Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread



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Userlevel 5
Badge +12
New home theater Sonos product will be presented June 6!
Your source for this information?

Thank you
Neven



https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/5/3/17314980/sonos-2018-event-date-announced-new-playbar-playbase
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
New home theater Sonos product will be presented June 6!
Your source for this information?

Thank you
Neven
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
What can my future Sonos system do?
Hi all!
I am planing to purchase a Playbase and only one play 1. I will hook the Playbase to a Sony TV with 5.1 passthrough.

1. When watching TV (stereo signal), How do I group the speakers so the sound from TV also can be heard from Play 1? My goal is to hear the TV without cranking the volume up.
Thanks
Neven


You may want to hold out - a new Sonos soundbar will be announced next month


Next month? Is that true? If so, yay!
Neven
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
What can my future Sonos system do?
Hi all!
I am planing to purchase a Playbase and only one play 1. I will hook the Playbase to a Sony TV with 5.1 passthrough.

1. When watching TV (stereo signal), How do I group the speakers so the sound from TV also can be heard from Play 1? My goal is to hear the TV without cranking the volume up.
Thanks
Neven


Hi Neven, you can use the Sonos app to group two players together as a temporary group any time. This will play the same audio in both rooms. On the app, just press the "Rooms" button on the tab and select the grouping button to set up a group.

Also, if you press and hold on the Play/Pause button on a speaker, it'll automatically group and start playing with the most recently active player. So if you start playing to the Playbase, and press and hold on the button on the Play:1, it'll group and play.

Thank you, I love the simplicity of it.

Neven
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
What can my future Sonos system do?
Hi all!
I am planing to purchase a Playbase and only one play 1. I will hook the Playbase to a Sony TV with 5.1 passthrough.

1. When watching TV (stereo signal), How do I group the speakers so the sound from TV also can be heard from Play 1? My goal is to hear the TV without cranking the volume up.
Thanks
Neven


You may want to hold out - a new Sonos soundbar will be announced next month
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
What can my future Sonos system do?
Hi all!
I am planing to purchase a Playbase and only one play 1. I will hook the Playbase to a Sony TV with 5.1 passthrough.

1. When watching TV (stereo signal), How do I group the speakers so the sound from TV also can be heard from Play 1? My goal is to hear the TV without cranking the volume up.
Thanks
Neven


Hi Neven, you can use the Sonos app to group two players together as a temporary group any time. This will play the same audio in both rooms. On the app, just press the "Rooms" button on the tab and select the grouping button to set up a group.

Also, if you press and hold on the Play/Pause button on a speaker, it'll automatically group and start playing with the most recently active player. So if you start playing to the Playbase, and press and hold on the button on the Play:1, it'll group and play.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
New home theater Sonos product will be presented June 6!
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
What can my future Sonos system do?
Hi all!
I am planing to purchase a Playbase and only one play 1. I will hook the Playbase to a Sony TV with 5.1 passthrough.

1. When watching TV (stereo signal), How do I group the speakers so the sound from TV also can be heard from Play 1? My goal is to hear the TV without cranking the volume up.
Thanks
Neven
Badge +1
Sorry all for extending this thread.

Is the Samsung UE49MU7000 compatible with a Playbase?

I had a "live chat" to Samsung who have confusingly told me that the TV Optical Output is Dolby Digital Plus only, but separately in the same conversation that it is "normal" sound whatever that might be! They also tell me the Optical Output plays ".m4a, .mpa, .aac, .flac, .ogg, .wma, .wav, .mid, .midi, .ape, .aif, .aiff, m4a". I think either they, or me are missing the point; it could be me!

I have also had a Live Chat with Sonos, who say if it is Dolby Digital Plus, the Playbase would be silent, so useless. I have also spoken to another Sonos specialist who have told me the Playbase would deal with the Dolby Digital Plus signal and interpret it as best it could, so the Playbase would still work.

Which is it?

If that TV is not compatible with a Playbase, is there a work around? Which comparable (size, cost, quality) TVs would be compatible?

