Solving the 5.1, DTS issues with the Playbar



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Userlevel 2
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!).

What do you mean by "out of the box"?
Of course i adjusted the settings on both, the Playbar and the Samsung HT to "my" best.
I can't imagine that anyone can be satisfied with the Playbar without the Sub for watching Movies.
Hope there will be a big boost after the Sub arrived.
What do you mean by "out of the box"?
Of course i adjusted the settings on both, the Playbar and the Samsung HT to "my" best.
I can't imagine that anyone can be satisfied with the Playbar without the Sub for watching Movies.
Hope there will be a big boost after the Sub arrived.


I mean, perhaps cynically (but probably truthfully) that some systems' default settings are tweaked so that they sound better than other systems in similar conditions. I'm not saying that's the case in your situation, but it's something to be aware of.

If you have fiddled with the settings a lot and still found that the Sonos system is still not up to scratch though then perhaps it's not for you.

On the other hand, if you do get the sub (and it's quite an investment really for such a small amount of the frequency spectrum) it makes a reasonable difference, the bass is more "there" and much more satisfying. Apparently the Playbar itself will then concentrate more on midrange and higher but I've never pushed it hard enough for it to struggle anyway so I have not noticed much difference with the sub apart from much better bass 🙂
Userlevel 2
The optical switcher won't be doing any conversion so presumably your Blu-Ray player can convert DTS to DD?

Yes the BluRay coverts the DTS Bitstream to Dolby 5.1. The switcher a) Prevents fragile optical cables being constantly transferred. 😎 My Samsung TV passes Dolby 5.1 through optical and not HDMI. So I get 5.1 sound from all sources (if transmitted), so the Playbar, Sub and 2 Ply 1's work in the way they should and certainly doesn't disappoint.
Userlevel 2
Thanks for clarifying that guys

This Sonos thing is quite addictive, is it not!!

Got a Samsung Blu Ray Player on Order as well!!

Andrew
Userlevel 2
I mean, perhaps cynically (but probably truthfully) that some systems' default settings are tweaked so that they sound better than other systems in similar conditions. I'm not saying that's the case in your situation, but it's something to be aware of.

If you have fiddled with the settings a lot and still found that the Sonos system is still not up to scratch though then perhaps it's not for you.

On the other hand, if you do get the sub (and it's quite an investment really for such a small amount of the frequency spectrum) it makes a reasonable difference, the bass is more "there" and much more satisfying. Apparently the Playbar itself will then concentrate more on midrange and higher but I've never pushed it hard enough for it to struggle anyway so I have not noticed much difference with the sub apart from much better bass :)


Just to complete this Conversation:
The Sub arrived and woho - it's a difference like Night and Day!
Great Setup - Love it!

Just one negative Aspect: Now i'm thinking of ordering a pair of Play 1 🙂
Userlevel 2
Sonos have confirmed officially on their website support page that they are NOT planning to implement DTS support! What a shame!!
Userlevel 3
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Sonos have confirmed officially on their website support page that they are NOT planning to implement DTS support! What a shame!!

Indeed a shame Sonos!
Userlevel 2
Now that we have offical word from sonos that DTS will not be supported. I want to ask can PS3 be used as a media player to play movies stored on NAS drive? If yes, what all formats does it support?
Userlevel 5
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Perhaps this was an issue of wireless not being able to keep up with the bitrates required for DTS. Similarly HD FLAC files using wireless. My system struggles with normal FLAC files and I have a clear Wireless Channel?
Userlevel 7
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Ok, now it has been confirmed that Sonos are not supporting DTS and have "failed" to deliver on their normal easy minimalist setup, :rolleyes: I guess we need get an optical switch and new Blu-Ray player in order to get the Playbar to work in 5.1

Can anyone in the UK recommend which model Samsung Blu-Ray player we should go for, just cheap and cheerful no need for whistles and bells? Also any recommendation for an optical switch to take 3 inputs?

Any suggestions gratefully received!
Userlevel 2
I bought a playbar and sub knowing my TV wouldn't pass anything but OTA audio via optical out. No big deal I thought, because I have a receiver that I will offload all audio switching through and simply pass optical out to the playbar that way, not even so much as giving it a thought that in 2013 something wouldn't support DTS. That was 3 months ago and I should have returned it day one, but didn't thinking Sonos would certainly add support sooner or later.

Now I'm screwed, because the receiver, as is normal, assumes it has speakers hooked up to it, instead of passing via optical out. So it won't re-encode, meaning when it receives a DTS, DTS MA, DD+, or DD TrueHD it decodes it internally but won't convert or down-sample to DD and output over optical. That means my Roku, mac mini, etc won't pass audio to the playbar unless I have the respective component set to stereo or PCM, which only passes over optical as 2 channels. So what I'm looking for (and I think most everyone here would like) is a switcher or component that will take everything you send it, decode it, and re-encode it to DD 5.1. Does anyone know of something that will do that? Most the switcher's I've seen won't re-encode. I solved my blu-ray problem by picking up one of the Samsung players that will re-encode, but that doesn't solve other components.
Userlevel 2
Anyone have experience or ideas for solutions with different file options?
I tend to use USB sticks, Plex media server, etc to send stuff to my TV and watch mostly movies.
I am trying to see if there is something I can plug the TOSLINK into and have a converted format come out the other end.

