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projector recommendations for beam + apple TV

  • 13 October 2018
  • 23 replies
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I currently have two Play:1 speakers and an Apple TV and would like to purchase a projector to use as my TV.

Can you please recommend any HD projectors that I can use as my TV that will be compatible with with any of the Sonos products that will allow me to connect to apple TV (Play:5, Beam, or Playbar)?
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Best answer by melvimbe 19 October 2018, 16:50

Typically speaking, the playbar/playbase/beam/sonos amp (sonos speaker) should connect to your TV/projector. Therefore, your TV/projector needs to have either a optical output or HDMI/ARC, with passthrough of dolby digital 5.1. We often see that projectors don't meet the requirement, in which case you can connect your sonos speaker directly to the Apple TV, if it's the only video source you intend to use.

All that said, I can't say I've seen a specific projector that I would recommend. It might be better to just find one that meets the video quality requirements you're looking for, and then just handle audio directly from the source (apple TV) to the sonos speaker.

As far as avoiding wiring between your projector area and where you want to place a sound bar, the best thing to do if possible would be to have wires behind the ceiling/walls. Of course that usually isn't practical. The other thing I've seen is to use wireless HDMI to send the audio/video from the projector area to the sound bar. You will likely then need a convertor to change from HDMI to optical audio into the soundbar. In general though, I'd say projector and soundbars don't mix well.
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Badge +1
I have the same ask, and also, is there any way to avoid a long dangling cable from the projector to the Beam/Playbar/etc?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Typically speaking, the playbar/playbase/beam/sonos amp (sonos speaker) should connect to your TV/projector. Therefore, your TV/projector needs to have either a optical output or HDMI/ARC, with passthrough of dolby digital 5.1. We often see that projectors don't meet the requirement, in which case you can connect your sonos speaker directly to the Apple TV, if it's the only video source you intend to use.

All that said, I can't say I've seen a specific projector that I would recommend. It might be better to just find one that meets the video quality requirements you're looking for, and then just handle audio directly from the source (apple TV) to the sonos speaker.

As far as avoiding wiring between your projector area and where you want to place a sound bar, the best thing to do if possible would be to have wires behind the ceiling/walls. Of course that usually isn't practical. The other thing I've seen is to use wireless HDMI to send the audio/video from the projector area to the sound bar. You will likely then need a convertor to change from HDMI to optical audio into the soundbar. In general though, I'd say projector and soundbars don't mix well.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hello lightmove and Telecart

Projectors are not Sonos compatible or in-compatible. As long as the proper connections are available and you're trying to connect the right Sonos gear (i.e. Playbar/ Playbase that require optical or Beam that can use either) the brand of projector is up to you.

Typical connections would be:

AppleTV HDMI to Projector
Audio Out from Projector to Playbar/Playbase/Beam. You may have to purchase a coaxial to optical converter.

Unfortunately, there's no way you can avoid the cables :(

Cheers!
Badge +1
wondering if his set up could work to avoid the cables:

assuming AppleTV is only source, I split its HDMI out to S/PDIF and HDMI with something like this:
https://www.kanex.com/hdmi-optical-audio

AppleTV is in front of room, which you want for the remote anyway I assume?

I then plug the S/PDIF directly to the Beam/Playbar/Playbase (probably Beam for me)
and plug the HDMI end to HDMI transmitter thing like this:
https://www.iogear.com/product/GW3DHDKIT/
(they even have a version that'll do 4K though I don't care much about that and doubt I can afford a 4K projector anyway)

the receiving end of which I plug to a projector in the rear of the room.

Beam is the brain of Sonos HT, so I can set up two Play:1s and sub and get surround and voila?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
@Telecart

The Beam will not accept Optical direct it must be via the Optical converter (supplied with the Beam) connected to the HDMI cable (supplied with the Beam).

Therefore you might as well go HDMI AppleTV to Projector and Audio-out Projector to Beam (most likely requiring coaxial converter to optical and the same would apply for Playbar/Playbase).

As far as wireless transmitting AV to projector I've not heard pro or con. However, that's a lot of data sent wireless.

Cheers!
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@Telecart

The Beam will not accept Optical direct it must be via the Optical converter (supplied with the Beam) connected to the HDMI cable (supplied with the Beam).

Therefore you might as well go HDMI AppleTV to Projector and Audio-out Projector to Beam (most likely requiring coaxial converter to optical and the same would apply for Playbar/Playbase).



