Playbar + Multiple sources + Toslink / Optical Switch + TV Output not 5.1

  • 28 November 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 7441 views

Userlevel 1
I purchased my Playbar yesterday and to be truthful did a lot of research comparing sound bars for quality, sound, and cost, but the topic the TV optical/toslink output not passing 5.1 didn't come up until the sales man at BestBuy advised me to check the specs on my TV. Well my Samsung TV (UN55c8000) is one of those that doesn't support 5.1 on the digital output (toslink) port when devices are connected via HDMI to the TV.

I'll save anyone interested in the Playbar / Playbase some 80+ hours of research...read this article.
http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/How-to-Get-5-1-Dolby-Surround-Sound-from-a-SONOS-PlayBar.shtml

Your support forums are full of similar questions requesting advise/information on connecting multiple devices via toslink to the Playbar, yet there is no direct response form Sonos that i can see on a recommended product. I also checked your Shop/Accessories link and no products listed. For such a common issue I don't understand why you don't have a solution or a recommended certified product. The Playbar is expensive and I don't want to pair it with a junk switch and fill your forums with all kinds of questions.

I have been struggling try to find/decide on a toslink/optical auto sensing switch. It seems most are manual and relatively cheep. I did find one from Flexson ($109 vs Sewell $32 ), which claims to be a company that make accessories for Sonos.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YNJQNDC/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I1XXDOHU3MRB5Y&colid=1PVM0MU8HTH74
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VJ8VS62/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=IDNMF7EK2U3B4&colid=1PVM0MU8HTH74

So, what the big difference in the cost??? Neither are auto switching, very little specs on both.

Sonos needs to provide better support and reduce all the chatter on this topic. Your marketing about the simplicity of the single optical input and less wires, get blown out of the water when you have to start adding an optical switch (which requires a power cable and an addition remote for the switch). This is an expensive piece of equipment not to have a certified solution from Sonos. Shame on you to put us though all this.

Do you have a certified product or recommendation?
If I don't find a better/elegant solution soon I am returning it and going with Bose.

PS... hire Chris Boylan to provide Sonos recommendations!

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9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19
Hi there, NJose. Thanks for reaching out. I truly hope that our diverse base of users can point you in the right direction through their own experiences. Sonos will likely not make an official recommendation on a product we do not make. This is because we cannot guarantee the quality of the product. If we were to give a recommendation, we could then be held accountable when a product another company makes fails.

A quick search on the Community pulls up a few threads where Community users have given their experiences with various optical switches.
Userlevel 3
Badge +9
Like you, my Samsung doesn't pass through 5.1. I ended up getting the Monoprice MD-415ARC HDMI audio extractor which has 4 HDMI inputs and extracts the audio to be output via optical. Works great. Yes, this is another device with another remote control but I have the Harmony remote which allows for control and automatic switching of the Monoprice.

In addition, I still wanted to be able to receive audio in 5.1 via antenna. My TV does pass that through. So I invested in this optical switch. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G188Z7A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Again, having the Harmony remote allowed for control of the switch to be on the proper input depending what I'm watching. The setup works flawlessly.
Userlevel 1
NickN,
Are you a [b]Sonos's Staff [/b ]for real? Have you looked at your site?
If your statements are true, then Sonos should remove all non-Sonos products from their accessories page. Items from Sanus, Flexson, Pro-Ject, etc.). By the way Flexson makes optical switches, it's $109 USA.

Let me know when you updated your web site.
Shop Accessories, Add-Ons, and Extras
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/accessories
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
NJose: Those are specific accessories made by companies we have partnerships with. Hence why we can support/sell these accessories on our website. In the previous post, I was specifically talking about a "certified solution from Sonos" that you had in mind (such as an optical switch). Apologies for any confusion caused.

Did you happen to take a look at any of the links I provided for better insight? nifoxke gave a great recommendation above as well.
Userlevel 6
Badge +13
With my Samsung TV I used a KWMOBILE EDID emulator, my TV now passes 5.1 from HDMI inputs through TOSlink now. You need one emulator per HDMI port.

From what I read when the TV "handshakes" with the Set Top Box, Blu-ray player etc it reports itself as a Stereo device so the device will only serve it a Stereo audio signal.

May not work with your setup but worth a try for £25.

I don't have any extra remotes, use the TV as normal and works perfectly.
Keithmac, which Samsung TV do you have? Mine is a UE40D6530 and I would very much like to know whether it will pass through 5.1 from HDMI if I get the same EDID emulator.
Hi all been following this for a while and wanted your thoughts on my plan to allow 5.1 audio through the Sonos setup. I am planning to have a central rack with all clients (Apple TV, Crome cast, Sky etc) all going into an HDMI switch. The output going into a single HDMI cable that will pass through a HDMI audio processor to strip and convert audio to 5.1 analog the optical audio output going into the TV along with the HDMI and the optical audio into the pass through and the TV optical output port going to the Sonos sound bar. Would this set up work in your opinions?
Seems reasonable to me. Although I'd be tempted to wait until June 6 before making a decision. There's a new speaker coming from Sonos, which seems to include an HDMI port of some kind, which may make your life easier.
Try this, it was suggested to me by Sennheiser and works perfectly(and automatically, no switching required!): https://www.jtechdigital.com/j-tech-digital-digital-to-analog-audio-decoder-with-spdif-toslink-3x1-switch-support-5-1ch-audio.html