Dolby Digital Plus update

  • 29 November 2018
  • 39 replies
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Userlevel 7
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If you mean you don't have a Sub for the '.1', no audio is discarded. So if the 5.1 signal is coming in, all channels are used to the best of the capabilities of what you've got set up.
I mean I have no sub connected and it still says 5.1 dobly... in the Sonos setting under about my sonos
I mean I have no sub connected and it still says 5.1 dobly... in the Sonos setting under about my sonos

That is the source, not the output.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Please enlighten us all on how.
What device are you using to watch Netflix? If it is an app on your TV, there's a good chance that the TV is feeding DD 5.1 to Sonos. If not, then I'd like to know how you've managed to convert the DD+ from Netflix to the DD 5.1 that Sonos needs.


I've a Beam 5.1 setup connected to a 4 year old Sony KDL50W829b. The TV supports DD+. All devices are connected to TV via HDMI. The Beam receives 5.1 confirmed by Sonos App from Netflix on PS4, but not via Chromecast. I always assumed the TV was doing the magic, but it could well be the PS4.

On the other hand, I can cast Google Play Movies, which I believe is DD+, and I get my 5.1 on the Sonos.
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This thread is extremely helpful. I recently discovered that my Sonos Playbar was receiving a stereo signal from all the apps on my LG OLED B7 which wasn't immediately obviously because of virtual surround. The TVs documentation is very unclear and originally led me to the conclusion that it would transcode to 5.1 from multiple higher res formats on the fly but the tldr seems to be that the source needs to output Dolby Digital for this to work with everything else falling back to Stereo. Xbox One can be set to output Dolby Digital whereas Chromecast just passed through whatever the app sends natively. The one source that's worked for me is the Firestick Ultra which can also be forced to output Dolby Digital but this still only appears to work for Amazon content with the other apps coming through as Dolby Digital 2.0. 

 

Practically speaking, the Playbar isn't really a surround sound system anymore except for extremely specific scenarios. 

 

 

Neither supports DD+ but when connected via ARC with the beam it uses the handshake to seamlessly down mix. Since playbar uses optical it would then come down to whether your TV supports that. You could also use an Apple TV or another box that allows for DD output.

That’s not true, it only does de handshake and ask for what it can manage, but it doesn’t downmix anything, if the connected device supplies DD+ and doesn’t downmix to DD you doesn’t get that.

And the thruth is that the people is having a lot of problems with this, and it doesn’t expect that type of problems. 

Is it possible to buy any equipment to handle the DD+ to DD conversion, in order to get Chromecast support with full surround sound ?

You do need to set your TV HDMI Audio Format to “Bitstream” and your Audio Format to “Dolby Digital” in order to insure that your Sonos is playing in 5.1. You can’t receive Dolby Digital Plus at this time, but I’m sure a future update can solve that problem. 🙂

Hi, thanks to everyone who posted on this thread, it’s helped me a lot with frustrations on my living room setup which I have now gotten working with DD5.1. When I plug the HDMI into my TV inputs and the optical out into the Playbar from the TV, I’d only get stereo (as many of you have with TV optical outs). 

The LG streaming apps provide Dolby Digital 5.1 to my Playbar via optical, but my TV is 4+ years old now, and the apps suck on LG to begin with, not to mention that they haven’t aged well, freeze and limited options.  Also any HDMI being fed into my TV would get stepped down to stereo when playing on the Playbar . I tried initially to plug the Chromecast U into a KanexPro 18 gbps splitter and then feed the signal to my Playbar and TV from there, that didn’t work though as the Playbar would only register the audio signal if I togged the KanexPro to stereo output and away from Bitstream, which left me back at square one.  Given the age of my TV and in my opinion the terrible UI, I read the NVIDIA Shield that came out in Oct 2019 had the ability to send DD 5.1 signals out which I hoped my Playbar would read.  The Shield isn’t the cheapest option but the UI in my opinion is fantastic and its functionally replaced my TV UI now as I can use the Shield for everything.  So I ditched the Chromecast U, and plugged the Shield into the KanexPro and then to TV and the playbar.  Initially it looks like the issue wasn’t fixed, but going into the audio settings, you can manually toggle every audio output (All the common Dolbys and DTS).  So I manually enabled DD 5.1 and also enabled upmixing to 5.1 on the device and disabled DD+, DTS, TrueHD, etc).  Now everything coming through is DD 5.1 and the common streaming apps (Netflix, Prime, etc), all have the video streaming 4K to the TV and 5.1 audio to the Playbar.  