AjTrek1, I'm not seeing how your plan is better than Telecart. In both cases, you're going to use optical.. In your case though, you're going to have two wires between the front and the back of the room.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@Telecart

The Beam will not accept Optical direct it must be via the Optical converter (supplied with the Beam) connected to the HDMI cable (supplied with the Beam).

Therefore you might as well go HDMI AppleTV to Projector and Audio-out Projector to Beam (most likely requiring coaxial converter to optical and the same would apply for Playbar/Playbase).



AjTrek1, I'm not seeing how your plan is better than Telecart. In both cases, you're going to use optical.. In your case though, you're going to have two wires between the front and the back of the room.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
@Telecart

The Beam will not accept Optical direct it must be via the Optical converter (supplied with the Beam) connected to the HDMI cable (supplied with the Beam).

Therefore you might as well go HDMI AppleTV to Projector and Audio-out Projector to Beam (most likely requiring coaxial converter to optical and the same would apply for Playbar/Playbase).



AjTrek1, I'm not seeing how your plan is better than Telecart. In both cases, you're going to use optical.. In your case though, you're going to have two wires between the front and the back of the room.


melvimbe, I'm not saying the plan is better...just that he can't run straight optical into the Beam as he was planning. IMO it's 6 in one hand and 1/2 dozen in the other. :? Unless he can somehow hide the wires as you suggested. Overhead Projectors installed after-the-fact are always a dicy proposition as far as looking clean.
Badge +1
Thanks @AjTrek1 - I didn't realize Beam won't accept S/PDIF direct; that may be a point in favor of Playbar in that case, esp. since I think the AppleTV will give me my Airplay2 anyway.
The problem with the solution you suggest is it doesn't save me the long dangling cable from the projector to the Beam.
Couldn't I connect the Beam Optical Converter to the Kanex splitter though?

edit to add: or maybe a splitter to two HDMI streams like this?
https://www.hdfury.com/product/avr-key/
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Badge +22
Telecart

I can't comment on your connections (which on paper sound feasible) other than to say that the more gadgets that are substituted for a direct connection as intended the more likelihood you are to run into problems (i.e.video and/or audio). Wireless connections are especially iffy since you are already dealing with a wireless product (i.e. Sonos Playbar/Playbase/Beam to send data to Sub and/or Surrounds).

Eliminate Dangling Cables:

Attach the AppleTV to the projector (velcro or something) and use an adapter to supply power to it and the projector. Get a short HDMI cable to send AV to HDMI of Projector. Run coaxial cable (assuming the audio out is digital) along the ceiling over to and behind the screen if possible and terminate with the Optical adapter to HDMI supplied with the Beam. I assume there is power where either the Beam and or Playbar/Playbase is placed. Voila'..no dangling cables. Just zip tie those for the projector and AppleTV. Of course if you have a drop ceiling you can remove panels and run the wiring or drill hole in ceiling if below attic.

That's my suggested solution for better or worse :8

Cheers!
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Great discussion everyone! I've flagged a post as the answer to the original question, but as there are some recurring questions, please feel free to keep it up. I just wanted to make sure that there was a flagged post here.
Thanks all! Very helpful. I purchased a cheap, returnable projector on amazon prime and a pair of Sonos ones...just to test it all out before introducing the beam/playbar. Here’s what’s working:
Apple TV directly into projector, airplaying to Ones. Have to turn off projector HDMI output and only airplay.

The only loss is that the Play:1s aren’t being utilized for movies...but work great as music extenders for bedroom/office.

So for others out there who are not into perfect surround sound- just looking for the easiest/cheapest Apple TV (only video source) + Sonos + projector link. Don’t worry about projector type. Just buy a single One speaker and plug 4th gen Apple TV into any projector.

Eventually, I’ll get the beam or playbar to bring it all together, but for now, very happy with limited wire setup!

Thanks again all!
Badge +1
Thanks all! Very helpful. I purchased a cheap, returnable projector on amazon prime and a pair of Sonos ones...just to test it all out before introducing the beam/playbar. Here’s what’s working:
Apple TV directly into projector, airplaying to Ones. Have to turn off projector HDMI output and only airplay.

The only loss is that the Play:1s aren’t being utilized for movies...but work great as music extenders for bedroom/office.

So for others out there who are not into perfect surround sound- just looking for the easiest/cheapest Apple TV (only video source) + Sonos + projector link. Don’t worry about projector type. Just buy a single One speaker and plug 4th gen Apple TV into any projector.

Eventually, I’ll get the beam or playbar to bring it all together, but for now, very happy with limited wire setup!

