Question

Multi-device setup with a receiver, replacing 5.1 speakers with Sonos

  • 29 October 2016
  • 15 replies
  • 1244 views

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Hey all. I'd like to replace my current speaker setup, which is a 5.1 Energy setup, with a playbar, sub, and two play 1s. I currently have a Pioneer VSX-1019AH that is acting as the brains for TV, Roku, Mac Mini, etc. The TV is mounted above and only connected to the receiver via HDMI into the one and only HDMI out port. Since the Playbar only has optical audio, I don't know how to do this and still have my receiver run everything.

How do others set up a system with multiple sources with a Playbar and receiver? Seems like it was designed to only plug into the TV. I'd rather not have to go buy a new receiver to do this and I can't plug everything directly into the TV.

Thanks for the help!

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15 replies

Userlevel 7
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Can't you use the optical out from the tv to the playbar, then anything showing on the tv, the sound will be passed to the playbar.
Your problem will come with DTS decoding, and whether your tv will pass DD5.1 through the optical lead, many do not. In which case your will only get stereo, stereo with simulated surround, or no sound at all with DTS from dvd player.
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I guess my biggest question is how to get the playbar and other Sonos to play from sources other than the TV in that scenario? Right now the receiver controls what device is playing at the moment and routes the sound and video to the proper places. If the Soundbar is only connected to the TV, how do I play sound from the Roku or a DVD player?

I was thinking about getting something like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DKECVAO/ref=crt_ewc_img_dp_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2RNQR12E7XN07

Does the community think that switcher will work in my scenario with my receiver?
Userlevel 7
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Most people seem to use a switcher with the playbar, to overcome their TV not passing through optical DD5.1
Maybe something with more connections would give future connection possibilities, like this:-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017MUWYLS?psc=1
Just the first one I looked at.
You could then sell the receiver?
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This device looks awesome! Anyone on the community used one? Also, just curious, does the playbar then sync with the sub and surrounds in order to play any source through all 4 speakers (playbar, sub, surrounds)?
Userlevel 7
just curious, does the playbar then sync with the sub and surrounds in order to play any source through all 4 speakers (playbar, sub, surrounds)?

The switch in the link provided by Paulw123 will allow the one (1) HDMI connection to your TV and optical to the Playbar to keep things neat. The Playbar becomes the "Brains" for audio as the Sub and Surrounds are BONDED to it. Simply put ....yes everything will be in sync. Hopefully your TV remote is IR or if RF came with a blaster so that you can use it to control the Playbar volume. If your remote is BT there is another work-a-round. You will still have to go to your TV's speaker menu and set the speakers to external. The Sonos Controller App for Playbar setup will help you silence your TV speakers. Good Luck!

Cheers!
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Thanks again! I am using a Harmony One remote so hoping I can include the remote from the HDMI switcher on it. Looks like I have a solution, thanks to all!
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So I just ordered all the speakers and the switcher but I have another question as I think about the setup. Once i'm using the HDMI switcher, ideally with my Logitech Harmony remote, how do I control volume? Will I need to take out my phone every time I want to adjust the volume? That will kind of suck if so.
Userlevel 7
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You should be able to program the harmony remote to work with playbar
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2022/~/programming-the-logitech-harmony-remote-to-control-the-playbar
Sonos works with hub based products
https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-experience-with-sonos
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My suspicions are confirmed! My old Harmony One won't work because its IR based. Shoot!
My suspicions are confirmed! My old Harmony One won't work because its IR based. Shoot!


The Playbar has an ir receiver, why wouldn't that work?
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The LHC - I was going off the note at the top of this link: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2022/~/programming-the-logitech-harmony-remote-to-control-the-playbar?_ga=1.156969531.1849545700.1460425582

It says it only works with some Harmony remotes. I guess I can always play with it when it arrives but I didn't know the Playbar had an IR receiver

This also says it won't work: https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-experience-with-sonos
I can assure you that it works fine with a Harmony One remote 🙂
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I can assure you that it works fine with a Harmony One remote :)

Thank you! Didn't really want to trop another $300!
IR Harmony remotes won't work to control all Sonos speakers, only the Hub based remotes will do that because they are Ethernet based. But an IR based Harmony can be used to control the Playbar. Just shut the volume off on the TV and program the Playbar to use the TV IR codes (or assign the volume to another device and use those codes). Programming the Playbar is easy, just choose the remote setup routine from the Sonos app, point the remote at the Playbar and hit the volume up. The Playbar reads the code and you are all done.
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Most people seem to use a switcher with the playbar, to overcome their TV not passing through optical DD5.1
Maybe something with more connections would give future connection possibilities, like this:-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017MUWYLS?psc=1
Just the first one I looked at.
You could then sell the receiver?


So I have this all set up but I'm running into an interesting problem. The Playbar or the switch, not sure which one, keeps losing signal when I power the system off or start using the Sonos to play music from the app. When this happens, if I unplug the HDMI switch and back in, it seems to reconnect to the Sonos. Does anyone know how the Sonos prioritizes the inputs? Any other suggestions here? Thanks!