Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread


Userlevel 7
Badge +25
  • Community Manager
  • 11106 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.

233 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +25

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

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
Userlevel 7
Badge +25

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.
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!
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!
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Stupid question maybe - but. Do I need to consider the same 5.1 pass thru issues when selecting a TV to use with the new Beam Soundbar?

I think not, if you connect it via HDMI. If you connect via optical, yes


Correct. Over HDMI, Beam will handshake with the TV and request Dolby Digital 5.1. If the TV has Atmos or Dolby Digital Plus, it'll get converted automatically and passed right along.
Badge
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
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 7
Badge +25
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.
Samsung Q6F Series QN65Q6FNAF. 65 Inch QLED. Hooked up to Sonos Playbar via TOS Link, with no issues. Able to get Dolby Digital 5.1 out from Direct TV 4600 Receiver. TV is great, and was using the TOS link splitter and HDMI splitter solution with 2 extra remotes. The Samsung comes with the Samsung One remote and I was able to use that remote to control the volume on the Sonos Play Bar. I followed the directions on the forum, but basically you hit HOME on the Samsung One remote, scroll left to SOURCE, then scroll right to UNIVERSAL REMOTE, select NEW DEVICE, enter SONOS in the search bar and then select Sonos. Coincidentally the Samsung One remote will also control my Direct TV receiver.
HDMI Switch Recommendation with UK availability.

Hi all, I've just bought the following HDMI switch and it looks like it will do the job of getting AC3 5.1 to the PlayBar from all sources consistently.

It's the snappily named 'FiveHome 3 In 1 Out HDMI Audio Extractor Splitter with Remote' and I got it from Amazon.co.uk (link below).

It's a 3 way switch with ARC, EDID overwrite and SPDIF out with auto channel switching. I'm running it with a Virgin Media Tivo V6 box and a PS4 Pro into a Panasonic TX40-CX680B TV.

I'm getting 4k @ 50Hz from the Tivo and 4k @ 60Hz from the PS4, DD 2.0 from the Tivo (haven't found a 5.1 broadcast yet) and DD5.1 from the PS4 and all the TV apps that will support it.

Automatic input switching seems to work well, if a little bit slow but it comes with a remote if necessary.

I've only had it a couple of days so it's too early to comment about reliability but functionally it seems to be all there. I've tried several of these over the last few months and they've all had various issues, but so far this seems to do the job.

I'll report back if there are any problems and if anyone has any questions, fire away!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076XV1LVS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I can confirm that the LG OLED65B8PUA passes DD 5.1 through HDMI to optical. An Apple TV 3rd gen failed initially (even though Apple specs say it will pass it). I swapped it out for an ATV 4K and that works just fine. TV looks great, and now it sounds great!
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?
Badge
SONY BRAVIA KDL50W755C

I just purchased this TV and can confirm that it passes DD5.1 from HDMI connected devices to the Playbar via the optical out. N.b. the TV should be set to use an external audio source in "Auto 1" mode.
Badge
SONY BRAVIA KDL50W755C

I just purchased this TV and can confirm that it passes DD5.1 from HDMI connected devices to the Playbar via the optical out. N.b. the TV should be set to use an external audio source in "Auto 1" mode.


Thanks for sharing! I'lll get it added to the list. Does the TV show any sort of popup or error message when adjusting the volume?


Yes. The TV will either show a notification ("TV Volume is Fixed") or a volume slider, depending upon whether the "audio out" is selected to be "fixed" or "variable", respectively. The notifications only appear for a few seconds.

For what it's worth, I understand that this TV is exactly the same as the already-recommended Sony KDL 50W808C, save for that it doesn't have 3D. Likewise, I understand that the other size panels in both these ranges will function the same.

Finally, note that Sony customer service were unable to confirm over the phone that this TV could handle 5.1 as hdmi passthrough. The retailer (Richer Sounds) was also unable to confirm this (in fact, they claimed that Sonos could only function as a stereo set up!). So I had to purchase the set and check for myself.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I know that the Samsung UE55KS8000 is listed... you can also add the UN variation (UN55KS8000) for the US as well. Both my XBox One and Apple TV have Dolby Digital 5.1 passed through to the optical connection from HDMI connections. I should note that the "Expert" audio setting setting for the output format is set to Dolby Digital, which might impact this result if set to something else. However, even built-in apps that are known to use DD+ (i.e. Netflix, Vudu) are outputting DD 5.1.

With my new TV upgrade, I'm now able to ditch the HDMI switch that I had been using!
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Thanks. From looking at other forums(avs) this particular display will only pass DD from the internal tuner. That being said, in order to get my other components, PS4 and Direct Tv box I would need a HDMI switcher with optical? If so, which one would the community recommend?

That would be the type of device you'd want to use, an HDMI to optical switcher, ideally with Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough. We don't have a specific one to recommend, but there are some suggestions here on the community. I've seen people using ones from several places and brands with great success.
FYI, the LG 55 B6V model is throughputting DD 5.1 succesfuly 🆒
Works with different HDMI sources (PS4, Apple TV and Samsung set top box)
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
FYI, the LG 55 B6V model is throughputting DD 5.1 succesfuly 🆒
Works with different HDMI sources (PS4, Apple TV and Samsung set top box)

Thanks, I've added it to the list!

Hi,

I have a Panasonic Plasma TV (2013). Model - TC-50PS64. I really want to setup my home theatre using the Sonos 5.1 system. However, based on my research so far I'm getting mixed signals on whether the optical cable from Panasonic send 5.1 or not.

I consume content from following sources:

1. Amazon Fire TV
2. Xfinity X1
3. Chromecast
4. Apple TV
5. Blu Ray player (rarely)

The TV only has 2 HDMI IN ports, so I'm looking to add a HDMI switch or Receiver. Is SONOS a feasible option for me without changing the TV. I really want to make this work. What would the setup look like?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.


Hi Sashiraichand, since you have so many HDMI sources, you probably would want to use an HDMI switcher with an optical output. That way you can have everything plugged into that device, with the audio going out to Sonos and the video heading to the TV. In that configuration, it won't even matter if the TV can or can't pass Dolby over optical. Just make sure the switch you pick can.
Just had a look at the User Guide for the following models and they should all pass DD 5.1:-

KD-75XE90xx / 75XE85xx / 65XE90xx / 65XE85xx / 55XE90xx / 55XE85xx / 49XE90xx
FW-75XE90xx / 75XE85xx / 65XE90xx / 65XE85xx / 55XE90xx / 49XE90xx

"DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL)
Digital optical jack (Two channel linear PCM:
48 kHz, 16 bits, Dolby Digital, DTS)"

I've just bought a Sony 49XE9000 and can confirm that it passes DD 5.1. Excellent sound and picture.

Reply