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Samsung JS/JU Model TVs Audio Issue with PLAYBAR


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We've determined there to be an issue with Dolby Digital playback devices (including the Sonos PLAYBAR) and Samsung televisions in the JS and JU series. An example of a TV model number of this line would be the Samsung UN55JS8500. The optical output from these televisions doesn't pass a consistent signal to devices wired in through that connection. This could present when you're watching any Dolby Digital content through the TV's optical connection.

As a workaround if you're using one of these TVs, you can set the output of the TV to PCM (Stereo). There isn't any issue currently with that TV streaming stereo content to the PLAYBAR through the optical. Otherwise, you can look into using a different device. Some suggestions for setups and community recommended devices can be found here on our megathread.

We are working with Samsung on this issue, but there isn't currently a timeframe for a resolution. We'll update you as soon as there are any further details.

Because of the nature of this issue, we've added these televisions to our PLAYBAR Compatibility page which can be found here.
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Best answer by Ryan S 10 November 2017, 19:12

Hi everyone,

We've been testing the firmware of these TVs with some of you and have verified that the Dolby handling issues of the past with these TVs have come back as of software version 1510. We're going to work with Samsung to see about sorting out the issue, but we've been able to replicate the cut out issues on both Sonos hardware and other soundbars too. The PLAYBAR has gotten better at handling poor audio signals in recent updates, so this issue is less noticeable than before, but it's happening.

You can verify the installed firmware version by pressing the MENU/123 button on the remote, then selecting Menu, Support, and then highlight Software Update.

For workarounds, while they sort out the firmware, you can either bypass the audio coming from those JS/JU model TVs by plugging your Sonos directly into the source, or an HDMI switcher, or go into the TV settings and set the audio format to PCM instead of Dolby Digital.

I'll let you know here when we've gotten confirmation that the software has been updated.
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Hi everyone, I just wanted to update you all that the K series Samsung TVs had a similar issue which has now been addressed as well. Samsung released a firmware update (version 1121.1) to resolve this issue for K series TVs.
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It's like the person they paid the least was the guy who had to design the input controller....
I'm inclined to agree, this was not an issue with my Denon AVR. The number of consistent complaints indicates something about the Sonos input optics, circuitry or firmware or software isn't as robust to external imperfections as it could be.

I don't discount for a moment that Samsung's optical output might be flawed, but the lack of robustness to such is indicative of how young Sonos is to the home theatre market, compared to the likes of HK, Denon, Yamaha &c who are decades along the learning curve and whose kit doesn't flip out when the source isn't perfect.
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Anyone notice an increase in dropouts with the release of Sonos 7.0 update? My JU6400 was working perfectly after I updated to the latest Samsung firmware, but after updating to Sonos 7.0 yesterday there was a huge increase on dropouts - they were happening every few minutes.
I have a ks9000 and mine has starting droping out since i updated it yesterday to the point everything will stop for up to 3 seconds then it will come back on then might not happen again for a while. Its starting to get me down as i have tried everything and nothing helps.


It'd be best to give us a call on our support line for this one. We're continuing to test the Samsung TVs to make sure there isn't an issue hitting all of them, but so far we haven't identified an issue that hasn't been unique to the home setup. There was a big issue that we found and helped Samsung fix, but there are many other things that can cause audio cutouts on Sonos regarding the handling of the audio, starting from a potential issue with the stream you're getting to the home, and then from that point to every component that touches it up until it plays at the PLAYBAR. A lot of factors get involved here, and any one of them could cause audio to cut out. We'll help you in every step of the way investigating the issue and helping to find where it's breaking down.


I disagree entirely. It is the playbar. I get cutouts on live tv and from my Sky box - - either via the TV or via optical. I get NO cutouts from PVR, two blurays or streaming from the blurays.

