Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread



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Great news, thanks for sharing re dx900. Panasonics traditionally haven't passed through ac3 I believe. I've been reading a fair bit about this particular tv so I do hope it gets released in Australia soonish (or at all). You happy with yours? What are you doing until the lag gets fixed? Stereo downgrade or switch?

The TVs is amazing I previously had the hu8500 with sek-3500 and the dx900 really does blow my old set out of the water. I message Panasonic and they even said that it wouldn't do pass through 5.1 but in the manual it said that it would pass bitstream Dolby from HDMI so it must a new feature for the 2016 models, it's just ashame about the lag, so I'm using a switch box at the moment which I'd bought before hand and it's all working fantastic. Just need a 4K bluray now 🙂
Great news, thanks for sharing re dx900. Panasonics traditionally haven't passed through ac3 I believe. I've been reading a fair bit about this particular tv so I do hope it gets released in Australia soonish (or at all). You happy with yours? What are you doing until the lag gets fixed? Stereo downgrade or switch?
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The new Panasonic DX900 does pass through the DD5.1 from HDMI, I've just replaced my old Samsung with this, but it has really bad lag which makes it unwatchable. hopefully an update will fix this......ill keep you posted
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Considering getting a Soundbar.
Haven't seen any mention of Panasonic Vieras.

Any advice?


Most Panasonic Viera TVs work with the PLAYBAR, depending on the year, they can even pass Dolby Digital 5.1 to the PLAYBAR through the optical too. It's worth bringing up here that depending on the model you have, you may need to follow the directions here to turn off the onboard speakers.
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Any advice?
Go for the Playbar.
Considering getting a Soundbar.
Haven't seen any mention of Panasonic Vieras.

Any advice?
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That is an excellent resource, I just wish there was something similar for the UK. That said, there remains some inconsistencies and the potential for misinformation. For example (and it may be an isolated error), if you look at their review for the Samsung JS8500, the answer is "yes" for all 5.1 pass-through questions. However, in the questions below, someone asks about 5.1 pass-through via optical to a soundbar, and gets the following reply: "Samsung TVs can't do 5.1 passthrough, so yes, you would need to do HDMI".

We've seen the Samsung JS8500 to pass Dolby Digital 5.1 from HDMI sources over the optical connection. There shouldn't be an issue with that TV playing audio to Sonos. You can go into the settings and manually set the Audio Format to Dolby Digital and HDMI Audio Format to Bitstream.

Moderator Edit: We’ve recently identified an issue with Dolby Digital content coming through the optical on this TV. You can find more information on this issue here.
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That is an excellent resource, I just wish there was something similar for the UK. That said, there remains some inconsistencies and the potential for misinformation. For example (and it may be an isolated error), if you look at their review for the Samsung JS8500, the answer is "yes" for all 5.1 pass-through questions. However, in the questions below, someone asks about 5.1 pass-through via optical to a soundbar, and gets the following reply: "Samsung TVs can't do 5.1 passthrough, so yes, you would need to do HDMI".
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For everyone looking for information about TVs that support 5.1 passthrough rtings.com just posted an excellent article about this subject including extensive testing they have done. They have a lot of information about each manufacturer as well as test results for most current TVs. Here's the article:

http://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough
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LG have now confirmed to me that the 65EF950V (the UK version of the 65EF9500) does pass Dolby Digital 5.1 via optical when connected to external devices using HDMI.

I have one further question, which I suspect has already been answered somewhere but would be grateful for clarification. If I have a TV that does not pass 5.1 via optical, is there a workaround for getting the TV's internal apps to play 5.1 via the Playbar? I think I have read something about using the TV's HDMI ARC connection to take the audio from the TV to a switch and then to the Playbar. If so, how does that work with (say) Netflix, which outputs Dolby Digital Plus? Is there a switch which can convert Dolby Digital Plus to standard DD?


That's a good question, looking over the TV you have, I don't know if any of the HDMIs on there can output audio to a switch. Though this sort of setup could work with some TV's, but I'm not sure if yours can handle it. You may be best using another device that has access to the apps you're looking to use instead which can output 5.1.

This thread has a few switches that are community recommended which can convert audio formats, so you can take a look at those.
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Thanks for the suggestion Ryan, I'll give that a try. By the way, this was the email exchange between me and LG - make of it what you will!

Me:
"I am looking for a TV which can output DD 5.1 on the optical output, from any source, internal AND HDMI external. This is to provide sound to a Sonos Playbar. Can you tell me which 4K models can do this please?"

LG's reply:
"...Any of LG's TV's, providing they have a optical port, will output, providing the content that is playing has a rating of 5.1 or higher, at rating of 5.1 also providing that the sound system you are using has a rating of 5.1 or higher..."


