many seconds and the user may have already left the room, the user will discover that the TV is playing in the morning.

In my experience SONOS is one of the most capable products attempting to negotiate this maze, but it is not foolproof. On Thursday mornings at about 3:30am cable boxes in my area might be updated. I must be careful to ensure that ARC is muted at this time -- or else. Fortunately, I have an Arcana and I can block this middle of the night turn ON by the cable box.


For community members demanding to know what drives SONOS and why “my” very important issue has not been dealt with, SONOS attempts to minimize support costs and keeps track of every support request. There are also focus groups and this and other communities are monitored. While a few posters can raise quite a fuss in a community, the feature request or “issue” might not be very wide spread.

Recently there was a quirk with the new ROAM causing it to sometimes forget that it was stereo paired with another ROAM. This created a lot of “flames” and, I suspect, support calls. This was fixed with last week’s update.

 

The optical output from HDMI switches, when passed through the SONOS optical adaptor, will appear to be an Audio Return Channel feed to the SONOS ARC or BEAM. SONOS ARC or BEAM will not accept regular HDMI audio feeds, only HDMI-ARC or HDMI-eARC are supported.

From what I’m hearing, though, unless there is already an ARC signal in the system, the adaptor won’t generate ARC. I’m already quite frustratingly aware that the AMP won’t accept regular HDMI audio - which is the thing I’m most ticked off about. I get that, without ARC, there might be sync issues, but it seems to me the AMP should be able to pull audio out of HDMI. If Sonos is worried about sync issues, then the switch to turn non-ARC HDMI on could be put a few levels down in the menus, so it’s buried and when it’s selected, the app can give a warning that sync might be an issue. (Just like, every time the AMP resets itself to HDMI in, and I have to reset it to Line In, it gives me a warning.)

 

What buzz stated is 100% accurate.  Connect your switch to the dongle via an opitcal cable, and the dongle into the back of the Amp.  It will work.  This is not a guess, as the very same setup has been recommended to probably 100s before you.  Although I don’t need it, I’ve tested the dongle myself with a Beam.  As you’re aware, your issue is not at all unique.  Sonos created the optical adapter for this is exact scenario, no other reason for it to be even created and sold.

I think you’re over thinking ARC a bit here. I wouldn’t say the dongle ‘generates’ an ARC signal, as generate is the right word here, but the dongle takes the digital signal coming over the optical cable and sends them over the ARC audio channels on the HDMI connection so that the Amp can read that.  Whether that is technically meeting the ARC standard, don’t know, but doesn’t matter since the Amp (and other Sonos home theatre devices)  is designed to work this way. 

 

As an aside, I don’t like the idea of having an single normal HDMI input for an Amp/Arc/Beam.    In order to use that you would need to have some sort of HDMI splitter or matrix so that you can output to your TV or projector  and to the audio device.  In addition, the audio from any built in TV app has no way to make it to the audio device.  While that doesn’t matter to you or anyone with ‘dumb’ TVs or projectors, including it as an option would probably just more people than it would help.  Maybe most importantly, In the case of the Amp (and Gen 1 Beam), it doesn’t solve any problem that the optical adaptor doesn’t already fix.  A solution where a single port works like straight HDMI with one setting and ARC setting with another seems overcomplicated, when an adapter that’s physical easy to use and see how it works, while easier to support, makes a lot more sense.

 

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To all:

I called Sonos and pressed the button for tech support. That was a frustrating call because the person I talked to did not get that my TV was a projector and most projectors don’t have HDMI-ARC. I had to explain that point to him multiple times. Then he said, “Try this,” and recommended the optical adaptor that we’ve discussed. I asked, “Does that generate an ARC signal?” He was not clear what I meant, so I had to explain, again, that my TV did not have ARC. He asked for diagnostic information and then said, “You don’t have HDMI connected.” So I explained it again!

I finally said, “It seems I’m having to explain a lot to you about how this all works. Can you connect me with someone who has a better technical background who knows how this works?” He said he could and, after being on hold for several minutes, I was disconnected.

I used the video call option. Sonos - that’s a good idea, but please remember not everyone has high bandwidth! I got Tita who was quite helpful and verified that the optical adaptor does NOT generate ARC. We were pretty sure, but I got clarification on that.