There are too many devices that experience cutouts. It is definitely a problem with the playbar. That you say you are unable to replicate these smacks of head in the sand and now, shifting the blame from the likes of Samsung to the home setup is disingenuous in the extreme. A home setup problem would experience cutouts in all scenarios, not only in some. Live TV is the problem. There is something in the live TV data stream that is causing this. Programme information and switching info is what I see as the difference between live and recorded.
DarwinOSX,

If I were to guess, I'd suggest it's the implementation of the parser for the data coming in through the optical connection. In my mind, some companies add their own "features" so that they can send special commands to their own sound bars, and do "special" things. Completely unsubstantiated thought, though. But that would cause an issue to the implementation in other sound bars, when it receives a data command it doesn't comprehend, since it was built to the Dolby Digital specs, and doesn't know how to process "extra" data.

I'd suggest that some sound bars are more tolerant to this kind of 'extra' data than Sonos might be. And if I'm correct, Sonos may want to add some additional tolerance in their software decoder.

But as I say, I'm just guessing at this. I can't come up with any other rational explanation as to why certain soundbars don't have this problem, and Sonos does, with specific TV types. All I know is that with 2 Sony TVs, and 2 Vizio TVs, I've not had a single problem of this type.

And I suspect there's some communication between Sonos and Samsung, for instance, that they're unwilling to share publicly, trying to track down the issue. I'm sure neither side is willing to accept blame in the eyes of the public, but I do find it interesting that to this point, most of the "fixes" have come as firmware updates to the Samsung line of TVs. But then again, Sonos could have easily hidden their own updates to the code in their more frequent software updates, so who knows?
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That's what my layman understanding is. It's 100% digital. It's not like a older movie print where the Dolby Digital was written to piece of magnetic tape on the 35mm print.
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I wouldn't think so. I'd imagine both companies are aware of the issue, and are working to resolve it. It may be all at one end, or the other, or somewhere in between. But most of these companies, Sonos included, don't tell the customers what they're working on, so as not to set unreasonable expectations.

In my years of live support on games, I've seen several cases of "yes, we've fixed that bug" fall apart at the last second with an unexpected consequence, and get pulled from a software release. If I'd promised the fix to our customers, I'd have been roasted, and they'd have been quite unhappy. Better to keep quiet, and then announce it with the release of the software. Shoot, there were many bugs we never let people know about, even when we fixed them. It's not about crowing the accomplishment of the team, it's about getting the experience correct. None of my programmers were happy when a bug was found. And they would do everything possible to figure out the fix.

You are quite right, but there's a point - especially when it's an issue with connectivity to something made by another firm - when engineers get grumpy and start just blaming the other party and give up.

If, for example, the Sonos half of the problem was in their digital input hardware, then there's perhaps no immediately obvious firmware fix. That doesn't mean it's impossible, only unimaginative fools use the word "impossible", but "harder than I have time to fix" and "requires more ingenuity than I possess" are phrases I've used myself, though, in similar situations.

Note two things:
1. That response post, at the top of the thread, makes it clear that Sonos think this is something Samsung are fixing, and
2. They've left it up long past the time when it's become very obvious to the many customers of both that there's no fix in place.

So I personally think they've given up even managing this issue at their end; they're certainly not following the announcement principles you just described.

Issue persists with latest revision of JS/KS-9000 software, I had dropouts last night.
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Don't understand why this thread has a solution which is not the solution...
The solution is marked so that it's at the top of the thread, it's really the only way to have it be that visible and not get lost in the comments. We're still working with Samsung, but I believe there's a firmware update that fixes the issue, it may not be live just yet though. I'll let you know what I hear.
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Hi! I have AGAIN sound cutting with my Playbar and my smart tv Samsung UE65JU7080!! Please help me!! Diagnostic : 8499600. Software of my TV : 1520
Ryan S??? Where are you? I need help please!! I'ts not normal that I have to listen to TV on Stereo to dont' have cutting sound on Dolby Digital!!
We've been testing the firmware of these TVs with some of you and have verified that the Dolby handling issues of the past with these TVs have come back as of software version 1510.

