Playbar with new Connect (DTS solution)

  • 28 January 2015
  • 25 replies
  • 13294 views

Userlevel 2
I have the same problem like many others here that Sonos offers the perfect speaker solution for my home theater setup, but I would like the option to have DTS, or possibly Dolby TrueHD / DTS:Neo... Maybe even create a 7.1 setup or have the possibility to add Dolby Atmos or Auro3D in the future with a simple software update and the additional speakers... 

But we all know the problem is the optical connection, why not create a Connect2 or a PlayHub (call it whatever), that has one or more HDMI input(s) and one HDMI output, that can use the DTS track (or other HD audio-tracks) and sent it via the network connection to the playbar and surround speakers. This way you could bypass the optical connection which is a bottleneck at the moment (bandwidth wise). 

This way customers who want more out of their PlayBar hometheater setup, can buy this new Connect or PlayHub and get everything they need! 

Everybody else just use the Playbar the way its originally intended to... 

Win-win for everybody... 

25 replies

Cool idea! Never thought about the network port for transmission. Would like to see that!
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I am not a techie, so can you please explain for me how this is materially different than using a switch that includes an optical output to the Playbar?
Userlevel 2
I am not a techie, so can you please explain for me how this is materially different than using a switch that includes an optical output to the Playbar?
The major problem is:
Impossible with the current Playbar hardware. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD cannot be passed by optical, only HDMI.So I was thinking there must be a way that we can use HDMI as input (since the optical input has its bandwidth limitations), without offering a complete new playbar...

I and most other people want the possibility to use their current hardware (since its very good and it was expensive), but still have the possibility to kind of upgrade it with an extra device (like a new Connect device or something similar that has one or more HDMI inputs).

HDMI kind of became the standard in home-theater and even on modern receivers the "old" inputs are slowly disappearing or getting less.

Since the network port can handle pretty much anything and is future proof, this might be the solution for Sonos.

Its just an idea...
I too am in the position where Ive been researching my next surround sound solution as I am moving into a new house where running cables is a no no due to the house being recently decorated. So I heard the sonos demo'd in a store and fell in love with the sound and the looks and it solves my cabling issues.

I then thought I would go home and do some research and read some reviews (as I would normally do with anything I buy, especially something that isn't cheap)

So I kept seeing many negative feedbacks regarding the lack of dts support for the sonos solution on countless reviews sites. I own a Samsung ue55he8500 tv which outputs dts 2.5, I also own many blurays and have movie files save to hardrive that only support dts so this would be a major issue especially when purchasing something that really isn't cheap.

I am now in a situation where I need to decide whether I spend the +£1500 on this or look for an alternative for my money as the last thing I want to have is regrets over my purchase. A real shame as I can honestly say if there was the support for dts there would be no question of my purchase.... Hopefully there is a solution released soon and before I find an alternative solution.
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I had a nice guy from SONOS France on the phone. He told me they realize the problem and that they will eventually have to change their answers on DTS problem. The thing is, they seem too scared to ask people to change their hardware which is not at all in SONOS philosophy... Is there a techi out there that can tell if a software upgrade would be enough to pass DTS via optical?
Userlevel 3
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Support for decoding DTS could be added with a software update to the PLAYBAR. However, the optical cable does not have the bandwidth to carry the lossless versions of DTS-HD or Dolby TRUEHD. An HDMI connection is required to play HD audio. I like the idea of hardwiring the Playbar to the network and using the network connection to carry the audio stream. Hopefully Sonos is listening here.

Users here have speculated that Sonos doesn't want to pay the licensing fee to support DTS which is frustrating considering the cost of the item.
Userlevel 5
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I am now in a situation where I need to decide whether I spend the +£1500 on this or look for an alternative for my money as the last thing I want to have is regrets over my purchase. A real shame as I can honestly say if there was the support for dts there would be no question of my purchase.... Hopefully there is a solution released soon and before I find an alternative solution.
I can tell you for sure that when I got my PLAYBAR I did the same thing as you and had the same concerns and really felt like I would be missing out by not having that DTS support but here me here when I say YOU WON'T HAVE ANY REGRETS once you hear that thing in your home. I literally don't even care about DTS support anymore. The PLAYBAR does (in my opinion) the best job at home theatre sound that I've ever come across. Plus you can get Blu-Ray players or both the PS4, PS3, and Xbox One who actively convert a DTS stream to Dolby Digital 5.1.
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I am now in a situation where I need to decide whether I spend the +£1500 on this or look for an alternative for my money as the last thing I want to have is regrets over my purchase. A real shame as I can honestly say if there was the support for dts there would be no question of my purchase.... Hopefully there is a solution released soon and before I find an alternative solution.
I can tell you for sure that when I got my PLAYBAR I did the same thing as you and had the same concerns and really felt like I would be missing out by not having that DTS support but here me here when I say YOU WON'T HAVE ANY REGRETS once you hear that thing in your home. I literally don't even care about DTS support anymore. The PLAYBAR does (in my opinion) the best job at home theatre sound that I've ever come across. Plus you can get Blu-Ray players or both the PS4, PS3, and Xbox One who actively convert a DTS stream to Dolby Digital 5.1.


