LG C9 + Arc + UB820 / Multichannel PCM for DTS Blu-Ray discs


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I’m running an LG C9 with a Panasonic UB820 Blu-ray player, Sonos Arc + Sub gen 3 + One SL surrounds. The lack of DTS support on the Arc has been frustrating for non Dolby encoded Blu-ray discs, so I have been eagerly awaiting the multichannel PCM update.

It’s finally arrived (thanks, Sonos!) and I tried playing a DTS encoded Blu-ray and… no dice. Still stereo PCM 2.0. Has anyone running a similar set-up managed to get 5.1 PCM output from the Arc?

The C9 supports eARC and multichannel PCM, I’m using 48gbps HDMI cables that support up to 8k60Hz, all of the devices are up to date, I have the C9 set to PCM with eArc enabled, DTS output set to PCM on the UB820… I’m really at a loss here. Any ideas or suggested settings?


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@Parkerdip Secondary Audio needs to be turned OFF when watching Dolby Atmos-encoded discs.

Trap for young players (and some not so young): Make sure the firmware update for your devices has been done. The newly-updated Sonos iOS app doesn’t warn you if your speakers are not up to date. 
 

I had to turn eARC off for it to work for me.

(Panasonic UB820 —> LG C9 —> Arc)

Hey guys, can anyone confirm that the Arcana doesn’t have the Dolby Vision issue?

 

I can 100% confirm that the Arcana works - you just need to set the device to pass the audio to the HDMI Out port and you do not use the eARC output port at all. You use the device just as a passthrough, similar to the intent of the DR HDMI 4K. This is my set up now and has been stable for weeks.

 

I can also confirm I am running into the Dolby Vision issue with the HDMI DR 4K. So, in my rushed eval on Monday, I missed this was not working with the built in EDID. I see now that the HDFury site has different EDIDs listed for the banks than what is on the sticker on the physical device. I have more to check on this and to get an EDID editor going for my personal interest.

 

And finally, I have chatted briefly on the HDFury Discord server with them. They are very fast and you can scroll through a ton of old chats too which can be helpful.

 

@Laird M Malamed 

Can you clarify how you are using the arcana with the UB820, Sonos Arc, and your tv? I have the UB820, Arc 5.1 set up, and LG CX. Other posts (and HD fury's website) suggest that I need to split the audio and video from the arcana, with the "HDMI out" going to the tv and the "eARC out" going to the Sonos Arc. But it sounds like you are saying I could just go from UB820 --> arcana --> TV, using only "HDMI out"? I don't really get how the arcana fixes the passthrough issue with that set up, but I'm hoping I understand you correctly because that would mean I don't need an HDMI switch. If this is correct, is there a particular setting to look for on the arcana for this specific issue? Thank you in advance!

 

I purchased a Panasonic UB820 this week and have a Beam 2 connected connected to a LG C1 TV using eARC HDMI. I could only ever get 2 PCM 2.0 stereo as I found out the LG C1 TV does not support DTS even for HDMI pass through (I am not sure if this is the same case for C9). In the end I have got DTS audio out but only by using the optical adapter to HDMI adapter that came with my Beam 2 and using it to directly connect from the optical port of the UB820 to the HDMI of the Beam 2. This means I have to swap HDMI cables at the back when I don’t need DTS and audio may need to be synced but it’s worth it. I plan on trying a HDMI switch with this setup in the future to save on cable swapping. I think the ARC comes with an optical to HDMI adapter so may help in this situation. I think they can also be purchased (check with Sonos for compatibility). For UB820 audio settings when using DTS I have DTS bitstream and the second hdmi audio set to on as it says it down mixes DTS Master audio to DTS which the Beam 2 can handle. Although not tested with HDMI second audio off or auto.

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Hey guys, can anyone confirm that the Arcana doesn’t have the Dolby Vision issue?

 

I can 100% confirm that the Arcana works - you just need to set the device to pass the audio to the HDMI Out port and you do not use the eARC output port at all. You use the device just as a passthrough, similar to the intent of the DR HDMI 4K. This is my set up now and has been stable for weeks.

 

I can also confirm I am running into the Dolby Vision issue with the HDMI DR 4K. So, in my rushed eval on Monday, I missed this was not working with the built in EDID. I see now that the HDFury site has different EDIDs listed for the banks than what is on the sticker on the physical device. I have more to check on this and to get an EDID editor going for my personal interest.

 

And finally, I have chatted briefly on the HDFury Discord server with them. They are very fast and you can scroll through a ton of old chats too which can be helpful.

