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Newbie questions Beam with HDMI or optical connection

  • 8 January 2019
  • 9 replies
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Okay, I am very new with Sonos and have just installed 1 Beam and 2 Sonos One.

I have a Samsung TV which is about 7 years old (Samsung ue32eh5300w). It has 3 HDMI ports, but there is no ARC text printed near these HDMI ports.
I thought I just try to connect to one of the HDMI ports and see what happens.
Well, I get the TV sound through the Beam (and the One) speaker and I am able to adjust volume with the remote control.

Does this mean that I do have HDMI with ARC on my TV, even when the specs are not clear about this and it is not printed on the housing?

On my TV I have connected the Motorola TV decoder (through HDMI) and an older DVD player (still with scart).
The DVD player probably will not play 5,1 Surround, but as my Provider told me, the decoder should be able to, like also my Netflix account.
I must admin, I have to do some tests and maybe this question is more about the TV than about the Sonos system, but in the TV settings, I can only find surround settings within the optical connection, not the HDMI?

Is it possible that 5.1 surround can only be used with the optical connection and not the HDMI or is this very unlikely?
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Best answer by Airgetlam 9 January 2019, 00:21

Yes, if you're getting sound without connecting an optical connector and the adapter, then that TV has HDMI-ARC, although most likely one port.

No idea about SCART, it's not something I ever dealt with, but I'd try connecting that DVD player via HDMI instead. Make sure you go in to all of those device's audio settings and set them to Dolby Digital. Some DVD's default to DTS, which will not be interpreted by the Sonos system, you may need to go into that disc's setup and choose the Dolby Digital soundtrack.

HDMI comes in multiple versions (1.1 to 2.1 if memory serves) but I'm pretty sure that all support Dolby Digital.

It's unlikely that if it has HDMI-ARC that it will only be with the optical connection, and not the HDMI-ARC, but you can double check in the controller app what signal the Beam is getting by going in to the settings area, and then selecting "About My Sonos System", and look what the line under the Beam says by "Audio In". That tells you what signal is being received by the Beam, either Dolby Digital 5.1, or Stereo (PCM).
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9 replies

Yes, if you're getting sound without connecting an optical connector and the adapter, then that TV has HDMI-ARC, although most likely one port.

No idea about SCART, it's not something I ever dealt with, but I'd try connecting that DVD player via HDMI instead. Make sure you go in to all of those device's audio settings and set them to Dolby Digital. Some DVD's default to DTS, which will not be interpreted by the Sonos system, you may need to go into that disc's setup and choose the Dolby Digital soundtrack.

HDMI comes in multiple versions (1.1 to 2.1 if memory serves) but I'm pretty sure that all support Dolby Digital.

It's unlikely that if it has HDMI-ARC that it will only be with the optical connection, and not the HDMI-ARC, but you can double check in the controller app what signal the Beam is getting by going in to the settings area, and then selecting "About My Sonos System", and look what the line under the Beam says by "Audio In". That tells you what signal is being received by the Beam, either Dolby Digital 5.1, or Stereo (PCM).
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Hi Bruce!
Tnx for your reply, it was very helpful! Especially the part of the "Audio In" within the "About My Sonos System".

Now I have found out that if I play a movie with the TV's Netflix App, the Beam tells me it's getting dolby 5.1 sound, so it works definitely with the HDMI connection!

The next thing I have to find out is how to get dolby when watching tv. According to the provider, TV channels should also have Dolby... But if I change the sound settings in the decoder from stereo to Dolby, most of the channels don't produce sound at all anymore!
So, there's at least one thing which I hate to mention, but you may want to check. That's the actual cable between your provider's device and your TV. If you can, find another HDMI cable, and try that.

Who's the provider of that Motorola? How old is the cable box?

Make sure, when you're doing testing, that you've got something playing on the cable box that actually has a Dolby Digital signal. If you have HBO or something like that, that's best when messing with audio settings. I happen to be a DirecTV user, but I am aware that there are some TVs (no idea about cable boxes) that won't allow you to choose Dolby Digital unless they're receiving a Dolby Digital signal.

The other thing that strikes me, given the age of your TV (seven years is a long time in TV years....although mine's about that old too 🙂 ) is that when messing with the sound on the cable box, set it to Dolby. Then turn off the TV, unplug it from the wall for a minute, then plug it back in and turn it back on. I'm suggesting that for a couple of reasons, mostly as what I want the TV to do is re-force the HDMI-ARC handshake, which only happens at a full power up, not when you turn off and on the TV using a remote.

