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Atmos on Playbar

  • 29 July 2021
  • 7 replies
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It seems that my question is hard to find an answer to, so i try here.

I have an LG UHD 58” TV and my Sonos Playbar attached to it. When i play movies with Atmos Dolby i do not get any sound. Is it because the TV cannot scale it down or is it because my Playbar is to old? If it is because my TV is to old an not able to scale it down, it will have no difference if buy an Sonos Arc?

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Best answer by Airgetlam 30 July 2021, 12:00

No. The PLAYBAR does not have the ability to deal with Atmos, for several reasons.  That requires a Sonos Arc. 

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There really shouldn’t be any need to scale down.  Presumably, your playbar is connected to the TV via an optical cable, and the TV knows to send nothing more than dolby digital (that’s all optical can handle). The TV then needs to inform it’s sources that it is only dolby digital capable, and don’t send anything but that.  So it stands to reason that your source in question may only be in dolby true hd or dolby digital + (the two codecs that carry atmos).

As far as your second question, it doesn’t really say anything about whether you would get atmos with an Arc.   You need to look at your owners manual to see if it’s capable of dolby true hd /digital plus, with HDMI-ARC.  If not, you could even bypass your TV entirely with an HD Fury Arcana (hdfury.com)

You are right. It is optical from my TV to the Playbar. My question regarding the Arc is much more if i can get my movies with Atomos to play on my Playbar instead of buying an Arc. Does the HD Fury help solve that?

No. The PLAYBAR does not have the ability to deal with Atmos, for several reasons.  That requires a Sonos Arc. 

You are right. It is optical from my TV to the Playbar. My question regarding the Arc is much more if i can get my movies with Atomos to play on my Playbar instead of buying an Arc. Does the HD Fury help solve that?

 HD Fury doesn’t help with that, as Bruce stated.   Your TV should be telling your connected sources (via HDMI) what type of audio it can play. 

And since the PLAYBAR has only an optical connector, it doesn’t ‘register’ with the TV set’s CEC system. So the TV just doesn’t ‘know’ anything about the PLAYBAR. 

  1. Atmos requires more bandwidth than can be carried on an optical connection.
  2. There is only an optical input on the PLAYBAR.
  3. The design of the electronics and chipset inside the PLAYBAR is from before Atmos existed, and could not process an Atmos signal even if presented it.
  4. The PLAYBAR does not have up-firing speakers for use by the Atmos signal.

The best signal you can feed a PLAYBAR is Dolby Digital. It works with that signal extraordinarily well. 

Okay, so just to be clear. As of now my Playbar can’t play movies with Atmos sound and there is now workaround. Only if the movie supports dolby digital?

The TV should have a format setting for its optical out. Tell it to use DD5.1 and it should hopefully downmix appropriately.

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