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Beam surrounds


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Hi all

I have a beam and just purchased 2 ones to act as surrounds. I have a Samsung tv which is about 6yrs old. It has a hdmi port but it is not hdmi arc so I am connecting the beam via optical. I also have an Apple TV I use as a set top box. Difficulty I am having is because my beam is connected via optical I can only get pcm audio from my tv and the surrounds are extremely low volume. The tv supports dts neo 2.5 but only through the hdmi not the optical, it seems.
 

Is it even worth having the surrounds with just pcm? i have to say I expected a lot better than this for $400.
 

Any help much appreciated 

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Best answer by Corry P 21 April 2021, 13:33

@Londonbound 

Thanks for trying those steps, but I think at this point it may be an idea to get in touch with Samsung technical support for how to get your TV to output Dolby Digital 5.1 over the optical link - and ask them if it will “passthrough” Dolby Digital from an external source, which it may not do.

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Userlevel 7

With stereo content, Sonos performs an audio up-mix of the stereo signal to create a simulated surround sound. So most of the audio will play out of the front channels (Beam) and the surrounds will play more ambient audio.

Is ambient audio from surround speakers worth $400? I don’t personally think so. But it might be worth it when listening to music.

Userlevel 7
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Are you sure your six year old TV does not do HDMI-ARC? I used to own an 2011 model Samsung that had an HDMI-ARC connection. Can you post the model number?

Can you post the possible settings for sound (maybe post some screenshots) on you TV, since in my experience most TV’s can do more than just PCM?

DTS would not do anything with Sonos, which is Dolby Digital only (the Beam also does not do DD+, contrary to the Arc).

As a last question: why did you choose One’s for surround and not the cheaper One SL’s? The only difference between the two is the One’s have a microphone, that is not used in a surround set up with a Beam.

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@106rallye : thanks. tv is a Samsung UE40H5000. I am pretty sure it doesn’t have arc (I researched quite a bit before purchasing) unless I am missing something. If so, please excuse. A lot of this is new to me. It would be great if it can. 
 

I purchased the One rather than SL for future versatility. I guessed it was conceivable I may purchase an arc or some other superior sound bar / Sonos set up for my tv in the future and may therefore look to move the ones into another room in the future where I may like the voice assistant. Seemed worth it for an extra $40.

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@GuitarSuperstar - thanks makes sense. At the minute I’m thinking it’s not worth the cost 

Userlevel 7
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There’s conflicting messages on the internet about your model, maybe different functions for different markets. If you’ve researched it yourself, you must be right.

So, you’re “stuck” with optical. Interested to know your settings and if any other settings are possible. What are your settings on the ATV?

When I bought my One’s for surround there was no SL, but I’ve since replaced one of them with and SL to get a speaker with voice for the bathroom.

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Londonbound 

Thanks for your post!

As far as I am aware, a TV isn’t even allowed to call itself HD if it doesn’t support Dolby Digital 5.1 output via optical. Some TV’s however, will only pass 5.1 if the source is built in to the TV - so broadcasted TV via the antennae or TV apps only.

Please check your TV’s audio settings and look for an entry called Digital Audio Output Format (usually any one word of the four may be missing) and set it to either Dolby Digital, DD, or Auto. If there are 2 Auto options, try each one.

 

Edit: After checking the manual, your TV does indeed support 5.1 Dolby Digital over the optical connection. It doesn’t say if this is for internal sources only, however.

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@Corry P - thanks so much for your reply. 
 

I’ve attached a couple of photos of my connections and settings.  Whenever I go into sound settings there are only two audio formats that can be selected : PCM and DTS neo 2.5. The others are greyed out. PCM works but with the sound quality issues I mentioned with the surrounds. When I select Dts neo, no output occurs as it seems to be trying to work through the hdmi port and   my Connection is of course optical. I’m not sure why the other two are greyed?

I almost exclusively watch TV through my Apple TV 4K so awondering if I can somehow work through that that could create some kind or workaround?

 

sorry the pic of the ports is not too clear: it’s tight back there - one says hdmi in 1 (stb) and the other says hdmi in 2 (dvi)

 


 

 

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Londonbound 

Thanks for the pictures!

The manual - https://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/201409/20140903094523613/[ENG]NLDVBEU3H-1009-0818.pdf - says that the options will be greyed-out according to the input. You should, therefore, ensure that the Apple TV box is also set to output Dolby Digital 5.1. Then, the option to do the same on the TV should become available.

Another option would be to connect the optical connection from the Beam directly to the Apple TV - if it has a socket for it (I don’t think the newer revisions do). Obviously, you’d lose audio for TV apps in this case. You should still tell the AppleTV box to output DD 5.1.

Userlevel 7
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And if all else fails take a look at a new TV or the HDFury Arcana.

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@106rallye - thanks - hdfury looks good - but expensive.

 

I just quickly swapped by Apple TV to Sonos 5.1 but still seems to be putting pcm through the speakers 😔

Userlevel 7

FYI… the HDFury Arcana doesn’t support the Beam.

Userlevel 7
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Ah, sorry, Is the Arcana eARC only? Didn’t think of that.

@Londonbound What are the sound settings on you ATV when you connect it via optical?

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@106rallye what do you mean by ATV? Apple TV? It was set to auto - I’ve now manually set it to Dolby 5.1 (the other option was stereo). but my tv is still providing pcm. The other option on the tv is dts neo but when you move to neo, the hdmi indicator comes up on screen; so seems it is only through the hdmi, when the beam is  through optical of course. 

Dolby digital etc are still greyed out as per the pic above. 

Userlevel 7
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Yes, ATV=Apple TV. I meant the settings on the Apple TV when you would connect it to the Beam via optical, but maybe your Apple TV doesnot have an optical connection.

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No, Apple TV just has hdmi

Userlevel 6
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@Londonbound 

Thanks for trying those steps, but I think at this point it may be an idea to get in touch with Samsung technical support for how to get your TV to output Dolby Digital 5.1 over the optical link - and ask them if it will “passthrough” Dolby Digital from an external source, which it may not do.

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