Thank you in advance for helping out this confused newbie!


To answer my own question, it seems to work absolutely fine. Not sure exactly what format is being output, but it sounds great!


That TV will work for sure - go into the Samsung settings and select PCM - Dolby Digital - as above, use the Sonos phone app to check (it should say Dolby Digital 5.1" for the sound input if it's working correctly. I'm got another Samsung model (but from the same year but higher end model) and it works fine and I know pretty much any Samsung TV manufactured from 2016 onwards will work fine.


Thanks!
Badge +1
You can check the format by going in to the controller app, select settings, and then look at "about my Sonos system". Each speaker you have will have a section, look under the PLAYBASE one for the line saying "Audio In". That will tell you what the PLAYBASE thinks it is getting.

Enjoy!


Thanks - good tip!
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Sorry all for extending this thread.

Is the Samsung UE49MU7000 compatible with a Playbase?

I had a "live chat" to Samsung who have confusingly told me that the TV Optical Output is Dolby Digital Plus only, but separately in the same conversation that it is "normal" sound whatever that might be! They also tell me the Optical Output plays ".m4a, .mpa, .aac, .flac, .ogg, .wma, .wav, .mid, .midi, .ape, .aif, .aiff, m4a". I think either they, or me are missing the point; it could be me!

I have also had a Live Chat with Sonos, who say if it is Dolby Digital Plus, the Playbase would be silent, so useless. I have also spoken to another Sonos specialist who have told me the Playbase would deal with the Dolby Digital Plus signal and interpret it as best it could, so the Playbase would still work.

Which is it?

If that TV is not compatible with a Playbase, is there a work around? Which comparable (size, cost, quality) TVs would be compatible?

Thank you in advance for helping out this confused newbie!


To answer my own question, it seems to work absolutely fine. Not sure exactly what format is being output, but it sounds great!


That TV will work for sure - go into the Samsung settings and select PCM - Dolby Digital - as above, use the Sonos phone app to check (it should say Dolby Digital 5.1" for the sound input if it's working correctly. I'm got another Samsung model (but from the same year but higher end model) and it works fine and I know pretty much any Samsung TV manufactured from 2016 onwards will work fine.
You can check the format by going in to the controller app, select settings, and then look at "about my Sonos system". Each speaker you have will have a section, look under the PLAYBASE one for the line saying "Audio In". That will tell you what the PLAYBASE thinks it is getting.

Enjoy!
Badge +1
Sorry all for extending this thread.

Is the Samsung UE49MU7000 compatible with a Playbase?

I had a "live chat" to Samsung who have confusingly told me that the TV Optical Output is Dolby Digital Plus only, but separately in the same conversation that it is "normal" sound whatever that might be! They also tell me the Optical Output plays ".m4a, .mpa, .aac, .flac, .ogg, .wma, .wav, .mid, .midi, .ape, .aif, .aiff, m4a". I think either they, or me are missing the point; it could be me!

I have also had a Live Chat with Sonos, who say if it is Dolby Digital Plus, the Playbase would be silent, so useless. I have also spoken to another Sonos specialist who have told me the Playbase would deal with the Dolby Digital Plus signal and interpret it as best it could, so the Playbase would still work.

Which is it?

If that TV is not compatible with a Playbase, is there a work around? Which comparable (size, cost, quality) TVs would be compatible?

Thank you in advance for helping out this confused newbie!


To answer my own question, it seems to work absolutely fine. Not sure exactly what format is being output, but it sounds great!
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
I've always found Sony to be the best for Dolby Digital 5.1 via optical. If you're in the UK you can now pick up the KD-49XE8004 for under £600 and even better the KD-49XE9005 for under £850 due to the imminent release of their new 2018 range. BTW i'm in no way associated with Sony, just love their TV's - hopefully soon to upgrade to the new AF8 OLED, wife permitting. You'll obviously have to make sure that your sources are outputting DD 5.1 as the TV won't decode them for you. :D:D
Badge +1
Sorry all for extending this thread.

Is the Samsung UE49MU7000 compatible with a Playbase?