I currently do not own any Sonos gear. I was really thinking about it... I just got a new TV, it hangs on the wall and has a thin footprint. I am trying to find a way to bring my 5.1 system back. I have B&W speakers and an AMP - but they are huge an I don't have the room for them. I was looking at the SONOS because you can wall mount the playbar and use the speakers in other areas of your house... plus its fairly easy and wireless.

Just trying to see if these other options for playing stuff will work in some other fashion... biggest problem DTS audio only.

Thanks
Chad
Userlevel 1
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it works for me when u draw all my content through WDTV.

Try see if u under audio settings on W/E ur using to decide which audioformats your TV/Box/DVD/BR will output.

My WDTV can output to certain formats on optical. Like i can chose if the optical output can send AAC, DTS, etc., or all formats to the hooked up unit. In this case only output the soundformat that works for playbar.

Price is like 200 Euro. Includes mediaplyaer that can play anything: Netflix, ISO, MKV, AVI, MP4, and everything else. It has 1TB internal storage, it also works as a NAS. My wife uses it to show pictures on the tv. And before we had wimp, we played all our music on sonos from the music library on the WDTV........ 200 Euro......
Userlevel 2
it works for me when u draw all my content through WDTV.

Try see if u under audio settings on W/E ur using to decide which audioformats your TV/Box/DVD/BR will output.

My WDTV can output to certain formats on optical. Like i can chose if the optical output can send AAC, DTS, etc., or all formats to the hooked up unit. In this case only output the soundformat that works for playbar.

Price is like 200 Euro. Includes mediaplyaer that can play anything: Netflix, ISO, MKV, AVI, MP4, and everything else. It has 1TB internal storage, it also works as a NAS. My wife uses it to show pictures on the tv. And before we had wimp, we played all our music on sonos from the music library on the WDTV........ 200 Euro......


Can you please advise what are the audio settings you're using on your WDTV to get 5.1 through DTS audio? I have WDTV Live running latest firmware and I dont get 5.1 while playing DTS audio. I have checked DTS under optical audio settings. I do however get 5.1 when i play Dolby digital audio through WDTV.
Thanks
Userlevel 2
Wow, what a long topic about this problem...

In the first post a little hardware device is mentioned, but the link does'nt work anymore.

Does anybody have a name on a little converter/switch etc.. So my DTS sound can be played?
Wow, what a long topic about this problem...

In the first post a little hardware device is mentioned, but the link does'nt work anymore.

Does anybody have a name on a little converter/switch etc.. So my DTS sound can be played?


Hi,

I'm in the UK and recently got this from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ViewHD-TOSLINK-Digital-Optical-Switcher/dp/B00G188Z7A

... and it's very good. It has an IR receiver on a wire that can be stuck to the TV or somewhere in sight so the unit itself can be hidden round the back. It's extremely small and also comes with power supply and small remote.

I have it arranged like this: inputs are TV optical out, Xbox 360 and Samsung Blu-ray player (BD-F6500). Output to Playbar of course. There is no audio delay whatsoever that I can detect.

But I see that you want to play your "DTS sound". This won't actually work as the Playbar cannot handle DTS signals, only stereo, PCM or Dolby Digital 5.1. There isn't any little box that I'm aware of that will convert DTS to DD5.1 on the fly. Some Blu-ray players, like mine and also the PS3 & PS4 will also covert Blu-ray DTS tracks to DD5.1 on the fly though.
Userlevel 2
(edited)

The beta patch (soon to be an official patch in March) for XBox One will allow for DTS signals to be changed into Dolby 5.1 surround sound. I played a Bluray movie (Dark Knight Rises) with the DTS sound track from XBox One and XBox "transformed" that sound track to Dolby Digital 5.1 when sending it to my Vizio television and ultimately to the Sonos SoundBar. I was able to verify that I was getting distinct surround sound from my rear Sonos speakers.

Kind of an expensive workaround if you aren't interested in the Xbox games. It's a shame that Sonos decided not to support DTS.


Bluray movie --> Xbox One --> HDMI --> Vizio TV --> optical --> Sonos PlayBar and rear speakers
The beta patch (soon to be an official patch in March) for XBox One will allow for DTS signals to be changed into Dolby 5.1 surround sound. I played a Bluray movie (Dark Knight Rises) with the DTS sound track from XBox One and XBox "transformed" that sound track to Dolby Digital 5.1 when sending it to my Vizio television and ultimately to the Sonos SoundBar. I was able to verify that I was getting distinct surround sound from my rear Sonos speakers.

Kind of an expensive workaround if you aren't interested in the Xbox games. It's a shame that Sonos decided not to support DTS.


Bluray movie --> Xbox One --> HDMI --> Vizio TV --> HDMI --> Sonos PlayBar and rear speakers


Good news that the Xbox One will support DD in less than two weeks! (Confirmed by Engaget over optical: here.)

