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Need some advice on setup (dealing with ARC/eARC and multiple inputs)

  • 28 August 2023
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Hi guys I'm looking for some input on how to correctly set up my media setup (unfortunately I'm a bit of a noob in this area).

So the situation I have is as following I have a range of media devices (ps4, Nvidea shied, Calbe box, ...) and 2 output devices A Samsung 4K earc enabled tv and a formovie theatre 4k earc enabled short throw. The audio is connected to a sonos system (earc).

Everything works fine if I connect a single input to a single output and the earc out of either the tv or the ultra short throw to the earc sonos.
My goal is to buy some devices that enable me to switch easily between those devices and stream to the desired output device (they never play at the same time). (the switch boxes are displayed on the schema in orange - yet to be bought).

I would obviously prefer a single remote/device to orchestrate this : aka select desired input and output with it's respective earc to the sonos. Does such a device exist or any tips on how to set this up?
Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Best answer by Anubis012 1 September 2023, 16:07

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21 replies

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Hi @Anubis012 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

If you want multiple input devices to be able to connect to multiple display devices, then the device you are looking for is called an HDMI Matrix.

I think most such devices just split the audio off to an optical connection (which will not support Atmos of any kind), but I did find at least one that would supply eARC from one output device back to a soundbar. I cannot give you a link as that would be construed as a recommendation, which I just can’t do.

I recommend searching using the following search phrase (including the “quotes”): HDMI matrix “eARC”

I hope this helps.

I think the Feintech device is a matrix, but I don’t have any personal experience, they’re seemingly mostly EU based, although possibly @Ken_Griffiths has one?

Here’s a cut and paste of a response, with embedded links in it, to at least get you to a ‘main’ page. I think all of these companies now have secondary devices, it’s probably worth poking around on each website.

There is the HD Fury Arcana, the Feintech VAX04101k, and the latest, is the OREI HDA-935. You can also order from those links from the companies directly, or check your local retailers for availability. Amazon may carry some, depending on location.

I think the Feintech device is a matrix, but I don’t have any personal experience, they’re seemingly mostly EU based, although possibly @Ken_Griffiths has one?

Here’s a cut and paste of a response, with embedded links in it, to at least get you to a ‘main’ page. I think all of these companies now have secondary devices, it’s probably worth poking around on each website.

There is the HD Fury Arcana, the Feintech VAX04101k, and the latest, is the OREI HDA-935. You can also order from those links from the companies directly, or check your local retailers for availability. Amazon may carry some, depending on location.

I can’t see any of the devices mentioned achieving the desired outcome - it needs a switch device with two eARC ports or two HDMI video-out ports and I’m not sure that one exists either🤔. The easiest option for audio is probably to look at an optical switch (from TV & Projector to the Sonos Arc), but it means limiting the audio to (non Atmos) 5.1 surround sound.

I thought (based on hearsay) that Feintech had a new device that had multiple inputs? Now I need to go poke around their website. 

I was thinking the VMS14201 HDMI 2.1 Matrix Switch 4x2 with Audio Extractor might fit the bill, but the effort the OP wants to be doing seems more professional grade to me. 

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Hmmm damn it seems quite tough to achieve this indeed. I thought matrix switches where more for displaying on the same time. I’m more looking for having the output be or on tv or on the projector while the earc audio is always connected to the sonos. I don’t see how I can achieve this with the VMS14201 as it has only 2 outs and cant send the earc to the sonos in that case i feel. Optical isn’t an option either as the sonos doesn’t support it.

would an 4x1 (so the inputs selectable into 1hdmi out) into an arcana (earc to the soundbar) lead the video part of the arcana into a 1x2 (to select the desired output) work? That’s 3 devices however with 2 remotes … 1 selecting input, 1 selecting output) do the trick? Damn this is so difficult to wrap my head around :o.

 

Edit : or maybe the out A from the FeinTech VMS14201 into a 2x1 and the earc port to the soundbar, removes the arcana from the solution.

 

Ps thx for the help already guys, much appreciated!

I thought (based on hearsay) that Feintech had a new device that had multiple inputs? Now I need to go poke around their website. 

I think I was initially mis-reading the diagram, but that said, The Feintech switch/extractor that I use only has the one HDMI TV (video) out port, I’m reading the diagram that the OP is looking for two video outputs that will either auto-switch, or perhaps manually switch the outputs with a ‘remote’... there maybe something on the market that will do this, however I’ve not personally come across one during my travels.

That VMS14201 has that, I think, @Ken_Griffiths 

The next question is why does the OP think that the various Sonos sound bars don’t support optical? I’d think they all do, at the least through this, although that does restrict you to what bandwidth that optical can carry, I,e, Dolby Digital.

The challenge I perceive is that a projector wants to be at the opposite end of the room from the speakers, and you end up with lots of extra cables. And, to be honest, there are extremely few projectors that have ARC, much less eARC in them.

