Solving the 5.1, DTS issues with the Playbar



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Not sure if you have these in mind, but no need to buy a PS3/PS4 if you don't want the gaming capacity. My understanding, both from confirmation on these forums and via the user manuals, is that most Samsung Bluray players can reencode DTS into DD (certainly the BD-F6500 and BD-F7500 of the recent models). I can't personally vouch for the quality of those players (the user reviews rather oddly range from average to very good), although many people have suggested that there is very little difference in terms of picture quality between any Bluray player when playing 1080p material, apart from perhaps if you spend a fortune on a reference standard player. The Samsung players are significantly cheaper than the PS3/PS4.

I have found this manual for the BD-F6500 which shows on page 64 that there is an optical output "Re-encoded Dolby D" bitstream option. When selecting this, it seems that ALL Blu-ray tracks (DTS, DD, DD+, PCM etc) are re-encoded to DD before being output over optical. This is great news! Might pick up the BD-F6500 (£99 in the UK).

Discussion is fine but, as I said, it seems very silly to expect or demand an update, or complain about a lack of recent update (as some have) when it's pretty obvious that the status hasn't changed.

Cheers,

Keith


Even worse is to complain about no timely updates, then complain about no new information when your complaint for a timely update is answered.
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Even worse is to complain about no timely updates, then complain about no new information when your complaint for a timely update is answered.

I sense a feeling of deja vu here but its good to see people are still willing to voice their opinions which is what it's all about.
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So guys do we think Playbar 2 will include HDMI switching which is really what a future DTS enabled unit in this price range needs or am I off base with that ?
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So guys do we think Playbar 2 will include HDMI switching which is really what a future DTS enabled unit in this price range needs or am I off base with that ?

I am more concerned about all those like me who have invested in playbar 1 along with other components to get surround sound.
So guys do we think Playbar 2 will include HDMI switching which is really what a future DTS enabled unit in this price range needs or am I off base with that ?

I highly doubt there will ever be a Playbar 2.
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Did that title get your attention? Good. I'm actually here to defend the complainers.

If there was a comparable alternative, that's where people would go. However, no one else is currently able to offer an experience like Sonos. So, our only hope is that Sonos will be able to add this last piece to the puzzle.

Also, folks have no idea what it takes to implement such a change. It seems so easy from where we're sitting. "Heck, if freaking Vizio can do it, why can't Sonos?! Right?" But there must be something difficult holding Sonos back on this. Is this DTS issue not the biggest heartache of Sonos users? One "little" thing could make so many of us so happy. Why don't they just do it? There must be a reason, because I'm sure Sonos isn't stalling just to piss us off. But it's still frustrating.

The forums with the most heated debates are a result of having the most passionate users. Sonos owners LOVE their systems. They want them to be perfect. They are so close to perfect. It's like owning a Ferrari in a sea of Fiats - except your Ferrari won't turn left. To have such a beautiful and powerful piece of equipment that is one step away from being everything you hoped for is...frustrating.

As for the kids in the car, they never ask "Are we there yet?" on the way to the dentist. But they will ask every mile on the way to Disney. These customers and potential customers are excited. They can't wait for Sonos to deliver on their expectations. It can get old and repetitive, but cut them some slack.

There are probably a dozen reasons why Sonos can't divulge more information around their DTS roadmap - competetive secrecy, ongoing vendor negotiations, etc. But it would be so nice to know what they are up to on this.

Sincerely,

One of the kids in the back seat on the way to Disney:D
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I think that ght001's Disney metaphor is spot on when it comes to describing the perfectly normal response of someone who loves Sonos in general but is not completely happy with the implementation of the Playbar.

The fact is that Sonos chose the intended use of the Playbar to be that you wire all your sources to the TV and wire the optical out of the TV to the Playbar. The second fact is that people have found some creative ways discussed in this thread to try to get around this intended use to use the Playbar as they would like rather than Sonos intended. The unfortunate consequence of of using something not as it was intended is you can run into problems, such as silence when a Bluray player is directly connected to the Playbar and the disc only has a DTS track.

When the Playbar came out, I was disappointed. My analysis of it, for me personally and not necessarily for others, was that it's limitations made it suitable for a secondary viewing area such as a master bedroom, but not for my primary viewing area in the living room. As a result, I don't own a Playbar.

