Question

How to connect tv, playbar & DTS converting bluray player together to get DD output

  • 18 November 2015
  • 20 replies
  • 10886 views

Hi, just purchased the playbar recently and feeling ripped off to be honest as I asked the salesman for the best product for surround sound without going down the full home theater path. Now I realize the playbar does not accept the DTS signal that my TV (Samsung UA55JU7000W) is outputting on blurays and to make full use of my $1000 bar I must outlay more cash and hunt down a new bluray player that decodes DTS to DD.

Before I do this, I want to know exactly how this would be connected up to provide DD on blurays whilst still outputting stereo on normal tv viewing.
Does the setup remain the same? i.e bluray HDMI > TV > optical cable > playbar
Or do I need more cables and a different setup?
My tv has only one optical port and I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible. Having to go to this trouble and expense is an absolute joke for a "top of the range" soundbar and I feel like an idiot for buying it.

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20 replies

Userlevel 2
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You will need an hdmi switch. This one from monoprice is highly recommended:

http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=7974&seq=1&format=2
Thanks Quintus,
Very frustrating that all the playbar positives such as "easy setup", "minimum cables" ect are now negated by these hacks.
I don't really get how this switch works and allows me to play or at least convert a DTS signal? It looks very similar to my samsung tv's One Connect Lite box. If you or anyone else knows where I can find some info on how this switch solves the problem and how I set it up and use it it would be much appreciated.
I have seen these "solutions" (switch, bluray that converts ect) mentioned by Sonos themselves however no where have I seen it explained how you implement them.
I am not a HiFi guru (obviously) that's why I thought the Playbar was a nice blend of state-of-the-art and simplicity but it's all getting a bit too hard. Still have the box, so seriously considering just returning it to the store, I can get the same confusion and hassle at less than half the price.
I am still stunned that Sonos makes a product that apparently is capable of amazing 5.1 sound yet through apparent laziness and/or stupidity won't let me access it on Blurays, I mean what the #@&?

Does anyone at least have a good reason why I shouldn't just go and return it for a seemingly more versatile brand? I'm too embarrassed to own it, what am I going to say to my friends but "hey, wanna watch a bluray in ultra hd and listen to it through my ridiculously expensive sound bar in stereo 2.1?"
Userlevel 2
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You still need a bluray player that converts DTS to DD 5.1. The switch is to allow all sources to be connected in one place and then one optical cable goes to the playbar. If your tv permits transfer of 5.1 via the optical out then you can avoid the switch altogether but many do not hence the reason for the switch.

As for why to keep the Playbar? Because it is an excellent piece of equipment with only one flaw rectifiable with the purchase of a $100 bluray player and a switch. I have two Playbars and the fix solves my problem. What other option are you looking at that sounds as good as the playbar and is as versatile for playing music as well as TV listening?

At the end of the day it is ultimately your choice but I think too much has been made of this DTS issue IMHO.
Hi. This makes an interesting read. I own a smart Samsung UE40D 6500 series tv with optical out ,i also have a Samsung DVD player connect via HDMI cable to the Tv. So when I play DVDs ( sure i will miss DTS which i used to get through my Yamaha 5.1 amp) but will I get DD sound ? I have yet to pair up my Play 1's to act as the rear speakers. Or do i have to go throught the nonsense of getting an HDMI switch?

As far as DTS is concerned how on earth can you easily find if the Blue ray players convert DTS to DD 5.1 AND which tv's will permit transfer of 5.1 via the optical out ? Any ideas ? Many thanks . Ian
Hi trophylan. It's very difficult to get definitive answers on this. The best advice I can give is:
1. Assume the TV, won't pass 5:1, as most don't.
2. Samsung Blurays seem to convert DTS to DD5.1 if you set the audio settings correctly. The manuals are all available online so you can check there.

I use an optical switch, with my TV optical out and Bluray optical out going into the switch, and optical out from the switch to the Playbar. And of course HDMI from Bluray to TV. I also use a Harmony Touch universal remote to save messing around with TV, Blu-ray and switch remotes. There are other options - I think there are auto-switching HDMI switches for example.