 

@Laird M Malamed

Can you clarify how you are using the arcana with the UB820, Sonos Arc, and your tv? I have the UB820, Arc 5.1 set up, and LG CX. Other posts (and HD fury's website) suggest that I need to split the audio and video from the arcana, with the "HDMI out" going to the tv and the "eARC out" going to the Sonos Arc. But it sounds like you are saying I could just go from UB820 --> arcana --> TV, using only "HDMI out"? I don't really get how the arcana fixes the passthrough issue with that set up, but I'm hoping I understand you correctly because that would mean I don't need an HDMI switch. If this is correct, is there a particular setting to look for on the arcana for this specific issue? Thank you in advance!

 

 

Sure thing. When I started down the path of solving this issue, I used the Arcana. My TV is a C9, so it still supports DTS pass through (which will be helpful when Sonos releases their pending update to accept DTS to the Arc and process it). The Arcana’s design is to split the audio out between the sound and the picture. The designed application is to bridge the gap between eARC sound bars and non-eARC TVs. This allows the full Dolby Atmos / True HD Dolby signal to reach the Sonos Arc.

As part of this, the Arcana inserts its own EDID data and sends that the 820. This small file basically expresses the capabilities between devices. The issue between the 820, the LG C9/X/1 and Sonos Arc is that for some reason, the Panasonic machine does not think the downstream devices can handle anything beyond PCM 2.0 for decompressed data. Since the Arcana correctly presents that it can handle this, the Panasonic 820 properly send out 7.1 PCM audio. This issue exists with the higher end Panasonic 9000 too.

The Arcana has a setting that allows the audio to be sent to both the eARC output but also to be wrapped with the video and sent to the video out. Hence, because the C9 supports eARC to the Sonos Arc, there is no need to split the signal. And because the C9 and Sonos can handle other sources such as Apple TV and the Xbox correctly, the Arcana just becomes effectively an EDID cleaner. You still need to decode the DTS at the Panasonic. (Dolby can be sent out as is since this always worked.)

In my own set up, I guessed that the Dr HDMI 4K would also work if I edited the EDID files. So, my current situation is that I am using that and bought their USB/Bluetooth dongle. I then sold by Arcana on eBay. But in any case, I am solving the same issue - showing an EDID to the Panasonic that it reads as being 7.1 compliant. If you read through this full thread, I think you can find my findings and final settings.


I hope that is all helpful. If not, just reply and let me know!

 

Laird

 

 

Thanks so much for this thorough reply! Very helpful and informative.

Wow that was a very long read! Some very clever people in here, thank you.

Sadly i am not one of those very clever people! 

I think i have read and understood everything correctly, so basically the panasonic 820/sonos 5.1/LG CX&newer are the perfect storm of not talking to each other. The only work around is to buy an arcana fury (pay more but plug n play) or the DR version but you need to be pretty tech confident? 

I only own 2 uhds and both are dolby vision so i stupidly thought all uhds would be, but if i am reading it right the vast majority are in DTS. 

Should i just return my panasonic 820 and buy a different brand that works? I dont know about anyone else but after spending roughly 3.5k on it all  i thought it would all just work lol. 

Sorry i know this is rehashing old ground for alot of you...on a side note the lotr uhd was amazing ;)

 

I think that's basically correct. Seems you have 3 options to fix the issue: 1. HD Fury Arcana; 2. Dr. HDMI (at least per Laird's experience and expertise); 3. Buy a different 4k blu ray player. 

You can find threads discussing the Sony UBP-X700 as an alternative. Main setback with this player, in my opinion, is that you have to manually toggle Dolby Vision on/off, but it does transcode DTS into multi channel PCM. I got one around black friday to test it out, and it works with my DTS movies. Now I have two 4k players, but it was about $150 cheaper than the arcana. 

Really depends on how much physical media you have or plan to obtain. In my experience, most recently produced films have an Atmos soundtrack; older, remastered 4k discs tend to have DTS; and the majority of my standard Blu ray collection is DTS.

I love the Panasonic player, but if I still had the opportunity to get a full refund, I just might do that and pay a fraction to get the Sony that works with all of my movies.

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I think that's basically correct. Seems you have 3 options to fix the issue: 1. HD Fury Arcana; 2. Dr. HDMI (at least per Laird's experience and expertise); 3. Buy a different 4k blu ray player. 

