Projector to Playbar Options

  • 25 December 2014
  • 8 replies

So after some research it seems like if you have a few options if you plan to use a projector with sonos. I just want to make sure I understand the options. It seems like this is a popular question and hopefully this can be a good summary to the question. (sorry for the poor use of terms here, I am no A/V expert). 

  1. The best case would be to have an Optical Audio out from the projector. You then connect your "data output device" i.e. tv box aka Sky, comcast, ATT, dvd player etc, to the projector. Then you run an toslink (optical audio cable) from the projector to the playbar (yes this requires a long cable) to the front of the room. With this setup there is no delay in audio (lipsync effect)
  2. If your projector does not have an optical Out then but your "data output device" does then you can run the optical cable from the "data output device" to the playbar. This may actually reduce your cord length if you keep this device at the front of the room. If I understand correctly there is no delay in audio for this setup and I suppose could be preferred over option 1. However this does require that you swap the cable between "data output devices" when changing. Also there is a possibility that your device does not output the correct 'sound format' (no idea what to call this). I guess some DVD players output DTS sound format and playbar requires PCM.... see here. So you need to make sure the device is outputting the correct sound format. Maybe they make converters? Would the converters cause a delay? Do most TV boxes output in the correct format?
  3. Use a converter... From my understanding any converter will cause a delay in sound vs picture. I don't understand where the delay happens (inside the converter?) or if there are better converters vs worse converters? Lets say for you have an XBox1 or anyother device which has HDMI and an optical out. Can you run HDMI from your "data output device" say your tv box to the projector then HDMI out from your projector to the XBox (or insert other device with optical out). Let the XBox 'strip out the audio' then use the optical out to the play bar? Also I realize I use HDMI in the example, is it best to strip the Audio from an HDMI out or is there something that is better? 
Thanks in advance!!

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8 replies

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Hello Ryan,

Thank you for taking the time to post, especially with a lot of informative information. 

You're right in a lot of regards. 1 and 2 correct, if you consider a converter you'll just want to check the specifications and ensure it is able to convert DTS to Dolby Digital (if your devices output that format). 

To address you main questions in section 3, depending on the converter, there could be a delay due to the conversion that happens within the unit itself. Take a look at our forums, there is an unsupported section where clients discuss which converters/switches work for them. Again, depending on the switch/convert you can have all HDMI in and a single optical out, others will have HDMI in as well as optical in. 

Let us know if you have any other questions and we'll be happy to discuss this with you. 
Has this topic been updated. I need a projector with Optical Audio out?

Is there a way to stream the audio data "wirelessly" to the Playbar ?

My setup is that I have a PS3 connected to a projector and both are in the back of the room. At the front, I have the Playbar (paired with 2 Play:1 which are at the back to operate as surrounds). The PS3 outputs the video data on the HDMI port and the audio data on the optical port.

The thing is that I don't want to have a cable running from the room's back to his front (from the PS3 optical out to the playbar optical in). The all point to a Sonos system is to not have running cables everywhere...

Is there a component that could receive the optical data from the PS3 and stream it toward the Playbar (which will stream it back to both the Play:1) ?
i don't have a playbar yet (waiting for a white version) but I do use this to convert optical to bluetooth for my samsung soundbar. From reading the manual if you buy two you can stream 'optical' signal across the room.

works well with the samsung - Sonos - please make the playbar in white!!!!!
Thanks for this suggestion.
Finally, I went with a 20m optical cable (actually, it's two 10m cables with a repeater) that goes around the room to be 100% sure that there will be no sound latency.

Also, I didn't check with the device you linked but with most emitter/receiver device, the signal is converted and you don't have 5.1 at the receiver anymore...

Playbar in black is just right ^^

This is an option also
I am looking at buying a projector screen just for my 3.1 by 3.6m bedroom. What brand/product would recommend?

I am looking at connecting it to my brand new Sonos play5 (gen2) system. What are all the ways I can connect it up? from the cheapest budget option .... to the high end option where my sound quality isn't lost. But probably looking at. Cheapest option with biggest image possible.

Also worth noting looking into a getting to play1 speakers to create a soround sound system in my room.
i have a playbar setup with projector. my projector does not have optical out. i use a computer for a data source with HDMI out. i have a unit that takes the HDMI and feeds it to multiple outputs including optical and of course HDMI which continues to the projector. If there is any conversion delay it's not noticeable.
I also however decided to mount the playbar nearer the projector and so it's behind me. This ditches the need for a long optical cable to reach other other side of the room.
I am hoping my SONOS development friends could look into settings to optimize use of a playbar from behind?! like in the instance i'm using it, maybe call it projector setup mode or something?

Many Thanks