When it comes to Sonos in General, the kids in the backseat are used to going to Disney. Unfortunately when it comes to the Playbar, they are disappointed to learn that this time the car is headed to the local carnival and not to Disney. All the heated conversation on this issue is their attempt to change the destination to Disney. Unfortunately all indications are that the parents (Sonos) have no intention of changing direction.
I think that ght001's Disney metaphor is spot on when it comes to describing the perfectly normal response of someone who loves Sonos in general but is not completely happy with the implementation of the Playbar.

The fact is that Sonos chose the intended use of the Playbar to be that you wire all your sources to the TV and wire the optical out of the TV to the Playbar. The second fact is that people have found some creative ways discussed in this thread to try to get around this intended use to use the Playbar as they would like rather than Sonos intended. The unfortunate consequence of of using something not as it was intended is you can run into problems, such as silence when a Bluray player is directly connected to the Playbar and the disc only has a DTS track.

When the Playbar came out, I was disappointed. My analysis of it, for me personally and not necessarily for others, was that it's limitations made it suitable for a secondary viewing area such as a master bedroom, but not for my primary viewing area in the living room. As a result, I don't own a Playbar.

When it comes to Sonos in General, the kids in the backseat are used to going to Disney. Unfortunately when it comes to the Playbar, they are disappointed to learn that this time the car is headed to the local carnival and not to Disney. All the heated conversation on this issue is their attempt to change the destination to Disney. Unfortunately all indications are that the parents (Sonos) have no intention of changing direction.


Thanks. That sums up my feeling in a way that I was finding it difficult to put into words.

I too would love to have a Playbar system but I feel that with the inherent 'design flaw' (in my opinion) I just can't make any use of it.

None of my televisions will pass through correctly and only 1 out of 3 of them actually has an optical out anyway. The beauty of Sonos for me has always been the simplicity of the system and the way it just works. Looking at the way people have to buy external switches and employ other workarounds just to make it work for them makes me cringe.
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Well for what its worth Sony have lost another system sale as yesterday instead of going for a full playbar and two play 1s for a second room - i wired up an old Sony DG820 amp to existing speakers and am now getting full DTS HD master audio from a 5 year old amp that only cost £220 new !!
I recently bought a playbar and play 1s for the family room and fairlyhappy with it except for the lack of DTS which i have worked around with a 4 way optical switch
But rather that put another playbar in the other room i now have a solution which allows me to play all my blurays and. Dts dvds

I would have preferred a second sonos 5.0 setup but wont recommend it until they sort out the Dts issue
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I ordered a Sonos Playbar and Sub and will do some testing this Weekend.
Today i checked my Blu Rays (i know - a little late) and most of them are DTS only :-(

So after testing i have to send it back.

No DTS Support for nearly a Year now - OMG...
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I ordered a Sonos Playbar and Sub and will do some testing this Weekend.
Today i checked my Blu Rays (i know - a little late) and most of them are DTS only :-(

So after testing i have to send it back.

No DTS Support for nearly a Year now - OMG...


Get a Samsung BluRay player 5700 and higher, it converts DTS to Dolby 5.1. I have a 6500 and the film soundtrack is superb.
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Thanks - i really consider that.

Most time i stream Movies with my Apple TV. I'm really worried that Apple could decider one day to switch over to DTS. Then my new Homecinema System would become useless for me.
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Get a Samsung BluRay player 5700 and higher, it converts DTS to Dolby 5.1. I have a 6500 and the film soundtrack is superb.

Sounds like sensible solution while I don't doubt it sounds great I assume something is lost somewhere in this conversion.

Are there any experts that can elaborate on this solution ?
Sounds like sensible solution while I don't doubt it sounds great I assume something is lost somewhere in this conversion.

Are there any experts that can elaborate on this solution ?


I picked up a Samsung BD-F6500 today.

I am currently watching Django Unchained with the DTS-HD audio track selected. The player has the Bitstream re-encode Dolby D option selected. Optical straight from player to Playbar. I also have sub and two rear Play:1s.

And ...

It's glorious. The Playbar is showing DD5.1 input, and the surround speakers are operating correctly. None of that fluttering you get with stereo up scaling to 5.1. As far as I can tell, I am now enjoying a full surround sound experience with the Sonos setup. I am happy!