 

 

Yes, that’s right as of now with one more option (not all that good!) I will list below. I was hoping that with the Sonos DTS update that perhaps another workaround would show up. Alas, that was not the case. DTS does work (but not with the CX or later LGs) and even then, there are issues with getting the Panasonic (or any player) to output the lossy DTS track instead of the lossless DTS-MA track. When the Sonos “sees” this, it throws an error. The only way to prevent that is to use the secondary audio toggle - but that will eliminate Atmos output as a consequence.

 

In terms of physical media, if you have a lot of 5.1 DTS tracks, then these limitations are frustrating (at best). If your physical collection is of older movies with original 2.0 or mono tracks (for example, much of the Criterion Collection regular blu-rays or even older films before 1990 such as the 4K Universal Monster box set that just came out), the limitation of 2.0 PCM is actually not a problem. So, it depends on the collection. (Similar to what Jray1987 mentioned about the Sony player and toggling Dolby Vision.)

 

I really do love the Panasonic high end players and particularly their upsampling of 1080 content. I have tried the LG 4k and still have my Oppo 203 4k player (which I use for SACDs). Neither look quite as good to me as the Panasonic. 

 

So, for the other options to consider - which is greater in cost but adds more functionality - one could get a low cost receiver with enough HDMI inputs as necessary and eARC functionality. In theory - I have not tested this though - you could have the decoding done by the receiver and pass that along the HDMI path to the LG and then onto the Sonos. It’s also possible on some receivers to output video on one HDMI and audio on another (which is why eARC is a must). While adding equipment and cost, you could get more inputs than the LG has, amplification for future speakers and likely one remote that can control this set up. I only add this here as a possibility. I have NOT gone down this route despite wanting more inputs for my LG (for which I got an inexpensive 4k switcher). However, this should work too. 

 

By far, the least expensive option is to go with the Sony player.

 

The good news is that regardless of how you get there, I truly believe that once the Panasonic or Sony is paired with the LG and Sonos Arc (+ surrounds & sub if you have them), that this is the best combo without having to invest in completely separate speakers. 

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I don’t get it I have tried exactly what is said and I have the LG C9 and UB820 with the Sonos Arc and I am still getting no sound with the unsupported tv audio message. 
I tried the above and turning EARC off and nothing…

There may be a few other settings you need to tweak with. Do you wanna post your settings and we can take a look?

These are the settings that I have tried to match what was said above but doesn’t seem to be doing anything for me

At first glance the main difference I see between your settings and mine is that I have BD-Video Secondary Audio set to off. Perhaps give that a try, to see if it helps.

That’s weird I’ve just turned it on to give it another try and it’s sorted itself out without me doing anything. I tried BD audio on off and auto and the only one where it worked is having it on . Also turned EARC back on and still works. 
 

does having it on affect the Dolby Atmos discs and have to turn it back off? 

Are you still getting DTS output with eARC on? If so, would be good to see what your settings are?

I’m still not getting any DTS sound with my eARC turned on, but I’m pretty sure it’s a UB820 issue, as I get DTS through my PS5 with eARC on.

Any chance this might be fixed, do people think? Or do we just have to suck it up and keep eARC off?

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I have this same problem, LG cx - ub820 - beam v2

Called panasonic today, no luck

Called sonos today, no luck

Sonos say that i have to go through the tv to get dts, but as you all know LG cx not compatible with dts!

Tried all the above settings and i cant get the 820 the give out dts?

I tried the PS4 with a blu ray dts, and it came out on the S2 iphone app saying multichannel PCM 7.1 !!?

I guess i will have to play my big collection of DTS films through the PS4 then, if i decide to keep the beam?

Its a real shame i can’t get the panasonic to play them though given the better tech it packs over the PS4!

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I have this same problem, LG cx - ub820 - beam v2

Called panasonic today, no luck

Called sonos today, no luck

Sonos say that i have to go through the tv to get dts, but as you all know LG cx not compatible with dts!

Tried all the above settings and i cant get the 820 the give out dts?

I tried the PS4 with a blu ray dts, and it came out on the S2 iphone app saying multichannel PCM 7.1 !!?

I guess i will have to play my big collection of DTS films through the PS4 then, if i decide to keep the beam?

Its a real shame i can’t get the panasonic to play them though given the better tech it packs over the PS4!

Since the LG CX cannot pass through DTS audio, your only option is setting the Blu-ray player to convert DTS to PCM so you can get multichannel PCM audio (which sounds better than DTS Digital Surround). Or you can get the HDFury Arcana so your Blu-ray player can bypass your TV’s limitations.