You're 90% of the way there, hang tough :)

And of course, you're most welcome.
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The cable is a good one, I will check that one!

The box is a Motorola VIP 1853, not a very new one, but it should support Dolby (and I have found it in the settings).
Also, I have understood that most of the Channels which my Providers delivers are Dolby now....

Unfortunatelly, for delivery reasons, I have one One at the moment, but in a few days I will have two again so I can setup the One's as Surround speakers.
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I am not complete where I would like to be.

I have tried these things:

Opstelling 1
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- TV >> Sonos (HDMI ARC)

Decoder ingesteld op: stereo
Geluid van TV zenders: stereo
Geluid van Netflix App: Dolby
Afstandsbediening te gebruiken voor Sonos: Ja

Opstelling 2
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- TV >> Sonos (HDMI ARC)

Decoder ingesteld op: dolby
Geluid van TV zenders: geen geluid (op Dolby zenders)
Geluid van Netflix App: Dolby
Afstandsbedeining te gebruiken voor Sonos: Ja

Opstelling 3
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- TV >> Sonos (Optisch)

Decoder ingesteld op: stereo
Geluid van TV zenders: stereo
Geluid van Netflix App: Dolby
Afstandsbedeining te gebruiken voor Sonos: Nee

Opstelling 4
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- TV >> Sonos (Optisch)

Decoder ingesteld op: Dolby
Geluid van TV zenders: geen geluid (op Dolby zenders)
Geluid van Netflix App: Dolby
Afstandsbedeining te gebruiken voor Sonos: Nee

Opstelling 5
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- Decoder >> Sonos (Optisch)

Decoder ingesteld op: Stereo
Geluid van TV zenders: stereo
Geluid van Netflix App: geluid van de TV zenders (dus decoder) hoorbaar en niet van Netflix
Afstandsbedeining te gebruiken voor Sonos: Nee

Opstelling 5
- Decoder >> TV (HDMI)
- Decoder >> Sonos (Optisch)

Decoder ingesteld op: Dolby
Geluid van TV zenders: Dolby
Geluid van Netflix App: geluid van de TV zenders (dus decoder) hoorbaar en niet van Netflix
Afstandsbedeining te gebruiken voor Sonos: Nee


Heb ik het juist dat het Dolby geluid van mijn decoder door mijn TV niet doorgestuurd kan worden naar de Sonos?

Heeft er iemand enig idee of ik deze combinatie zodanig kan aansluiten, dat ik het volgende heb:
- Geluid van de Netflix app in Dolby
- Geluid van TV zenders in stereo of Dolby, afhankelijk hoe dit uitgezonden wordt
- Afstandsbediening bedient ook het geluid wat uit de Sonos komt
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It looks like you’re Dutch, like me. Which provider are you using? My Arcadyan box (Telfort/KPN) does deliver Dolby Digital to my Beam via HDMI. You might want to read this thread for more help: https://en.community.sonos.com/setting-up-sonos-228990/questions-over-getting-5-1-pcm-lpcm-dts-etc-6765325/index1.html#post16303633
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Yes I am Dutch (was my English that bad 😛 )
IMy provider is also Telfort, I have an Arcadyan router and a Motorola Decoder.

Does I understand it well, that the problem is within my older TV and that it may be solved by putting an EDID device between my decoder (HDMI out) and my TV (HDMI in)?

If I connect my decoder directly to my Beam, I also get Dolby, but I would like to use my TV apps (Netflix) with Dolby also, so I have to connect the decoder to the TV and the TV to the Beam. Would the EDID device possibly be the solution?
Userlevel 1
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No, part of your question above is in our language ;-)

All these things are a bit trial and error. My Acadyan settop box does provide Dolby Digital to the Sonos Beam via my Samsung UE46D8000 (also about seven years old), as did my Apple TV3. My problems where with my PS4 and my Mede8er, which where, according to all settings outputting Dolby Digital to my TV which was not recognised and not passed through to my Beam. These problems where solved using two different solutions (embedder/extractor for the PS4, EDID device for the Mede8er). As the EDID device is the cheapest solution, I would try that first.
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Haha, no I see! I must have been very tired at that moment!

Thank you for your replies. Maybe I will try the EDID device.
But I have the Sonos setup only a few days now, so I will finetune and test this first, but will try to solve the dolby problem some time later.

There are quit a few things to test and discover if you are coming from an old-school receiver with seperate DVD player and speakers! 🆒

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