Can you let us know what happens to a DTS signal when it is input to the Xbox one? e.g.:

Blu-ray player --> HDMI --> Xbox One --> HDMI --> TV?

Or... (which will be my setup)

Blu-ray player --> HDMI --> Xbox One --> Optical --> Playbar?

If the Xbox One converts input DTS to output DD5.1 it will be the first "in the middle" device I've heard of to do the conversion on the fly. Exciting stuff!
Userlevel 2
Whoops, I meant that the optical cable is between the Vizio TV and the Sonos playbar, thanks for catching that. I corrected my original posting.

I think the XBox is "transforming" the DTS soundtrack from the Bluray to a Dolby 5.1 surround sound. When I open up the Sonos App on my iPhone to check, I see that the Sonos Playbar is processing Dolby 5.1, even when the Bluray being played has DTS soundtrack only.


Good news that the Xbox One will support DD in less than two weeks! (Confirmed by Engaget over optical:

Can you let us know what happens to a DTS signal when it is input to the Xbox one? e.g.:

Blu-ray player --> HDMI --> Xbox One --> HDMI --> TV?

Or... (which will be my setup)

Blu-ray player --> HDMI --> Xbox One --> Optical --> Playbar?

If the Xbox One converts input DTS to output DD5.1 it will be the first "in the middle" device I've heard of to do the conversion on the fly. Exciting stuff!
Userlevel 2
The xbox has an hdmi input as well right? Can you test if it converts a DTS signal received on this input to DD5.1 on output?
Userlevel 2
The following emails are a communication I had with Sharp when buying my TV for my new basement reno. I don't know of any other Sharp models, but mine will pass through the above. It also says the same (not verbatim). I will try to find that online ant post.

On Dec 31, 2013, at 12:48 PM, Sharp Support wrote:
Dear Valued Sharp Customer,

Thank you for contacting Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd.
I will be happy to assist you today. Yes the unit does send a Dolby Digital signal though the Optical port.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation
Very best regards,
Crystal R
Customer Care Specialist
Customer Care Centre
Sharp Electronics Of Canada Ltd.

--Original Message--
From:
Date: 12/30/2013 6:15:16 AM
To:
Subject: Email sent from Sharp Canada Contact us page

Hello,

I just purchased a 70le757u and I am looking at different audio options.
The one question I have is does this Tv send out a Dolby Digital signal though the Optical (Toslink) cable?


I have a Sharp LC-60LE757U and it Will pass Dolby Digital through Optical Out from the HDMI inputs.

Also I just purchased a Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray player and it allows you to set the HDMI out to convert DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1


Also I just purchased a Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray player and it allows you to set the HDMI out to convert DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1


Is that correct? I asked in a different thread and was told that it only does the conversion on the optical output. If it does convert on HDMI output, then I might have to give this player a try.

Thanks!
Userlevel 2
In my quest to solve the DTS issue - I purchased an Octava 4x1 HDMI switch with individual HDMI and optical inputs and outputs. I also have the OPPO BDP-103 and couldn't get any DTS encoded Bluray to play properly - regardless of settings.

I emailed OPPO and asked what to do. Here's the reply:

Kurt,

Unfortunately the player will not be able to re-encode audio into Dolby Digital. It can do this for DTS if the title is Blu-ray and uses BD-JAVA, but it can't do this for DVD-Video, non-JAVA Blu-ray, or convert into Dolby Digital. This is unfortunately not something that we will be able to add through a future firmware release.



Best Regards,

Customer Service
OPPO Digital, Inc.
2629B Terminal Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043


So unlike the PS3, the OPPO can't create a Dolby digital 5.1 signal via the optical toslink output. I can confirm the PS3 does this. The OPPO is truly an amazing device, and I recommend it highly. It will however NOT solve the DTS center channel issue with the play bar.

And FYI - if anyone wants to purchase one of these, but is put off by the cost - they always have refurb units available at a pretty good discount. I bought mine this way, and saved some cash. It was packaged as new (quite beautifully I might add) and so far has performed flawlessly. It works very well for streaming media from a NAS too.
Userlevel 2
Hi, I have a Samsung F8000 55", and I just want to say that the firmware I updated to very recently does indeed pass 5.1 from a connected HDMI to the optical out of the television.

I don't have a Sonos, but I do have a very good Pioneer receiver that has a front display with lots of feedback on it. At first it was only displaying that it was receiving PCM stereo. I had to play from my HDMI source (FOXTEL iq2 STB) a 5.1 source program.

Once this occurred, the Dolby Digital option was available to be selected in the Samsung sound setup menu.

The pioneer amp then sprang to life displaying it was decoding a full 5.1 dolby mix.

I then went back to normal 2 channel program and back again to 5.1, it all followed very well, all be it a slight audio bump, but that is the amp doing it's switch.

So in summary, the 2013 Samsung F model 8 series can for sure pass 5.1 dolby digital out it's optical.
Userlevel 2
I know it's not 100% but I have no complaints. Soundbar, Sub, (2) Play 3's, Oppo BD-103 and Monoprice 4x1 HDMI Switch.

Added a Roku Stream Stick and I run it all with a Logitech Harmony 890.

Say what you want but it's pretty kick *** to me!

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