Arc/Atmos - TV support for passthrough from Apple 4k?


 I’m a little confused. I have an Apple 4K going into a TV that’s older than a few years. Will the Atmos sound from the TV be pushed through the TV via the eARC/eHDMI connection even though Atmos isn’t native to the TV itself?


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Userlevel 2

I’ve read some rumors about it being dependent on the TV set too, some TVs will pass the Apple TV’s data, some won’t. I’m anxious to see if my Vizio’s will. And keeping my eye open on potential HDMI switches that will generate an eARC signal, so I can get TrueHD signals to the Arc.

The biggest problem is Sonos jumping on the ARC/eARC bandwagon as the only way to get full hd sound to the an $800 sound bar. When the beam came out the single hdmi port made sense because its their entry level sound bar so simplicity is key for that market —heck they optical adapter even made sense because being limited to 5.1 was fine on a non Atmos device. That was a decision I could honestly get behind.

 

This device costs double that and is targeted towards a completely different market and they had 7 years to get things right since the playbar. Unfortunately without an hdmi pass through or any sort of eARC emulation on the Arc soundbar there is no way for the sound handshake to happen even with clever use of matrix switches or hdmi splitters. To make things worse ARC implementation by display manufacturers has always been spotty at best with many not properly supporting ‘common mode’ connection which is the ARC mode that allows for DD+ compressed Atmos. This means the vast majority of people wont be able to take advantage of the features they are offering on this soundbar. Bought a nice house with an older hdmi cable running through the wall —good luck getting eARC, got a cable run to the longer than 7-8 meters —you likely won’t get a common mode connection to support DD+ compressed Atmos, use a AV receiver as part of your home theater setup for hdmi switching and 12v triggers —yep not gonna be supported, own a pro grade display panel —screwed because they often don’t have speakers and this no ARC port, own a projector like an increasingly large number of home theater enthusiasts —once again you’re up a creek because projectors don’t concern themselves with audio and thusly don’t have an ARC/eARC port.

 

I agree that Sonos will decide to support what the decide to support and that’s rightly their decision but they have a lot of long time customers and home theater integrators that are going to be very disappointed when they realize there is no way to get the new Atmos sound they where waiting on so patiently because Sonos decided to fractions of a cent an extra hdmi port would have cost them. Sonos could have even released an optional an add on dongle that could be bough separately that plugged into the hdmi port of the soundbar and do an eARC handshake and pass the video out of a pass though hdmi port. Alas, now I will be scanning amazon every few weeks stuck hoping some entrepreneurial Chinese company see this gap Sonos has left and produces a device that can fix this shortcoming.

Userlevel 4
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I’ve read some rumors about it being dependent on the TV set too, some TVs will pass the Apple TV’s data, some won’t. I’m anxious to see if my Vizio’s will. And keeping my eye open on potential HDMI switches that will generate an eARC signal, so I can get TrueHD signals to the Arc.

The biggest problem is Sonos jumping on the ARC/eARC bandwagon as the only way to get full hd sound to the an $800 sound bar. When the beam came out the single hdmi port made sense because its their entry level sound bar so simplicity is key for that market —heck they optical adapter even made sense because being limited to 5.1 was fine on a non Atmos device. That was a decision I could honestly get behind.

 

This device costs double that and is targeted towards a completely different market and they had 7 years to get things right since the playbar. Unfortunately without an hdmi pass through or any sort of eARC emulation on the Arc soundbar there is no way for the sound handshake to happen even with clever use of matrix switches or hdmi splitters. To make things worse ARC implementation by display manufacturers has always been spotty at best with many not properly supporting ‘common mode’ connection which is the ARC mode that allows for DD+ compressed Atmos. This means the vast majority of people wont be able to take advantage of the features they are offering on this soundbar. Bought a nice house with an older hdmi cable running through the wall —good luck getting eARC, got a cable run to the longer than 7-8 meters —you likely won’t get a common mode connection to support DD+ compressed Atmos, use a AV receiver as part of your home theater setup for hdmi switching and 12v triggers —yep not gonna be supported, own a pro grade display panel —screwed because they often don’t have speakers and this no ARC port, own a projector like an increasingly large number of home theater enthusiasts —once again you’re up a creek because projectors don’t concern themselves with audio and thusly don’t have an ARC/eARC port.

