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It's 2016! Make PlayBar Gen 2 for DTS / Fix Aux for Play 5 GEN 2

  • 7 February 2016
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56 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
It's 2016 RIP soundbars. Long live wireless 7.1.
Fair comment
I do have a question.

What's the licensing cost for HDMI? Is the cost significantly more than TOSLINK, or are both zero at this point?

And of course, that goes with:

What's the licensing cost for DTS versus Dolby Digital? Is there an increased amount of processing power that is required to do the decoding?

In my wild imagination, there probably is, and this would cause a company like SONOS to be careful about when they want to upgrade their hardware. Granted, for most of us on these boards, the difference is probably a few dollars/pounds/francs, etc, but if I were making the decision as a Product Manager for SONOS, I'd be looking extremely hard at the demographic of who are the majority of buyers. I wouldn't be looking too hard at the outliers (those of us who post here on these boards). It's much the same in the Gaming space that I work in. I pay less attention to the vocal minority (but not none, for heaven's sake) and more to the larger average consumer, and why they purchase/use the product.

I'm willing to face the fact that what SONOS is in business to make money, and make decisions about their coding and hardware resources that don't necessarily align with my personal wants or desires. Sure, life would be better if they'd just listen to me, and do what I said, but honestly, I'm constantly amused at the posts here that say "this is simple, just do it", without (seemingly) realizing that there are obviously limited resources at SONOS, and their priority is likely the next big feature. I'm pretty sure that currently is the Voice feature that's been discussed, but I'm not an insider. This is the way every company I've ever worked for functions. Some portion of the resources are set aside for current issues, and another portion for future efforts.

That being said, I'd be delighted to pony up for two new PlayBars that have HDMI inputs, and did DTS decoding. But I don't think my $1500 isn't going to sway SONOS if 90% of their user base doesn't feel the need for it, and might balk at the initial purchase price if it were 5% higher than it is to cover those additional fees. So, I'm happy that people keep mentioning it here, and hope that at some point in time it becomes an issue that SONOS can devote some effort/time/money (all the same thing) to. Who knows, maybe they already are?

Which also leads into the "We won't talk about future roadmaps for software updates". An intelligent, albeit frustrating stance. There's been many a time where I've been in a development cycle on software and have had an issue that caused the intended release date to slip. Given how the majority of people react to that kind of thing, it does not surprise me in the least that they prefer not to get roasted because of unexpected issues. It's ultimately easier to get roasted for the one policy of not publishing a roadmap than get lambasted for slipping a timeline on feature after promised feature. Sure, it's painful on our side, but I certainly get it from their side.

Sorry, I've had this thought in my mind for quite a while while perusing these boards on a daily basis, looking at both the large number of posts of people who can't do a simple search, or even look at the topics presented in front of them, as well as the incredibly kind and thoughtful members who make a sincere and intelligent effort to assist folks who are having issues, with a substantial amount of success. And of course, I'd never be able to post these thoughts in any of the boards I've been "responsible" for in my line of work, either, so it's nice to get them off of my chest.

And if anyone does have knowledge about those licensing costs, or where I could find out about them, I'd actually be quite interested.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I don't think licensing costs is the issue. The issue is how it was designed.

The standard that TV manufacturers were supposed to go by was that toslink output on TV in DD5.1 should be followed. Playbar was designed with this standard in mind. Unfortunately the standard really never got implemented across brands properly or uniformly. Therefore, work arounds bypassing the TV had to become the norm - and there is where you get issues as if your bypassing the TV as the hub for sound then DD5.1 isn't always the output type.

Now we know people have gone more toward the HDMI audio route with the various competing standards for audio (with DTS as most popular for bluray).

Yep - the playbar is in need of a replacement. But its not Sonos cheaping out - its the way designed and for reason.
Ah, good point. I don't think I know of any TVs (not that I've paid attention) that have an HDMI out. But sure, TOSLINK is limited, and that's what SONOS implemented.

Thanks for nudging my thought process another step.

I can see it now...the Playbar as the new HDMI switcher, with 64 HDMI ports in the back (and people complaining that they need 65), and one out to the TV.

So, there's no easy answer, is there, at least right now. There needs to be a large scale change in the way TVs provide an output that is "big" enough to carry DTS. And all of them need to be the same, not 14 different kinds. No wonder SONOS is hanging on to TOSLINK. I'll be it was hard enough to get some of those TV companies to include that. And then end up having to work with those (cough-Samsung-cough) who aren't sticking with the appropriate rules.

Thanks, Chris.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Its a shame TV can't be the hub as it makes the most sense when it comes to having the various HDMI inputs and then single audio needed.

Otherwise you have to have an external box to do the switching. Either purchase and HDMI switch or if the SUPER CONNECT was an HDMI switcher.