For other responses, since I don’t have much time, I won’t quote:

@buzz : I’ve bypassed CEC because of funky issues like you mention. We don’t have cable - can’t get it out here. (We have cellular internet - major upgrade from V̶i̶a̶s̶u̶c̶k̶, er, Viasat!) We did have satellite TV - if you have frustrations with cable, never go for satellite! I finally decided to go with a universal remote that I could program, so we hit “Watch a movie,” for DVD/BD, or “Watch TV” for Apple TV. (I use a digital antenna for local TV and can watch that through the Channels app on my Apple TV.) CEC has good ideas, but glitches still happen. Even with my universal remote, there are issues. For example, it does see that some devices stay on when I change from “Watch TV” to “Watch a movie,” but it does not let me tell it to leave my screen down, so the screen starts going up, then goes back down. I’m working on ways to deal with that.

I have had to add a device to generate EDID signals for my big projection TV.

I think one of the reasons I’m so frustrated with this issue is that Sonos does do simple “it just works” setups and, except for this, it’s always worked in every situation - then I hit this brick wall, where both possible alternatives (Line In not being reset and ARCless HDMI) don’t work. And, when hitting the wall, I’m finding it’s even worse than the similar wall in Apple. Maybe that’s why I’m just so frustrated - there’s no in-between.

@melvimbe : For what you talk about with ARC and single input - wouldn’t using two ports, HDMI and HDMI-ARC work? However I do like the idea of just plugging in an HDMI cable to everything and that takes care of it. I know that’s what ARC is trying to do, but it looks like there’s still a lot of work to deal with.

Wow.  I don’t know what your conversation was like with tech support, but you’ve been given the solution to your problem several times now but you seem to keep trying to convince yourself that it won’t work.

If the adapter doesn’t do what we are telling you it does, what do you think the adapter is for?  Why does the adapter come with the Beam and Arc if it can’t be used to convert optical to an HDMI-ARC signal?  Why does the FAQ for the Amp state the following?

 

Can I connect my computer to Amp through HDMI and control volume and functions through the computer?

If your computer outputs audio through an HDMI ARC connection, you can use it to control Amp. Additionally, the Sonos HDMI Adapter (sold separately) allows you to connect a computer with an optical SPDIF output to Amp.

 

Why does the support document for setting up the Amp state the following?

When using Amp as front TV speakers, check your TV’s HDMI ports to confirm that your TV supports HDMI-ARC. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC port, you will need an optical audio adapter to complete TV Setup.

 

 

Legacy HDMI and HDMI-ARC use different pins on the connector for audio. Legacy HDMI sends audio to the display device, the HDMI-ARC channel accepts audio from the display device. HDMI-eARC is simply a more modern, more capable version of HDMI-ARC. eARC is required for advanced audio formats, such as Atmos. It doesn’t matter if the SONOS dongle supports eARC or not because TOSLINK (optical) does not support the bandwidth required for the eARC advanced audio functions.

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Wow.  I don’t know what your conversation was like with tech support, but you’ve been given the solution to your problem several times now but you seem to keep trying to convince yourself that it won’t work.

Do you mean the dongle? If I believed the dongle would work, I’d get it, but the idiot said no and the person I got through a video chat (you see them, they don’t see you - interesting!) said that it does NOT create an ARC signal. It will pass an ARC signal along, if one is available at the optical end, but it won’t create it.

Why does the support document for setting up the Amp state the following?

When using Amp as front TV speakers, check your TV’s HDMI ports to confirm that your TV supports HDMI-ARC. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC port, you will need an optical audio adapter to complete TV Setup.

That is the FIRST point I’ve seen that says it generates ARC. But what bothers me now is the page says so and tech support says no. Note that before I called tech support, it was discussed at length here and nobody had reason to believe this adaptor generated an ARC signal. This is the first source that says it does.

Note, also, that we had a Sonos employee checking in on this conversation earlier and he did not suggest this as a solution.

With those points in mind, I think I have reason to be skeptical.

I’m going to go on and order it, but I suspect that what they mean is if there’s an SPDIF port for output instead of HDMI. My reason is that we can see Arcana is $200, and this is $25, and I doubt Sonos (or anyone) would do this in that small a space (smaller than an Arcana box by far) and charge so little for that. Also, as I said, the smart tech support person said it can’t do that. (I don’t care what the idiot said!)

The good news is that Crutchfield has these in stock, which means I’ll get next-day service (they’re really close - great company and people to deal with and everyone knows their stuff!). Even better, I cashed in some of my reward points and it’ll be here Thursday.

