Question

Sonos Beam and Samsung TV Spotify App

  • 12 August 2019
  • 7 replies
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We have a Samsung Series 5 TV (Model UE40UK5500) connected to a soundbar through which we can stream music via the Spotify (Free version) app which came pre-installed on the TV. We are considering purchasing a Sonos Beam to go with our two Sonos Ones we have in our 'Living Room' to give us a 5:1 surround sound experience (we have a third in our 'Bedroom' but that would not be involved in this set up). My questions are...

  1. Would we still be able to use our free Spotify account or, would we be forced to upgrade to Spotify premium?
  2. Would we be able to configure the two Sonos Ones in the Living room so that we can use them just to stream music from Google Play Music or Apple without involving the Sono Beam? Or, is that a bad idea and so, we it be better to include the Sonos Beam when playing music?
Thanks.

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  1. Would we still be able to use our free Spotify account or, would we be forced to upgrade to Spotify premium?


The Beam will play anything on the TV, so you can continue to use the free spotify app/account with your TV.

  1. Would we be able to configure the two Sonos Ones in the Living room so that we can use them just to stream music from Google Play Music or Apple without involving the Sono Beam? Or, is that a bad idea and so, we it be better to include the Sonos Beam when playing music?


No, this isn't a realistic option. Technically, you can reconfigure the speakers repeatedly to accomplish this, but it takes a few minutes each time. You can configure the room setup so that all non-TV sources play stereo on the Beam and on the two Sonos Ones though. This is the setting I prefer myself.
Note that if you use TruePlay, you’d need to re-run it teach time you reconfigured the speakers.
Ah, good news about the Spotify app, thanks.

Not sure I fully understand "...non-TV sources..." I guess that Google Play Music and Airplay 2 are non-TV sources? It's how we access our music stored on our NAS or in the Cloud. So, if I was to configure things correctly, does it mean that the Sonos software would detect that an audio stream which is not coming through the TV will play in stereo mode and that one which through the TV will play in 5:1 mode?

Is there anything else I should be considering in this scenario?

Thanks once again.
We tend to use "common terms" when we answer many of these questions.

When melvimbe says "non-TV sources", he means data that's not coming in across the TV's input to the Sonos system.

There's a difference between the digital input, and other inputs, including streaming and analog line in.

So, yes, Google Play music and AirPlay 2 (to the speaker, not to your TV) would be non-TV sources.

Yes, the Sonos will automatically switch between stereo for streamed sources, and 5.1 for sources that come in across the input from the TV. Currently, there's no way to get a 5.1 signal into the Sonos ecosystem without going through the TV (digital) input.

So, the key thing to check, in your situation, is that all inputs coming through the TV are actually in 5.1 (and not just 5.1, but Dolby Digital, which is only one version of 5.1). So make sure that every device that is connected to your TV is sending a Dolby Digital signal, by looking at each of the audio settings on all devices.
Oh, and one more thing, which I actually ran into this weekend. Not all Dolby Digital sources are the same.

For me, that meant that watching the Dallas Cowboys (and for me, rooting against them...it's genetic) this weekend on the local station meant that they were actually sending me a Dolby Digital signal, which I checked in the Sonos app to see what was going on, but the station in question was only sending a stereo signal through on a Dolby Digital carrier. Which means I was only getting stereo data (no surround information at all, and as near as I can tell, there was no center channel, either, just stereo information) sent through DirecTV to my TV, and to my PLAYBAR.

At the end of the day, Sonos doesn't have as much control over source as some people want/think. You have to take what you're given.
Thanks for the information. I watched a review of the Beam on YouTube earlier today and the Reviewer said he was disappointed that the Beam only worked with older versions of Dolby. However, he explained that this did keep it compatible with Netflix and Prime. I guess newer versions of Dolby will be supported in the future through software upgrades? The BBC and ITV are launching a joint streaming service which will make their huge back catalogues more widely available. I wonder what audio standard(s) it will use and if it will work with Sonos?
We don’t know what Sonos plans. The current challenge might be the installed base of Sonos devices that only have optical as an input source (the PLAYBAR and PLAYBASE). Optical has limitations in terms of available bandwidth, so many other versions of 5.1 can’t be carried across it. The Beam is the first device that Sonos has made that is HDMI-ARC compatible, and even HDMI-ARC has its bandwidth restrictions. Many of us have high hopes for eARC, which can handle much more in terms of bandwidth and codecs. But Sonos doesn’t tend to be a leader, they are much more of a follower, I.e. there probably needs to be a large number of installed TVs before Sonos would implement such, and the simple fact is that there just aren’t, right now. Maybe in 5 years, or longer, but certainly not in the next year.

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