I had a "live chat" to Samsung who have confusingly told me that the TV Optical Output is Dolby Digital Plus only, but separately in the same conversation that it is "normal" sound whatever that might be! They also tell me the Optical Output plays ".m4a, .mpa, .aac, .flac, .ogg, .wma, .wav, .mid, .midi, .ape, .aif, .aiff, m4a". I think either they, or me are missing the point; it could be me!

I have also had a Live Chat with Sonos, who say if it is Dolby Digital Plus, the Playbase would be silent, so useless. I have also spoken to another Sonos specialist who have told me the Playbase would deal with the Dolby Digital Plus signal and interpret it as best it could, so the Playbase would still work.

Which is it?

If that TV is not compatible with a Playbase, is there a work around? Which comparable (size, cost, quality) TVs would be compatible?

Thank you in advance for helping out this confused newbie!
Hi mark, I have a Samsung qled and Dolby digital is available via optical cable on this with good sound via Sonos playbar. Adam.


Hi,

I currently have two Sonos 1s which will end up being our surround speakers. My wife and I are looking to replace our plasma TV and buy a Play Base at the same time.

I am registered blind with a very small amount of sight but my wife is sighted so the new TV picture will primarily benefit her.

However, so I can use the TV independently we are looking to get a Samsung as they have won an award from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) for accessible TVs. Basically there is a setting we could switch on that converts text to speech out of the TV so I can navigate round the menus etc as I can’t see them (and then I won’t have to bother my wife to read them!)

We are thinking of getting one of the QLED TVs and the specs say that the audio out is Dolby Digital Plus.

I read on one of the community articles that Dolby Digital Plus isn’t supported. However, I have read online that, even if an optical out supports Dolby Digital Plus, it provides a core Dolby Digital 5.1 as well which would work on the Play Base.

I will check the manual before buying to make sure the optical passes through Dolby Digital. Can someone confirm my assumption as above that the QLED TVs will provide a Dolby Digital 5.1 out the optical connection? I have seen the lower priced Samsung models on the list which support this so hopefully the QLEDs do as well.

Thanks for your help.
Got a lot of use out of the community forums over the weekend, so thought I'd pay it forward.

My problem was with a Vizio e600i-b3 TV. The short version is it turned out the the optical port on the TV is broken so I started figuring out workarounds because I loved the PLAYBASE and didn't want to ditch it. All I use is Roku for streaming and a BD player.

Based on the recommendations here I narrowed my search for an HDMI switch down to HD View and Monoprice. Ordered the View HD Pro 3x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MSAU8XO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Also ordered the Monoprice Blackbird 4K 4x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GCGKLNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Waiting on the Monoprice to arrive so I can compare and decide which one to keep.

As for the View HD, I ran the Roku and BD player into inputs 1 and 2 and connected it into the ARC HDMI on the TV. Optical out ran to the playbase. So far, pretty pleased with how it's working. There appears to me to at least be a noticeable difference between 'Auto' '2.1' and '5.1' as the audio settings on the switch so I'm happy with the results on that. My Roku is set to output to Dolby Digital so I shouldn't have to toggle the setting very much, if at all, and the end sound is what I was expecting. I toggled the settings on the BD player and it seems to be outputting well also. I don't really have much use for it so I'm not too concerned how that sounds since most of my watching is streaming.

The ARC is functioning properly because I can see on the TV now that the volume display says 'External Audio' when the volume buttons are pushed. Before, that wasn't there so I'm glad to have some confirmation that the setup is working as intended.

One note I found odd, but may be normal, is that while testing things out I was toggling between the audio output options and when swtiching the audio (not the HDMI inputs), it would interrupt the visual output for a few seconds, go black and then green and then restore the screen. Shouldn't affect me very much since I'm just going to leave it set to 5.1 and not bother with switching it.

So, long story short, 2014-15ish Vizio plays nice with the View HD. In a week or so I should have the Monoprice Blackbird in and I'll update then with whether and how it works for those interested.