 

Side note: I looked through several sources to see if there are any products other than Arcana that generate an ARC signal. I saw products on Amazon that say, “We don’t generate ARC, you need Arcana.” I found Arcana on Amazon for $299! It sells at $199 from the website normally and lower if you buy more than one.

Wow.  I don’t know what your conversation was like with tech support, but you’ve been given the solution to your problem several times now but you seem to keep trying to convince yourself that it won’t work.

Do you mean the dongle? If I believed the dongle would work, I’d get it, but the idiot said no and the person I got through a video chat (you see them, they don’t see you - interesting!) said that it does NOT create an ARC signal. It will pass an ARC signal along, if one is available at the optical end, but it won’t create it.

 

 

You’re getting too hung up on words  Dongle...adapter...whatever.  The device that has been referenced several times, and it looks like you’ve now purchased is the answer.    As I stated before, I wouldn’t say that the dongle/adapter generates or creates an ARC signal either,  What it does is allow you to convert the audio coming through an optical cable to something that the Amp can read and process.

 

Why does the support document for setting up the Amp state the following?

When using Amp as front TV speakers, check your TV’s HDMI ports to confirm that your TV supports HDMI-ARC. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC port, you will need an optical audio adapter to complete TV Setup.

That is the FIRST point I’ve seen that says it generates ARC. But what bothers me now is the page says so and tech support says no. Note that before I called tech support, it was discussed at length here and nobody had reason to believe this adaptor generated an ARC signal. This is the first source that says it does.

Note, also, that we had a Sonos employee checking in on this conversation earlier and he did not suggest this as a solution.

With those points in mind, I think I have reason to be skeptical.

 

 

You’re skeptical because your hung up specific words, probably not asking the right questions on your call to tech support or confusing them by asking about generating an ARC signal rather than asking if the dongle/adapter will resolve your issue.  The quote I provided doesn’t even mention the word ‘generate’, yet you’ve chosen to decide that it does.

 

I’m going to go on and order it, but I suspect that what they mean is if there’s an SPDIF port for output instead of HDMI. My reason is that we can see Arcana is $200, and this is $25, and I doubt Sonos (or anyone) would do this in that small a space (smaller than an Arcana box by far) and charge so little for that. Also, as I said, the smart tech support person said it can’t do that. (I don’t care what the idiot said!)

 

 

Arcana takes a normal HDMI input and converts it to HDMI-eARC (or ARC apparently), while also sending video to a display, and quite a few other features that aren’t relevant for this discussion.  The dongle/adapter  allows an optical audio signal to be processed by the Amp.  Two entirely different things.  You’ve seen the product description  and features for Arcana, and even if the features don’t make sense to you, it should give you some sort of understanding why Arcana costs so much more.

 

 

 

 

 

The SONOS ARC accepts only HDMI-ARC audio or HDMI-eARC audio. Therefore, it’s a reasonable assumption that the SONOS dongle creates HDMI-ARC audio from TOSLINK. I guess the SONOS support agent is being strictly correct in stating that the dongle does not create a full HDMI-ARC because HDMI-ARC is a two-way connection, but TOSLINK is only one-way audio.

Again, HDMI-ARC audio uses a different set of pins in the cable from legacy HDMI. Unless the hardware path exists to access the other set of pins, there is no chance for a software upgrade to suddenly start flipping between HDMI audio and HDMI-ARC audio.

The SONOS dongle is a very simple device. ARCANA is rather complex because it deals with full video, EDID, and CEC.

For example, it does see that some devices stay on when I change from “Watch TV” to “Watch a movie,” but it does not let me tell it to leave my screen down, so the screen starts going up, then goes back down. I’m working on ways to deal with that.

 

I don’t know which universal remote you are using, but you may be able to use this device to control your screen by with arbitrary IR transmissions, rather than depending on CEC. Another approach would use power sensing of the projector. Power sensing could be a box in the power cord or, if you are lucky, there might be a power switched USB port on the projector.

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Wow.  I don’t know what your conversation was like with tech support, but you’ve been given the solution to your problem several times now but you seem to keep trying to convince yourself that it won’t work.

Do you mean the dongle? If I believed the dongle would work, I’d get it, but the idiot said no and the person I got through a video chat (you see them, they don’t see you - interesting!) said that it does NOT create an ARC signal. It will pass an ARC signal along, if one is available at the optical end, but it won’t create it.

 

 

You’re getting too hung up on words  Dongle...adapter...whatever.  The device that has been referenced several times, and it looks like you’ve now purchased is the answer.    As I stated before, I wouldn’t say that the dongle/adapter generates or creates an ARC signal either,  What it does is allow you to convert the audio coming through an optical cable to something that the Amp can read and process.

