Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread


Userlevel 7
Badge +26
  • Retired Community Manager
  • 12389 replies
Looking for information on Sonos home theater setups? Find answers about surround sound, Dolby Digital, TV recommendations, and all the rest to get the best possible theater experience on Sonos here. We’ll keep this thread up to date with your recommendations for TVs and other devices as well.

How to get the most out of this thread:


Read through the starter posts to get caught up on the basics including what to get and how to get set up. If you’re looking for something specific, check out all of the content below. If you have a question not covered in the starting posts or covered in one of our FAQs feel free to ask. Please see the posting guidelines below for getting the best help.

This thread isn’t intended for troubleshooting problems so those posts may be moved to a new thread if posted here.

Posting guidelines


What are you looking for? Describe your question the best you can.
Include all the details you can about your current setup or what you’re planning to do.
The following are great pieces of information to include as well:
TV model:
Peripherals (what sources of audio/video you’re using):
What Sonos components do you have or are you looking to get?
Description of how your home theater is connected:


Contents: Looking for something specific?


Community Recommendations for TVs, Blu-ray players, and HDMI switches
Questions about peripherals such as the Apple TV

What is the best Sonos home theater experience?


The Sonos home theater experience starts with Beam, Playbar, or Playbase and gets amped up with a SUB and surround speakers. The best experience you can have is when the players are getting a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal and the surrounds are properly configured. You can use your remote control or your voice to adjust the volume of the speakers. And when you go to play music, you should get the sound you want to hear from all of your speakers.

The Basics of Sonos 5.1


A Beam, Playbar, or Playbase is the center of our home theater experience. Picking the right one will depend on your room’s layout, and what you’re looking to use.

On size, Playbar and Playbase are larger than Beam. You can use the Playbase below your TV, or wall mount a Playbar above or below the TV. Beam is a more compact speaker and can fit almost anywhere.

Playbar and Playbase have more drivers and produce louder sound with more width and bass than Beam. Beam is optimized for small to mid-sized rooms, whereas Playbar and Playbase are capable of filling large spaces.
Sonos Beam is the first Sonos speaker for home theater that supports voice control, but you can use Sonos Ones as surrounds with a Playbase or Playbar to bring some voice control to the setup. Beam also uses HDMI-ARC to connect to your television and supports CEC to work with your existing remote, while the other two use Digital Optical connections.

Playbase and Beam both support AirPlay 2. In order to get Airplay 2 with your Playbar, you'll need to have an AirPlay 2 compatible Sonos player in a separate room (not bonded as surrounds) that you group with your Playbar.

For steps on setting up a Playbar or Playbase, please see the directions here. We also have all the requirements you might need to know about listed here.

You can use a pair of Play:1, Sonos One, Play:3, or Play:5 gen2 units as rear surround speakers. The Connect:Amp can also be bonded as surround speakers with by following the directions here. Don’t forget the Sub, which can be tucked into corners, placed under a seat, or made a room decoration for some deep glass rattling bass.

Choosing which speakers are the correct surrounds to use with your Beam, Playbar, or Playbase depends on your home and what size room you’re looking to fill. Usually the Play:1s work great, but if you’ve got a large room in need of filling Play:3 or Play:5 gen2s may be needed. Take a look here for details on setting up surround sound for Sonos, which includes where to put your surrounds.

Make sure you don’t hang your Playbar upside down accidentally.

TV Basics


Your TV should have the onboard speakers turned off, and the audio settings set to pass Dolby Digital 5.1 to the optical output if possible. For more on selecting a TV please see here.

Checking Surround Sound


Standard configuration for Sonos home theater has the TV wired to the Playbar or Playbase with an optical connection, or HDMI-ARC to your Beam. Now it gets a little more technical, but stick with us. First, you need a source that is playing the Dolby Digital 5.1 format. Which is then being passed to the Sonos home theater device.

For the standard setup, your TV should pass Dolby Digital 5.1 to your Sonos over optical when you’re watching something with that format. If your TV is doing this you’re all set.