How does the remote work? I had a monoprice box and the remote was awful - as in I had to be 5 inches from it to work.
Does the box turn on and off with the tv?

Thanks,


Yeah, the remote is pretty garbage. I find it really needs to be like hard-pressed and just right. Fortunately, I'm not really bothered enough by it since really I'm just running the Roku and it's mostly my wife's problem when she needs to switch it to the BD for her workout DVDs.

I did notice that the box DOESN'T turn off with the TV. This results in the sound still playing from the Roku if it's not turned off. I meant to toggle around with it to see if I can get it fixed, but it hasn't really bothered me too much either to get down and do it.

All in all, I liked the Blackbird, I dig the extra HDMI if I need it, and it sounded better to my untrained ear compared to the ViewHD, which I since returned. There's no real reason why that should be the case, and it wasn't like glaringly different, but I hooked up the Blackbird, it nailed the sound on Guardians of The Galaxy 2 streamed through Netflix on the Roku hooked into it so I just decided that would be the one I would go with. I'll screw around with the settings and see if I can make any headway on the remote/sound staying on issues.

All in all, I'm not really into gear, just a dude who likes toys and the simplest way to make them work, and I give the Monoprice Blackbird a solid two thumbs up. YMMV if you're particular.
Badge
Got a lot of use out of the community forums over the weekend, so thought I'd pay it forward.

My problem was with a Vizio e600i-b3 TV. The short version is it turned out the the optical port on the TV is broken so I started figuring out workarounds because I loved the PLAYBASE and didn't want to ditch it. All I use is Roku for streaming and a BD player.

Based on the recommendations here I narrowed my search for an HDMI switch down to HD View and Monoprice. Ordered the View HD Pro 3x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MSAU8XO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Also ordered the Monoprice Blackbird 4K 4x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GCGKLNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Waiting on the Monoprice to arrive so I can compare and decide which one to keep.

As for the View HD, I ran the Roku and BD player into inputs 1 and 2 and connected it into the ARC HDMI on the TV. Optical out ran to the playbase. So far, pretty pleased with how it's working. There appears to me to at least be a noticeable difference between 'Auto' '2.1' and '5.1' as the audio settings on the switch so I'm happy with the results on that. My Roku is set to output to Dolby Digital so I shouldn't have to toggle the setting very much, if at all, and the end sound is what I was expecting. I toggled the settings on the BD player and it seems to be outputting well also. I don't really have much use for it so I'm not too concerned how that sounds since most of my watching is streaming.

The ARC is functioning properly because I can see on the TV now that the volume display says 'External Audio' when the volume buttons are pushed. Before, that wasn't there so I'm glad to have some confirmation that the setup is working as intended.

One note I found odd, but may be normal, is that while testing things out I was toggling between the audio output options and when swtiching the audio (not the HDMI inputs), it would interrupt the visual output for a few seconds, go black and then green and then restore the screen. Shouldn't affect me very much since I'm just going to leave it set to 5.1 and not bother with switching it.

So, long story short, 2014-15ish Vizio plays nice with the View HD. In a week or so I should have the Monoprice Blackbird in and I'll update then with whether and how it works for those interested.



How does the remote work? I had a monoprice box and the remote was awful - as in I had to be 5 inches from it to work.
Does the box turn on and off with the tv?

Thanks,
Hi,

I currently have two Sonos 1s which will end up being our surround speakers. My wife and I are looking to replace our plasma TV and buy a Play Base at the same time.

I am registered blind with a very small amount of sight but my wife is sighted so the new TV picture will primarily benefit her.

However, so I can use the TV independently we are looking to get a Samsung as they have won an award from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) for accessible TVs. Basically there is a setting we could switch on that converts text to speech out of the TV so I can navigate round the menus etc as I can’t see them (and then I won’t have to bother my wife to read them!)

We are thinking of getting one of the QLED TVs and the specs say that the audio out is Dolby Digital Plus.

I read on one of the community articles that Dolby Digital Plus isn’t supported. However, I have read online that, even if an optical out supports Dolby Digital Plus, it provides a core Dolby Digital 5.1 as well which would work on the Play Base.

