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HDMI ARC and sound management with Beam

  • 8 June 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 6574 views

Hi, I'm interest on Sonos Beam but I have some question about this new product.
Can I use Beam's HDMI ARC audio input to send audio ONLY on Play3 situated in another room?
Does the Beam work well if I don't have HDMI ARC but HDMI version 2.0?

Thank you
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Best answer by MikeV 8 June 2018, 16:10

HDMI-ARC will be required for the TV to be able to send audio to Beam. Just connecting to a regular HDMI port without ARC won't get any audio from the TV to Beam. Most TVs have a specific port designated for HDMI-ARC.

If you want to hear TV audio through the Play:3, you would be able to group it with Beam, and the TV audio will play through both (just like the Playbar/base with their optical inputs), but Beam will need to be playing the TV audio for the Play:3 to get it. You could mute Beam if you don't want to hear it, but you can't play music on Beam and TV audio on the Play:3.
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5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
HDMI-ARC will be required for the TV to be able to send audio to Beam. Just connecting to a regular HDMI port without ARC won't get any audio from the TV to Beam. Most TVs have a specific port designated for HDMI-ARC.

If you want to hear TV audio through the Play:3, you would be able to group it with Beam, and the TV audio will play through both (just like the Playbar/base with their optical inputs), but Beam will need to be playing the TV audio for the Play:3 to get it. You could mute Beam if you don't want to hear it, but you can't play music on Beam and TV audio on the Play:3.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
Arc is audio and data which goes from tv to beam not vice versa.
Every audio you have on the beam (tv or stream) can be grouped with your play3 as any other Sonos speaker.
Thank you for your reply.

The ARC feature is presents from the HDMI 1.4 version. Does the "ARC" label must be exists on the TV/monitor to work well?

My situation is:
NAS (video) to Monitor through HDMI 1
NAS (audio) to Beam through HDMI 2

The NAS has HDMI 2.0 version (but it doesn't have ARC label) and I can set its HDMI 2 as audio output.
I can use Beam with this situation?

I'm afraid that can't use my Play 3 with NAS audio services through Beam. Is Sonos Connect the solution?

Thank you
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
The NAS wouildn't likely support ARC, thus the Beam wouldn't be able to receive audio from the NAS. If you had a TV hooked up to the NAS instead of a monitor (what size of monitor? I know lots of people are starting to use small TVs as computer monitors instead!), then the TV would likely have HDMI-ARC, thus giving you a way to use Beam.

Without audio over HDMI though, your NAS would need to have some kind of analog audio output, that could be fed to a Sonos Connect. Do note though that there will be delays in the audio because of the analog-digital conversion, the encoding into a streaming format, and compression (if enabled). The absolute lowest the delay would be is 70ms. This would make lip sync between your monitor and the audio noticeably out of sync, assuming your monitor doesn't have any kind of adjustment for that.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Arc is audio and data which goes from tv to beam not vice versa.

I believe i t goes both ways . It's still an hdmi input capable of audio and video coming in. And as Sonos has pointed out as a Beam feature, arc can be used for a source to turn the tv on/off. I currently do this with firetv today.

You are right though the regarding communication out of the tv with arc. I have that setup in a different room. Hdmi input from xbox, hdmi arc to receiver. When i turn on/off the tv, the receiver comes on. When i use volume controls on the tv, it controls the receiver volume.