Question

How can I get audio from projector to Sonos Amp ceiling speakers?

  • 10 December 2019
  • 14 replies
  • 105 views

I’m a technical person but relatively new to Sonos and home audio so apologies if this is a dumb question. 

I have a Sonos Amp with two ceiling speakers and a Sub, all working fine from the Sonos app and through an Amazon Echo. I want to add a projector with which to play movies, and have the sound come through the Sonos.

I have several Fire TVs and an Apple TV hanging around, and I feel sure there should be a way to get one of them to work. Having researched quite a bit (this forum is awesome btw!) I think I have to split the sound element off before it gets to the projector. Fair enough, I can get an HDMI splitter.

But, what gadget do I need to get the Amp to pick up the split-off sound? Conceptually it needs to somehow wirelessly broadcast the sound back to the Amp - what sort of thing does that?

Or is there some clever way to get the Fire TV to send it directly? 

I would like to keep the amount of stuff attached to the projector to a minimum, so a Fire TV stick would be my preferred solution. I’ve tried, but can’t get it to work. Haven’t tried the Apple TV yet. Happy to buy whatever extra kit is required. Not fussed about Dolby 5:1, surround etc - just good stereo would be fine.

Thanks in advance.


14 replies

If you can find an extractor that supports HDMI-ARC for the audio output then you can use that directly into the Amp.  Many extractors have digital optical out, in which case you can use the optical to HDMI-ARC adapter that Sonos provides/sells.

This type of audio is not going to be going to the Amp wirelessly.

Your various HDMI devices are inputs to the HDMI switch / extractor.  You need a switch with audio extractor rather than a splitter.

Thanks for your quick reply John. OK, extractor not splitter - that’s fine, thank you.

However ... My Sonos Amp is in our plant room and the projector is in our lounge - they are at the opposite ends of the house. There is no feasible way to get a wire of any sort between the two.

Is there *really* nothing I can attach to the output of the extractor to get the audio to the Amp wirelessly?

I am puzzled! Where are the speakers to which the Amp plays located? I assume in the lounge? In which case there must be speaker wires running from plant room to lounge?

Sorry if I'm being slow her

Edit: I just regiatered 'ceiling speakers' 

But as a further point, I know that wireless HDMI transmitters and receivers exist. But I am not sure about their reliability. Or whether they are appropriate for what you are trying to do 

No no, you’re not being slow at all, my fault for not explaining. The house is a new build; the wiring for the speakers and everything else was put in before plastering. Everything goes back to the plant room. 

The ceiling speakers are in the lounge, wired back to the plant room, connected to the Amp. We also have wiring for speakers in other rooms, but these are not yet being used. We have extensive Cat6 wiring throughout the house though (going back to big patch panel in the plant room) - perhaps we could utilise this if there’s no way to do it over wifi. (We also have Niko Home Control II for home automation, and Velux Active and Somfy for blind control in case it’s relevant.)

My problem is that there’s no feasible way to get any *new* wires between the two places. It’s a contemporary, fairly minimalist house - no coving or skirting boards to hide wires behind, walls and ceilings full of insulation etc etc. However there are lots of wires there already, if I can only figure out what to connect to what … :-)

OK I’ve got it now!  That is pretty much what I guessed once the penny dropped on ‘ceiling speakers’.

Presumably the Sub is in the lounge!?

My gut feeling is that wireless HDMI to the other end of the house is going to be unreliable, but as I have said, it’s not something I have any experience of.

The only other thing I can think of is to use a Port and group it with the Amp, but the Port only has analog audio in and grouping would introduce an audio lag.  I couldn’t recommend it.

I understand the desire for a minimalist look, but I am not convinced about ceiling speakers for movie sound anyway.  Sound just doesn’t come from the right direction(s)!

Sorry - maybe someone else will come up with a bright idea.

Haha yes the Sub is on the floor in the corner of the lounge.

Ok yes I do know what you mean about the sound not coming from the right direction. It took me a while to get used to music coming from the ceiling!

It just seems a shame not to be able to just ‘throw’ the audio to the Sonos and let it get on with it. These devices (or the advertising for them at least) make out that everything is just ‘point & click & it works’ but they all have some way to go, I think, as far as supporting other vendors’ equipment is concerned.

Thanks for the suggestion of the Sonos Port, I’ve just been reading up on it. So I would take the ‘audio out’ from the projector itself and put it into the ‘audio in’ on the Port (as if it was a legacy stereo amplifier or something)? Then Sonos would pick this up and play it on my ceiling speakers & Sub? Do you think there would be any loss of quality?

You’re suggesting that there might be lag, i.e. the sound lags behind the video. Haven’t I seen somewhere on the Sonos app where you can adjust this sort of thing, or was that for something else? 

I might give it a try ...

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@MirandaP, I don’t have much experience with this myself, but you can get an hdmi ethernet adapter.