As for whether there are losses, there does not seem to be a loss of audio positional information. That is, the surround speakers are providing the correct audio as if there was no conversion. Theoretically, a DD track has a lower bit rate than a DTS track. So, there could theoretically be a quality loss. However, I expect hardly anyone would notice - you're getting into proper audiophile territory there and I don't think such a person would choose Sonos anyway.

I got the player from Richer Sounds in the UK for £94.99 - well worth it in my opinion to replace whatever Blu-ray player you may have. Picture quality seems excellent so far too, and there are no audio sync issues whatsoever.

Basically, I am now a happy man!
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Great news aldude I can only imagine your joy at releasing those DTS soundtracks. Enjoy and thanks for sharing.
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Is there a workaround to get DD from the media players like WD TV live? I have so many movies that have DTS but WD TV live downmixes them to stereo

btw, same old response from sonos: https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/no_clarity_on_playbar_supporting_dts_still_please_dont_be_arrogant
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I picked up a Samsung BD-F6500 today.

I am currently watching Django Unchained with the DTS-HD audio track selected. The player has the Bitstream re-encode Dolby D option selected. Optical straight from player to Playbar. I also have sub and two rear Play:1s.

And ...

It's glorious. The Playbar is showing DD5.1 input, and the surround speakers are operating correctly. None of that fluttering you get with stereo up scaling to 5.1. As far as I can tell, I am now enjoying a full surround sound experience with the Sonos setup. I am happy!

As for whether there are losses, there does not seem to be a loss of audio positional information. That is, the surround speakers are providing the correct audio as if there was no conversion. Theoretically, a DD track has a lower bit rate than a DTS track. So, there could theoretically be a quality loss. However, I expect hardly anyone would notice - you're getting into proper audiophile territory there and I don't think such a person would choose Sonos anyway.

I got the player from Richer Sounds in the UK for £94.99 - well worth it in my opinion to replace whatever Blu-ray player you may have. Picture quality seems excellent so far too, and there are no audio sync issues whatsoever.

Basically, I am now a happy man!


Apologies for asking a stupid question, as I am new to all of this Sonos stuff, but how does this work, connection wise?

I am looking at getting a Playbar (I already have a couple of Play 1's) to connect up to my TV, which has an Optical out.
If I understand correctly, the Playbar only has 1 Optical in port

Thus if I get the Samsung BD-F6500 would I have to unplug the optical cable from the TV into the DVD player, which then goes into the playbar, when watching DVD's

What about just watching normal T.V. would I have to unplug the optical cable from the Samsung BD-F6500 and plug it back into the T.V. to get sound out of the playbar or is the Playbar not really used when watching normal T.V.?

Thanks
Andrew
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Just tested my new Playbar.
I got 5.1 from Apple TV and TV Receiver. My Sonos Sub wasn't delivered yet, so i miss the Bass right now.
First Impression: The Playbar ist good, but not great. I've got a simple Samsung All-in-One 2.1 HT to test side by side. Without the Sub the Playbar sounds ... mmh... a little bit weak.
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Apologies for asking a stupid question, as I am new to all of this Sonos stuff, but how does this work, connection wise?

I am looking at getting a Playbar (I already have a couple of Play 1's) to connect up to my TV, which has an Optical out.
If I understand correctly, the Playbar only has 1 Optical in port

Thus if I get the Samsung BD-F6500 would I have to unplug the optical cable from the TV into the DVD player, which then goes into the playbar, when watching DVD's

What about just watching normal T.V. would I have to unplug the optical cable from the Samsung BD-F6500 and plug it back into the T.V. to get sound out of the playbar or is the Playbar not really used when watching normal T.V.?

Thanks
Andrew


I am new to the forum and to PlayBar, but I believe you would connect your BluRay to the TV with HDMI. If you have other boxes or gadgets, you connect them to the TV with HDMI or other connections if needed and you leave the optical cable connection between the TV and PlayBar alone all the time.

If you browse around you can find some other work arounds that people have come up with to not have all the sound go through the TV (optical switches), but without those workarounds, I believe you do it as I have suggested above. That is how I have my DVD and WD TV live connected. They all go to the TV via HDMI and the TV goes the PlayBar via optical cable.
Apologies for asking a stupid question, as I am new to all of this Sonos stuff, but how does this work, connection wise?