 

Why does the support document for setting up the Amp state the following?

When using Amp as front TV speakers, check your TV’s HDMI ports to confirm that your TV supports HDMI-ARC. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC port, you will need an optical audio adapter to complete TV Setup.

That is the FIRST point I’ve seen that says it generates ARC. But what bothers me now is the page says so and tech support says no. Note that before I called tech support, it was discussed at length here and nobody had reason to believe this adaptor generated an ARC signal. This is the first source that says it does.

Note, also, that we had a Sonos employee checking in on this conversation earlier and he did not suggest this as a solution.

With those points in mind, I think I have reason to be skeptical.

 

 

You’re skeptical because your hung up specific words, probably not asking the right questions on your call to tech support or confusing them by asking about generating an ARC signal rather than asking if the dongle/adapter will resolve your issue.  The quote I provided doesn’t even mention the word ‘generate’, yet you’ve chosen to decide that it does.

 

As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote (roughly) words are a sign of natural facts. That doesn’t mean they’re always the exact description, after all, a rose could go by any other name. No, I’m not hung up on the word or name for this device other than that I go for a convenient word that I can use to label a specific object. In programming, basically, I’m passing by reference. While I used to each English and could go on at length about when a word is important and when it isn’t, I could also, since I was a special ed teacher, go on at length about word finding issues and learning disabilities that create word finding issues for people. I’m one of them, so thank you very much for making me dump that out and making part of the conversation about my learning disability.

While I’m dealing with this issue, I’m dealing with a few quite stressful issues for the house and our lot. When I get stressed, I don’t sleep well and get tired. When that happens this issue comes up and gets worse. I can say, “Please have a seat in the ---- uh….” and someone will have to help me with the word “Chair.” Today I was talking to someone about replacing a leaking tub and couldn’t remember the word “Tub” until she said it.

So when I can easily and quickly “grab” a word for whatever reason, and use it as a label, and it’s not inaccurate, I use it.

Dongle.

It’s a dongle. It’s an adaptor. I don’t care what you call it, it’s still cable with a TOSLink connector at one end and an HDMI connector at the other end.

So freaking thank you for making this part of the conversation when it’s clear exactly what I’m referring to and any dwelling on that was not necessary.

Generating ARC - I’ve plugged an HDMI connector into the AMP and received an error when I tried to use it. It stated, clearly, that there was no ARC signal and that it needed configuration. Then, as I went on, it asked about the TV and the ARC signal. I don’t remember the terms, but it was quite clear, in the setup it was having me do, that I had to provide it with an ARC signal.

So MAYBE that dongle, Dongle, DONGLE works. Maybe it doesn’t. We’ll know know that when I get it.

Oh, by the way, did I point out that one Sonos employee here did NOT suggest it as a solution? Did I point out that one tech support guy said it was NOT the solution?

So I made the logical conclusion in the face of those points.

We’ll soon see if it’s right. But when TWO employees (granted, one is an idiot) say it’s NOT the solution, when the configuration tells me it needs ARC because I can't continue until there’s an ARC signal, and the one employee in the conversation does not even bring it up as a solution, does it make sense why it doesn’t seem like a solution?
 

 

I’m going to go on and order it, but I suspect that what they mean is if there’s an SPDIF port for output instead of HDMI. My reason is that we can see Arcana is $200, and this is $25, and I doubt Sonos (or anyone) would do this in that small a space (smaller than an Arcana box by far) and charge so little for that. Also, as I said, the smart tech support person said it can’t do that. (I don’t care what the idiot said!)

 

Arcana takes a normal HDMI input and converts it to HDMI-eARC (or ARC apparently), while also sending video to a display, and quite a few other features that aren’t relevant for this discussion.  The dongle/adapter  allows an optical audio signal to be processed by the Amp.  Two entirely different things.  You’ve seen the product description  and features for Arcana, and even if the features don’t make sense to you, it should give you some sort of understanding why Arcana costs so much more.

 

You’re saying that when a converter takes the electrical signal and converts it into light, then, at the other end, it’s converted back to electrical, that the data on the output end is not the same as on the input end? Or that the data, when carried through an optical connector is not the same as the data in the HDMI connector?

I find that extremely hard to follow, so I’d really appreciate a breakdown on it.

