Question

Adding 7.1, 9.1, etc. to Playbase/Playbar

  • 6 September 2017
  • 34 replies
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34 replies

I don’t really care if someone posts something positive or negative about Sonos. But it does seem odd to me to cross post the exact same thing on 5 different threads over the past week. I myself post a mixture of opinions. I think the Play 3 has middling sound quality and poor value for money, the Play 5 (whilst great sound) is insanely expensive. The Play 1 is outstanding value for money and incredible sound. The 5.1 setup is CRAZY expensive as I mentioned in the first of our discussions. But, it does do a good job for most people, and feed it an appropriate signal, and it can decode away very well.

Take a look at my posts these past couple of years, you'll see I've said precisely the same thing as you have. When I originally bought my 5.1 kit, it came with Play 3. They sounded lifeless whether I used them as a stereo pair or as part of the HT. I traded them off and bought a pair of Play 1. Much better speaker, much better value.

Doesn’t the new Denon Heos Bar (NOT the Soundbar) literally do what the few posters in this thread want? You can expand it to 5.1 using Heos “wireless” speakers, it decodes all the hi-res codecs, has multiple HDMI inputs, you can do multiroom, etc?

It covers just about all of it: Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS - but it doesn't work with Atmos. I don't know enough about Atmos to know if it thats a deal breaker, but at the rate it seems to be picking up steam I might as well look at Atmos-able stuff.
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Atmos is backwards compatible, and the metadata is contained within the TrueHD stream. So if you feed, say, an AV receiver from around 2015 that was compatible with the lossless codecs but NOT advanced enough for Atmos, it would ignore Atmos and give you a TrueHD output. What it won't do, however, is give you a DD 5.1 sound since that is not embedded within the stream. Another way of saying this is if you feed an Atmos signal to the Playbar, you'll get silence.

To complicate things further, DTS HD-MA is slightly different in that it does contain a lossy DTS track in it's core. So, again, if you feed an older receiver with DTS HD-MA that isn't built to decode it, you'll get standard DTS.
Atmos is backwards compatible, and the metadata is contained within the TrueHD stream. So if you feed, say, an AV receiver from around 2015 that was compatible with the lossless codecs but NOT advanced enough for Atmos, it would ignore Atmos and give you a TrueHD output. What it won't do, however, is give you a DD 5.1 sound since that is not embedded within the stream. Another way of saying this is if you feed an Atmos signal to the Playbar, you'll get silence.

To complicate things further, DTS HD-MA is slightly different in that it does contain a lossy DTS track in it's core. So, again, if you feed an older receiver with DTS HD-MA that isn't built to decode it, you'll get standard DTS.



So at the very least, any DTS higher codec will come out as vanilla DTS, but the best you'll get out of Atmos is TrueHD? No chance there's an AVR out there that will transcode down to DD5.1?
Wow -- A lot of words in here and probably more tech and banter than the average Joe is looking for. I think I can boil it down for someone considering Sonos.

They sound great!
They are easy to "install".

Unfortunately if you want them for home theater, you better like 1990's movies. Fewer and fewer blu rays have DD5.1 as an option so you're paying a lot of money for stereo sound*. 5.1 is fine with me, but I can't even get that anymore. Until Sonos addresses this, they are quickly making themselves obsolete in the home theater market. They need to wake up before they are the next Blackberry (1990's reference) and have to try to reinvent themselves as software.

*Yes you can find audio signal converters but then you're paying even more money to downgrade and remain stuck in the 1990's. Who spends more money to downgrade a service???
Now that a new playbar is in development with HDMI, would it be a possibility to do 7.1 ?
Now that a new playbar is in development with HDMI, would it be a possibility to do 7.1 ?

Sonos hasn't admitted a "new playbar" is in development, it is only speculation because of an FCC filing. Given that, do you really expect them to fill in the details?
Now that a new playbar is in development with HDMI, would it be a possibility to do 7.1 ?

Sonos hasn't admitted a "new playbar" is in development, it is only speculation because of an FCC filing. Given that, do you really expect them to fill in the details?


Not expecting them, just expecting the community to speculate, I’m not talking to Sonos, but Sonos community
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Then yes, it's possible. I don't think there is enough info out there to speculate much beyond that to probable or improbable. I think Sonos has access to market research, production cost and license data, that we don't have. It seems the general consensus is that the community wants a small device that can put out about 20 channels of sound in any configuration you can dream of for the cost of an ice cream.
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I have been reading constantly about what Sonos is or isn't capable of supporting. I do know even some newer movies, have the capability to set the audio out to 5.1 dolby digital. I have seen that setting in the Last Jedi Movie on Blu-Ray, that is the most recent movie I own. I plan on getting the playbar in the future, because I want a speaker that does music streaming in our house mainly, the Home Theater aspect is a bonus in my mind. I am content using my TV Speakers on the TV I bought three years ago. I also think it would be overkill in my living room, since I own an older house with two doorways to go through the house, so it wouldn't make sense for me to have that setup in my house, one of the big reasoning I am going for a sound bar that sound good, according to most reviews I have read.