Question

Does Playbar play well with existing AV Receivers?

  • 31 October 2013
  • 13 replies
  • 15508 views

I use a Yamaha AV receiver (RX-V2700) that I like very much. I feed my Apple TV, DVD and Cable Box to my TV by an HDMI cable providing surround sound from them all. In addition, I have a turntable that also feeds audio to my current SS speaker system. I am considering using some Sonos speakers to replace my current speakers. Can the Playbar based surround system work with the optical output from my Yamaha AV receiver, allowing me to use all of my devices?

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13 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hi there,

The PLAYBAR is designed to connect to your TV and provide audio from devices that are connected through the TV via its various inputs, like HDMI. If you connect the PLAYBAR to your receiver, then as long as the receiver outputs audio in a supported format (PCM or Dolby Digital) the PLAYBAR should be able to play that audio. However, keep in mind that the receiver also needs to be able to pass HDMI audio to its optical output in this case, so make sure your receiver can do so.
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if the playbar is connected to the tv and outputs the sounds its receiving from "hdmi 1" coming from the receiver, shouldnt it output whatever the source is at the receiver end?
Userlevel 2
Hi there,

The PLAYBAR is designed to connect to your TV and provide audio from devices that are connected through the TV via its various inputs, like HDMI. If you connect the PLAYBAR to your receiver, then as long as the receiver outputs audio in a supported format (PCM or Dolby Digital) the PLAYBAR should be able to play that audio. However, keep in mind that the receiver also needs to be able to pass HDMI audio to its optical output in this case, so make sure your receiver can do so.

this NEEDS to be addressed... i use a projector home theater, with my computer, xbox and a roku device... and there is no way for the playbar to play any of these except my computer, this is truly saddening, 
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Hi there,

The PLAYBAR is designed to connect to your TV and provide audio from devices that are connected through the TV via its various inputs, like HDMI. If you connect the PLAYBAR to your receiver, then as long as the receiver outputs audio in a supported format (PCM or Dolby Digital) the PLAYBAR should be able to play that audio. However, keep in mind that the receiver also needs to be able to pass HDMI audio to its optical output in this case, so make sure your receiver can do so.

Although Sonos recommend connecting straight to the TV this is a total waste of time and money. I have a playbar, sub and 2 x play3 set up for cinema. I have a new Samsung curve TV. The best you can get from a TV is sterio  2chSo why spend £1700 to get low level through put like that??

The answer is get an optical audio splitter. run one optical line from you Sky box and one from your AV receiver. I now get 5.1 dolby through both and this shows up in the app under settings>about my sonos system > playbar. now that's the sound I paid all that money
Was the OP's issue remedied? I've got a similar question. I'm running a Yamaha RX-V667 for all my inputs (Apple TV, BlueRay, Cable, PlayStation, etc) and then connecting the video via a single HDMI to my Samsung LED. As I shop for a center channel, I'd love to be able to add a playbar but need to find a way to make it play nice with my receiver. My receiver has RCA pre-outs but no Optical out. Would an rca to fiber optic adapter be the only solution?

Receiver specs - http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/rx-v667/

Thanks in advance everyone!
Forget it, it won't work, if you've got the money for a Playbar you've got the money for a centre channel speaker, it makes no sense to try to shoehorn a Playbar in there instead.

The Playbar is designed to replace your av receiver, not work with it.
Forget it, it won't work, if you've got the money for a Playbar you've got the money for a centre channel speaker, it makes no sense to try to shoehorn a Playbar in there instead.

The Playbar is designed to replace your av receiver, not work with it.