I hope that's of some help.
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As other said, there are several Samsung Players that convert DTS to 5.1. Its an easy option to change in the player menu.
Is the converter mentioned useful if I'm only seeking 3.1 sound? I have a Sony Blu Ray S6500 and I just have not been that impressed with the sound quality through it.
Userlevel 7
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If you have a Playbar and you feed it a 5.1 signal you will notice a significant improvement over a stereo input. The addition of a Sub to give you 3.1 will enhance your bass especially in those audio tracks (5.1) that demand bass (Action type/disaster movies!).
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I have a Samsung TV and there seems to be a disconnect between whether it can pass through 5.1 through the ouput optical cable. Some do and some do not however I have owned 4 different models over the past 5 years and all were able to as long as the input settings were correct. I do not have experience with Blu-Ray players as I have an Xbox One and PS4 as well as a cable box and an Amazon Fire TV. The audio options in the Xbox One and PS4 have options for bitstream out and then selecting Dolby Digital. They will convert DTS sound to Dolby 5.1 on the fly and run that through the HDMI to the Television. Most cable boxes just have a surround sound or stereo option but when selecting surround sound it is most likely to be 5.1 Dolby. Where the tricky part comes in is with the sound settings on the TV. If you do have an optical output you can disable to TV internal speakers and Select the optical as the output and there are some formats to choose from. Now formats will be greyed out unless it is currently receiving the 5.1 sound. Most people see the greyed out options and then autmatically think it cannot output 5.1 but most menus in game consoles and cable boxes only generate 2.0 sound. You have to start playing content with 5.1 sound in order for that option to be available in the sound menu on the TV. Once you select it, it will pass through 5.1 sound to the playbar and will automatically switch between the two if it receives the 2.0 signal again when done with the 5.1 content.

Hopefully this makes sense. It took me some time to figure this out but at least it saved me from having to buy a splitter to get what I needed. The Xbox One is a great option too for a Blu-Ray player because if for some reason you cannot pass 5.1 sound through your TV you can get your cable box into the Xbox One HDMI input and pass 5.1 through its optical port directly to the Playbar and bypass the TV all together. Some poeple have better luck this way.
Userlevel 1
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I had a lot of trouble getting 5.1 with my set up and eventually got it all working.

I now have a mess of kit and cables behind the TV but at least it works.

I was playing a blu-ray with DTS-HD Master Audio on a Sony BDP-S6700 connected to Sony KDL-46W905A using an HDMI cable.

In the Sony Blu-ray player I selected Dolby D compatible output.
The Blu-ray player software was version M32.R.0307

The sound output via the TV optical output was only stereo regardless of any settings in the Blu-ray player.

Eventually I found that if I used the BDP Coax digital output I could get Dolby 5.1 when playing a DTS Blu-ray (the transcoding from DTS to Dolby does not output through the HDMI port).

This meant buying a converter (I chose the Cable Mountain Digital SPDIF Coaxial to Optical TOSlink Signal Converter) and a switch (I chose the PORTTA APET0301T 3 Port 3x1 SPDIF/Toslink Digital Optical Audio Switch/Switcher with IR Remote support) and cables (I chose Cable Mountain 1.5m Gold Plated Single RG59 Coaxial Phono Cable for SPDIF/Digital Audio and Composite Video Cable and Cable Mountain 1m HQ Gold Pins with Metal Case TOSlink Digital Optical Cable).

I am really cheesed off at how long it took and how much junk it needed but relieved that I was not stuck with 2.0 on the playbar. I raised the issue with Sony but got no meaningful response.
I like the reply--thorough and relevant to my situation with Sony BDP. I guess the one thing I don't get is how you connect your cable box (or other inputs) without a switcher that takes HDMI inputs. Do you just run video directly onto the television and sound separately via the switcher? That would mean switching the input setting twice when you move from cable/sat to another device, right? Please tell me if I'm misunderstanding. Also do you think the sound you're getting now was worth the time and money? Thanks!
Userlevel 1
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I have Virginmedia TiVo and this is connected to the TV using the HDMI cable and when VM deliver 5.1, for example on Sky Sports, it works fine. I think that there is an optical out on the TiVo but I don't know if it works and I didn't connect it as it works as is.