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The SONOS ARC accepts only HDMI-ARC audio or HDMI-eARC audio. Therefore, it’s a reasonable assumption that the SONOS dongle creates HDMI-ARC audio from TOSLINK. I guess the SONOS support agent is being strictly correct in stating that the dongle does not create a full HDMI-ARC because HDMI-ARC is a two-way connection, but TOSLINK is only one-way audio.

 

Well, we’ll see. I do see that point, but I also question why, if that cable provides an ARC signal, why wasn’t it mentioned, early on, as a solution to my problem?

Clearly I don’t know the specs on ARC, but when we talk about two-way, it’s possible that the “two way” refers to the point that it’s data coming back from the destination for the HDMI data. (All HDMI data goes INTO the TV, but then the TV sends ARC back - so that might be the two way aspect of it.) Do you know if the sound system is supposed to communicate with the TV that’s sending the ARC signal out?

Again, HDMI-ARC audio uses a different set of pins in the cable from legacy HDMI. Unless the hardware path exists to access the other set of pins, there is no chance for a software upgrade to suddenly start flipping between HDMI audio and HDMI-ARC audio.

The SONOS dongle is a very simple device. ARCANA is rather complex because it deals with full video, EDID, and CEC.

 

One other concern I’ve had, which I don’t think anyone as mentioned is licensing. Apparently there are issues with licensing in order to get the specs needed to decode HDMI audio and ARC audio. I’m not clear if that’s true and licensing is required. I do know there is always a concern about piracy and that there there is a focus on making sure people can’t just easily decode data from an HDMI cable. I don’t know how that works with EDID devices or ARCANA. Maybe ARCANA is licensed if that’s part of the issue.

For example, it does see that some devices stay on when I change from “Watch TV” to “Watch a movie,” but it does not let me tell it to leave my screen down, so the screen starts going up, then goes back down. I’m working on ways to deal with that.

 

I don’t know which universal remote you are using, but you may be able to use this device to control your screen by with arbitrary IR transmissions, rather than depending on CEC. Another approach would use power sensing of the projector. Power sensing could be a box in the power cord or, if you are lucky, there might be a power switched USB port on the projector.

Right now I’m using a Logitech one - I think in the Harmony series, but I can’t remember the model number. It’s not one with a hub. I also know Logitech is scrapping that whole line. (Overall, I consider Logitech the “King of Mediocre.” I’m sure you don’t want me to get into that. I had low cost universal remotes for about $30 that I could use to do anything and do it better. Sadly the company behind them discontinued them.)

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ve got plans. With my available time, it’ll take a few months to get it all set up, though! I'm setting up home automation one device at a time - hard to fit it in these days. I’m using Home Assistant, which can handle multiple protocols. (Z-Wave, wifi, Zigbee, Insteon...) I’m waiting for two IR devices from China (they’ve been on the boat since 9/17). When I get those, I’ll be using HA to handle the IR signals. One issue I have is the screen in the house: I need it to stop most of the way down, but not all the way. (Plus that screen has trouble with IR signals overall.) I’m going to be hooking up a Raspberry Pi to that screen and stick a piece of conductive tape on part of it so I can have more control over it.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ve got plans. With my available time, it’ll take a few months to get it all set up, though! I'm setting up home automation one device at a time - hard to fit it in these days. I’m using Home Assistant, which can handle multiple protocols. (Z-Wave, wifi, Zigbee, Insteon...) I’m waiting for two IR devices from China (they’ve been on the boat since 9/17). When I get those, I’ll be using HA to handle the IR signals. One issue I have is the screen in the house: I need it to stop most of the way down, but not all the way. (Plus that screen has trouble with IR signals overall.) I’m going to be hooking up a Raspberry Pi to that screen and stick a piece of conductive tape on part of it so I can have more control over it.

Raspberry Pi can easily deal with CEC. If you have an iOS device available, check out TouchControl for the user interface. Your own creativity will be the major limit. 

 

As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote (roughly) words are a sign of natural facts. That doesn’t mean they’re always the exact description, after all, a rose could go by any other name. No, I’m not hung up on the word or name for this device other than that I go for a convenient word that I can use to label a specific object. In programming, basically, I’m passing by reference. While I used to each English and could go on at length about when a word is important and when it isn’t, I could also, since I was a special ed teacher, go on at length about word finding issues and learning disabilities that create word finding issues for people. I’m one of them, so thank you very much for making me dump that out and making part of the conversation about my learning disability.

 

I  did not make you dump anything or force you to talk about learning disabilities whatsoever.