Thanks for sharing. We'll hold off on adding the whole LG line to the list above, but from what I've heard their new TVs will all pass Dolby Digital. For older ones, there's a hidden installer menu you can access and turn the Dolby Digital on as well, but there's a bit of a process involved there.
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LG have now confirmed to me that the 65EF950V (the UK version of the 65EF9500) does pass Dolby Digital 5.1 via optical when connected to external devices using HDMI.

I have one further question, which I suspect has already been answered somewhere but would be grateful for clarification. If I have a TV that does not pass 5.1 via optical, is there a workaround for getting the TV's internal apps to play 5.1 via the Playbar? I think I have read something about using the TV's HDMI ARC connection to take the audio from the TV to a switch and then to the Playbar. If so, how does that work with (say) Netflix, which outputs Dolby Digital Plus? Is there a switch which can convert Dolby Digital Plus to standard DD?
Thanks for the suggestion Ryan, I'll give that a try. By the way, this was the email exchange between me and LG - make of it what you will!

Me:
"I am looking for a TV which can output DD 5.1 on the optical output, from any source, internal AND HDMI external. This is to provide sound to a Sonos Playbar. Can you tell me which 4K models can do this please?"

LG's reply:
"...Any of LG's TV's, providing they have a optical port, will output, providing the content that is playing has a rating of 5.1 or higher, at rating of 5.1 also providing that the sound system you are using has a rating of 5.1 or higher..."
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I'm using a Playbar + 2x Play1 for TV sound, and I can confirm that the LG 49UF770V television passes 5.1 audio by default, from all three HDMI inputs:
1.SkyHD STB
2.LG BP350 Blu-Ray player
3.OSMC on Raspberry Pi

The Sky remote controls the Playbar volume, and when I am changing the volume it brings up a little warning circle on the TV screen, which then goes away when I stop changing the volume.

Before buying the TV I asked LG in the UK about HDMI 5.1 passthrough, and their reply (which wasn't 100% clear) was that all their current models do this. Shops such as Currys and John Lewis couldn't advise, so I ended up buying the TV online and if passthrough hadn't worked I could have returned it.


Great, I'll get it added above. Just a suggestion, you could try turning the TV speakers back on and plug something into the headphone jack. This should shut off the speakers, but remove the volume message when you adjust it.
I'm using a Playbar + 2x Play1 for TV sound, and I can confirm that the LG 49UF770V television passes 5.1 audio by default, from all three HDMI inputs:
1.SkyHD STB
2.LG BP350 Blu-Ray player
3.OSMC on Raspberry Pi

The Sky remote controls the Playbar volume, and when I am changing the volume it brings up a little warning circle on the TV screen, which then goes away when I stop changing the volume.

Before buying the TV I asked LG in the UK about HDMI 5.1 passthrough, and their reply (which wasn't 100% clear) was that all their current models do this. Shops such as Currys and John Lewis couldn't advise, so I ended up buying the TV online and if passthrough hadn't worked I could have returned it.
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This thread is a brilliant idea. Anyone know whether the LG 65EF9500 mentioned here is the same as the LG 65EF950V - I have a feeling one is the US version and one is the UK version. The LG user's manual for the latter appears to confirm it does pass Dolby Digital via optical, but when I asked LG the question they said that the TV "will not output in Dolby", only in PCM. Is this because the manufacturers do not understand their own products?

According to the review here the 65EF950V is the UK version of the TV.

There does seem to be a bit of uncertainty on that TV as to Dolby Digital output on Optical. Looking at this forum thread, it seems the general consensus is that the TV can output Dolby Digital over Optical from over the air and HDMI sources but you may need to enable it under one of the settings.

From there, it looks like the TV should be good. Let us know how it goes.
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This thread is a brilliant idea. Anyone know whether the LG 65EF9500 mentioned here is the same as the LG 65EF950V - I have a feeling one is the US version and one is the UK version. The LG user's manual for the latter appears to confirm it does pass Dolby Digital via optical, but when I asked LG the question they said that the TV "will not output in Dolby", only in PCM. Is this because the manufacturers do not understand their own products?
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Unfortenately, the Philips remote doesn't work with the playbar.

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/playbar-doesnt-work-with-rf-philips-remotes-6557773


Looking over that TV, you're right. It seems it doesn't come with an IR blaster either. The PLAYBAR can only read IR commands for volume outside of our app so using the Philips remote isn't the best experience. I'll make a note above. You probably will want to look into using a universal remote control instead of the native Philips one. Something with RF and IR which can be taught to control both Sonos and your TV.
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Unfortenately, the Philips remote doesn't work with the playbar.