 

To use this though, you would also an HDMI matrix  (Apple TV and Fire TV input, projector and Sonos Amp output) in your living room. That sounds like more clutter that you wanted.  In the plant room, you’d need the HDMI extractor (optical audio output) and Sonos optical to HDMI-ARC adapter. 

 

An alternative idea, this package sends hdmi and an IR signal over HDMI.  So you have your HDMI matrix and HDMI extractor (possibly in one device) + your Apple TV  +  the transmitter of this package in the plant room.  You would just need the receiver in the package in the living room.  Assuming Apple TVs remote works on IR, this should work. The Sonos amp volume can also be controlled with IR  It would not work with Fire TV though since Fire TV’s remote is bluetooth, not IR.    However, you can control FireTV through  Alexa voice commands and I believe there is an app as well, so perhaps those methods of control would work.

 

An alternative to the alternative would be have the FireTv and Apple  TV in the plant room, but use Logitech Harmony to control the two devices and the Sonos Amp.   You’d also have the benefit of controling other smart devices around your home.

 

 

Hi Danny. I wondered about locating everything near the Amp and using a Logitech Universal Hub and remote to control wveryrhing. But then i couldn't see how to get the video to the projector,  having never heard of HDMI over Ethernet. 

@MirandaP - Regarding your questions, yes I was thinking you might take the audio from the projector to the Port.  So you would probably be starting from mediocre audio quality.  Grouping speakers is designed for synching multiroom music, and has a lag deliberately built in that you cannot get rid of.  Personally, I wouldn’t bother!

I think you are being a bit unfair on Sonos.  You are thinking of using the gear in ways it wasn’t designed for and where there are better Sonos alternatives (minimalism excepted).  The Port is specifically intended for use for music, the Amp primarily so.  And for televisions not projectors.  And located with the TV not at the other end of the house!!

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Hi Danny. I wondered about locating everything near the Amp and using a Logitech Universal Hub and remote to control wveryrhing. But then i couldn't see how to get the video to the projector,  having never heard of HDMI over Ethernet. 

 

I’ve heard of it, I just have never done it myself.  I have seen youtube of professionals  (usually with projectors) using this method before and it doesn’t seem like it would be too technically complex.

Just something to throw into the mix, I’d be looking at sending the HDMI signal over Ethernet, as the last time I looked (not recently), they didn’t carry HDMI-ARC at all. Might affect where certain devices go, in this rather unorthodox setup. 

@melvimbe - thanks very much for your input. I hadn’t realised you can send HDMI over Ethernet, neither had I thought laterally enough to think about putting the Fire TV in the plant room! Both excellent suggestions, I will explore these. 

 

@John B - I wasn’t referring particularly to Sonos in my comments about ‘these devices’, it was aimed at the whole ‘smart’ industry in general. To me, the advertising & website information is usually vague, and to someone unfamiliar with the deeper technicalities you can be misled about how easy & interoperable things are. There are so many different ‘standards’ and even when company A ‘joins up’ with the same ‘standard’ as company B, you can’t necessarily expect their products to work with each other’s hubs or whatever. I could go on but I’m getting off topic.

@Airgetlam - yes I know this is all rather unorthodox, but hey, it’s fun :-)

Thanks everyone for your input, it’s much appreciated.

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@John B - I wasn’t referring particularly to Sonos in my comments about ‘these devices’, it was aimed at the whole ‘smart’ industry in general. To me, the advertising & website information is usually vague, and to someone unfamiliar with the deeper technicalities you can be misled about how easy & interoperable things are. There are so many different ‘standards’ and even when company A ‘joins up’ with the same ‘standard’ as company B, you can’t necessarily expect their products to work with each other’s hubs or whatever. I could go on but I’m getting off topic.

 

Agree on this.  I see it as a by product of a quickly expanding and developing smart device market.  Companies are forced to develop products that fit today, but won’t necessarily fit tomorrow, or won’t fit in the most logical way.  And companies can’t afford to remake products to fit currently all the time, nor would customers want to replace their products all the time to get the latest and greatest.

 

The other aspect is that many of the companies involved aren’t just selling products, they are selling ecosystems.  They want you to buy now and buy later as you expand, so interchangeability with other companies products isn’t always a priority.  Apple, Amazon, and Google are the worst on this.  Sonos is also selling their system more than just products.    It’s not good for consumers in many respects, however it allows companies to sell products and services are better values because they’ve gained greater customer loyalty.  It is what is.

 

But as you stated, this can all be fun too, if this is your sort of thing.  I also tell people to do some research and ask questions, never make assumptions on what a product can do.    When possible, experiment with a single product before buying into an entire system.  And know that you’re most likely going to have better results if you stick with one company instead of multiple for a particular need.  Sonos for audio, Lutron for lighting, Amazon for voice control, etc.

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