Thanks again all!


Would you believe it hadn't even really occurred to me that because the Beam/Ones have airplay2 that might be the path to eliminate the need for a dangling cable?? :D
Presumably you can't use the play:1's because they need to be grouped with a Beam or similar in order to receive the airplay'd movie surround info?

Does anyone know if this scenario would work:

appleTV HDMI'd to projector, projector audio out=null
AppleTV set to airplay movie surround to Beam. Beam set up as HT brain with sonos sub and two play:1's

I think I remember reading folks doing something similar with HomePods and AppleTV but having problems where as soon as they'd use them for music, the HomePods "forget" that they ought to be the default for AppleTV output as well.

Edit to add:
One thing occurred to me, is that Sonos probably wouldn't know the Airplay2 source is 5.1, so may not be delivering 5.1 for home theater but stereo.. Unless anyone can confirm otherwise, this might not be a solution.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hey Lightmove

This is just for kicks and grins. Not a serious option unless you just want to experiment :8

To Utilize your Sonos Ones for movies and Airplay or music on an iOS or Android device with the Sonos Controller here's an option (that's not cost effective if you intend to get a Beam anytime soon). It just shows how versatile Sonos can be!

Additional Equipment:
1. Sonos Connect (new or used)
2. Coax to optical/RCA converter * https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optical-Analog-Converter-Adapter/dp/B003OND0N4
3. Digital Coax cable.
4. RCA to RCA Cable

Setup:
1. Run coax cable from Audio out on projector to Coax to optical/RCA converter
2. Run RCA to RCA between Coax to optical/RCA converter and Sonos Connect (set line to Auto in Sonos app)
3. Group your Sonos Connect with your Sonos Ones
4. Play your apple TV **
5. Ungroup for Airplay and music via the Sonos app

* No need is audio out on projector is RC...just use the cable in step 4
** May experience a slight lip sync...maybe

Cheers!
Badge +1
so in thinking on the alternative @AjTrek1 suggested, that is, plug the AppleTV directly to the Projector, then run cable to Beam - - is there a way to "wirelessify" the sending of audio to the Beam? Like, if I could plug a Sonos Connect or the new AMP or something directly to the projector, would that be able to feed into the Beam home theater brain as surround input?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Telecart

Here's the thing...

Initial setup of the Beam/Playbar/Playbase requires they be connected to a TV (projector). After setup you could in theory remove the HDMI or Optical and still have them play music direct via the Sonos app or by grouping them with another Sonos speaker or Connect (that has a source). However, they only processes L/C/R when receiving a DD5.1 signal which is not possible via a grouped scenario.

The new Sonos AMP is intended to power 3rd party speakers and send LFE to a 3rd party sub derived from a signal sent via HDMI_ARC and/or bond to Sonos One's, Play 5's or Play 3's as surrounds. It does not support a center channel as would be with a Beam/Playbar/Playbase.

I hope this clarify's things :8

Cheers!
Badge +1
Just thought I'd circle back to this thread to let everyone know - my setup works flawlessly!!

As described below: Beam is HT brain + Play:1s and Sub, connected directly to kanex splitter and Apple TV. Other side of splitter goes to IOGear wireless HDMI which is plugged into Epson 3700 1080p projector in the rear. Only bummer is Epson 3700 USB isn't powerful enough for whatever reason to power the IOgear receiver, so I needed to bring up another power slot to where the projector is, but that actually wasn't a huge issue for me.

wondering if his set up could work to avoid the cables:

assuming AppleTV is only source, I split its HDMI out to S/PDIF and HDMI with something like this:
https://www.kanex.com/hdmi-optical-audio

AppleTV is in front of room, which you want for the remote anyway I assume?

I then plug the S/PDIF directly to the Beam/Playbar/Playbase (probably Beam for me)
and plug the HDMI end to HDMI transmitter thing like this:
https://www.iogear.com/product/GW3DHDKIT/
(they even have a version that'll do 4K though I don't care much about that and doubt I can afford a 4K projector anyway)

the receiving end of which I plug to a projector in the rear of the room.

Beam is the brain of Sonos HT, so I can set up two Play:1s and sub and get surround and voila?
I just connected my Apple TV 4K to my projector via HDMI (I originally used the IO Gear, but it had some lag and connectivity issues). The projector doesn’t have HDMI arc. I thought I would need a switch converter. On a whim, I added the Beam to my Home Kit on my iPhone. On the Apple TV 4K I changed audio out to the Beam via Airplay. The audio works perfectly. No wires. Problem solved.
Badge +1
Is that playing 5.1 though? I was under the impression AirPlay doesn’t support surround.
Hi - I am trying to set up a home cinema system. The plan is to use an overhead projector, Beam, and 2 X Play:1 speakers. Input will be Apple TV only.

