Passing Dolby 5.1 from Samsung UHD6500 to Playbar - works great now!

  • 19 November 2017
  • 12 replies
  • 2804 views

Make sure you update all software on your tv, blu-ray player, and set-top cable box. I made two changes on my Samsung blu-ray player bd-f5900 (changed digital output setting to the 4th menu choice - Bitstream (Re-encoded Dolby Digital) and set Downmixing Mode to Surround Compatible); and two more changes on my tv - I changed the HDMI Audio Format to Bitstream and turned HD Audio setting to On. Then, I changed a setting in my ATT dsl cable box from digital output Stereo to Surround Compatible. Now, all my Hi-Def content shows up as Dolby Digital 5.1 input on my playbar - all my 5.1 movies, netflix, etc. Sounds great!

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12 replies

Bravo!!!!!

After 2 hrs with Samsung support to no avail - i find your post in in 2 minutes solves my constant frustration with no audio playing on DVD or only playing commentary track when playing with sound settings!!

THANK YOU!!!

;););)
Was using an audio extractor to get 5.1 since my slightly older Samsung couldn’t do it for the usual reason. It’s a UN75H6350. Saw this post and thought I’d try the optical out on the TV and see if a Christmas miracle occurred. It did. My TV is now passing 5.1 from my Apple TV through the the toslink out. Hallelujah. I’m running latest software available for the TV. Thanks for the post!
IMHO, if you have reasonably recent samsung equipment (tv and blu-ray player), or any other branded equipment for that matter, you should be able to make all necessary changes in your hardware's software menus (see my original post for details) to ensure everything Dolby 5.1 passes through to your playbar using the standard digital audio cable between your tv and the playbar. You shouldn't need any digital splitter boxes, extra hdmi cables, or other voodoo. Before you even try to get this to work, you MUST update all your hardware's software. If your hardware won't update wirelessly, just plug in a network cable to your wifi router and it will work. I had to make software adjustments to my tv, blu-ray player, and set-top dsl cable box. Keep in mind your original content must be in hi-def formats to have any benefit to pass through (I subscibe to hi-def cable channels and hi-def Netflix, etc.). This entire problem could be solved for most people using their existing hardware if Sonos did a better job of explaining it. I'm certain many people buy sonos stuff thinking 5.1 is a no-brainer, can't get it to work properly, and end up returning it - and they'll very, very unhappy.
Glad it helped! I spent so much time trying to figure it out I almost gave up. Before I figured out the changes, I bought two different digital connection boxes, neither of which worked. This is so poorly documented it's inexcusable.
Glad it worked! It really sounds great when you get it figured out.
Userlevel 3
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Was using an audio extractor to get 5.1 since my slightly older Samsung couldn’t do it for the usual reason. It’s a UN75H6350. Saw this post and thought I’d try the optical out on the TV and see if a Christmas miracle occurred. It did. My TV is now passing 5.1 from my Apple TV through the the toslink out. Hallelujah. I’m running latest software available for the TV. Thanks for the post!

Interesting. I have the same TV but in a 55". I was told it doesn't pass through 5.1 via optical for any source other than the built in features (antenna and apps). I've never bothered with plugging my HDMI sources into the TV once I switched to my Sonos setup. I wonder if it would be worthwhile since I'm currently using an audio extractor and optical switcher... although I don't really feel like unplugging and plugging in all the wires.
As of about 1 month ago, my TV didn't pass 5.1 from external HDMI sources either. It did work fine for the built in tuner and onboard apps. So I installed an extractor, which I hated because it's a band-aid and a bit of a nuisance. As of yesterday, my TV is now passing 5.1 through that optical port from external sources. The TV must've received a software update.

Pretty sure yours will work now too, after you do the update.


Was using an audio extractor to get 5.1 since my slightly older Samsung couldn’t do it for the usual reason. It’s a UN75H6350. Saw this post and thought I’d try the optical out on the TV and see if a Christmas miracle occurred. It did. My TV is now passing 5.1 from my Apple TV through the the toslink out. Hallelujah. I’m running latest software available for the TV. Thanks for the post!

