Question

Arc + ATV + Non Atmos Content


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Hello,

 

just received the Arc and so far loving my first Sonos device :relaxed:

 

I have an Apple TV 4K, LG OLED B9 (eARC support) and now the Sonos Arc.

When I play normal DD-Content on the ATV, the Arc only outputs Stereo. (The TV also says PCM)..

 

Is there anything I can do besides force the ATV to output DD? Because it would be not so nice to switch between the audio settings if I want to watch Atmos or DD-Content.

 

Thanks

Michael


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I’m guessing it’s a TV setting since you’ve got full eARC support (and congrats! you’re one of the lucky few). 

On your TV, go to Settings > Sound > Sound Out. There you should see settings for HDMI ARC. Make sure to set Digital Sound Out to Auto / Pass Through. If the Sonos Arc is connected to your TV via the HDMI ARC port, you should now be getting Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / Atmos sound. 

You may also need to go into Settings > Video and Audio on the Apple TV to check that everything is correct there as well. Select Audio Format, then under Immersive Audio check that Dolby Atmos is On (you’ll probably only see this option once you’ve made the changes in your TV settings). 

Good luck, and please report back how everything goes! 

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I tried every TV setting I found, so far no luck.

Digital Sound default was Auto, and also tried Passthrough. The HDMI Input is set to Bitstream.

 

My guess is, that the Apple TV decodes DD and outputs multi-channel PCM

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Apple TV outputs LPCM for uncompressed audio. I’m guessing that’s what it uses for DD+.  Sonos has announced that the Arc will support LPCM in the future via software update. The Atmos is delivered via MAT container I believe which the Arc can decode. 
 

You should get DD and DD+ via the tv internal apps though. 

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Apple TV outputs LPCM for uncompressed audio. I’m guessing that’s what it uses for DD+.  Sonos has announced that the Arc will support LPCM in the future via software update. The Atmos is delivered via MAT container I believe which the Arc can decode. 
 

You should get DD and DD+ via the tv internal apps though. 

I think it’s a little more complicated than that (as if this needed to be more complicated, right?). 

To the best of my understanding, if the Apple TV 4K is outputting uncompressed LPCM audio, then it’s already decoded the Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus bitstream from the source. The TV would then think it’s receiving regular old PCM audio and then try to pass that along to the Sonos Arc. The Arc, not seeing a MAT container or a Dolby Digital Plus bitstream and not currently being compatible with LPCM should do absolutely nothing (unless the Arc’s current behavior is to take a multichannel PCM stream and simply ignore all but the Left/Right stereo channels which could explain the behavior @michary is seeing from his current setup). 

Since Dolby says “there is NO way of sending Dolby Atmos over PCM over HDMI, so you have to send Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD to get the Dolby Atmos experience"(https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-over-hdmi-part-2-signaling-and-carriage/), then @michary will HAVE to get the Apple TV 4K to output either Dolby Digital Plus or, if people are correct in how the Apple TV 4K delivers Dolby Atmos, MAT.

I don’t have my Sonos Arc yet so I don’t have personal experience with this, but I still think my original advice is sound: make sure the television is set to correctly pass through audio on HDMI-ARC first, then make sure the Apple TV 4K is set to output Atmos. My assumption on that is that it’s basically working backwards through the Atmos chain: the Sonos Arc is connected to the TV and both recognize each other as Atmos-compatible devices (via some probably unhelpfully named and obscure setting buried in the TV’s menus). Then, once that connection is made, the Apple TV 4K can “see” that there’s an Atmos “receiver” at the end of the chain and gives the user the ability to select Atmos as the sound output (much in the same way it only presents the options for HDR or Dolby Vision if it detects that it’s connected to a compatible display).   

(Sonos, if you’re reading all this, this is why it would have been REALLY helpful to simply put another damn HDMI pass-through connector on the stinking Arc….)