So how do you check that you’re getting 5.1 on Sonos? The system will tell you what’s playing under the About Sonos screen from any controller. Check under the name of the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase within Settings > About my Sonos System. If the line “Audio In:” shows “Dolby Digital 5.1” you’ll know you’re done. If it shows Stereo PCM there’s a few things to check out.

Getting Dolby Digital to Sonos


There’s a series or things to check if you’re seeing Stereo instead of Dolby Digital. First off, is the starting audio format in Dolby Digital? Where is the audio you’re trying to play coming from? Are you sure that it’s in Dolby Digital 5.1?

Next, you’ll need to check that every device touching that audio source is capable of passing it as well untouched. If it’s a cable box passing the signal over HDMI to your TV for example, make sure your TV is capable of sending Dolby Digital from HDMI over the optical. For the Beam, the TV should automatically convert a Dolby signal to Dolby Digital 5.1 as Beam will use a handshake over HDMI-ARC to request the right format. Dolby Atmos or Dolby Digital Plus are compatible with Dolby Digital 5.1.

Note: In some TV manuals you may see a line that Dolby Digital is only passed for “Over the Air” sources which are the built in apps on the TV and doesn’t include HDMI sources.

If one of your devices doesn’t pass Dolby Digital 5.1 through, you may want to consider using a non-standard setup. The community has recommendations for HDMI switchers which can receive all of your HDMI devices and pass the audio to a Playbar or Playbase through optical, while sending the video to the TV through HDMI.

Audio Formats


You might encounter the following sound formats from most home theater devices: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and Stereo PCM. The Playbar is compatible with all of these audio formats except for DTS and Dolby Digital Plus.

Dolby Digital is our 5.1 surround sound format for the Playbar. If your TV delivers a Dolby Digital format to the Playbar or Playbase, you’ll be getting surround sound.

The Stereo/PCM format will be decoded into a left front and right front channels and we’ll make a matrixed center, right rear, left rear, and subwoofer channel from the audio signal to play out of all players.

DTS is an audio format most commonly found on Blu-ray discs. It’s uncommon for this format to reach the Playbar as it would need to be passed unaltered through the player into the TV, and then back out through optical to Sonos. If this happens, the Playbar or Playbase will not play any audio as DTS is not a supported format. Please see below on transcoding a DTS signal.

Transcoding a DTS signal


Sonos home theater devices do not support the DTS format. If you watch to a lot of Blu-ray discs or are getting DTS-encoded audio passed through to Sonos, there are some suggestions you can work with. You’ll need to use a device in the middle which can transcode that audio to a different signal. Ideally, you’ll want to get it into Dolby Digital 5.1.

Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback already. Examples of models capable of this are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700. The easiest solution if your only DTS source is from these discs is to check if your Blu-ray player can support on the fly conversion. If it doesn’t, you might consider picking up one that does.

Some gaming systems can also do this transcoding, such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation4 both can. Directions for setting this up for each device is linked to their names.

Note that even when converting from DTS, the television still must be capable of passing Dolby Digital signal to the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase or the end result will be stereo PCM. The community has recommended using HDMI switchers instead if the TV isn’t capable of supporting Dolby Digital. See some of those recommendations and more here.

Choosing a Television Set


Choosing a TV can be tricky, there are a lot of options and you just want something that will work. For TVs to work best with Sonos, the most important thing is for them to be able to pass Dolby Digital audio from both HDMI and over the air sources to the optical connection. It’s also best if you have an IR remote control for the volume commands, universal remotes work great, but more on that in a bit.

There is a great list of TVs here made by the community of TVs they’ve used before. We don’t recommend any particular TV brand ourselves as many work great, but we’ll highlight some of the most popular community recommendations below, to see them  click here.

When you’re setting up that TV, you can check under Audio Settings to make sure it is set to pass Dolby Digital through the optical connection if that’s an option.

If your TV doesn’t have enough HDMI ports for your sources, doesn’t have an Optical output, or doesn’t pass Dolby Digital from HDMI or over the air sources you may consider using an HDMI Switch or Optical Converter for the HDMI signals. This is a device that you can wire your sources into, and it’ll have an audio output for the Playbar with an HDMI output for the TV to get video from. We have some community recommended devices listed here.