I am looking at getting a Playbar (I already have a couple of Play 1's) to connect up to my TV, which has an Optical out.
If I understand correctly, the Playbar only has 1 Optical in port

Thus if I get the Samsung BD-F6500 would I have to unplug the optical cable from the TV into the DVD player, which then goes into the playbar, when watching DVD's

What about just watching normal T.V. would I have to unplug the optical cable from the Samsung BD-F6500 and plug it back into the T.V. to get sound out of the playbar or is the Playbar not really used when watching normal T.V.?

Thanks
Andrew


Andrew, you are right. If you want proper 5.1 from your Blu-ray player, like the BD-F6500 like I now have, you will need to send optical from the player to the Playbar. This is because most TVs will only output stereo from their optical port for external TV inputs. So you'll need a way to switch the optical input to the Playbar.

I do a cable swap each time. However optical ports are notoriously weak. Perhaps an optical switch is a good idea. A passive one probably won't work as the Tv will always output optical audio so the passive switch will mix two active optical signals - bad. An active switch would be able to select between inputs but consumes power, needs a power socket and no doubt there is another remote to juggle! Also there is a cost but a reasonably good cheap optical switch should not cost much more than £50.

Edit: I should add that bizarrely the DD re-encode option only applies to Blu-rays - if a DVD has a DTS track then the Samsung player will NOT re-encode it and will output a DTS track. As I have never seen a DTS DVD I doubt it's much of an issue.
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Andrew, you are right. If you want proper 5.1 from your Blu-ray player, like the BD-F6500 like I now have, you will need to send optical from the player to the Playbar. This is because most TVs will only output stereo from their optical port for external TV inputs.

I do a cable swap each time. However optical ports are notoriously weak. Perhaps an optical switch is a good idea. A passive one probably won't work as the Tv will always output optical audio so the passive switch will mix two active optical signals - bad. An active switch would be able to select between inputs but consumes power, needs a power socket and no doubt there is another remote to juggle! Also there is a cost but a reasonably good cheap optical switch should not cost much more than £50.


I got this one and it beautifully ties with my logitech universal remote, I have hooked my 4 devices to its optical inputs
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003C15798/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Just tested my new Playbar.
I got 5.1 from Apple TV and TV Receiver. My Sonos Sub wasn't delivered yet, so i miss the Bass right now.
First Impression: The Playbar ist good, but not great. I've got a simple Samsung All-in-One 2.1 HT to test side by side. Without the Sub the Playbar sounds ... mmh... a little bit weak.


On its own I found the Playbar to be pretty good. Your comparison could have so many variables - perhaps your Samsung unit has the bass relatively high by default? The only way to determine if one is better than the other is if you find one can't be adjusted to sound the way you want it to. "Out of the box"' though, isn't really a fair comparison (and of course this also applies where the Sonos prima facie sounds better than other units!).
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Andrew, you are right. If you want proper 5.1 from your Blu-ray player, like the BD-F6500 like I now have, you will need to send optical from the player to the Playbar. This is because most TVs will only output stereo from their optical port for external TV inputs. So you'll need a way to switch the optical input to the Playbar.

I do a cable swap each time. However optical ports are notoriously weak. Perhaps an optical switch is a good idea. A passive one probably won't work as the Tv will always output optical audio so the passive switch will mix two active optical signals - bad. An active switch would be able to select between inputs but consumes power, needs a power socket and no doubt there is another remote to juggle! Also there is a cost but a reasonably good cheap optical switch should not cost much more than £50.

Edit: I should add that bizarrely the DD re-encode option only applies to Blu-rays - if a DVD has a DTS track then the Samsung player will NOT re-encode it and will output a DTS track. As I have never seen a DTS DVD I doubt it's much of an issue.


I have a 4 way optical switch (CYP AUD41 4-WAY OPTICAL SWITCHER WITH IR) with the TV, BLURAY and APPLE TV all going IN and the OUT going into the Playbar. Dolby 5.1 sound all-round. The sound is fantastic and I can't tell any difference with a converted from DTS or an actual Dolby soundtrack
I have a 4 way optical switch (CYP AUD41 4-WAY OPTICAL SWITCHER WITH IR) with the TV, BLURAY and APPLE TV all going IN and the OUT going into the Playbar. Dolby 5.1 sound all-round. The sound is fantastic and I can't tell any difference with a converted from DTS or an actual Dolby soundtrack

The optical switcher won't be doing any conversion so presumably your Blu-Ray player can convert DTS to DD?

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