I want to ask and share my experience with trying a HDMI switcher for Beam for my setup.
TL;DR - It didn't work - not unless I want to lose CEC.
My Panasonic OLED (FZ950) doesn't passthrough unfettered audio signal from an external source (Panas have never had this capability unfortunately). Bl**dy beautiful picture though but that's not what I'm here for..
I bought a 3-way, powered, auto-sensing HDMI v2.0 capable switcher to try an overcome this issue and can get full fat DD 5.1 from TV and BD Player. The switch has a clearly marked 'Input' and 'Output' which suggest it is in a way directional / one-way.
Setup as follows: TV HDMI ARC --> (In) HDMI Switcher (Out) --> Sonos Beam.
With above setup, there's no sound coming out of the Beam (and not from TV either). Strangely, CEC works perfectly and the TV clearly detects that it's connected to an external speaker - as indicated by 'Home Cinema Volume' on screen when I increase/decrease volume. Alexa commands to turn on/off TV, volume, etc. work.
The only solution is to use TV's optical output via include Sonos optical-HDMI adapter into the Switcher. I have no desire to go this route as I will lose CEC & volume control via TV remote.
My question is - and sorry if this has been asked / answered before (I've tried searching forum to no avail), has anyone managed to find the perfect solution to this very common dilemma, and able to get both ARC and CEC to work perfectly? :?
My theory is that ARC handshake doesn't like the 'forced' directional nature of the Switcher and hence why I don't get the 'return audio channel'.
For now, I have to compromise. Either watch a 'compromised' video (e.g. FTA TV & Netflix) and get full fat sound OR full fat video (BD 4K HDR) with stereo sound. Truly a first world problem :D
Any thoughts, comments (or solutions) welcome.
PS. Just for fun I reversed the setup (input/output) on Switcher and this time TV doesn't even detect Beam and outputs sound internally. CEC, strangely, still works.