I spent more money than I would’ve liked, the Shield in Canada was $160 and the KanexPro $120 but to have a surround Sonos living room setup that gives proper surround again has been worth it for me.

 

I hope this helps some folks, and Sonos, please take note, I went through a lot of headaches after spending a lot of money on my equipment.  Why an investment of this magnitude has me fiddling with finding a legacy handshake to get the benefit out of my system is really stupid.  All Dolby/DTS should just work with your devices given the cost.  

Userlevel 1
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Hi, thanks to everyone who posted on this thread, it’s helped me a lot with frustrations on my living room setup which I have now gotten working with DD5.1. When I plug the HDMI into my TV inputs and the optical out into the Playbar from the TV, I’d only get stereo (as many of you have with TV optical outs). 

The LG streaming apps provide Dolby Digital 5.1 to my Playbar via optical, but my TV is 4+ years old now, and the apps suck on LG to begin with, not to mention that they haven’t aged well, freeze and limited options.  Also any HDMI being fed into my TV would get stepped down to stereo when playing on the Playbar . I tried initially to plug the Chromecast U into a KanexPro 18 gbps splitter and then feed the signal to my Playbar and TV from there, that didn’t work though as the Playbar would only register the audio signal if I togged the KanexPro to stereo output and away from Bitstream, which left me back at square one.  Given the age of my TV and in my opinion the terrible UI, I read the NVIDIA Shield that came out in Oct 2019 had the ability to send DD 5.1 signals out which I hoped my Playbar would read.  The Shield isn’t the cheapest option but the UI in my opinion is fantastic and its functionally replaced my TV UI now as I can use the Shield for everything.  So I ditched the Chromecast U, and plugged the Shield into the KanexPro and then to TV and the playbar.  Initially it looks like the issue wasn’t fixed, but going into the audio settings, you can manually toggle every audio output (All the common Dolbys and DTS).  So I manually enabled DD 5.1 and also enabled upmixing to 5.1 on the device and disabled DD+, DTS, TrueHD, etc).  Now everything coming through is DD 5.1 and the common streaming apps (Netflix, Prime, etc), all have the video streaming 4K to the TV and 5.1 audio to the Playbar.  

I spent more money than I would’ve liked, the Shield in Canada was $160 and the KanexPro $120 but to have a surround Sonos living room setup that gives proper surround again has been worth it for me.

 

I hope this helps some folks, and Sonos, please take note, I went through a lot of headaches after spending a lot of money on my equipment.  Why an investment of this magnitude has me fiddling with finding a legacy handshake to get the benefit out of my system is really stupid.  All Dolby/DTS should just work with your devices given the cost.  

Can you confirm whether you bought the 2019 or the 2019 pro?

the 2019 (not Pro)

I have my Sonos playbar connected by optical...make sure your TV is set on optical, and have the latest software update on your Sonos system. Your Sonos app should register as 5.1. If you have the latest Sonos beam, connect it through the HDMI ARC, and have your TV set to HDMI. Some people forget to set there TVs.

That’s all their is to it. 🙂

The only problem I’ve ever had in getting 5.1 was through my 4K Roku system, I fiddled through it too many times to get 5.1, but kept getting stereo. I ditched it, it was too much of a hassle...my Apple TV 4K and Fire Cube gave me no problems.

Userlevel 3
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Is it possible to buy any equipment to handle the DD+ to DD conversion, in order to get Chromecast support with full surround sound ?

You would need a device with an HDMI-input which can also convert audio to DD 5.1.

I actually did this with an old Xbox One I had laying around. It has an HDMI input and can convert any audio to DD 5.1. So by using that and watching Chromecast via the Xbox I was able to get DD 5.1. from a Chromecast…

But the solution is far from elegant and was more a proof of concept.

I think the cheapest option is unfortunately to buy a different streaming device. None of the current Chromecasts will ever be able to convert any fileformat as they are just streaming-sticks. And I would certainly not put my money on Sonos suddenly enabling DD+ on any of their current gear (although I guess the Beam and the AMP would have the hardware for it).

 

The cheapest solution at this stage is getting an Apple TV. I must say that I am very pleased with my Apple TV 4K. There are almost no issues and there are a lot of possibilities in terms of adjusting both sound- and video output.

 

There are apps for all the major streaming service you need and if you prefer casting rather than using a remote or Siri, you can always airplay.

 

Another benefit of the Apple TV and Sonos is that you can airplay sound from the Apple TV to any (newish) Sonos speaker without wiring.

 

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