 

I agree that Sonos will decide to support what the decide to support and that’s rightly their decision but they have a lot of long time customers and home theater integrators that are going to be very disappointed when they realize there is no way to get the new Atmos sound they where waiting on so patiently because Sonos decided to fractions of a cent an extra hdmi port would have cost them. Sonos could have even released an optional an add on dongle that could be bough separately that plugged into the hdmi port of the soundbar and do an eARC handshake and pass the video out of a pass though hdmi port. Alas, now I will be scanning amazon every few weeks stuck hoping some entrepreneurial Chinese company see this gap Sonos has left and produces a device that can fix this shortcoming.


it's like Sonos doesn't want to directly compete with anyone else. They know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to carve a new niche where there really shouldn't be one - a user who knows what Atmos is and wants it, but is also a noob and doesn't concern themselves with other entertainment products and is happy to just use Arc connected to their brand new tv to watch Netflix. It's a really odd Niche but ok

 

most audio manufacturers - when they target home theatre they go balls out and do it right so that most or all home theatre customers can use the product and get some value - but with the Arc Sonos wants to do home theatre but also narrow the target market down into a very small niche, cutting off a whole bunch of the home theatre market at the same time.

Userlevel 4
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At the end of the day, any Sonos speaker can only play what is handed to it. If the source device isn’t feeding the TV the correct data, or the TV isn’t feeding the correct data to the Sonos, there really isn’t much Sonos can do about it. 

 

That’s not true. Why is it that most other manufacturers doesn’t have this problem. I will never believe this “there is nothing we can do”. Its an HDMI soundbar, it can handle every type of device sound output ever made if the on board processor is not useless.

 

LPCM is not even proprietary, there is no licensing fee so no DTS excuses will work here either.

Only explanation is laziness

Userlevel 4
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This is a 3 year old soundbar from a competitor

Howcome it can do LPCM with HDMI and Arc cannot. I thought you said the ARC will play what we give it??? Im confused Sir

 

 

Userlevel 4
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Just think that AppleTV, Xbox, PlayStation, Google Stadia (Chromecast) to Name a few all output LPCM. Why would you not support that? As much as I love Sonos, I’ll probably look somewhere else for an Atmos capable sound bar. 

Userlevel 4
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If your TV does not have/support eARC passthrough there is a new solution! 

New Arcana device from HDFury solves the problem. https://hdfury.com/product/4k-arcana-18gbps/

Device separates out full audio up to Dolby Atmos over Dolby TrueHD from any external HDMI source and sends it to the Sonos Arc and passthrough full 4k video up to 18gbps!  They are accepting pre orders now.

This seems like a product that will become a prerequisite for anyone who owns a TV without eARC and the Sonos Arc.  Ordered one!  Hope they are able to get it working and shipped!  if we can get Apple TV to take this, it would be a huge win.

Userlevel 4
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What’s the point of yet again bringing a product to market that can’t support the majority of devices. I honestly don’t get it. It may be ok for people who will only watch streams via their internal TV apps, but at that price point this product is not aimed at them and TVs with eARC are few and far between. The omission of LPCM, uncompressed bitstream, and additional hdmi Input ports (again) is just ridiculous. I thought it was stupid when they launched the beam (I still bought one), but two years later the same again. 

I’ve read some rumors about it being dependent on the TV set too, some TVs will pass the Apple TV’s data, some won’t. I’m anxious to see if my Vizio’s will. And keeping my eye open on potential HDMI switches that will generate an eARC signal, so I can get TrueHD signals to the Arc.

Userlevel 2

Yep, it’s really strange. I have more Sonos speakers in my house than I’d care to admit because I love the simplicity, the sound quality is great, the components styling has held up very well over time, and despite the high cost compared to their competitors they are know for giving their components long lifespans allowing people to slowly build mixed systems over time as their wallet allows. I have also already ordered the Arc because I like the new look and I’m assuming it will have better sound even though my projector obviously doesn’t have and Arc hdmi port stranding me with 5.1. I know someone will tell me if I care so much I should just get a hard wired Atmos system but darn it I really love my Sonos gear 

 

I have to think Sonos is just trying to check off the Atmos feature box and counting on most purchasers being naive and just plugging it in and assuming it’s Atmos sound coming out not knowing any better. That’s really the only option I can think of that explains not including a passthough port or an eARC embedding adapter. Based on the forum posts just over the last day about a sound bar that hasn’t even come out yet I am guessing decent number of people are going to be confused and upset when they learn they aren’t getting a feature the thought they paid for due to limited ports on the soundbar, MAT containers, and codec issues and all kinds of other things they won’t understand and shouldn’t have to.

Userlevel 3
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+1 to the other disappointed people here.

