DTS, Dolby 5.1 on Playbar, 2015 edition!

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Userlevel 7
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Don,t care anything about dts I think you missed my point.

No, I believe Nohrmann was being polite.

1) Dolby Digital is an audio Standard covered by clear definitions and requirements

2) Similarly the optical connector is covered by International Standards

This means that it is not necessary for Sonos to test every TV, DVD Player, set top box, gaming console and audio codec. They just need to demonstrate that their Playbar is compliant to the published standards and each audio equipment manufacturer has to similarly ensure that their kit is equally compliant.
It is patent nonsense to suggest that Sonos should test every possible input source.

FWIW, I have just completed my 5.1 with the addition of a Sub. And I can tell you it rocks.
Add another frustrated voice to the list of people annoyed with the lack of DTS support. I have the Samsung UE55F8000S, which I paid nearly £2000 for a couple of years back. It's a fantastic TV but as expected, the built in speaker is a bit lacking so recently I took the plunge and bought the Playbar and 2 x Play 1's for a surround sound setup (glad I haven't splurged on the sub yet!!)

With my TV, at least when the source is HDMI, it can only send either stereo or DTS NEO 2.5. As has been well covered here, stereo is barely any better than the built in speaker, and DTS.....well, we're all painfully aware.

If I use one of the native apps on the TV (i.e. Netflix) I can get it to send Doly Digital but 80% of the TV I watch is through my Sky box which (you guessed it) is connected via HDMI. Currently, I've connected the optical cable directly to my Sky box (which does send DD) but it's a pain in the backside having to re-connect it to the TV when I want to use either Netflix, YouTube or Amazon Prime directly on the TV.

Frankly for a surround system that when you include the sub, costs nearly £1500 I would expect Sonos to support pretty much all the common audio technologies in use, especially one used by one of the (if not the biggest?) TV vendor, Samsung.

Come on Sonos, get this sorted please
I'm hoping someone will read this. I am trying to make sense of the OP but somehow I can't.
I have the same TV and for me, it doesn't pass through any DD 5.1 from connected HDMI sources, no matter what I do.

1. What did OP do to make it work for him?
2. Why does he talk about buying an optical switch to get 5.1 from all sources including PS4 etc, then suddenly the solution is to just buy a different model BluRay player?
3. Why does he have an audio receiver and how is that connected to the playbar?

before I lay out my situation below (as we have different TVs) you first need to figure out if your TV can pass a source or not, some TVs might just output direct stereo ALWAYS, then you will never get any surround. My tv will output dolby digital if it gets a good source. it will not convert a DTS source to dolby digital at all though.

I'm currently battling this baffling decision as well. My situation, and trying to use PLEX to solve it (which isn't going well).

New tv OLED 55B6V from LG (amazing telly)
surround setup with 1x playbar and 2x play 1s.
TV will pass any signal, does no conversion.

running plex on this thing and having anything with DTS audio format = no sound.

Take the following actions

TV settings for DTS audio
TV must be set to output dolby digital
settings -> all settings -> sound -> DTV Audio Setting -> Dolby Digital

Plex client must always transcode the audio otherwise no sound. (sound bar can't handle it)

from home -> settings -> audio -> DTS(DCA) UNCHECKED
home -> settings -> video -> 'Allow direct play' UNCHECKED

doing this should allow to play 5.1 surround from a DTS source.

^ the effect of the above on my setup is that audio plays, but it plays with clicks pops/drops.

I'm really mad at sonos for not including DTS to be honest. Regretting my purchases, because I was around 4000 euro out the pocket before I discovered that this was even a thing I had to contend with. After reading these forums I'll stop recommending and start discouraging people to buy Sonos.

DTS will have to be re-coded as Dolby Digital to be played by the PlayBar, else it will be silent (displaying "Audio not supported"). There is no way of playing DTS itself.

Work arounds: My experience

I read the above post and went off to buy a switch (although, this one in the UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DZIXIMQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00, called Portta 4x1 HDMI Switcher with Toslink and Digital Coaxial Port 3D Splitter with Remote and AC Adapter/ 3D 1080P).

You can also work around the DTS issue by connecting the Playbar to an XBox or PS4, or at worst, a switch.

I hope this helps!!! :)

So the Portta 4x1 HDMI Switcher actually re-codes the DTS signal as Dolby Digital? I have an Octava HD41-ARC and I didn't have luck with this. I have an nvidia shield tv box connected to an hdmi input on the switch. The hdmi output goes to an hdmi input on the TV. The optical out put on the switch goes to the playbar. When I play a file in plex that's encoded with DTS 5.1 audio, I get no sound from my playbar and I also get the unsupported audio message in Sonos.

Am I missing something?