@michary: Additional thought - Since every device in your chain is fully Atmos-compatible and uses eARC, maybe one or more of your HDMI cables is too old? During my research on this frustrating, but admittedly fascinating, topic, I learned that HDMI 2.1 / eARC basically adds Ethernet into the mix in order to provide the sort of massive bandwidth needed for all of this stuff. Maybe swap out both the HDMI cables between the Apple TV 4K and the TV and the TV and the Sonos Arc with certified HDMI 2.1 cables and try again? I know from experience that Apple TV 4K is VERY picky about the type of HDMI cable it is happy with for Dolby Vision output when I had to buy a particular Belkin cable  to prevent dropouts when I first got my current TV. I ASSUME that Sonos is including an HDMI 2.1 cable in the box with the Arc since eARC is such a bit part of the package, but what do I know? 

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So first of all, I get Dolby Atmos on the Arc… but everything else from the Apple TV is Stereo.

 

Also a side info: When the TV is on passthrough in Sonos is shown “Dolby Atmos”. In “auto” it is “Dolby Atmos (DD+)”.. Which could indicate that the TV changes the audio-format.

 

To the best of my understanding, if the Apple TV 4K is outputting uncompressed LPCM audio, then it’s already decoded the Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus bitstream from the source. The TV would then think it’s receiving regular old PCM audio and then try to pass that along to the Sonos Arc. The Arc, not seeing a MAT container or a Dolby Digital Plus bitstream and not currently being compatible with LPCM should do absolutely nothing (unless the Arc’s current behavior is to take a multichannel PCM stream and simply ignore all but the Left/Right stereo channels which could explain the behavior @michary is seeing from his current setup). 

 

I think with the HDMI-Arc the TV and Soundbar exchange which audio formats are supported. I would guess that the TV itself strips it to stereo.

 

Additional thought - Since every device in your chain is fully Atmos-compatible and uses eARC, maybe one or more of your HDMI cables is too old? During my research on this frustrating, but admittedly fascinating, topic, I learned that HDMI 2.1 / eARC basically adds Ethernet into the mix in order to provide the sort of massive bandwidth needed for all of this stuff. 

 

I used the bundled HDMI cable from the Arc.. so this one should be save..

The Apple TV 4K only supports HDMI 2.0a.. seems like a long-shot but I can try it :wink:

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So first of all, I get Dolby Atmos on the Arc… but everything else from the Apple TV is Stereo.

Sorry, I’m not following. What are you getting Atmos on the Arc from? The Apple TV? The TV’s internal apps? And what do you mean by “everything else” from the Apple TV?  

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Oh sorry, I should have make it a little clearer..

 

I only use the Apple TV 4K:

  • Track in Dolby Atmos → I get Atmos on the Arc
  • Track in Dolby Digital 5.1 → I get PCM (2.0) on the Arc
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Oh sorry, I should have make it a little clearer..

 

I only use the Apple TV 4K:

  • Track in Dolby Atmos → I get Atmos on the Arc
  • Track in Dolby Digital 5.1 → I get PCM (2.0) on the Arc

Ah, now I understand. Thank you! 

Unfortunately, though I understand what you mean, I still don’t understand what’s happening. ;-) 

I get your comment now about the TV “stripping it to stereo” which I would agree with. If the Apple TV 4K is outputting Dolby Atmos, then obviously everything should be good. I ASSUME (there’s that word again) that if the ATV is playing a Dolby Digital 5.1 source then it SHOULD be sending the bitstream through the TV and on to the Sonos Arc…. but Apple TV’s use of Dolby MAT (Metadata-enhanced Audio Transmission) may complicate that. 

Honestly, I’m not sure and have no way to currently test, so I may just be doing more harm than good here speculating. Here are a couple of interesting things I found trying to find an answer to this that may be helpful. If anyone can add more insight, please feel free: 

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250698778

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technologies/dolby-atmos/dolby-atmos-for-the-home-theater.pdf

 

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I’m getting my C9 and my Arc delivered tomorrow so I’m guessing I’ll have all that fun over the weekend. Do you get DD when you’re using the internal apps ?

I don’t exactly know how Dolby MAT works, but can’t the Apple TV always send LPCM, and add MAT for an ATMOS signal ? 

And signal received by the ARC could be only PCM Stereo, plus MAT infos, resulting in “Dolby Atmos” indicated by the ARC ? 