I would have to agree the sound is amazing. It's better than any multi-thousand dollar Bose system, and yes, I did own a Bose Accoustimas. A PS3 indeed will downmix the audio from a Bluray so that the Playbar receives a compatible surround signal. The only Samsung players that will do this are a couple years old now and becoming more difficult to find. I think Sonos has to budge on their stance on this issue eventually, at least I hope they will. *fingers crossed*

As far as waiting, I knew when I bought the Playbar/Sub what the limitations were and still have no regrets, even though I've been outspoken about the lack of DTS.
I agree with the sonos connect upgrade, but to add another idea allow us to also use 3 play 3s or 5s as left right and center channels so we are not just limited to the playbar for surround systems.
This is the only reason why I'm stuck and reluctant to buy anything (researched Denon Heos, Polk Omni, Bose, DTS Play-Fi systems, etc) all of them fall short compare to Sonos ecosystem and specially the app. Sonos is taking a lousy position justifying the reason they only use SPDIF/optical is to make it easy for the users and at the same time crippling their products as acceptable home theater solution, I just can't believe in 2016 Sonos doesn't support the worldwide accepted HDMI interface for audio reproduction. Bose does it on their SoundTouch systems, so why the heck Sonos cannot do it as well. Please we need the Connect 2, the PlayHub or whatever you want to call it as Kasimir well describe it. I want to spend thousands of my hard earned dollars in Sonos and this is the only reason why I haven't done it yet.
+1 from me
Solution:
http://www.octavainc.com/image/HDMI%20switch%204x1%20ARC/4x1-HDMI-switch+ARC-app2.jpg
Userlevel 2
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Another Solution is Yamaha MusicCast if you looking for a new setup
It is not as polished as Sonos but given time I reckon it will improve
Yahama got the money and resource to up their game in this arena.

http://www.techhive.com/article/3034868/speakers/yamaha-musiccast-review-this-multi-room-audio-system-is-better-than-expected.html

I got Sonos speakers only and love it, holding off buying playbar until Sonos up their game and if they still stuck in the dinosaur age
comes 5-10 years from now when I upgrade the world would have moved on and plenty of established player by then I go for other brands
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The problem with all the workarounds to the playbars limitations is that they are workarounds. Sonos markets the Playbar as another one of its plug-and-play solutions. Just use the TV as your HDMI switcher and whamo, instant home theater. Unfortunately, it don't work that way in other than very basic setups. The playbar itself is approaching the cost of the TV and that doesn't include the cost of a decent HDMI switch. The octava is $250 for goodness sake. It's one thing for me to connect and run that setup but it's a whole different story for my wife, kids and visitors. Too many remotes, too many different considerations. This has to be on first, then select that, select the right switch channel, change the source on the TV, make sure the blue light is on/off/whatever. People feel compelled to buy a new TV and/or DVD/Blu-ray player to accommodate the Playbar's limitations - really? I love my Sonos speakers but you have to admit that they stubbed their toe big time a couple of years ago when the failed to anticipate what the playbar should be and where the wireless speaker market was going. They are in catch-up mode now after leading for a decade.
To SONOS marketing team:
Guys, as a marketing professional, I am very surprised by this product marketing problem of yours!
As far as I understand, the problem comes from the fact that the DTS license is expensive and SONOS does not (yet) want to invest in this - as perhaps they see this feature as not essential, more on the marketing side of the product.
However, as there is a pool of customers or potential customers who would PAY for this extra feature, SONOS could take advantage and transform this problem into an OPPORTUNITY! It is very simple: just add this OPTION to the Playbar (or Connect) for an extra fee! It could be very easy added with a software upgrade, perhaps in the app. If you don't believe people are willing to pay for this feature, just take a look in this forum at what solutions and workarounds people found (some of them very expensive) to add this DTS feature to their system.
This could easily be a secondary source of revenue for SONOS, from the same line of products.
Nice idea, except DTS requires a specific processor to decode, and neither the Playbar, nor the Connect have this processor. As to doing it in software, it is assumed that the reason Sonos once said it may be possible is because they were trying to get DTS to relent on its policy to require the DTS hardware, and failed in that attempt. Though this is an (educated) assumption.
Is there a real solution for DTS with an HDMI switch and if so which one?
An HDMI switch is not going to turn DTS into anything else. But I am not sure exactly what you mean by a 'real solution for DTS'.
I mean is there a way to play DTS on Sonos without Plex or something to do transcoding? I play movies from my NAS. They all have a DTS track and are mostly 4K so around 50GB+ in size. Plex cant transcode that, certainly not on NAS (DS916+).
Userlevel 7
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I mean is there a way to play DTS on Sonos without Plex or something to do transcoding? I play movies from my NAS. They all have a DTS track and are mostly 4K so around 50GB+ in size. Plex cant transcode that, certainly not on NAS (DS916+).

Sonos can't handle DTS. FULL STOP. So self evidently there is no way to play DTS on the Playbar/Playbase without transcoding
There is no way to play DTS on Sonos. It has to be transcoded.
😉 OK Back to the shop for Sonos Playbase it is. Hello Denos Heos Bar which supports everything and has 4* HMDI.
I had a nice guy from SONOS France on the phone. He told me they realize the problem and that they will eventually have to change their answers on DTS problem. The thing is, they seem too scared to ask people to change their hardware which is not at all in SONOS philosophy... Is there a techi out there that can tell if a software upgrade would be enough to pass DTS via optical?

Not possible.
Optical (toslink) cannot support the bandwidth or amount of data required for anything much more than Dolby Digital 5.1.
This has been a concern of mine as Dolby 5.1 is 90’s technology and I’ve had my system for years now with now updates/changes to support hd audio of any kind. I use a PS3 to down convert dts hd audio to dolby 5.1 and put it through an optical switch so i can watch tv as well. This really sucks. Basically, you guys at sonos need a swift kick in the arse.
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Sonos is a music company first, they don't care so much about home theater - that's why they are not listening
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;) OK Back to the shop for Sonos Playbase it is. Hello Denos Heos Bar which supports everything and has 4* HMDI.

Not quite, the Denos Bar does not support HDR pass-through so it's useless for me

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