I feel your pain. I got a result though , I don't have nvidia shield but otherwise your experience mirrors mine (I have lg b6 TV with plex app from lg webshop) provided your client options are same as mine my thread on plex forums should help you


It's essentially a case of 'force plex server to transcode the audio' you will NEVER get dts audio out of a Sonos bar, unfortunately Sonos picked optical for god knows what reason and is doomed as a viable surround sound solution. Sucks because the audio is amazing for music, but surround is terrible optical doesn't have the bandwidth to carry the signal so you n Ed down convert. Worst choice ever, I'm really bitterly disappointed with my very expensive purchases because I didn't know this beforehand.

You will get working surround this way at least. Make sure. You check the Sonos app and -> about to see that your signal is markesd as 5.1 because if you get options wrong you will get stereo output to all speakers and it can trick you into thinking surround works for a while.
Userlevel 7
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thanks for the info
Userlevel 3
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With Samsung latest TV Dolby digital 51 is available on the optical out only if the TV is playing it from an antenna signal or from a smart app. A 5.1 Dolby digital signal arriving to the TV from an hdmi source will have a digital output in 2.0.

So, while using TV optical into the playbar I am having Dolby from a movie streamed with the TV app from my Nas , the satellite box goes to TV in 5.1 but reach the playbar as 2.0.

I had to buy an optical switch to play TV apps for TV to playbar and the satellite box directly to the playbar ......
Which switch did you buy for the Samsung? I have multiple sources (e.g., ATV, X1, Uverse, etc) I need to consider with my new UHD 4K.
Userlevel 3
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i bought this on on amazon.it. They shipped it from California, so I assume you will find it in many Amazon http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00BB0GY1C?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00

Thank you for the updated information on converting a DTS 5.1 signal!
Same problem here.... I have a PS4, a Nvidia Shield TV and a Freebox Revolution (French ASDL TV box).... I still need to choose a new TV but i assume very few of them will decode DTS => DD 5.1 on the optical output.

So i was wondering if a good amplifier like a Pioneer LX 59 could not solve the problem : all HDMI sources on the Pioneer, HDMI out on TV just for the picture and all the sound output on the optical cable with a DD 5.1 conversion.

What do you think ?
Thanks Evander, the most useful post I have read on the topic! This is mainly because I have this exact TV model and couldn't work out the audio output.

So can I ask you, does the LG output Dolby Digital 5.1 from the optical out? So if all I'm concerned about is Netflix, then I don't need any other accessories? - I just connect an audio lead direct to the Playbar etc and we get true 5.1? Or are you saying that you HAVE to buy the Portta HDMI converter to get that 5.1 output through optical if I have say, Netflix on my TV?

Basically, I just want to check was the Portta essential for the 5.1 from any source, or was the only reason you got that, because you have your BD player and multiple sources. Thanks so much!
Sonos has explained a dozen times already. The Playbar was designed to connect to an optical out on a TV, the vast majority of which do not pass DTS. If you wish to use Sonos in a full-blown home theater, the best solution is to get a Connect and a receiver based full-blown home theater.

And just to reiterate; Sonos has definitively stated they are NOT going to support DTS playback on the Playbar. I believe you should take them at their word.
Userlevel 7
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Will the BD-H6500 re-code, mvk or other files on disk/network, from DTS to DD? Or does it only do from the blu ray disc?

That's a great question, it looks like that Blu-ray player can stream network content through the Samsung Link feature (using specific devices) which has the supported formats here. The manual doesn't specify if it'll convert that content over to Dolby Digital though I'd suspect it's transmitting as PCM. I'd recommend asking Samsung support directly though, they'll have access to more information about that device.
Userlevel 1
Hi jgatie, I thought the whole sonos brand and product usp is built around effortless usability, high quality audio and bringing all music to your room. The playbar combined with pair of play 1's and a sub is being marketed as a 5.1. If the playbar only has optical input and the optical does not support DTS and therefore can't produce 5.1 then that seems poor for a combined price of £1500.

Can you explain why you have to troll the Sonos community if you aren't interested in the products? Sonos has consistently reported that despite your and many other requests for DTS, they are just not interested in DTS. If the connection options don't suit you either, just move on. Then you wont have to worry any more.
Userlevel 7
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There is nothing further to know other than Sonos has said repeatedly (over a long time period and multiple people asking) that there will be no DTS on the current Playbar. There isn't much more to ask about.

Yes it would be nice if it had it. I can't think of a reason anyone would disagree with that. But the fact is it doesn't and never will.
Hi jgatie, I thought the whole sonos brand and product usp is built around effortless usability, high quality audio and bringing all music to your room. The playbar combined with pair of play 1's and a sub is being marketed as a 5.1. If the playbar only has optical input and the optical does not support DTS and therefore can't produce 5.1 then that seems poor for a combined price of £1500.

That is your subjective opinion and you are welcome to it. Others feel differently. And this may surprise you, I happen to agree with your assessment, which is why my Playbar is on my bedroom TV and my Home Theater is fitted with a proper 5.1 system using wired speakers, a receiver, and a Connect. Then again, I feel any soundbar is a compromise for Home Theater, so make of that what you will.