I think to avoid future compatibility problems and external switch with toslink extractor would work best - feeding a SUPER CONNECT which has a toslink input and and HDMI input/passthrough. Then the super connect feed the various speakers in the house audio channels up to at least 7.1.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Id love a SUPERCONNECT with hdmi and output to choice of play 1/3/5 and sub 🙂
I went into a John Lewis store in the UK yesterday to purchase a Sonos Soundbar, Sub and 2 x Play 1's. There were no Soundbars in stock and the nice sales lady looked in her computer and it said "discontinued soon". She offered me 10% off a showroom model but I declined. Not sure whether it's just John Lewis that is stopping stocking them or if this is the first clue that a new Soundbar is about to be released. I chose to wait.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Sonos definitely hasn't announced much on hardware side past few years. It's about time for some more refreshes as the play:5 refresh has appeared to be a major success
Bang on i will wait till the day they do , i will never buy the **** looking , tack , dust magnet , poorest product they make till they bring out a 2
I'd have thought it more likely that Sonos would be upping the £ rrp as a result of the weakening of the pound against the dollar. Iirc when they increased the Euro price for the same reason a while back there were numerous "discontinued" items in various stores until the new price regime became active.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I actually like the playbar looks
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
would be nice if it were true but probably more likely a minor change similar to that just made with the sub
https://en.community.sonos.com/what-to-get-228989/new-sub-on-the-horizon-6738589/
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Short of an external input I'm not sure what much they could have done to improve on the sub
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Hope Sonos reads this: I'm not buying a playbar until it has DTS. Why would I buy an obsolete playbar for my OLED TV? Release the playbar 2, and I'm stocking my house with your products with the playbar as the first item.

I also registered a forum account just to communicate this.


I registered also just to comment. I would love to see a player that has cdmi input and its support. It would be even better if it also supported Dolby HD and Atmos maybe sonos could consider up firing speaker to add to a scenario that would enable Atmos also! Or better still incorporated into a new speaker and soundbar! I am so wanting to invest in the sonos world but having a soundbar that doesn't even offer hdmi is a total no go for me. This product does seem ripe for an upgrade having been on the market for quite some time now. I hope that some of this will happen sooner rather than later before I cave in and buy something else, like the Bose 300 system with sub and rears
We live in hope
Why not be up front and say one way or another if a playbar 2 is in the pipeline
Hopefully they will do something with the grill
As well as other mods
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
We live in hope
Hopefully they will do something with the grill


Sausages!
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Because other companies have a habit of trying to copy everything they do.
Tacky dust collector
They do not want to use perferated steel mesh because it rebounds the music back
Hang on
Whats on the 1, 3s and 5s
Badge
Well I to love Sonos but I think sometimes my vision is too narrow on when it comes to what I am using it for. .. For me I think Sonos is resting on past lorals and fans. Don't get me wrong I love their stuff dispite the price increase which is because i live in Canada and the exchange sucks. But I also don't like all the things that I must do to make things work..example buy a new switch because my Tv doesn't pass the audio right. So the playbar came out in Feb 2013 fast forward 4 years and now we are seeing soundsbars with Atmos built in. (I know there's not much if any content but my point is at a cheaper price point I get some pretty rich features) Sonos to me is like Apple...they really are relying on the fans to remain loyal. Really all the play bar is for me is a way of cleaning up all the audio gear I had in my living room so that my room is tidier. By the way that cost was almost 1800 dollars (Now over 2300 with taxes) to do and has so many limitations that sometimes I think I must have been crazy. . Sonos can never replace my home theater gear. ..sorry to say doesn't come close to sound when watching movies.
The new play 5 what did it do.... it does sound better than the old play 5 but really plays nothing more. I would have thought about it if it had of had some other innovation such as siri integration or I guess for people in the US google home or Alexia. Don't get me wrong I am all for better sound but that better sound has to be subtancial. I mean the price increase for me was 200 bucks in canada. I lost the portal handle for carrying out to my back deck and I lost the headphone jack...hmmmm and I pay more...my (old)play 5 is a bedroom speaker and it's still awesome.

So now I will look at possibly something else because sonos is is slow to deal with what is in the modern world. Does it mean I will abandon sonos...likely not ..What it does mean is I may look for a more advance (feature rich) sound bar and then connect a Sonos Connect. If MY soundbar has auto sensing then it should still be able to play my sonos when needed...as in like by alarms I have setup.
Now you may see why I think my vision is tooooo narrowly focused on Sonos for my entertaiment system in my living room.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
..... Personally I would like to see them create a SUPER CONNECT box that actually will allow 7.1 audio directing to 7 different regular Sonos Plays.....


