Beam and PCM v Dolby Digital sync issues

  • 8 February 2019
  • 10 replies
  • 1011 views

Beam in PCM mode = audio in sync.
Beam when outputting Dolby Digital is out of sync by about half a second (tv plus Netflix/amazon etc..)

ARC or optical makes no difference.

The sound quality is great with both formats but their is also a noticeable rise in quality with DD.

I was wanting to get 2 Play One's and have surround sound but can this be the case if i stay in PCM mode or would i be wasting my money?

The sync is noticeable enough using Dolby Digital that it's not viable even though the sound is better.

TV is middle of the range Sony.

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10 replies

Have you turned off all processing of the audio stream by the TV set? It sounds like it is still doing some additional processing of the sound stream before it sends it out via either optical or HDMI-ARC. with a Dolby Digital stream. PCM is generally stereo only, and won't carry a surround sound stream.

I'm not sure what tv plus netfix/amazon really means. If you're streaming these sources from outside the TV set, via HDMI, you might be a great candidate for one of those HDMI switches, which pulls the audio stream out before it gets processed (and delayed) by the TV set itself. There's a lot of threads about that issue in this area of the forum. I've not seen a single case in which that didn't resolve the issue.
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I've made sure to turn off all the extra processing bits from the tv.

TV / netflix/amazon was meant to mean that the sync issues were the same watching normal tv as well as watching tv from apps such as netflix as well.

Will look into a switch then. Never heard of them before. I'm basically looking for a reason to buy the play 1 surrounds but ant to make sure it won't be out of sync running DD.
Understood. It's a shame that these manufacturers don't think that people will want to pass through a signal with no delay. But yea, I'd think you'd be pretty happy once you get that HDMI switch, and then you could commit to getting the surrounds.
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There is a few things to look at. I had the same issue. If you have Netflix and amazon apps on your tv and a digital out, the using the digital out connection to your beam should work with no audio lag. There are two options. The first one is to get a hdmi switch with an audio extractor to slut the signals out. The second option is to use an optical switch. This option depend on your equipment and it is what I use. I effectively feed the optical outputs from my PS4, XBox One, UHD Player, and TV into the switch and then feed the output from the switch into the beam. Either option will work, it just depends which one suits your setup.
Pmc,

I would also perhaps check that you have the latest firmware version for your TV, as that too may improve things. Sometimes powering off (not same as standby) and reseating, or changing, the HDMI cable can improve things aswell.
I had already checked for updates on my tv and everything is up to date.

So hdmi switch or optical switch seems the best suggestions.

Does anyone have any recommendations- I’ll be honest I’m not that technical so whichever is the easiest to set up would be preferable. I’m not even sure how these two options work but if they put the sound in sync I’d be really happy.
Don't use one myself (and we're talking about one thing, not two separate items), but I'd take a look at the location of your choice for something like "HDMI Switch with optical". You'll end up looking at a page like this:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hdmi+switch+with+optical+audio+out&sprefix=HDMI+switch+with+optic%2Caps%2C158&crid=27AK7HC3P1WUU

Sorry for the long link.

Then you can look for a device that meets your particular needs/budget. Essentially, everything external to the TV plugs in to this, and then an HDMI cable goes from this to your TV to feed video, and an optical cable goes from this to your Sonos to feed the audio signal.
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Badge +4
Don't use one myself (and we're talking about one thing, not two separate items), but I'd take a look at the location of your choice for something like "HDMI Switch with optical". You'll end up looking at a page like this:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hdmi+switch+with+optical+audio+out&sprefix=HDMI+switch+with+optic%2Caps%2C158&crid=27AK7HC3P1WUU

Sorry for the long link.

Then you can look for a device that meets your particular needs/budget. Essentially, everything external to the TV plugs in to this, and then an HDMI cable goes from this to your TV to feed video, and an optical cable goes from this to your Sonos to feed the audio signal.


Be aware that this is only a solution if you exclusively watch TV from external sources and you don't need to get audio from you TV's internal tuners or apps to Sonos. In that case you would need to either add an optical switch (fed by your TV and optical output from your HDMI switch) or a second hdmi switch that can pass ARC.
I’ve found plenty of optical switches that have good reviews on amazon and seem to have solved people’s sync issues.
It just seems very confusing how to set it all up with the different terms that people use.

Can anyone provide me with a step by step of setting up an optical switch so I can keep Dolby digital as my sound. I tried YouTube but couldn’t find anything.

The beam will
Need sound for Watching regular tv, use the apps to watch Netflix/amazon and I will occasionally connect my laptop to watch sky go on the tv as well.

Any help appreciated.
What do you use to watch Netfix and Amazon? Are they apps inside the TV set, or on something external?

Generally speaking, the way people use these switches is that everything that feeds the TV, whether it is cable box, satellite box, streaming box, game console, DVD/Bluray player get connected to the switch. Then there's a HDMI cable that goes from the switch to the TV set. You then use the switch to choose which input you want to see on the TV. The switch then sends out the corresponding signal to the soundbar.

There are some of these switches which will handle HDMI-ARC as well, since you have a Beam. I haven't looked, but they're likely slightly more expensive than an optical one.

And you'd also connect your laptop to the HDMI input on the switch in order to get the sound from that "Sky Go" to appear on the beam.

Essentially, it's

Device connected to switch with HDMI
Device connected to switch with HDMI
Device connected to switch with HDMI
Device connected to switch with HDMI

Switch connected via HDMI to TV for video input
Switch connected via Optical/HDMI ARC to Beam

OK, forum doesn't like my spaces as formatting, so I've adjusted the above.