I stream primarily via an Apple TV connected to an AVR connected to a television. I was going to buy an Arc and ditch the AVR setup when I bought an eARC TV later this year.

It seems this is not possible, given the LPCM limitations / discussion above. So basically if you are in the Apple ecosystem, and like your Apple TV, as I do, Sonos doesn’t want your soundbar dollars.

I own a lot of Sonos gear, but I find their soundbar product strategy very hard to understand.

Dave Ings

I agree with your logic. I’m concerned that you’re going to be retired from F1 when it resumes.

There are relatively few TVs on the market that can deal with a TrueHD (and I assume MAT) signal, which is mupildly frustrating. I’m pleased that Sonos has ‘future proofed’ the Arc for new TVs coming, but right now, I’m not sure that my Apple TV is useful for Atmos content, such as there is. I am continuing to look for an external device that will take the HDMI signal and convert it to an eARC signal before the video is passed to the TV. I imagine this will be somewhat more expensive, if it’s made, than the simple HDMI switches that just pull off to an optical output, or still use the electronics in the TV to pass back that ARC or eARC signal. So far, I’ve not found such a device, but seeing as the potential market for such has increased, I have to wonder if it won’t show up soon. 

Userlevel 3

Anyone using an LG B9/C9 and Apple TV 4K are going to be extremely dissappointed.  As of the latest firmware update released just days ago you have the choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 support or Atmos and 2.0 audio for everything else.


Reason behind this is LG updated their LPCM passthrough to support Multichannel.  Apple TV sees this and chooses to passthrough LPCM instead of Dolby Digital 5.1 causing Sonos to downmix to 2.0.  Atmos will still play properly.  Only solution currently is to disable Atmos and set the Apple TV to change ouput to Dolby 5.1 while watching non Atmos content.

What poor timing.  I got to enjoy my Arc for 1 full day.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

If your TV does not have/support eARC passthrough there is a new solution! 

New Arcana device from HDFury solves the problem. https://hdfury.com/product/4k-arcana-18gbps/

Device separates out full audio up to Dolby Atmos over Dolby TrueHD from any external HDMI source and sends it to the Sonos Arc and passthrough full 4k video up to 18gbps!  They are accepting pre orders now.

Thanks!  I’d love to upgrade to the the Arc but was unsure of my potential benefits. My Beam is underpowered for the room and my Playbar is under-featured. 
 

Yes, my TV has HDMI-ARC but not eARC. 
 

With the Apple 4K, this will be an excellent addition then. Thanks for the reply. 

 

You do want to make sure your TV supports Dolby Digital pass thru.  There’s’s a list (though not comprehensive) here: https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough

Userlevel 4
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I think the ATV will only output  Uncompressed original audio via LPCM which I don’t think the Arc supports (it’s not mentioned anywhere). At least my ATV 4K only outputs LPCM or downmixed to DD5.1 / 2.0. 

Userlevel 4
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I think the ATV will only output  Uncompressed original audio via LPCM which I don’t think the Arc supports (it’s not mentioned anywhere). At least my ATV 4K only outputs LPCM or downmixed to DD5.1 / 2.0. 

 

Its a strange ommision but perhaps an intended one.

It seems the Arc is designed for people who just watch Netflix/Apps on their TV and not for any who actually plugs any devices into their TV since it would appear many many popular devices are unsupported because they output LPCM sound.

 

Userlevel 4
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The Sonos can handle everything that they say it can, if it gets to the Sonos device properly. I’m confused as to why you think they should be able to play data that isn’t presented to them. Would you be so kind as to clarify your statement? 

 

Ok, so why is it that when I present the Arc with LPCM it doesn’t play LPCM? You said it can play what it is given, I will give it LPCM so it must play LPCM.

Userlevel 4
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Sonos has never said they could interpret those signals. I said “everything that they say it can” , and not everything. 

For instance, Sonos is still unable to accept a DTS signal and interpret it. 

Yes, there are other manufacturers out there that can accept different codecs. 


Yes but you also said there is nothing Sonos can do to fix it. Why can they not fix it, is there some flaw in the Arc that you know about and we don't? If it's down to a physical limitation like a poor sound processing chip then. I can understand but be ware the Arc is a premium product with a  high asking price so we would not expect them to use cheap alibaba components. DTS is not relevant to the conversation, DTs requires expensive licensing fees so I can understand why it's not supported but LPCm is free, no one has ever paid a penny for LPCM codecs - that's why LPCM is very popular because there is no licensing fee 

Userlevel 1
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This does seem like a strange oversight. I had planned to use the following chain of devices: Apple TV 4K —> LG OLED TV (eARC) —> Sonos Arc. With the lack of support for LPCM, will that cause this setup not to work with Atmos?  Anyone know if the 2020 LG OLED TVs can downmix the Apple TV audio to something the Sonos Arc can accept, while keeping the Atmos track?