This would explain the PCM Stereo for a DD signal, and Atmos (but just stereo Atmos) for an Atmos signal.

 

 

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I don’t exactly know how Dolby MAT works, but can’t the Apple TV always send LPCM, and add MAT for an ATMOS signal ? 

And signal received by the ARC could be only PCM Stereo, plus MAT infos, resulting in “Dolby Atmos” indicated by the ARC ? 

This would explain the PCM Stereo for a DD signal, and Atmos (but just stereo Atmos) for an Atmos signal.

 

 

I don’t think there is a thing like stereo Atmos. If the ATV received Atmos it will stream it in a MAT container which the Arc can decode. Everything else is streamed as LPMC. Depending on your TV it will either pass it through or change it into something else (PCM or DD). Anyway, this won’t be an issue when the Arc gets enabled for LPMC. Then the bitstream can get straight pass through via eARC and the Arc can play it. 

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I’m getting my C9 and my Arc delivered tomorrow so I’m guessing I’ll have all that fun over the weekend. Do you get DD when you’re using the internal apps ?

For privacy purposes the TV is not connected to the internet.. so I cannot test this.

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How do you verify the Arc is receiving Dolby Atmos? I also have a LG C9 and with the internal Netflix app I only see “Dolby Digital Plus 5.1” in the about my sonos System screen. Should it state “Dolby Atmos”?

Hey, what firmware are you running on your TV? I have a C9 and I have not updated to the newest firmware that includes multi-channel LPCM support and I am not experiencing this issue. My Apple TV 4K is set to Auto and Dolby Atmos on, and when I play Atmos content it is output as Atmos and when I play a 5.1 movie it plays as 5.1, no downmixing to stereo.

 

However, I have seen someone else with your issue and their C9 was updated to the latest firmware. Based on this I suspect that the inclusion of multi-channel LPCM in the LG C9/B9 series has caused the Apple TV to output everything as LPCM and the TV now sends it straight through instead of converting it like it used to. Of course the Arc can’t handle multi-channel LPCM yet so it downmixes it to stereo.

 

So to get a better idea, what firmware are you rocking?

Received my Arc today and have just few minutes to do some test with my Apple TV

I although have Dolbiy Atmos (regarding to Sonos App) for Atmos contents, and PCM Stereo for non Atmos, when configuring the Apple TV with the auto / Atmos Settings, 

And DD 5.1 when changing audio settings to DD5.1

My TV (Panasonic GZ1000) is ARC only, I’ll be forced to switch the audio parameters each time I want to watch Atmos / non Atmos content, frustrating...

and I still don’t understand what signal the Apple TV actually sends for Atmos Content. I thought the Dolby MAT signal was only metadatas, “real” sounds being transmitted in LPCM.

 

 

 

Just wanna chime in, I got DD+ this working on my X900E via AppleTV after having issues with the audio in being Stereo 2.0.

In your TV’s sound settings, there should be a setting for digital audio out, and it should be set to “Auto 1”.

On the AppleTV, go to settings, Audio format, Set “Change format” to On, and new format: Dolby Digital 5.1.

This enabled DD+ for compatible content over ARC (not eARC) on my TV.

Sounds like you’re running the latest LG firmware that introduced LPCM and this issue. The workaround is to go into the Apple TV settings and turn off Atmos when you want to watch DD 5.1 content. This will most likely go away once the Arc is updated to support multichannel LPCM.

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Oh sorry, I should have make it a little clearer..

 

I only use the Apple TV 4K:

  • Track in Dolby Atmos → I get Atmos on the Arc
  • Track in Dolby Digital 5.1 → I get PCM (2.0) on the Arc

Yep! I experienced the same issue. I also ran into an issue where I would get no sound at all until I change the settings within the tv from auto to pass through. Annoying when switching back and forth. 

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How do you verify the Arc is receiving Dolby Atmos? I also have a LG C9 and with the internal Netflix app I only see “Dolby Digital Plus 5.1” in the about my sonos System screen. Should it state “Dolby Atmos”?