That VMS14201 has that, I think, @Ken_Griffiths 

The next question is why does the OP think that the various Sonos sound bars don’t support optical? I’d think they all do, at the least through this, although that does restrict you to what bandwidth that optical can carry, I,e, Dolby Digital.

The challenge I perceive is that a projector wants to be at the opposite end of the room from the speakers, and you end up with lots of extra cables. And, to be honest, there are extremely few projectors that have ARC, much less eARC in them.

I don’t personally have a TV and Projector in the same room, but if I did I would likely use a separate HDMI switch for each of them for the various A/V inputs, like Fire TV/Nvidia Shield etc; as that seems easier to me, rather than having to switch/share those A/V sources between the two displays. 

It is perhaps easier to output the audio from the TV/Projectors via Optical to an Optical switch (2 in-1 out), with the audio output going to a ‘shared’ Sonos Arc, or similar HT product, but again my own choice would be to use two separate Soundbars, as I would want the audio coming from the direction of the screen/display. I guess it depends where each of those displays and the shared soundbar are positioned in the room.

There maybe A/V switch/extractor devices available, or it may possibly require several devices ‘strung together’ to achieve the shared option, but I often find that having multiple devices in-line can sometimes delay the audio and create lip-sync issues with the video on screen …and when things don’t work as they should, it often also ends up with lots of unplugging/plugging and power-cycling of devices etc. to get them working again. So my own thoughts are to perhaps keep things separate and as simple as possible, even if it the setup may cost a little more than trying to share things between the two displays. 

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For reference the projector is a ultra short throw with a screen that comes up just in front of the existing television. So both are on the same side of the room + anal cables are in the cabinet.

We watch the 65 inch TV on daily basis while we use the big screen for sports games/gaming with a group/uhd movies to get the cinema feeling.

Think going with the VMS14201 and then just splitting the video part of the output with a "dumb" 4k hdr splitter might be the best solution after everything I read here.

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It would look something like this then…
Would this work?

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That VMS14201 has that, I think, @Ken_Griffiths 

The next question is why does the OP think that the various Sonos sound bars don’t support optical? I’d think they all do, at the least through this, although that does restrict you to what bandwidth that optical can carry, I,e, Dolby Digital.

The challenge I perceive is that a projector wants to be at the opposite end of the room from the speakers, and you end up with lots of extra cables. And, to be honest, there are extremely few projectors that have ARC, much less eARC in them.

The projector has arc/earc with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio, DTS:X, DTS-HD so going optical might be possible but bit of a waste I would say, hence why I really wanna go the arc route.

The projector is a formovie theater 4k https://www.formovie.com/products/formovie-theater-4k-laser-projector

Let’s back up a bit. Is there a need to play audio from an App that is running on the TV or projector?

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Let’s back up a bit. Is there a need to play audio from an App that is running on the TV or projector?

Yeah the projector has arc out and indeed leading that into the sonos would be perfect.

That's where the Feintech VAX04101k seems very promising. Except only one output screen. 

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Euhm isn't this exactly what I need?

https://feintech.eu/en/products/vax04201-hdmi-earc-pass-matrix-switch-4x2-fur-soundbar :o

 

The connection picture seems like my setup. 

3 inputs, not 4.

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3 inputs, not 4.

true but if that’s the sacrifice I have to make and all else is in one device + feedback from the projector. I can probably live with switching out the occasional x device.

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Small update : I bought it and i’ll update the thread with my findings once I get it. Might help some other people later.

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Hooked it up today, DV with Dolby Atmos/DTS-HD playing perfectly!!! From all sources including the internal apps from the projector!

Thanks for the help guys.

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I have a Samsung TV (UA55ES7500M purchased in 2013) with a Sonos Arc soundbar purchased a year ago, connected to a Sonos Amp (with Silver brand speakers). The HDMI (arc) connection has been working perfectly, since I installed the Arc.

Three days ago (1 sep) it stopped working and the sound output defaulted to the TV speakers. A TV factory reset restored the sound output connection to the HDMI (arc) port and sound again came through the arc sound bar.  However after the next power off/on, the TV sound output again defaulted to the TV speakers.

Here is a very strange thing. If I manually change the TV sound output to the HDMI(arc) port, the sound is played through the arc soundbar - I.e. it  actually works but ONLY on 2 free to air TV channels (12 and 15) plus the internet app Samsung TV channels. I have checked this several times and channels 12 and 15 have sound via the sound bar but none of the other free to air channels have sound via the sound bar.

Does anyone have any ideas?

My suspicion is that a Samsung TV software update around the 1 Sep triggered the change in behaviour but how do I convince Samsung of this?

Elsewhere is this discussion there is talk of an upgrade to HDMI version 2.1 cables being a fix. Is this worth pursuing?

cheers

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Hi @John L B 

I think you are a little off-topic for this thread. I recommend you start your own thread with this question.

Incidentally, it does indeed seem that Samsung changed something with their recent update - there have been a few new threads related to Samsung TVs over the weekend. The issue seems to be with Dolby Digital + specifically, and I don’t see how a cable upgrade would fix anything.