Damn. I was really hoping to dual purpose this piece of tech. Center channel when the TV is on & then another wifi Sonos speaker when not.
I really want to replace the wired speakers in my loung, why would I want two sets. But I do want to use an AV receiver as the Sky box, blurry, Apple TV, XBox etc are nowhere near the TV which is mounted up on a wall and I only want a single HDMI cable to the TV which has its speakers disabled.
This is a very common configuration and use for an AV receiver and I'd like to think Sonos wants to fit into all ecosystems.
So I'm somewhat dismayed at the limited support for codecs over the optical link. I'd be really interested (as in I'll buy one tomorrow) if I can get a guaranteed confirmation that I could hook up any modern receiver to the sound bar.

Also, is 7.1 ever going to be supported? That's what I run now and would really like to have that as a future development.
You're not going to get answers you like to any of your requirements, Playbar is not for you, it's a simple TV speaker replacement, nothing more than that.
I can't help but think Sonos, or any other manufacturer is missing a key new market segment in the AV arena. With the rise of wireless speaker systems there is a need, in my view, of a home hub that lets you connect multiple HDMI sources, allows multiple digital coax and optical audio sources, and can output the video on HDMI but stream all the audio out wirelessly.

Now it looks like pioneer is moving that way, but retaining all their wired outputs and amplifier etc., but on the fireconnect standard.

If Sonos have any r&d budget left, I'd either be looking to create the receiver that did that and made the sound bar wireless. and in doing so then be able to support multiple Dolby standards like atoms as well as then being capable of 7.1 and beyond. Or they need to support other wireless speaker standards so they can be used in heterogenous environments.

Reading many reports suggest Sonos us losing out to the likes of Amazon, I think there are plenty of opportunities to come up with really compelling solutions....if they have any $ left to spend.

Right now, the multi room is great, but it could be so much more in a home cinema setup.

This is where economics usual step in and the bean counters will tell you to maximise the income on the devices you already have and don't chase other smaller markets, but being ubiquitous is the sure fire way to wide adoption.

Ask yourselves why pioneer and onkyo are going with fire connect, and Yamaha with their own proprietary systems. It's not for the consumers benefit to lock you in to those standards, it's for their own pockets.

Sonos needs a piece of that pie, and home cinema through AV would be a finale winner in my books.
Two problems, Sonos have stated they're not interested in handling video. Secondly the av market particularly for those beyond basic 5.1 is really quite small, given the level of sales Sonos are achieving with the simple stereo products it almost certainly isn't worth their while going after the av market you describe.
After a lot more reading I've decided there is no way the current Sonos products will ever replace a good AV system and reluctantly I'll stay with my wired speaker setup.

It's a real shame, but the playbar just doesn't cut it unless you have very basic requirements.....oh well, it's a missed opportunity as over the next 6 months I'm planning a complete AV refresh, 4K HDR Dolby Vision 70" (ish) TV, 4K Bluray player and an AV receiver with all the latest connectivity standards...Sonos will be left out of the loop and be relegated to a music only system.

I Should say I do have a pair of Play:5, 8 Play:1 a Boost and a Connect, and all of that works flawlessly, very much a part of the smart home.
Userlevel 4
@Stubbo
I share your frustration at the lack of standards. and I too would like to see Sonos have a 7.1+ or Atmos story. It'll be some years before most consumer TVs can join a networked hi-fi mesh, though, and more years before everyone agrees on an open protocol. In the meantime it'll be a consumer-hostile competition between Sonos, Denon, Yamaha, B&W and the WiSA association.

I just did an AV refresh too. But I chucked the receiver.
The Samsung series 9 4K TV in the main lounge is now the HDMI switch, with optical out to a Playbar. All other audio & video around my home is now over the network (Sonos, Airplay, Plex, Apple TV, Netflix etc). Ditching the AVR has eliminated all the messing with remote controls. Compromising on 5.1 rather than 7.1+/Atmos decoding has been a big win for functionality and ease-of-use, and it sounds great anyway.

Note re. optical & HDMI switching, you can fix many issues with one of these: http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x1%20ARC%20port_pro.html but it's definitely better if the TV can be the switch. Samsung in particular have recently done a nice job of smart integration.