 

While I’m dealing with this issue, I’m dealing with a few quite stressful issues for the house and our lot. When I get stressed, I don’t sleep well and get tired. When that happens this issue comes up and gets worse. I can say, “Please have a seat in the ---- uh….” and someone will have to help me with the word “Chair.” Today I was talking to someone about replacing a leaking tub and couldn’t remember the word “Tub” until she said it.

So when I can easily and quickly “grab” a word for whatever reason, and use it as a label, and it’s not inaccurate, I use it.

Dongle.

It’s a dongle. It’s an adaptor. I don’t care what you call it, it’s still cable with a TOSLink connector at one end and an HDMI connector at the other end.

So freaking thank you for making this part of the conversation when it’s clear exactly what I’m referring to and any dwelling on that was not necessary.

 

 

Again, you’re the one opening up this topic.  My whole point was that regardless of whether you call t an adapter or dongle, it is what it is.  Whether the phrase ‘generate ARC signal’ is technically accurate...don’t know and don’t care. Using the device as described will resolve your connection issue.

 



Generating ARC - I’ve plugged an HDMI connector into the AMP and received an error when I tried to use it. It stated, clearly, that there was no ARC signal and that it needed configuration. Then, as I went on, it asked about the TV and the ARC signal. I don’t remember the terms, but it was quite clear, in the setup it was having me do, that I had to provide it with an ARC signal.

So MAYBE that dongle, Dongle, DONGLE works. Maybe it doesn’t. We’ll know know that when I get it.

 

 

I already know that it works.

 

Oh, by the way, did I point out that one Sonos employee here did NOT suggest it as a solution? Did I point out that one tech support guy said it was NOT the solution?

So I made the logical conclusion in the face of those points.

We’ll soon see if it’s right. But when TWO employees (granted, one is an idiot) say it’s NOT the solution, when the configuration tells me it needs ARC because I can't continue until there’s an ARC signal, and the one employee in the conversation does not even bring it up as a solution, does it make sense why it doesn’t seem like a solution?

 

 

I wasn’t there for your conversations on the phone with Sonos employees.  I don’t know what was said, if there were any miscommunications, or if the tech support you talked to simply didn’t know what he was talking about.  I am to surprised that Sonos hasn’t chimed in again on this thread, as they typically don’t when others have provided a solution.

 

 

 

 

Arcana takes a normal HDMI input and converts it to HDMI-eARC (or ARC apparently), while also sending video to a display, and quite a few other features that aren’t relevant for this discussion.  The dongle/adapter  allows an optical audio signal to be processed by the Amp.  Two entirely different things.  You’ve seen the product description  and features for Arcana, and even if the features don’t make sense to you, it should give you some sort of understanding why Arcana costs so much more.

 

You’re saying that when a converter takes the electrical signal and converts it into light, then, at the other end, it’s converted back to electrical, that the data on the output end is not the same as on the input end? Or that the data, when carried through an optical connector is not the same as the data in the HDMI connector?

I find that extremely hard to follow, so I’d really appreciate a breakdown on it.

 

No, I’ll pass. I’ve already spent enough of my time trying to help you out, and you honestly haven’t been very respectful of that.  You have stated that you doubt I’m telling you the truth, and accused me of causing you some sort of mental anguish.  I have no doubt that when your dongle arrives in the mail, once you set it up correctly, you’ll be all set.

Badge +1

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ve got plans. With my available time, it’ll take a few months to get it all set up, though! I'm setting up home automation one device at a time - hard to fit it in these days. I’m using Home Assistant, which can handle multiple protocols. (Z-Wave, wifi, Zigbee, Insteon...) I’m waiting for two IR devices from China (they’ve been on the boat since 9/17). When I get those, I’ll be using HA to handle the IR signals. One issue I have is the screen in the house: I need it to stop most of the way down, but not all the way. (Plus that screen has trouble with IR signals overall.) I’m going to be hooking up a Raspberry Pi to that screen and stick a piece of conductive tape on part of it so I can have more control over it.

Raspberry Pi can easily deal with CEC. If you have an iOS device available, check out TouchControl for the user interface. Your own creativity will be the major limit. 

The Pi won’t be dealing directly with CEC. Basically, I’ll be using Home Assistant to handle the automation. I think I mentioned I have two ISY 994i hubs, but ran into issues. One was that I could not easily set things up on the Barn ISY. (Long story, but it was a combination of what was portable and what would run Java.) That was the first part of what led to me just losing interest in using the ISYs.