To get multichannel PCM audio from DTS discs, be sure to set the DTS/DTS-HD setting on the UB820 to PCM. It’s best to turn off the Secondary Audio feature too.

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I have this same problem, LG cx - ub820 - beam v2

Called panasonic today, no luck

Called sonos today, no luck

Sonos say that i have to go through the tv to get dts, but as you all know LG cx not compatible with dts!

Tried all the above settings and i cant get the 820 the give out dts?

I tried the PS4 with a blu ray dts, and it came out on the S2 iphone app saying multichannel PCM 7.1 !!?

I guess i will have to play my big collection of DTS films through the PS4 then, if i decide to keep the beam?

Its a real shame i can’t get the panasonic to play them though given the better tech it packs over the PS4!

Since the LG CX cannot pass through DTS audio, your only option is setting the Blu-ray player to convert DTS to PCM so you can get multichannel PCM audio (which sounds better than DTS Digital Surround). Or you can get the HDFury Arcana so your Blu-ray player can bypass your TV’s limitations.

To get multichannel PCM audio from DTS discs, be sure to set the DTS/DTS-HD setting on the UB820 to PCM. It’s best to turn off the Secondary Audio feature too.

Hello mate, i did try changing the dts to pcm but i got nothing, this has been driving me mad for days!

 

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Would this Hd Fury Arcana allow the beam 2 to accept DTS-HD ?

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Would this Hd Fury Arcana allow the beam 2 to accept DTS-HD ?

No Sonos product supports lossless DTS-HD Master Audio or DTS:X. Sonos only supports lossy DTS Digital Surround audio.

But, yes, the Arcana would allow you to play DTS Digital Surround or multichannel PCM from DTS-encoded discs. I use an Arcana with my UB820 and it works great. Multichannel PCM audio sounds just as good as DTS-HD Master Audio.

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Would this Hd Fury Arcana allow the beam 2 to accept DTS-HD ?

No Sonos product supports lossless DTS-HD Master Audio or DTS:X. Sonos only supports lossy DTS Digital Surround audio.

But, yes, the Arcana would allow you to play DTS Digital Surround or multichannel PCM from DTS-encoded discs. I use an Arcana with my UB820 and it works great. Multichannel PCM audio sounds just as good as DTS-HD Master Audio.

Thanks for the reply G.S, first off what does lossy mean? 

Also my PS4 is playing the dts blu rays through the beam2 at multichannel pcm 7.1, is this format better than dts surround anyway??

I wonder what the steps in sound quality are, from the worst to the best???

I.e from basic phono stereo to atmos/dts-x? including this pcm? lpcm? dolby digital, dd+, truehd, dts surround, dts-hd ect. ect.??????

Please educate me anyone…..

Thanks m

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@mac74 Lossy is a form of audio compression that results in some audio quality loss from the original recording during the audio conversion. Common lossy audio formats are Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, and Dolby Digital Plus. These formats are commonly used on DVDs and streaming apps like Netflix and Disney+. Because lossy audio is more compressed, there is less audio data which allows it to be streamed or put on a DVD.

Lossless is a form of audio compression with no loss of audio quality from the original recording. Common lossless audio formats are Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, and LPCM (or multichannel PCM). These formats are commonly used on Blu-ray and UHD discs because they can hold much more data than a DVD.

Dolby Atmos audio can be delivered through three different audio codecs:

  1. Lossy Dolby Digital Plus (streaming)
  1. Lossless Dolby TrueHD (Blu-ray)
  1. Lossless Dolby MAT (used on Apple TV 4K, Xbox One X/S)

Lossless audio is higher quality audio than lossy, so lossless multichannel PCM is better quality than lossy DTS Digital Surround on your PS4.

Some home theater enthusiasts prefer a certain audio codec over another, but all lossy formats generally sound the same in quality, and all lossless formats generally sound the same.

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Many thanks G.S, thats good to know that.

I have got the pananonic 820 to work with the beam2 now!

It was the hdmi lead!   ????

Optical out on the player, to hdmi converter into the beam2. Selected bitstream on all the output settings, and secondary audio to auto, and surround encoded in the pans menu. And dts surround 5.1  !!!  Great!

So is dts surround 5.1 out of the panasonic direct to beam2, still less quality the the ps4’s multichannel PCM 7.1 which goes via hdmi into the tv then out of the tv into beam2???