You will be fine if you have eARC.  The Apple TV will pass the Atmos to the Arc just fine, if using eARC.  Consider yourself lucky - for many people (myself included), our TV’s without eARC will not be able to send an ATMOS signal to the Arc because Apple TV does not use DD+ as a container, and thus what they do send is too large to send through the legacy HDMI arc connections.

I can confirm the bad news.

HDMI ARC and apple tv 4 k . the apple tv does not recognize sonos arc aa an atmos device. Hence you will get only dd 5.1.

as mentioned before paying so much for a soundbar that is limited to hdmi ARC that the majority of 2019 and before tvs do not support passthrough atmos codec… makes it useless and futile… will return the bar shortly and recommend all the buyers to makensure either their tv support atmos passthrough or dont even think of buying Arc.

i have nu8000 tv apple

tv 4k setting needs to be bitstream imput and output will be automatically chosen to you DF 5.1 if you chose PCM you will get 2.0 stereo.

to confirm what audio signal you are getting go to sonos app settings about sustem and you will seee under arc the input signal coming from the tv… goodluck and goodbye sonos!

as

 

 

Hi there, what FW is your LG running?

(also, why no Chroma 4:2:2?)

I’ve got the most up to date FW on TV (checked this out about 3 times) also had confirmation from LG that my TV is capable of LPCM passthrough. 
 

I get DD 5.1 passthrough from AppleTV when Audio Format is set to Auto with Atmos off. As soon as I enable Atmos on AppleTV it show Atmos Available but I get no sound at all. 
 

LG TV set up with eARC on and HDMI Input as Bitstream and Passthrough enabled. 
 

(Tried all different video settings in Apple TV and still no change to what happens with audio)

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I’m glad that i found this thread as I thought I was the only one having this issue. I have a nano90 and the Apple TV 4K. I also have all brand new 2.1 HDMI cables and whenever anything with atmos tries to play i get no sound at all. If it doesnt have atmos then it plays fine. I currently have atmos just turned off on the Apple TV. Are we sure though that once the ARC supports LPCM then we will have atmos support? My tv also supports atmos on the internal speakers and I tried playing things from the Apple TV with atmos and again got no audio. Meanwhile i played a blu ray and got atmos on the internal speakers. Has any one else tried this?

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Honestly, some folks are kidding yourselves if they think the Arc is going to give them any real Atmos effect. I know, because I just bought one and have it all setup with a set of Play 1s for the rears. I don’t really know what people are expecting from a “play bar” on its own in regards to Atmos. For Atmos to work it needs speakers - and lots of them placed around your room, preferably with ceiling mounted ones too. To expect a sound bar on its own to get anywhere near this is just not going to happen, and regardless of top firing speakers designed to bounce off your ceiling is just ridiculous (the Arc is not even a very loud unit, and to actually achieve that, it’s a big call for those little speakers to fire sound at least 2m up to to hit the ceiling and then have it loud enough so that sound could then bounce back down to listener is just not going to happen with any real effect).
 

All this fuss about not passing Atmos, I can almost guarantee you that a blind test between Atmos and Dolby Digital passed through the Arc, you would be hard pressed to pick any difference. Atmos enabled sound bars are just a marketing gimmick, unless you are genuinely looking for one that will be an integral part of a much greater Atmos setup. 
 

I bought the Arc because it is the best sounding sound bar under $3000Aus for my TV, it integrates seamlessly with the rest of my Sonos architecture and because it is a high quality product that I can rely on. And does an excellent job of surround sound with the addition of rear speakers (regardless of whether I am watching a movie with Atmos or DD). 

The Sonos can handle everything that they say it can, if it gets to the Sonos device properly. I’m confused as to why you think they should be able to play data that isn’t presented to them. Would you be so kind as to clarify your statement? 

This does seem like a strange oversight. I had planned to use the following chain of devices: Apple TV 4K —> LG OLED TV (eARC) —> Sonos Arc. With the lack of support for LPCM, will that cause this setup not to work with Atmos?  Anyone know if the 2020 LG OLED TVs can downmix the Apple TV audio to something the Sonos Arc can accept, while keeping the Atmos track?