When I started looking into open source home automation, it looked like HA was the most active and most versatile. Right now, though, I’m having trouble adding Insteon to it and a 2nd Z-Wave stick. (Getting help from the vendor on that one at this point.) I’ve looked over Touch Control, but haven’t had time to review it in depth. Thanks for the suggestion!

At this point, I think everything I do, in the house great room (the place with the Sonos AMP), in the barn rec room (with a Sonos Playbar and 5.1 - where I’m having some sync issues), my study, and the guest bedroom in the barn, bypasses CEC. I think I’ve even deactivated it on my TVs. If I recall, when I’ve used CEC, there have always been glitches, but I don’t remember for sure. I’m pretty sure that things got turned on and off when they weren’t supposed to be.

But back to the Pis - one is running Home Assistant. The other will be set up to control the screen. At first, that’s it. HA has its own image, HAOS, and I can’t really, easily, put anything else on that Pi - at least until I know what I’m doing. (HAOS seems to be based on Linux - I know Linux, but I don’t know enough about HA.) Meanwhile, I’m waiting to see if I need a 3rd Pi in the barn, specifically for adding USB sticks for Z-Wave, Insteon, and any other protocols I might use down there.

Badge +1

 

As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote (roughly) words are a sign of natural facts. That doesn’t mean they’re always the exact description, after all, a rose could go by any other name. No, I’m not hung up on the word or name for this device other than that I go for a convenient word that I can use to label a specific object. In programming, basically, I’m passing by reference. While I used to each English and could go on at length about when a word is important and when it isn’t, I could also, since I was a special ed teacher, go on at length about word finding issues and learning disabilities that create word finding issues for people. I’m one of them, so thank you very much for making me dump that out and making part of the conversation about my learning disability.

 

I  did not make you dump anything or force you to talk about learning disabilities whatsoever.

 

You’re the one who was dwelling on the terms and you made the point twice in one post - which was unnecessary. Once would have been enough, but dwelling on it, it was really rather important to say, “Look, I know you’re stuck on what word I’m using, but there’s a good reason I’m doing that, so please drop that point.” Few people I deal with get stuck on eccentricities of others in that way, so I needed something clear and declarative.

While I’m dealing with this issue, I’m dealing with a few quite stressful issues for the house and our lot. When I get stressed, I don’t sleep well and get tired. When that happens this issue comes up and gets worse. I can say, “Please have a seat in the ---- uh….” and someone will have to help me with the word “Chair.” Today I was talking to someone about replacing a leaking tub and couldn’t remember the word “Tub” until she said it.

So when I can easily and quickly “grab” a word for whatever reason, and use it as a label, and it’s not inaccurate, I use it.

Dongle.

It’s a dongle. It’s an adaptor. I don’t care what you call it, it’s still cable with a TOSLink connector at one end and an HDMI connector at the other end.

So freaking thank you for making this part of the conversation when it’s clear exactly what I’m referring to and any dwelling on that was not necessary.

 

 

Again, you’re the one opening up this topic.  My whole point was that regardless of whether you call t an adapter or dongle, it is what it is.  Whether the phrase ‘generate ARC signal’ is technically accurate...don’t know and don’t care. Using the device as described will resolve your connection issue.

Again - see, you already covered that. So you can’t just leave a point and have to dwell on it? I was using a word and not using it negatively or positively. I just picked that word as a reference. It had nothing to do with whether I thought it would work or not.

My point about ARC and if it generated it - I pointed out that when I used the Sonos app and when I tried to use the HDMI port, that it required an ARC signal to set it up. At that point, the logical conclusion was that the HDMI data coming into the AMP needed ARC. That’s what the app said it needed, so that’s why I was focusing on it.

So that was a legitimate concern - the app indicated it needed ARC, so I was trying to find out if it had ARC. You’ll also note that it came up often in this discussion and that others were saying ARC was required - that Sonos had made the choice to require HDMI-ARC instead of HDMI.

I don’t know how you missed that, since it was in multiple posts. There was no reason to believe, after multiple posts from people in the discussion, that the port would work without ARC.

So, yes, I used that phrase and had every reason to use it and be concerned about it. And, by then, neither you nor anyone else had clarified, with support, what was going on. I did see what I felt was speculation, since it was not supported, that the signal may work, but nothing clear about it.