However, unlike you, I understand a product is made for a certain market, that I may not be in that particular market, and critiquing that product for not meeting my needs to a T is not only unrealistic, it is most certainly a waste of my time. The Playbar is made for people who are not hardcore Home Theater enthusiasts and Sonos has repeatedly stated they are not going to support DTS on the Playbar. Period. Now you can do two things*: Keep banging your head against the virtual brick wall, or you can get over it and move on.

*Actually, there are 3 things. You can also buy a Blu-ray player that converts DTS to DD, and with a TV that passes DD through to the optical, you are good to go. Then again, that still leaves you with a soundbar based 5.1 system, with all the weaknesses therein. 😉
Userlevel 1
Hi Jgatie,
I understand what you mean. I previously had an entry level 5.1 speaker system with Arcam 350 receiver. Didn't like the system as the receiver was massive and I didn't like the flicking between remotes etc... So got a playbar and liked the declutter of wires and boxes, etc. Enjoying the playbar, and the simplistic user friendly aspect to sonos I now want to add rear speakers to create 5.1. Then did some research and understood that there is a potential lack of 5.1 which would make the rear speakers almost pointless. Hence my comments.

I am looking into switches and currently between 4x hdmi in - to - optical & hdmi out, or 4x optical in - to - optical out. Or getting speakers and new receiver and a connect. But after original experience not sure I want to go down that route.

And finally I understand Sonos said they are not adopting DTS. I am interested in why not? What is the/their reason? And from this thread that goes back more than two years there are many who also feel the same way as me. I am not alone on this.

Regards ...
Userlevel 7
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And finally I understand Sonos said they are not adopting DTS. I am interested in why not? What is the/their reason? And from this thread that goes back more than two years there are many who also feel the same way as me. I am not alone on this

here is the explanation:
If you have the time you can read all 47 pages - it got quite heated at times ! Strangely, I think there was about 1 year where it was actually under consideration so it was obviously a close call !

However, if you really want to read into it with a positive spin you could interpret the final sentence "We’ll be actively monitoring TV and streaming services capabilities and trends. If our development stance around DTS decoding in PLAYBAR changes, this community will be among the first to know." as leaving the door open to adding it in future but I wouldnt get your hopes up !
Userlevel 1
Hi All

I have a simple solution to this poor design choice.

I'll go buy a Playbar, the second I type my pin number in SONOS will announce a new Playbar.
It will be called Playbar :)
It will support HDMI,3 or 4 inputs, pass through and DTS/DD etc.

Userlevel 3
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They say that people where not interested in the DTS update, come on don't fool us Sonos!!!!! you know people have ask many many times for the DTS update you know that! I just still Don't know why Sonos won't bring a DTS update... When I play a movie with DTS I don't get any sound..i don't want stereo or DD....we want DTS sound!!! As a true 5.1 set, Wake up Sonos! And let my expensive Sonos set play DTS! Its really a shame, a cheap surround set can play DTS, why won't Sonos support DTS and listen to his loyal customers....after all this time Still no DTS update in 2015...I want a fair answer Sonos and a lot of other customers! What's the real reason why not support DTS?

Don't fool us and say most tv's are not output DTS I know that! When i play a blueray movie I don't get any sound...DTS Support Is really need on the Sonos playbar...
Userlevel 7
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Sonos have already stated why they don't support DTS and indicated that it is very unlikely ever so to do.

You don't want "a fair response" what you want is for the Playbar to support DTS and any other response will be ignored.
Userlevel 3
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I'am not ignoring just want to discus about this issue.
I not the only 1 that need the DTS support on the Sonos Playbar.... I think
Its a big fault! And a very important feature that will be missing. Like I Said earlier its 2015 there are a lot of Blueray- Movies with DTS in my Movie collection.What I really want to know is how much work will it cost to support DTS for the Sonos Playbar?
Userlevel 3
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I hope Sonos realize soon that they have made a mistake not supporting DTS.
We will see...
A lot of these arguments are ridiculous. If this is meant to be for non-tech savvy people then they will never understand why they can hear some stuff through their Playbar and not others. If you are going to market part of your business as home theater then you better pony up the dough for licensing of DTS. People willing to drop this kind of coin on speakers and boosters and bridges are people who want the most out of their systems since the price is on point with system that are far more capable as home theaters. If Sonos is strictly saying, "we are for streaming music" then enough said and DTS isn't a concern at all. BUT if i'm dropping 1700.00 on a 5.1 setup for my home theater it better be able to play ALL formats. I can put together a much better sounding system piece by piece for that price. I think the reality is they do not want to pay for DTS licensing, is not because consumers don't want or need it. DTS X is going to be replacing a lot of content that uses DD because it can replicate the same sound as DD Atmos through software alone and not having to buy upward. projecting speakers. Even the NFL is considering DTS over DD for the 2017 season. Good luck football fans with your Sonos system and watching football.