Using HDMI Switch to fix incompatibility with plasma tv receiver

  • 12 September 2017
  • 5 replies
  • 1068 views

There was an older thread on this topic I replied to, but figured I'd start a new one if it wasn't seen. I have a pioneer elite pro-920hd plasma and I have recently purchased the sonos playbar only toi learn that its incompatible with the playbar and can't get sound when i run the digital optical cable from the playbar into the tv's optical audio output. It was suggested i get one of these two switches:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HM1RP6G/?th=1

https://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557

I am just curious if anyone knows which is better and/or if there is a superior option?

Also, how would i hook this up?

One option that was also suggested is that I run the optical cable right into my cable settop box. That's fine, but then how would I get sound on my apple tv?

Thanks for any help/feedback.

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5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I used an HDMI switch for a while, and while the one I used wasn't the Monoprice one, it looked exactly like the Monoprice one as far as size, connector locations, and button/LED placement. I used one because my Panasonic plasma TV would pass audio through, but it would only be PCM stereo, not Dolby Digital 5.1. The switch worked great... I was able to control it with my Harmony remote, integrating into into the various TV-related "activities" (watch TV, watch movie, play games, etc.).

The next thing to look at, though, is whether your various devices support the ability to send PCM and/or Dolby Digital audio signals... because anything else - Dolby Digital +, DTS, Dolby Atmos, etc. - won't work with the Playbar. Some may have an option to always send the audio in a particular format. If you can select Dolby Digital, that would be best, so you get 5.1 audio when available.
Thanks so much Mike. I've been going insane trying to figure this out. Very helpful. I checked the User Manual for my tv and it allows you to select Dolby Digital and PCM. Will be sure to use that. Thanks again.
Hoping im on the right track by doing this:

using this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HM1RP6G/?th=1

doing this:

(1) connect the tv media receiver to the hdmi output in the splitter, (2) connect the optical output in the splitter to the playbar, and (3) then connect my STB and Apple TV to the HDMI inputs on the converter.

does that make sense?
Yep, makes sense.
Badge +2
I used an HDMI switch for a while, and while the one I used wasn't the Monoprice one, it looked exactly like the Monoprice one as far as size, connector locations, and button/LED placement. I used one because my Panasonic plasma TV would pass audio through, but it would only be PCM stereo, not Dolby Digital 5.1. The switch worked great... I was able to control it with my Harmony remote, integrating into into the various TV-related "activities" (watch TV, watch movie, play games, etc.).

The next thing to look at, though, is whether your various devices support the ability to send PCM and/or Dolby Digital audio signals... because anything else - Dolby Digital +, DTS, Dolby Atmos, etc. - won't work with the Playbar. Some may have an option to always send the audio in a particular format. If you can select Dolby Digital, that would be best, so you get 5.1 audio when available.


I have this same setup. Plasma TV with an HDMI switch and Harmony remote. However, I'm having some bad luck the components working properly, specifically the Roku. I figured out that the components need to be turned on in a very specific order, and I even had to set a delay for the Roku to turn on. It works 50% of the time.

I'm also having issues getting signals to turn on Input 2 on the switch. I have reconfigured the remote signals for Input 2 I don't know how many times. I'm just going to use Inputs 4 and 5 instead I think because I'm done messing with it.

This morning, I noticed that I'm getting Stereo out the PLAYBASE again. The same programs on the same components were on DD5.1 for months after LOTS of troubleshooting, but it appears to have reverted back to Stereo. Roku is sending DD5.1, the switch has DD5.1 pass through compatibility, Netflix is set up for DD5.1, and the specific show is shown as having DD5.1. Yet, when I go into "About My Sonos System" on the app, it says Stereo.

I think the HDMI switch is just causing too many problems. I'm about to pull the plug and just buy a cheap receiver. All I really care about is a minimum of 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output, 1 optical audio output, and DD5.1 pass through capability. Any recommendations?