I will check the manual before buying to make sure the optical passes through Dolby Digital. Can someone confirm my assumption as above that the QLED TVs will provide a Dolby Digital 5.1 out the optical connection? I have seen the lower priced Samsung models on the list which support this so hopefully the QLEDs do as well.

Thanks for your help.
Hello folks!

I’ve found another TV that works:

Panasonic 50-EX700B

I assume that also means the other sizes of 700B, along with the 600B and 750B ranges will also work. I got a pretty awesome Black Friday deal from John Lewis including a free 5 year warranty.

By “it works” I mean that it passes 5.1 on to the Sonos via optical. My set up is:

Sky+ HD Box > HDMI > TV HDMI 1
Panasonic Blu-Ray > HDMI > TV HDMI 2
TV > Digital Optical > Playbase

It all looks and sounds fantastic. The TV is 4K, and streams Netflix and Amazon Prime in 4K/HDR, and they also output in 5.1. The Blu-ray upscales to 4K and is outputting 5.1. Sky HD is HD only (no Q yet!) but is outputting 5.1.

Panasonic don’t seem to feature in any of the earlier posts and wider tests, so I was delighted to get this working and to share it with you all as an option!

I had to fiddle with the settings quite a bit on all parts of the chain, so if anyone attempts the same set up and gets stuck, give me a shout

Cheers, Matt




Hi Matt - I have just bought the same Panasonic TV and have been re-assured it passes 5.1. I haven't managed to get it set up correctly yet and saw your post about it being a bit tricky. Any advice? Thanks

Tim
Hi guys. I have the same TV connected to a playbase. I am only getting stereo. Have set the Tv speaker to off and spdif selection to pcm. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Got a lot of use out of the community forums over the weekend, so thought I'd pay it forward.

My problem was with a Vizio e600i-b3 TV. The short version is it turned out the the optical port on the TV is broken so I started figuring out workarounds because I loved the PLAYBASE and didn't want to ditch it. All I use is Roku for streaming and a BD player.

Based on the recommendations here I narrowed my search for an HDMI switch down to HD View and Monoprice. Ordered the View HD Pro 3x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MSAU8XO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Also ordered the Monoprice Blackbird 4K 4x1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GCGKLNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Waiting on the Monoprice to arrive so I can compare and decide which one to keep.

As for the View HD, I ran the Roku and BD player into inputs 1 and 2 and connected it into the ARC HDMI on the TV. Optical out ran to the playbase. So far, pretty pleased with how it's working. There appears to me to at least be a noticeable difference between 'Auto' '2.1' and '5.1' as the audio settings on the switch so I'm happy with the results on that. My Roku is set to output to Dolby Digital so I shouldn't have to toggle the setting very much, if at all, and the end sound is what I was expecting. I toggled the settings on the BD player and it seems to be outputting well also. I don't really have much use for it so I'm not too concerned how that sounds since most of my watching is streaming.

The ARC is functioning properly because I can see on the TV now that the volume display says 'External Audio' when the volume buttons are pushed. Before, that wasn't there so I'm glad to have some confirmation that the setup is working as intended.

One note I found odd, but may be normal, is that while testing things out I was toggling between the audio output options and when swtiching the audio (not the HDMI inputs), it would interrupt the visual output for a few seconds, go black and then green and then restore the screen. Shouldn't affect me very much since I'm just going to leave it set to 5.1 and not bother with switching it.

So, long story short, 2014-15ish Vizio plays nice with the View HD. In a week or so I should have the Monoprice Blackbird in and I'll update then with whether and how it works for those interested.
Thanks Tim - it’s working!

Having SkyQ in 5.1, along with Panasonics Amazon and Netflix Apps has really simplified my set up - the tangle of wires, HDMI/Toslink splitters and their Remote Controls, infrared sensors etc have all gone!

I love this TV and would be really happy recommend it to any one with a similar setup.

Thanks again Tim for your help.
Hello folks!

