Is Dolby Digital Bitstream passing 5.1 DD Surround?

  • 21 February 2016
  • 5 replies

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I'm trying to get 5.1 Surround from my Panasonic TX-P50VT30 to the Playbar via SPDIF (using a optical adapter).

So far I only see "Stereo" in the Playbar sound input and I have tested with my Apple TV3, HDMI from Macbook Pro and HDMI from PS3.

According to the manual the SPDIF port should pass Dolby Digital Bitstream when selecting "Multi channel" on the TV menu. And as I understand the manual, the TV can pass DTS, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital Bitstream:

I am aware that Playbar does not support DTS. So I'm just wanting a 5.1 signal very much and all I get is "Stereo" in the Sonos "About" section. Frustrating!

So, is Dolby Digital Bitstream NOT 5.1 DD? And which SPDIF splitter/converter is recommended, if I need a very small one to hang on the wall behind the TV? (I only need one or two HDMI inputs)

All best
Anders B.

Best answer by Edward R 23 February 2016, 13:31

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5 replies

Userlevel 7
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Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to recommend any specific types of splitter, though I am sure someone else will chime in and offer their advice.

With regards to your other query, in Home Theater situations, Bitstream refers to a digitally-encoded Dolby Digital (or DTS) -related compressed audio signal from a source component to a Preamp/Processor for decoding and distribution. The Bitstream can be sent via Digital Optical, Digital Coaxial, or HDMI interface. Bitstream isn't something different to 5.1, it's the method of delivery.
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Thanks Edward R.

I'm going with the Ocatvia HDMI/Toslink splitter, which has been recommended by other users in the Sonos Community. It's pricey but (apparently) worth every penny to beef up the Playbar. Will be back, when tested.

All best
Did you find a solution please? Im having the same issue
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Hi Kalps.
I bought the Ocatvia HDMI/Toslink splitter and I am very pleased with it. However, I must stress that a Playbar, a Sub and 2 Play:1 does NOT give you the full surround experience that a high-end "standard" soultion (surround receiver + 5+ speakers) will give you. The Playbar is simply not a proper replacement for front left/right and a center. The two Play:1 surround speakers works like a charm though.

When it passes 5.1. it does so beautifully and for my use, I am very satisfied with the mix and the overall extra effects.

Passing my Apple TV4, my DVD player and my standard TV through the Octavia now allows me a better 5.1. surround experience than before. When switching between two digital inputs the Octavia will automatically switch to the correct channel.

So yeah, overall I am very pleased with the Octavia, but still cross my fingers for a "proper" Surround solution from Sonos (HDMI input and Play:1 as front right/left speakers).

All best
Thanks for your detailed reply Anders