Getting 5.1 from Chromecast and Playbar + 2 P1s

  • 6 August 2017
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My setup is fairly typical, I think. I've got a TV that won't pass DD signals to its optical out, so I connect my video sources to a Monoprice HDMI switch and use the optical out to feed a Playbar that's paired with 2 Play:1's for rear surrounds. It feels like I'm always chasing 5.1 with this setup. The latest culprit is my Chromecast.

Last night we rented a movie from Google Play Movies, and Cast it from my phone to the Chromecast. The Sonos app was showing it was only in stereo. Today I did a bit of testing. I tried other movies I own from Google Play Movies as well as Netflix and HBO Now. They all showed as Stereo in the Sonos app. I also own a Fire TV. You can't watch movies rented from Google Play Movies on it - there's no app for the Fire TV, but Netflix and HBO Now both show as Dolby Digital in the Sonos app.

So I moved the Chromecast into another room where I've got a Yamaha AVR. With the Chromecast directly connected to that I was able to get 5.1 sound from Netflix, Google Play Movies, and HBO Now. I noticed that my AVR was showing that it's Dobly Digital +. A little research shows that Dolby Digital + cannot be passed over an optical connection - it's HDMI only. So I think this is my problem.

So, TL;DR version - has anyone figured out how to get a Chromecast to output DD instead of DD+?

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