We have a customer with a UE48JU7000 which has had issues with Dolby Digital via Optical since firmware 1510. The current firmware release appears to be 1530.1 (23rd March 2018) - does anyone have any indication for whether this has solved this regression?
Understand there was no timeframe to resolution at the time of this post, but I'm wondering if there has been any progress/movement. We have a brand new JU7100 and were seriously considering the Playbar for the TV and Sonos for our house, overall. This (and the, apparently long-outstanding, DTS issue) are forcing us to reconsider and look at other options, which is really disappointing.
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We've reached out to Samsung on details around the update version for the UK TVs, they might be rolling out the update a little slowly to other regions. I'll let you know when we have more details and not speculation.

Thanks!
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The update doesn't fix the problem, it just decreases the frequency of the dropouts. I'm buying a new TV for a guest bedroom in my house and although I love Samsung TV's I'm going to purchase a Sony. I hope that I dont have the same problem.
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Still no update here in the UK. I'm still confused. Conflicting statements everywhere some saying that my Samsung TV is giving a signal already to provide 5.1 surround sound. Others saying that it's just giving a stereo output which won't give 5.1
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No problem. To be honest, we shouldn't have to do this. The TV should work flawlessly on its own but it doesn't. Samsung and Sonos don't play well together. I learned that immediately as soon as I hooked up my Samsung TV to my Sonos system. At first I had no idea what was happening until I searched the online forums. Then supposedly Samsung came out with a software update which corrected the problem but it didn't. It just reduced the frequency of the drop outs, it didn't eliminate them.
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*There isn't a noticeable sound difference in my opinion.
*There isn't a noticeable sound difference in my opinion.

Hey Mike.. One last thing... i was reading that the PCM doesn't give the full surround sound feel even if you're just using soundbar and woofer because PCM allows for only 2 channels. Didn't know if you (or anyone else) had any thoughts on that.

Thanks
Same drop-outs here. Samsung UE65JU6470UXZG, firmware 1460, Sonos boost, playbar, sub, 2x play3.
Set the TV's Audio format and HDMI format to PCM and set HD Audio to ON. Now testing this setup.
Only prefer to have the "best" sound after paying a lot of money for the "best" system...
Please keep on searching for the correct solution and keep us informed!
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Woohoo! My 8500 series 55" Samsung curved tv is now outputting 5.1 dolby digital to my Sonos playbar. Coupled with the sub and 2 play 1s the sound quality is incredible when watching DD movies. Thank you Samsung and Sonos. Can't wait to start watching my film collection again
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The original firmware update (1455) seemingly fixed this issue for me. Once it updated to 1460 the drops seemed to return, but not nearly as often. Hopefully another firmware release can eliminate this issue once and for all.
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I've managed to get full 5.1 surround direct from tv using optical cable to playbar and also from ps4 but I have tp chance the optical cable from.the tv and put it directly in ps4 to get this. Small price to pay for sucj incredible sound though
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Thanks for the details everyone. I'm passing them on to the team here that is working with Samsung. I'd also encourage you to reach out to Samsung support as well if you haven't yet. It'd be great for them to see this too. I'll let you know if we have any more details around this.

If you have a chance, the next time a cutout comes up can you submit a diagnostic from your Sonos system and reply back with your confirmation number?


6440337

Firmware 1460. Dropping out watching cartoons on Nick JR
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Hello , I am now on firmware version 1460 on my Samsung UE55JS9000 and I am experiencing regular dropouts again, it seemed to calm down on the 1452 release by samsung but watching stranger things on netflix with 5.1 it was dropping out .

Diagnostics number 6445791
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Another 1460 dropout diagnostic: 6443545
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Thanks for the details guys. I'll pass them on to the team here. It also would be a good idea to reach out to Samsung if you have the opportunity.
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Thanks for the details guys. I'll pass them on to the team here. It also would be a good idea to reach out to Samsung if you have the opportunity.

I have spoke to Samsung regarding this matter and they will not acknowledge the problem , all they say is that they do not support 3rd party hardware and to purchase a samsung soundbar that would not cause the issue .

To be honest I find Samsung Customer Support to be very poor at best so I hold out no hope with them , i am afraid Sonos you are our only hope !