Home theatre sound in Playbar only

  • 30 May 2020
  • 1 reply

I have owned a Sonos Home Theatre setup (Playbar, two PlayOne rears, and a Sub) for years, and have enjoyed it immensely in conjunction with my TV.  I have just purchased a projector, and am now trying to get the Sonos system to play nice with it, but am having difficulty.

I purchased a 3x1 HDMI Switcher with a digital optical out. I connected my Apple TV and Blu-ray to the switcher, and output the video to the projector via HDMI cable and the audio to the Sonos Playbar via digital optical cable.

The picture looks spectacular from both sources, and when I change sources with the switcher, the appropriate audio goes to the Playbar, BUT IT GOES NO FURTHER - not to the PlayOnes, not to the Sub. What am I doing wrong? I also think the audio coming from the Playbar sounds a bit thin, but I’ll reserve judgment until the entire system is back up and running.

Any guidance would be much appreciated! Thanks.

1 reply

You need to adjust the audio settings on both the Apple TV as well as the Blu-ray player so that they are sending only a Dolby Digital signal along the HDMI cable to the switch.

Depending on which Apple TV you have, that setting can be in different  areas. On the 4K version in front of me, it’s  Settings>Video and Audio>Audio Format>Change Format on, set to Dolby Digital 5.1.

The Blu-ray player will likely be more problematic, if you have one that transcribes DTS to Dolby, you’d need to turn that on. There aren’t many players that can do this, so most often you need to choose the Dolby Digital soundtrack on each disc you watch. Assuming it has one. Many discs don’t, they only have DTS, so you’ll not be able to use the PLAYBAR with those discs. And almost all discs default to the DTS soundtrack. 

One of the things you can do is see what kind of signal is getting to the PLAYBAR from the optical cable, by opening up your controller, select Settings>System>about my system, and looking for the line under the PLAYBAR’s area that starts with Audio in:. This shows you what the PLAYBAR is receiving at the moment you ran the report, it won’t change until you run the report again, the report is static, not dynamic.