Interesting. I have the same TV but in a 55". I was told it doesn't pass through 5.1 via optical for any source other than the built in features (antenna and apps). I've never bothered with plugging my HDMI sources into the TV once I switched to my Sonos setup. I wonder if it would be worthwhile since I'm currently using an audio extractor and optical switcher... although I don't really feel like unplugging and plugging in all the wires.
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Good work!, I'm planning on a new TV after Christmas (will be another Samsung) but not looking forward to finding a 5.1 compatible one (HDMI to TOSlink).
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Badge +9
As of about 1 month ago, my TV didn't pass 5.1 from external HDMI sources either. It did work fine for the built in tuner and onboard apps. So I installed an extractor, which I hated because it's a band-aid and a bit of a nuisance. As of yesterday, my TV is now passing 5.1 through that optical port from external sources. The TV must've received a software update.

Pretty sure yours will work now too, after you do the update.


Was using an audio extractor to get 5.1 since my slightly older Samsung couldn’t do it for the usual reason. It’s a UN75H6350. Saw this post and thought I’d try the optical out on the TV and see if a Christmas miracle occurred. It did. My TV is now passing 5.1 from my Apple TV through the the toslink out. Hallelujah. I’m running latest software available for the TV. Thanks for the post!

Interesting. I have the same TV but in a 55". I was told it doesn't pass through 5.1 via optical for any source other than the built in features (antenna and apps). I've never bothered with plugging my HDMI sources into the TV once I switched to my Sonos setup. I wonder if it would be worthwhile since I'm currently using an audio extractor and optical switcher... although I don't really feel like unplugging and plugging in all the wires.


I checked for a software update not too long ago and there wasn't anything relatively new available. Their website shows the most recent firmware as being from December 2016.
I'm assuming the software was updated, but I can go check the version info later. I'm fairly savvy with AV gear and I tried every combo of audio settings. The extractor was the only thing that would work. I was considering going with an EDID minder. Anyhow, it does work at this point. Perhaps it was a software update on the AppleTV that is forcing DD through to the TV, but I had a Roku stick that wouldn't send DD through HDMI either. I actually didn't try that since 5.1 started working. I'll poke around tonight.
Userlevel 3
Badge +9
IMHO, if you have reasonably recent samsung equipment (tv and blu-ray player), or any other branded equipment for that matter, you should be able to make all necessary changes in your hardware's software menus (see my original post for details) to ensure everything Dolby 5.1 passes through to your playbar using the standard digital audio cable between your tv and the playbar. You shouldn't need any digital splitter boxes, extra hdmi cables, or other voodoo. Before you even try to get this to work, you MUST update all your hardware's software. If your hardware won't update wirelessly, just plug in a network cable to your wifi router and it will work. I had to make software adjustments to my tv, blu-ray player, and set-top dsl cable box. Keep in mind your original content must be in hi-def formats to have any benefit to pass through (I subscibe to hi-def cable channels and hi-def Netflix, etc.). This entire problem could be solved for most people using their existing hardware if Sonos did a better job of explaining it. I'm certain many people buy sonos stuff thinking 5.1 is a no-brainer, can't get it to work properly, and end up returning it - and they'll very, very unhappy.

I did my fair share of research before making the investment in my 5.1 setup. Which is why I reached out to Samsung themselves who stated my TV will not pass through 5.1 via optical for anything other than antenna and the built in apps. Other research I did indicated that it's a fairly common thing among Samsungs to not pass through 5.1. So I bought my extractor and optical switch ahead of time so that I knew with certainty that everything would work. I didn't mind having to buy these items as they were inexpensive and easily controlled with my Harmony remote.

Now, I do agree that any modern TV should have the ability to pass through 5.1 whether they're on a newer software/firmware or not. It seems like a pretty basic thing that any TV should be capable of. It's unfortunate that the TV can be hang-up when investing in an expensive system such as Sonos.
So, I'm wrong, I think. They original post mentioned new software on the TV and I thought my TV downloaded new firmware. I had recently turned on WiFi, so new firmware seemed to be the likely cause of the 5.1 surround I'm now enjoying without the extractor. But my Apple TV recently updated too. So now it seems like my Apple TV is capable of sending 5.1 to my TV, regardless of the HDMI handshake.

I can tell you that, with certainty, the Apple TV 4K is now capable of convincing my particular Samsung TV to output Dolby D via it's S/PDIF out. It's not a universal thing though. Only the Apple TV works. My Roku Stream stick can't do it. I have both of the HDMI streaming devices set to output Dobly D audio. The Roku just transmits PCM. Hope the Apple TV continues to do it's thing.