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Optical out on the player, to hdmi converter into the beam2. Selected bitstream on all the output settings, and secondary audio to auto, and surround encoded in the pans menu. And dts surround 5.1  !!!  Great!

Why are you using optical out on the UB820? Optical doesn’t support lossless audio including multichannel PCM audio. You should connect the UB820 from the HDMI Video Out to an HDMI port on the LG CX.

 

So is dts surround 5.1 out of the panasonic direct to beam2, still less quality the the ps4’s multichannel PCM 7.1 which goes via hdmi into the tv then out of the tv into beam2???

Yes, DTS Surround 5.1 is lower quality audio than multichannel PCM 7.1.

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Optical out on the player, to hdmi converter into the beam2. Selected bitstream on all the output settings, and secondary audio to auto, and surround encoded in the pans menu. And dts surround 5.1  !!!  Great!

Why are you using optical out on the UB820? Optical doesn’t support lossless audio including multichannel PCM audio. You should connect the UB820 from the HDMI Video Out to an HDMI port on the LG CX.

 

So is dts surround 5.1 out of the panasonic direct to beam2, still less quality the the ps4’s multichannel PCM 7.1 which goes via hdmi into the tv then out of the tv into beam2???

Yes, DTS Surround 5.1 is lower quality audio than multichannel PCM 7.1.

Its the only way way to get dts out of the player BECAUSE of the LG tv! The other hdmi audio out port on the 820 wont work direct into the beam, so optical is the only way. Dts surround 5.1 sounds a lot better than the stereo pcm 2.0 i was getting when going through the tv anyway.

After reading and troubleshooting for a long while, it seems that a setup of an LG 2020+ TV, a Sonos Arc, and a Panasonic ub820, you cannot get DTS to play as anything other than stereo without using an Arcana or something similar. Super frustrating, audio is one of those things I just want to work without fussing around with settings. In my case I have a PS5, so I guess I’ll be using that from now on for any disc with DTS. Unfortunate that I can’t use an otherwise amazing player for all my discs, unless I wanted to shell out another $250 for the Arcana.

The not-so-rare cases of a disc having Dolby Vision and DTS do sting.

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After reading and troubleshooting for a long while, it seems that a setup of an LG 2020+ TV, a Sonos Arc, and a Panasonic ub820, you cannot get DTS to play as anything other than stereo without using an Arcana or something similar. Super frustrating, audio is one of those things I just want to work without fussing around with settings. In my case I have a PS5, so I guess I’ll be using that from now on for any disc with DTS. Unfortunate that I can’t use an otherwise amazing player for all my discs, unless I wanted to shell out another $250 for the Arcana.

The not-so-rare cases of a disc having Dolby Vision and DTS do sting.

Ya it is completely stupid that this couldn’t have been fixed by LG/Panasonic, not sure who the culprit is I forget after not reading up on this stuff in some time.  However what I ended up doing was bought that Sony X800M2 from Best Buy when it was on sale for $200 or less some time ago.  Thought it’d be annoying to have 2 but not really, and it’s the cheaper and cleaner alternative over the Arcana or that way overpriced Arcana Vrroom.  I have played a ton of discs in the Sony and have so far not had any issues, so I’ll keep my Panasonic UB820 obviously for disks with Atmos + DV and also since I have custom RF firmware on it I’ll keep for region B/C disks.

I have the same equipment as the OP (C9, Arc, UB820).

If I have a disc with DTS-HD, am I better off getting the UB820 to…

1. Downmix to DTS and send it as bitstream

or…

2. Don't downmix and send it as PCM

 

Which is better from a quality standpoint?

 

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I have the same equipment as the OP (C9, Arc, UB820).

If I have a disc with DTS-HD, am I better off getting the UB820 to…

1. Downmix to DTS and send it as bitstream

or…

2. Don't downmix and send it as PCM

 

Which is better from a quality standpoint?

 

If you can’t get the UB820 to play “Multichannel PCM” audio from DTS discs with option 2, then option 1 is your best choice.

I just wanted to add a little more info here:
 

I have a C9, Sonos Arc and had the Panasonic 820. While many DTS UHD discs has a core lossy stream (Gladiator plays perfectly fine on my setup for example in lossy DTS 5.1), all releases from Arrow Video don't. Both Donnie Darko and Pitch Black only has a lossless DTS stream, and won't output any audio when playing the discs. The only option is to turn on PCM, but that only gives you 2.0 audio.
 

I returned my 820 and went with the Sony 800m2. Seems like the best option now. Or an Xbox. 

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