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/playbar-doesnt-work-with-rf-philips-remotes-6557773
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Philips 55pus7600/12 passes DD 5.1 through optical. Confirmed.

Thanks for sharing! I'll get it added to the list. Does it have a onscreen popup about the TV speakers disabled when you adjust the volume?
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Philips 55pus7600/12 passes DD 5.1 through optical. Confirmed.
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Sources and Devices Guide



Here are some devices that we've seen used with great success with Sonos home theater setups in the past. We’ll go into some of the details of how to use them best in each entry. Devices that can transcode DTS into Dolby Digital 5.1 have been marked with an *.

All entries are collapsed and can expand by clicking "Show Content".
Apple TV
The Apple TV can be set up to output Dolby Digital + surround audio to your TV through its HDMI output. The older Apple TVs can also send Dolby Digital + audio directly to your Playbar using the optical output if needed. The newest Apple TV only has an HDMI output so it can’t be wired directly into your Playbar.

The Apple TV’s audio output should be set to Dolby Digital Surround. As long as your TV can pass Dolby Digital 5.1 through its optical port you can enjoy surround sound on your Playbar.

You can use your AppleTV remote to control the Sonos volume as well. Previous versions of the AppleTV came with an IR remote, which can be taught to the Sonos home theater device’s IR sensor in the same way as other remotes.

The Apple TV 4(4th generation) uses a Siri remote which can also be used to control the volume level on your Playbar or Playbase. This remote uses HDMI-CEC technology to automatically recognize your TV so that you do not need to program it in order to control your TV’s volume.

You’ll need another remote control that has already been programmed to control the volume for the TV, not the original remote it came with. Then, on your Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Volume Control. Select Learn New Device. From there you can follow the onscreen directions to program the Siri remote.

Once the Siri remote has the right commands in there, if you haven’t taught the Playbar those same commands yet, you can do so under Sonos Settings > Room Settings > Playbar > TV > Remote.

With Apple TV and AirPlay, you can also send stereo audio right from your Apple TV to a Playbase or Beam.

Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV can output Dolby Digital 5.1 if the app running supports this format. We recommend connecting your Amazon Fire TV to your TV using an HDMI cable. As long as your Amazon Fire TV app outputs DD5.1 and your TV can pass DD5.1 through its optical output, your Sonos will play surround. In this configuration you should set the Amazon Fire TV’s audio output to Dolby Digital + over HDMI.

You can also connect the Amazon Fire TV directly to your Playbar or Playbase using the Fire’s optical output if you have a model with that connection. In this configuration you will still get DD5.1 on your Playbar or Playbase if the app you are running supports that format. If the app you’re In this configuration you should set the Amazon Fire TV’s audio output to Dolby Digital over optical.

Please note that some TVs will try to pass Dolby Digital + through the optical unchanged, instead of converting it to Dolby Digital 5.1. If your TV does this, your Playbar or Playbase will not play and you’ll need to adjust the settings of the Amazon Fire TV to PCM instead of Dolby Digital. This may be the case if your Playbar or Playbase is wired directly to your Amazon Fire TV as well.

If you’re using Sonos Ones as surrounds or a Sonos Beam, you can also configure them to control what’s playing on your Fire TV using the steps here. The Fire TV also has Alexa built-in with the remote, and using the Sonos Skill you can use the remote to control your entire Sonos system.

*Blu-ray players
Blu-Ray players can output Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to Sonos. As long as your media has a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track the Blu-ray player will output that signal to your TV. If your TV passes Dolby Digital 5.1 through its optical port you can enjoy that media in 5.1 on your Sonos home theater.

Some Blu-ray players will also transcode DTS surround sound into Dolby Digital, then output that to your TV. By using one of these Blu-ray players you can enjoy 5.1 surround sound on your Sonos home theater even when the media only outputs in DTS. This thread describes some of the Blu-ray players which can transcode DTS to DD. There’s also a good discussion here around UHD Blu-Ray players that’ll perform this transcoding. We have some recommended from the community here.

Chromecast TV
The Chromecast TV can be set up to send 5.1 audio to your Playbar or Playbase. With the Chromecast TV wired into your TV via an HDMI cable, you can set the audio output to Dolby Digital +. As long as the running app support this format and your TV passes Dolby Digital through its optical output you can enjoy 5.1 surround sound on your Playbar or Playabse.
*Playstation 4
The PlayStation 4 can be configured to output Dolby Digital 5.1. With the PS4 wired into your TV using an HDMI cable, follow this guide to configure the audio output. As long as your TV passes Dolby Digital through its optical output your Sonos home theater will play surround sound from your PS4.

Supports transcoding for Blu-rays with directions on the link above.