I’ve found another TV that works:

Panasonic 50-EX700B

I assume that also means the other sizes of 700B, along with the 600B and 750B ranges will also work. I got a pretty awesome Black Friday deal from John Lewis including a free 5 year warranty.

By “it works” I mean that it passes 5.1 on to the Sonos via optical. My set up is:

Sky+ HD Box > HDMI > TV HDMI 1
Panasonic Blu-Ray > HDMI > TV HDMI 2
TV > Digital Optical > Playbase

It all looks and sounds fantastic. The TV is 4K, and streams Netflix and Amazon Prime in 4K/HDR, and they also output in 5.1. The Blu-ray upscales to 4K and is outputting 5.1. Sky HD is HD only (no Q yet!) but is outputting 5.1.

Panasonic don’t seem to feature in any of the earlier posts and wider tests, so I was delighted to get this working and to share it with you all as an option!

I had to fiddle with the settings quite a bit on all parts of the chain, so if anyone attempts the same set up and gets stuck, give me a shout

Cheers, Matt




Hi Matt - I have just bought the same Panasonic TV and have been re-assured it passes 5.1. I haven't managed to get it set up correctly yet and saw your post about it being a bit tricky. Any advice? Thanks

Tim


Update: After a bit of playing I have got the Panasonic 50-EX700B succesfully passing through Dolby 5.1 from my SkyQ box, from Apple TV and also from the TV's built in Netflix, Amazon TV and other apps. Very pleased with the set up.

Tim


Hi Tim - Ive have the 58 version of this TV but have only managed to get 2.0 passed through to it (from a Sky Q Silver).

Could I ask what settings you ended up with on the TV, please?

The Netflix and Amazon Prime Apps sound amazing and It would be so good to get the Sky working too!!

Thanks, Paul


Hi Paul

Selected setting as below:

TV Speaker Setting : Off
HDMI Audio Format : PCM

Are you sure you were testing during a programme being broadcast in 5.1. They do a lot in 2.0 stereo. Films tend to be a good test.

Tim
Hello folks!

I’ve found another TV that works:

Panasonic 50-EX700B

I assume that also means the other sizes of 700B, along with the 600B and 750B ranges will also work. I got a pretty awesome Black Friday deal from John Lewis including a free 5 year warranty.

By “it works” I mean that it passes 5.1 on to the Sonos via optical. My set up is:

Sky+ HD Box > HDMI > TV HDMI 1
Panasonic Blu-Ray > HDMI > TV HDMI 2
TV > Digital Optical > Playbase

It all looks and sounds fantastic. The TV is 4K, and streams Netflix and Amazon Prime in 4K/HDR, and they also output in 5.1. The Blu-ray upscales to 4K and is outputting 5.1. Sky HD is HD only (no Q yet!) but is outputting 5.1.

Panasonic don’t seem to feature in any of the earlier posts and wider tests, so I was delighted to get this working and to share it with you all as an option!

I had to fiddle with the settings quite a bit on all parts of the chain, so if anyone attempts the same set up and gets stuck, give me a shout

Cheers, Matt




Hi Matt - I have just bought the same Panasonic TV and have been re-assured it passes 5.1. I haven't managed to get it set up correctly yet and saw your post about it being a bit tricky. Any advice? Thanks

Tim


Update: After a bit of playing I have got the Panasonic 50-EX700B succesfully passing through Dolby 5.1 from my SkyQ box, from Apple TV and also from the TV's built in Netflix, Amazon TV and other apps. Very pleased with the set up.

Tim


Hi Tim - Ive have the 58 version of this TV but have only managed to get 2.0 passed through to it (from a Sky Q Silver).

Could I ask what settings you ended up with on the TV, please?

The Netflix and Amazon Prime Apps sound amazing and It would be so good to get the Sky working too!!

Thanks, Paul
Sony XBR55X900E works grate and paired with the Samsung UBD M7500 Blu Ray decodes perfectly to Playbar in 5.1
You need to set the M7500 to Bitstream (Re-encoded Dolby D) in settings to transcode from DTS.

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