 



Generating ARC - I’ve plugged an HDMI connector into the AMP and received an error when I tried to use it. It stated, clearly, that there was no ARC signal and that it needed configuration. Then, as I went on, it asked about the TV and the ARC signal. I don’t remember the terms, but it was quite clear, in the setup it was having me do, that I had to provide it with an ARC signal.

So MAYBE that dongle, Dongle, DONGLE works. Maybe it doesn’t. We’ll know know that when I get it.

 

 

I already know that it works.

 

And yet you never came out and said, “I know it works and this is why.” And more people were saying it didn’t work.

And, honestly, by then, since you weren’t supporting what you were saying and since you had contradicted what I had seen for 50 years of working with electronics that a port that a device uses to receive data is an INPUT and NOT an OUTPUT because the data comes OUT of the cable, I was seriously beginning to question just where you were coming from. (And, yes, I sent the link to several friends, like a physicist who works with electronics, a friend who does work with internet backbone kind of issues, and asked, “Did I miss something? The AMP is getting data from this port. Why is it an OUTPUT port?” Every one of them said, “I have no idea why he’s saying what he is. He’s way off.”) So, yes, with people backing up their reasoning, and you not, I had more reason to doubt you than to think you were on target.

So I have had serious reason to doubt. I’ve had Sonos employees say you’re wrong, but you took a long time to back up why you were sure - and, at that, it was a Sonos web page vs. what Sonos was saying in tech support.

 

Oh, by the way, did I point out that one Sonos employee here did NOT suggest it as a solution? Did I point out that one tech support guy said it was NOT the solution?

So I made the logical conclusion in the face of those points.

We’ll soon see if it’s right. But when TWO employees (granted, one is an idiot) say it’s NOT the solution, when the configuration tells me it needs ARC because I can't continue until there’s an ARC signal, and the one employee in the conversation does not even bring it up as a solution, does it make sense why it doesn’t seem like a solution?

 

I wasn’t there for your conversations on the phone with Sonos employees.  I don’t know what was said, if there were any miscommunications, or if the tech support you talked to simply didn’t know what he was talking about.  I am to surprised that Sonos hasn’t chimed in again on this thread, as they typically don’t when others have provided a solution.

 

 

You didn’t know what was said, but I relayed it and was quite clear about it. I don’t know if it’s that you didn’t read what I said or are simply implying I can’t relay a simple statement correctly. So having heard that from one idiot and one person who knew the Sonos line well, that’s reason to consider that the dongle was not a good choice for the solution.

 

 

 

 

 

Arcana takes a normal HDMI input and converts it to HDMI-eARC (or ARC apparently), while also sending video to a display, and quite a few other features that aren’t relevant for this discussion.  The dongle/adapter  allows an optical audio signal to be processed by the Amp.  Two entirely different things.  You’ve seen the product description  and features for Arcana, and even if the features don’t make sense to you, it should give you some sort of understanding why Arcana costs so much more.

 

You’re saying that when a converter takes the electrical signal and converts it into light, then, at the other end, it’s converted back to electrical, that the data on the output end is not the same as on the input end? Or that the data, when carried through an optical connector is not the same as the data in the HDMI connector?

I find that extremely hard to follow, so I’d really appreciate a breakdown on it.

 

No, I’ll pass. I’ve already spent enough of my time trying to help you out, and you honestly haven’t been very respectful of that.  You have stated that you doubt I’m telling you the truth, and accused me of causing you some sort of mental anguish.  I have no doubt that when your dongle arrives in the mail, once you set it up correctly, you’ll be all set.

Actually, thank you. Information helps, but I was really getting tired of trying to understand some of your reasoning and not giving clear backup for what you were saying.

Oddly enough, as much as you feel you were being ignored or that I didn’t appreciate help, I still checked out the dongle. I appreciate the information. It’s the late (or sometimes missing) support and the veiled attitude that showed up with the picking on my language, ignoring or dismissing what I had said, and sidestepping the speculation of several of us, that I haven’t appreciated.

I had concerns early on, but asked you for explanations so I could see where you were coming from. It’s when that attitude and the getting personal about my language started that I wasn’t appreciating what you were saying or doing.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi all, this topic has strayed quite far from the original problem statement, and I believe that we’re moving in a direction that isn’t helping anyone. Using the adaptor to convert optical to HDMI for the Amp and using an Arcana to create an ARC signal have been suggested - as @melvimbe mentioned earlier, Line-In is not intended for TV viewing due to the delay induced. @Tangome, please investigate those suggestions, and if they won’t work as intended, or there’s something you don’t understand, feel free to start a new topic, as I’m closing this one now.