When playing content hop on to the Sonos app-Settings-System-About my system- Search for your Arc and look for Audio in. That will tell you what content you are getting. 

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I have the new LG 75NANO90UNA tv which has an EARC hdmi 2.0 I have that sending the signal to the Sonos Arc and I have the Apple TV connected to a regular hdmi 2.1 but it refuses to play a sound when it goes into a movie that has atmos. When I go to the menu for the movie the theme music plays and when I play a non atmos movie the sound goes through fine but the minute I play an atmos movie from atv it has no sound.  I can play atmos from the Netflix app on the tv (Space Force) and it does show on the Sonos App that it is in Dolby Atmos. I am now at a complete loss as to what else to try as the entire reason I bought a brand new tv and the Sonos Arc was to be able to play my atmos movies I bought that are on my Apple TV. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them, I have tried every setting I can think of, and the tv has arc set to on and passthrough enabled also. The Apple TV is set to bitstream on the lg tv. The lg app for appletv+  doesn't play atmos but it is not supported as yet apparently but will be updated FYI  but the LG  Netflix app plays atmos perfectly. 

ARGHHHHHH

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We just bought the same tv, and look forward to using the ATV as soon as Sonos updates the Arc to read LCPM.  Right now we are watching Netflix, Prime and Apple Tv via the app within the TV.  Youtube TV does not work from the app, so we have to watch from the Apple TV box.  This is the only way I have been able to make everything work with the correct audio output at this time, as I am not interested in changing the formats within the TV or ATV every time I want to change where we are getting our video content.

I will be very excited when the update adds LCPM and we can go to one place to watch our shows and movies.

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I’m experiencing the same issue, hopefully this is next on the list and the bass fix. 

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We just bought the same tv, and look forward to using the ATV as soon as Sonos updates the Arc to read LCPM.  Right now we are watching Netflix, Prime and Apple Tv via the app within the TV.  Youtube TV does not work from the app, so we have to watch from the Apple TV box.  This is the only way I have been able to make everything work with the correct audio output at this time, as I am not interested in changing the formats within the TV or ATV every time I want to change where we are getting our video content.

I will be very excited when the update adds LCPM and we can go to one place to watch our shows and movies.

The appletv app on LG does not support atmos yet but LG said it will eventually, So far The only app that works for me on LG to arc is Netflix, I cant get Plex to work as I downloaded a sample atmos short demo but the sound again did not come through. Does anyone have any idea as to when the Sonos update to allow appletv  to work in a direct connection to the tv? And is everyone sure that LCPM will work correctly? Thanks everyone

I have the new LG 75NANO90UNA tv which has an EARC hdmi 2.0 I have that sending the signal to the Sonos Arc and I have the Apple TV connected to a regular hdmi 2.1 but it refuses to play a sound when it goes into a movie that has atmos. When I go to the menu for the movie the theme music plays and when I play a non atmos movie the sound goes through fine but the minute I play an atmos movie from atv it has no sound.  I can play atmos from the Netflix app on the tv (Space Force) and it does show on the Sonos App that it is in Dolby Atmos. I am now at a complete loss as to what else to try as the entire reason I bought a brand new tv and the Sonos Arc was to be able to play my atmos movies I bought that are on my Apple TV. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them, I have tried every setting I can think of, and the tv has arc set to on and passthrough enabled also. The Apple TV is set to bitstream on the lg tv. The lg app for appletv+  doesn't play atmos but it is not supported as yet apparently but will be updated FYI  but the LG  Netflix app plays atmos perfectly. 

ARGHHHHHH


I’m having the exact same issue with my brand new setup LG 65 NANO85. No sound output at all on Atmos titles from Apple TV services (Netflix, Apple TV+ etc). TV HDMI setting is set to Bitstream, only other option is PCM. 

Any one know why I’m getting no sound at all from Atmos titles? This is so disappointing as I’ve purchased this whole brand new tv and setup just to get Atmos on the Arc. 

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Having read a lot it would appear that when the arc is in Dolby mode that it send out a mat signal and until Sonos update their software to include LPCM it won’t work 

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