I've read the discussion above about difficulties of getting sound from a projector into the Beam. Keen on a solution that's as wireless as possible although as the house is currently being built there is the option to put wires in the ceiling / walls.

If I have understood the discussion above correctly though I should be able to connect Apple TV straight to the projector, and then use Airplay to get the sound to the Sonos system. Is that correct?

Thanks!
Badge +1
Hi - I am trying to set up a home cinema system. The plan is to use an overhead projector, Beam, and 2 X Play:1 speakers. Input will be Apple TV only.

I've read the discussion above about difficulties of getting sound from a projector into the Beam. Keen on a solution that's as wireless as possible although as the house is currently being built there is the option to put wires in the ceiling / walls.

If I have understood the discussion above correctly though I should be able to connect Apple TV straight to the projector, and then use Airplay to get the sound to the Sonos system. Is that correct?

Thanks!


Hey drmikew1,

You have exactly my configuration (sans subwoofer) so I would recommend you look at my set up. Connecting the AppleTV directly to the projector will not produce surround sound with the speakers. My set up works for me flawlessly, wirelessly, with 5.1 surround sound. YMMV but it should be possible with something along these lines:

Beam in front, utilize the provided HDMI to S/PDIF adapter to connect it to this Kanex splitter. One end of the splitter goes to the AppleTV, also up front. The other side of the splitter goes to a wireless HDMI transmitter (mine is placed on top of the AppleTV puck). I actually switched from the IOGear GW3DHDKIT I mentioned above to a new GW4K30GH60 unit that works a lot better for me - no sync issues, no hiccups whatsoever on 60Ghz instead of 5Ghz tech. On the projector side I have the IOGear Receiver unit plugged in. It can be USB-powered from the projector itself. In my setup, there is line of sight between Tx and Rx units, about 15 feet, depending on your specific situation a different wireless HDMI technology may end up working better.

I get perfect 5.1 no sync issues with Sonos and my 1080p projector, and no dangling cables!

Hi - I am trying to set up a home cinema system. The plan is to use an overhead projector, Beam, and 2 X Play:1 speakers. Input will be Apple TV only.

I've read the discussion above about difficulties of getting sound from a projector into the Beam. Keen on a solution that's as wireless as possible although as the house is currently being built there is the option to put wires in the ceiling / walls.

If I have understood the discussion above correctly though I should be able to connect Apple TV straight to the projector, and then use Airplay to get the sound to the Sonos system. Is that correct?

Thanks!
Hey drmikew1,

You have exactly my configuration (sans subwoofer) so I would recommend you look at my set up. Connecting the AppleTV directly to the projector will not produce surround sound with the speakers. My set up works for me flawlessly, wirelessly, with 5.1 surround sound. YMMV but it should be possible with something along these lines:

Beam in front, utilize the provided HDMI to S/PDIF adapter to connect it to this Kanex splitter. One end of the splitter goes to the AppleTV, also up front. The other side of the splitter goes to a wireless HDMI transmitter (mine is placed on top of the AppleTV puck). I actually switched from the IOGear GW3DHDKIT I mentioned above to a new GW4K30GH60 unit that works a lot better for me - no sync issues, no hiccups whatsoever on 60Ghz instead of 5Ghz tech. On the projector side I have the IOGear Receiver unit plugged in. It can be USB-powered from the projector itself. In my setup, there is line of sight between Tx and Rx units, about 15 feet, depending on your specific situation a different wireless HDMI technology may end up working better.

I get perfect 5.1 no sync issues with Sonos and my 1080p projector, and no dangling cables!


Hi Telecart,

Thanks very much for the reply and advice.

Would the system you use work if I use the splitter as you describe - but then run an HDMI cable from the splitter to the projector, with the audio going to the Beam? At the moment I have the option to do this by running concealed cables.
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Hi Telecart,

Thanks very much for the reply and advice.

Would the system you use work if I use the splitter as you describe - but then run an HDMI cable from the splitter to the projector, with the audio going to the Beam? At the moment I have the option to do this by running concealed cables.


Yep! Should be even simpler. The splitter just let's you get the AppleTV (which only has one HDMI-out port) to output audio to the Beam on one hand (a surround sound source!), and send the video to the projector on the other.

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