Remote controls


The Playbar has an infrared sensor which can read signals from most TV remotes. It doesn’t support Bluetooth or RF commands, though your remote might also have an IR blaster which can be placed in front of the Playbar’s receiver. The remote setup guides you through the process of teaching your Playbar to recognize your remote. This can be found under Room Settings > Playbar > TV Settings > Remote Setup.

How to remove on-screen volume messages


During setup, you’ll want to turn the onboard speakers for the TV off so you don’t get any strange echoes. Some TVs will display a notification on the screen when they register the volume commands and the built-in speakers are off.

If you are getting this message there are a couple things you can do to prevent this. Here’s a page with some suggestions for getting around this notification message.

Generally, the way to go if the TV doesn’t have a setting to turn off the message is to program a universal remote with different commands for the volume. The TV won’t recognize these as commands for the volume, but the Sonos home theater device will. Volume changes, no on-screen message.

Another way around this, which works with a lot of TVs, uses the TV’s headphone jack if it has one. Most TVs will mute their speaker output when the headphone jack is engaged. Plug anything into that port and leave the TV’s speakers turned on within the settings. You won’t hear anything from them, but you won’t get an error on screen either. What you plug in doesn’t need to have a pair of headphones on them. You can cut off the end of a plug from anything, even if it doesn’t work.

Advanced Audio Playback Options


Within the Sonos Controller, you can find some advanced playback settings for Sonos home theater. There are two playback modes that can be toggled from the playing screen which can be useful: Night Sound and Speech Enhancement.

Speech Enhancement makes TV dialog easier to hear. Touch the icon on your Sonos controller’s Now Playing screen to turn this setting on or off.

Night Sound adjusts the audio when you need things a little quieter, it still maintains proper balance and range. At lower volumes, quiet sounds are enhanced and the intensity of loud sounds is reduced. Touch the icon on your Sonos controller’s Now Playing screen to turn this setting on or off.

Inside your Room Settings for the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase are two additional options.
Music playback which allows you to choose between two settings for the surround speakers:
1. Ambient: Default option; subtle, ambient sound.

2. Full: Enables louder, full range stereo sound.

Selecting Full has the surround speakers playing stereo along with the center home theater device when you have a music source playing, this has no effect when playing TV.

TV Dialog
Audio Delay (Lip Sync) is used to increase or decrease the sound delay if the video is behind the audio.

248 replies

Badge +2
I’m currently showing “Stereo” as the Audio In under “About My Sonos System.” I can upgrade my HDMI switch to hopefully allow for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Before I do that, though, I’m curious... I’m currently getting sound out of my PLAYBASE, SUB, and two Play:1’s as rears. Excuse my ignorance, but what is the sound exactly? Just stereo, but pushed through the 5.1 setup? Will there be a noticeable difference in sound if I’m able to properly upgrade my HDMI switch with a Toslink output directly to my PLAYBASE and get Dolby Digital 5.1 working?
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I’m currently showing “Stereo” as the Audio In under “About My Sonos System.” I can upgrade my HDMI switch to hopefully allow for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Before I do that, though, I’m curious... I’m currently getting sound out of my PLAYBASE, SUB, and two Play:1’s as rears. Excuse my ignorance, but what is the sound exactly? Just stereo, but pushed through the 5.1 setup? Will there be a noticeable difference in sound if I’m able to properly upgrade my HDMI switch with a Toslink output directly to my PLAYBASE and get Dolby Digital 5.1 working?

The PlayBase will create a pseudo 5.1 output when receiving a stereo input. A true DD 5.1 will be noticeably better, especially from your Sub.
Badge +2
I’m currently showing “Stereo” as the Audio In under “About My Sonos System.” I can upgrade my HDMI switch to hopefully allow for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Before I do that, though, I’m curious... I’m currently getting sound out of my PLAYBASE, SUB, and two Play:1’s as rears. Excuse my ignorance, but what is the sound exactly? Just stereo, but pushed through the 5.1 setup? Will there be a noticeable difference in sound if I’m able to properly upgrade my HDMI switch with a Toslink output directly to my PLAYBASE and get Dolby Digital 5.1 working?

