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Has anyone used a playbar and 2 play 1's for 5.0 home theatre


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Hello has anybody used a playbar and 2 play 1's for a 5.0 home theatre without the sub?
I say this as I want to extend but can't afford the sub, so I just want to know if anyone has used without sub and if it's any good?
I mostly watch freeview tv and streaming services,I don't have sky or anything so will I get that surround affect, Dolby digital? Cheers
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Best answer by Airgetlam 31 July 2017, 21:11

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Great response and very informative. Thankyou
Userlevel 3
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Hi, I'm based in the UK and have a Freeview antenna, and the HD channels certainly have the capability (and indeed do for a number of shows) transmit in DD5.1. The manual for your TV is quite unhelpful but if you go into the sound settings there should be a way of changing it from PCM to Auto (or similar) so that it feeds 5.1 audio to the soundbar.

You can then check in the Sonos menu for Settings, About My Sonos System, and it will tell you what stream is coming through (BTW even if you have just a playbar without any surrounds, if it's being fed 5.1 it will show up as "Dolby Digital 5.1").

The easiest way to check is to load up Netflix on your Sony TV, any "new" show (e.g. Glow, House Of Cards, etc) and see what's coming through. If it doesn't say 5.1 in the Settings Menu I mentioned above, then Sony isn't passing it through correctly and you need to go back into the TV settings to fix it.

I'd like to think of myself as fairly techy and it took me ages to get everything to work properly on my setup so please shout back with any other questions. If you try this and it still doesn't work what would be helpful is a pic of your Sony TV sound settings.
Userlevel 7
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The 2 Play 1s will certainly give you the surround part of Dolby 5.1. In the UK only the HD channels have Dolby sound. Often that's 2.0 rather than 5.1 though I am seeing more 5.1 (Freesat). You need to make sure your TV will send Dolby 5.1 through the optical out. Most will if it originates on the TV but some don't pass DD5.1 through from an external source (Like a Freeview PVR for instance)

Personally I think you'll notice a big difference but ultimately, especially for music, you will want a Sub as well.
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I have a new Sony tv. Will that send Dolby 5.1 through the optical?
What would you do. Play 1's or sub?
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Erm...what TV? What does the manual say?
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It's a Sony KD49XD8077SU android TV I have. I no idea? I have a feeling it does pass 5.1 reading through the jargon. If most of what I watch is it 5.1 I may aswell just. It the sub??? Oh so confused I really can't afford everything
FWIW, I used the system without a SUB for a year or so, without any significant issues. I was unclear to me why I would need to buy a SUB until I did so, it sounded that good. The SUB just added a huge amount of "extra" that was impressive.

As BoredofBalham states, you need to check your owners manual for the TV, but in my experience, all Sony TVs have passed through Dolby Digital for at least the last 10 years. You probably need to also look at the Audio settings in the TV menu, to see what options you have (again, instructions are in the owner's manual).

You can look at the settings in the Sonos controller app under "About My Sonos System" and it will tell you what kind of signal that the Playbar/Playbase is receiving at the moment you generate the report
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Okay so I checked the status like you mentioned and it says Dolby digital 2.0 I'm assuming this is because I have just my sound bar and no other speakers. If I were to add a sub it would be 2.1 or 2 play 1's 5.0. With both sub and play 1's 5.1 right?
Umm. Huh, you've stumped me. I don't think that's correct, to be honest. I think it is showing what the system is receiving, not what it's "sending". Which means either the source is only in stereo, or you may need to adjust the settings for audio on your TV and all devices connected to it, so that they're all set to "Dolby Digital". That's the only way you'll get the 5.0 that you're looking for.
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I tried on another station (non hd channel) and the signal input was just stereo. I do wonder? Has anyone else any information? Living and learning 😃
The audio settings on your TV, or the source feeding the TV need to be adjusted, as I explained in the previous post. Non HD will always be stereo, but HD channels could be 2.0 or 5.1. I'd try a movie channel to see, if you have something like HBO, etc, they generally carry movie (current ones, not from the 70s) in Dolby Digital. You'll find a lot of daytime TV (talks shows, news, etc) don't do anything other than 2.0, since there's a minor cost to them to do so.
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I'm in the uk and have freeview tv only. Not sat. My guessing here is that most of what I watch (unless it's a DVD as bluray play dts which is not supported by sonos) will just be stereo or 2.0?
I do stream a lot of movies using kodi and Netflix I guess I should try that first and get an accurate result.
Since I'm in the US, I'm not terribly familiar with freeview TV in the UK. Perhaps there is some information in your area's TV guide type publishing document that tells you? They used to have the data for TV in the newspapers here, but I have the equivalent of SkyTV here (DirecTV), and gave up on looking at that data year ago. As a guess, I'd say about 30 to 40% of daytime TV is in stereo, the rest is in 5.1, although I'd suspect that number continues to diminish, as maintaining two different systems for broadcast is probably expensive, and they tend to reuse sets for various types of entertainment, which may or may not need the extra oomph. Were I you, I'd do as I have already suggested, and try catching a movie on one of your HD channels. Somethng within the last 20 years . There's a better than even chance that it will be in 5.1.