I totally love this! This could be a genius product addition. Connect:TV. Ability to decode all current audio formats ATMOS, DTS, DD+, etc from HDMI in, includes an Optical in, The the ability to build 5Ghz audio connections to up to 8 products for 7.1 audio. Allows wide front speaker separation for those that want that ... Could allow the current Playbar to take the front three channels it handles today if desired to deliver augmentation to the current PlayBar, but also not make them obsolete.

This is brilliant.... and it would seem entirely doable....

Hey Sonos... 🆒
Userlevel 2
I do have a question.

What's the licensing cost for HDMI? Is the cost significantly more than TOSLINK, or are both zero at this point?

And of course, that goes with:

What's the licensing cost for DTS versus Dolby Digital? Is there an increased amount of processing power that is required to do the decoding?

In my wild imagination, there probably is, and this would cause a company like SONOS to be careful about when they want to upgrade their hardware. Granted, for most of us on these boards, the difference is probably a few dollars/pounds/francs, etc, but if I were making the decision as a Product Manager for SONOS, I'd be looking extremely hard at the demographic of who are the majority of buyers. I wouldn't be looking too hard at the outliers (those of us who post here on these boards). It's much the same in the Gaming space that I work in. I pay less attention to the vocal minority (but not none, for heaven's sake) and more to the larger average consumer, and why they purchase/use the product.

I'm willing to face the fact that what SONOS is in business to make money, and make decisions about their coding and hardware resources that don't necessarily align with my personal wants or desires. Sure, life would be better if they'd just listen to me, and do what I said, but honestly, I'm constantly amused at the posts here that say "this is simple, just do it", without (seemingly) realizing that there are obviously limited resources at SONOS, and their priority is likely the next big feature. I'm pretty sure that currently is the Voice feature that's been discussed, but I'm not an insider. This is the way every company I've ever worked for functions. Some portion of the resources are set aside for current issues, and another portion for future efforts.

That being said, I'd be delighted to pony up for two new PlayBars that have HDMI inputs, and did DTS decoding. But I don't think my $1500 isn't going to sway SONOS if 90% of their user base doesn't feel the need for it, and might balk at the initial purchase price if it were 5% higher than it is to cover those additional fees. So, I'm happy that people keep mentioning it here, and hope that at some point in time it becomes an issue that SONOS can devote some effort/time/money (all the same thing) to. Who knows, maybe they already are?

Which also leads into the "We won't talk about future roadmaps for software updates". An intelligent, albeit frustrating stance. There's been many a time where I've been in a development cycle on software and have had an issue that caused the intended release date to slip. Given how the majority of people react to that kind of thing, it does not surprise me in the least that they prefer not to get roasted because of unexpected issues. It's ultimately easier to get roasted for the one policy of not publishing a roadmap than get lambasted for slipping a timeline on feature after promised feature. Sure, it's painful on our side, but I certainly get it from their side.

Sorry, I've had this thought in my mind for quite a while while perusing these boards on a daily basis, looking at both the large number of posts of people who can't do a simple search, or even look at the topics presented in front of them, as well as the incredibly kind and thoughtful members who make a sincere and intelligent effort to assist folks who are having issues, with a substantial amount of success. And of course, I'd never be able to post these thoughts in any of the boards I've been "responsible" for in my line of work, either, so it's nice to get them off of my chest.

And if anyone does have knowledge about those licensing costs, or where I could find out about them, I'd actually be quite interested.


Agree with your analysis of development cost versus return but surely there are enough people, going by the posters on the many forums, that the I am sure small development costs, would be returned if they made a stand alone converter for atmos, DTS etc to dd5.1 so we can use our very expensive Sonos systems instead of jumping to Bose, Sony, Yamaha etc. As to those development costs if you can get a bluray player for £40-50 that does the conversion I am sure it wouldn't cost much more to bring such a device to market.
Can't believe that new Soundbase has been announced without support for HDMI and DTS etc. SONOS need to get their act together over this as I can't justify dumping my separate surround sound set up without this functionality even though I use SONOS extensively elsewhere.
Well, we can hold out some hope for the next device they release. I've got too much invested in Sonos devices to just leave because I'm upset (which I'm not). Honestly, the system works well the way it is. Sure, I wouldn't mind more, but it's not like it's performing any differently today than it was yesterday.

But sure, if you were to offer me the job of CEO at Sonos, I'd be happy to evaluate direction. But, I suspect that the current folks have been doing that for a long time, and based their decisions on what the true marketplace is looking for. My perception is that the folks who tend to post on these boards are the 1%, and not necessarily representative of the entire marketplace, particularly of those that Sonos may be going after.
Userlevel 3
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I just dumped all of my Sonos speakers, embraced google home along with spotify, picked up 4 google homes, new sony HT-9 speakers (whatever the model) and I'm loving it all. No more entrapment nightmares through sonos!