Yes, it was worth it because the sound is good now and I found it very irritating staring at the Play 1's standing there idle.

Interestingly, there was a massive firmware update for the BDP recently (I think it was about 137MB) and I couldn't help wondering if Sony had fixed the issue but I haven't yet experimented to see if they have.
Userlevel 1
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Just to confirm the cabling.

TV - optical cable - switch port 1
BDP - coax cable - converter - optical cable - switch port 2
Switch output - optical cable - playbar
TiVo - HDMI cable - TV

Switch port 3 is spare and could be used for TiVo if necessary.
The converter comes with a power supply and the switch gets power from a USB cable connected to the TV.
The switch also has an IR receiver cable and remote control.
Userlevel 3
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Appreciate the help here. Can't overstate how ridiculous this whole DTS issue is. Thanks to this thread I went into my Sony BluRay player audio settings and set the Dolby D Compatible Output setting to "on" to convert all DTS signals to DD. Thanks to living in a townhome I don't really get to pump up the volume and appreciate the full sound of DTS anyway.
Userlevel 3
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Appreciate the help here. Can't overstate how ridiculous this whole DTS issue is. Thanks to this thread I went into my Sony BluRay player audio settings and set the Dolby D Compatible Output setting to "on" to convert all DTS signals to DD. Thanks to living in a townhome I don't really get to pump up the volume and appreciate the full sound of DTS anyway.

One more audio setting needed adjusted in the Sony BluRay player: Digital Audio Output needs to be set to "PCM" instead of Auto.
Userlevel 1
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Found this useful article on the subject:

http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/How-to-Get-5-1-Dolby-Surround-Sound-from-a-SONOS-PlayBar.shtml
Userlevel 4
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Appreciate the help here. Can't overstate how ridiculous this whole DTS issue is. Thanks to this thread I went into my Sony BluRay player audio settings and set the Dolby D Compatible Output setting to "on" to convert all DTS signals to DD. Thanks to living in a townhome I don't really get to pump up the volume and appreciate the full sound of DTS anyway.

Can you tell us which Sony Player you have? Is it the new 4K player - UBP-X800?

The only other 4K player I've heard that has this "downmix" feature is the Samsung 8500.
Userlevel 3
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Appreciate the help here. Can't overstate how ridiculous this whole DTS issue is. Thanks to this thread I went into my Sony BluRay player audio settings and set the Dolby D Compatible Output setting to "on" to convert all DTS signals to DD. Thanks to living in a townhome I don't really get to pump up the volume and appreciate the full sound of DTS anyway.

Can you tell us which Sony Player you have? Is it the new 4K player - UBP-X800?

The only other 4K player I've heard that has this "downmix" feature is the Samsung 8500.


Sony - BDPS6500 – Streaming 4K Upscaling 3D Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player; purchased Nov-2015
Userlevel 4
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Appreciate the help here. Can't overstate how ridiculous this whole DTS issue is. Thanks to this thread I went into my Sony BluRay player audio settings and set the Dolby D Compatible Output setting to "on" to convert all DTS signals to DD. Thanks to living in a townhome I don't really get to pump up the volume and appreciate the full sound of DTS anyway.

Can you tell us which Sony Player you have? Is it the new 4K player - UBP-X800?

The only other 4K player I've heard that has this "downmix" feature is the Samsung 8500.


Sony - BDPS6500 – Streaming 4K Upscaling 3D Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player; purchased Nov-2015


Thanks Amazd.
I'm waiting for the Sony UBP-X800 to be released. If your model Sony player has this option then I think there's a good chance the UBP-X800 will also.
Play bar is good.So does Blu-ray player. http://www.f2fsoft.com/blu-ray-player/