Roku
The Roku player can output Dolby Digital + 5.1 to your TV through the HDMI cable. To do so, head into the settings menu then set the audio mode to “Auto” or “Surround sound.” As long as your TV passes Dolby Digital through its optical port the Playbar or Playbase will play in surround sound.
Smart TV apps
Many TVs these days have network connectivity and built in apps which can access your favorite services all on their own. So long as the TV is capable of passing Dolby Digital 5.1 content from over the air sources to optical you should be all set. Keep in mind, some apps don't broadcast or stream in Dolby Digital, so your content audio will vary.
*Xbox One
The Xbox One and Xbox One S can be setup to output Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to Sonos. Please follow this page has some steps to configure your Xbox One for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio. You can either connect your Xbox One to your TV via an HDMI cable or connect it directly to your Playbar or Playbase with an optical cable.

Supports transcoding for Blu-rays with directions on the link above.
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Community Recommended Devices


Sonos doesn’t make any specific recommendations for TVs, but there have been some good ones suggested on the community which work great with the Playbar and Playbase. Here is a list of TVs that pass Dolby Digital 5.1 from external components and over the air sources. We’ll break some of them down below here based on size. We’ll link you to the recommendation too.

If you’d like to recommend a specific TV which meets these requirements feel free to post it below here. We’ll be updating this list with your recommendations regularly. When leaving a recommendation, please note the following:

To make a TV recommendation:
TV Brand and Model
Does it pass Dolby Digital 5.1 from external components and over the air sources?
Does it have a pop-up on screen when the volume is adjusted?

To make a HDMI or Optical Switcher Recommendation:
Brand and Model
Does it convert any formats such as DTS into Dolby Digital?
What inputs and outputs does it have?
Is it ARC compatible?
Do you need to use a remote control to adjust the input?


Your TV Recommendations for Playbar and Playbase

39 inch and under
Sony KDL-32W653A
Sony KDL-37W5500

40 - 45 inch
LG 42LH5000
Philips 42PFL7008
Samsung UE40F8000
Sony KDL-42W653A
Sony 42W805
Toshiba 43U6863DB


46 - 49 inch
Samsung UE48JU7000 - 4k
LG 49UF695 - 4k
LG 49UF770V - 4k
LG 47LM6700
LG 47LV5500

LG 47LH3000
Samsung UE46F6740
Sony Bravia NX713 (KDL-46NX713)
Sony Bravia KDL-50W704A
Sony Bravia KDL50W755C


50-55 inch
LG OLED55B6V - 4k
Philips 55PUT4900 - 4k
Samsung UN55JU7100 - 4k
Samsung UN55KS8000 - 4k
Samsung UE55F9000STXXU - 4k
Samsung UE55JU7000 - 4k
Samsung UE55KS8000 - 4k
Samsung UE55KS9000 - 4k
Samsung UE55JS9000 - 4k
Sony XBR 55X850A - 4k
Philips 55pus7600/12 - 4k. Remote is RF only and doesn’t control Playbar.
LG 55LM6700
LG 55LV5500

LG 55EF9500
Samsung UE55JS9000 - There was an issue with audio content from this TV that should now be resolved. More here.
Sony KDL 50W808C
Sony KDL 55W829
Sony KDL5 5EX720
VIZIO XVT553SV
Panasonic 50-EX700B
Panasonic FZ802B - 4k OLED - 2018

56-59 inch
LG 58UF830v - 4k


60-65 inch
Sony XBR 65X850C - 4k
LG 60UH8500 - 4k
LG 60LM7200
LG 60PM670S
LG 65EF9500
LG OLED 65EG9600
Samsung PN60F8500AF
Samsung PS64F8500
Sony KD65x8508
VIZIO E601i-A3
Sony Bravia OLED XBR65A8F - 4k OLED - 2018

70 inch and above
VIZIO P702ui-B3u - 4k
VIZIO M70-C3 - 4k
Sharp LC-80LE632U
Sony KDL70R550A
VIZIO M701D-A3
VIZIO M801D-A3



HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
These switchers may work well with a Playbar or Playbase to get audio from HDMI sources that aren't converting through your TV. They usually have an Optical output to go to your Playbar or Playbase. For Beam, it's more unusual to find an HDMI switcher with ARC for audio, and CEC won't likely work with voice commands. The Beam can use the included optical to HDMI converter to get audio if ARC isn't available.
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974
ViewHD Prosumer HDMI VHD-PRO3X1i


Blu-ray Players that can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital on the fly
Samsung H6500
Samsung F7500
Samsung BDD5500
Samsung BD-F5900
Samsung UBD-K8500 UHD Blu-Ray Player
OPPO 203 UHD Blu-Ray Player
Samsung BD-H6500
 

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