Outdoor theatre

  • 2 June 2017
  • 6 replies

Is it possible to connect my Sonos to my MacBook which will run a projector to project a local sporting event televised on local channel. We have several Play 1's, Play 3 and a Boost.

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6 replies

Hi heagarty5, Welcome to the community!

In order to play the output of the Macbook directly, you'd need to connect the headphone out of the Macbook to a Line In capable SONOS product, then you would be able to output the audio from the computer to SONOS, however you may have a delay in the sound relative to the picture, due to the analog to digital conversion process. The ideal way would be with a optical output direct from the projector to either a PLAYBAR/PLAYBASE which have an optical connection, allowing for zero latency to the the picture, hope this helps.
Matt R,

It's been suggested before that the delay wasn't to do with conversion of the audio to digital, but buffering required for multi-room sync on a 2.4Ghz network. Would you clarify which is correct, please?
Hey Bruce,

Good point, both the Analog to Digital Conversion and the buffering contribute, they are kind of part of the same process, you can't have an ADC without a Buffer, i.e. the ADC is sampling the analog signal say 44100 times per second this output needs to go somewhere ( i.e. the buffer) so the two combined potentially add around a 70ms. See here for a little more on ADC and buffering

It's very relative/personal in relation to the listener/watcher and positioning of products, some people use the analog line in and group with multiple zones ( over 2.4Ghz) and have no issues with sync to the picture, whereas another person would experience an issue with sync, even on the same system.

If line In compression is turned on however this will dramatically the latency increase to around 2000ms and therefore to run without compression the wireless environment needs to be pristine, which is often not the case, which is why we say the line inputs aren't designed for video/picture based sources as most people's Wifi isn't Pristine.

Hope this makes some sense
It does, indeed, and I thank you for the clarification!
I have a movie screen outside with a dell projector and a windows PC. I have 2 sonos 5's, 2 3's and 3 1's. I'd like to hook them up for movie sound. Any way this or some variation could work? The sonos i have don't have headphone jacks. They have a telecomm type.
Well, you won't get Dolby Digital (5.1) out of that, as none of the speakers you have will decode an appropriate signal. That being said, you could conceivably get the sound in to the Sonos ecosystem by plugging in to the line-in jacks on one of the Play:5s, which would give you stereo sound, assuming some of those speakers are set up as stereo pairs, and you use a stereo cable, and of course there's an appropriate headphone jack on your Dell. The issue is, which has been discussed above, is that there's a certain amount of latency involved, which might make the lip-sync a problem for you.

At the end of the day, the only real solution for video sync is a Playbar or Playbase. Although from what I've seen, some people don't notice the delay, and it works for them. For me, it drives me crazy, and I prefer a true 5.1 sound whenever possible.