The PlayBase will create a pseudo 5.1 output when receiving a stereo input. A true DD 5.1 will be noticeably better, especially from your Sub.


Thanks!
Does the Sony kdl50w805b is capable for Sonos surround? I can't find him back on the list
Can I use play 3 as a boost to my play bar rather than a surround sound speaker? I am having trouble hearing dialog from the sound bar even though it’s turned loud
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Can I use play 3 as a boost to my play bar rather than a surround sound speaker? I am having trouble hearing dialog from the sound bar even though it’s turned loud
Hi

Yes just group the Play:3 with the Playbar in the Sonos App and the TV option will be heard on both devices.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!


If you find a switch that works well please let us know. I found this new one on Amazon, looks promising but the reviews are not very detailed.

https://www.amazon.com/FiveHome-Extractor-Splitter-Optical-Supports/dp/B076XV1LVS/ref=sr_1_4?m=A3LVDVG1JBPA0&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1512670503&sr=1-4


I'm happy to update that list as well with community recommendations.

I purchased a ViewHD Prosumer HDMI 3x1, Model: VHD-PRO3X1i w/ audio extraction for use with my new Play Bar. It works nicely with my equipment, X1 Infinity box, Sony BD Player and Sony TV. The Sonos App shows 5.1 with ARC (From TV) or while in standard extract mode. I use ARC so the Play Bar goes silent when I turn the TV off. If not it will keep playing since X1 Infinity box does not shut off. I set the output of the X1 box and BD Player to 5.1 mode.
So after after debating for an eternity i finally took the plunge and bought a playbase & 2 play ones to replace my existing Vizio 5.1 system this past weekend. I was really struggling to decide if it was worth the "upgrade", I think my friends over at the local Magnoia were begining to think I was never going to pay off with a tangible sale haha. I just couldnt get over the excessive and sloppy bass the Vizio puts out, it surely pissed off the gentleman that lives above me on more then one occasion haha. Now that I have run the Playbase and Play 1's through the paces the past few days, I am VERY impressed. This really is the perfect apartment sound system, the bass is clean without being overpowering and I can really crank the volume while keeping the sound contained to my space. The surround effect is superb after I tuned with trueplay, which surprised me a bit as the instore experience left much to be desired on this front (maybe they never tuned the system?). Also, my friend has a beautiful Klipsh RP atmos set-up which cost him well north of $5k, yes that system is better, but is it 10x better? Surprisingly my answer is no... The biggest difference is the verticality of the sound his system produces when playing an an atmos/dts x source and the house rattling bass his dual subs produce (which im honestly not a fan of). Maybe one day ill add a Play Sub when I ditch the apartment life but the system (to my ears) doesnt struggle or want for the extra bass in anyway whatsoever. I honestly still can't get over the nuanced controlled tightness of the bass the playbase produces, it really is top notch.

The only thing I wonder is how the Sonos system would sound if it actually accepted and processed all the latest HD & 3D sound codecs? Some Play 1's on angled speaker stands, tuned with trueplay, playing a Dolby Atmos movie to its potential would be something I would pay for. Do you guys think Sonos could/would ever integrate these codecs in the future with the release of a hometheater hub/connect type product?

I hope everyone enjoys my thoughts on this setup, cheers!
Userlevel 3
Badge
I’m currently showing “Stereo” as the Audio In under “About My Sonos System.” I can upgrade my HDMI switch to hopefully allow for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Before I do that, though, I’m curious... I’m currently getting sound out of my PLAYBASE, SUB, and two Play:1’s as rears. Excuse my ignorance, but what is the sound exactly? Just stereo, but pushed through the 5.1 setup? Will there be a noticeable difference in sound if I’m able to properly upgrade my HDMI switch with a Toslink output directly to my PLAYBASE and get Dolby Digital 5.1 working?

It will be a "night and day" difference. Stereo sound when watching movies is not impressive. Dolby Digital 5.1 when walking movies is really cool and really "immersive." What my friends commonly say is "your basement is like being in the movie theater."
Badge
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
Badge
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
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.
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
Badge
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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!
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!


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

Reply