Question

Will the Playbase work with Shield TV?


We have an all Streaming household, read some limitations with play base, would like some clarification before the investment.

We are building a home, and I've been interested in the SONOS system for some time. I would love to build an entire home system. One fear I have is compatibility issues I've read with Netflix and other streaming services.

As a whole home streaming setup, we use Sling, Hulu, Netflix, Vudu, Plex, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, and others for all our content. It's currently a simple setup.

NVIDIA Shield TV connected to a TV, using TV speakers. We have it in two rooms currently. Will eventually be three rooms, and then when our son is in high school four rooms.

Before I invest $700 on a play base, I would like to be assured we will have no issues getting the necessary audio on all of our streaming services.

I appreciate any input you can provide, and I will answer questions if anyone has additional.

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11 replies

There's just 3 things you would need to consider.

1) Does your TV output to an optical connection? This is the way that a Playbase or Playbar would connect. It doesn't really care what the source is, if it can be shown on the TV, than it should be able to send sound to the speaker, with the caveat that:

2) Can you restrict your source device (the thing that feeds the TV itself) to Dolby Digital? That's the maximum signal that the Sonos devices can deal with, so it's effectively either PCM (Stereo), or Dolby Digital. Sonos can *not* handle Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, Atmos, or any other standard.

and of course

3) which is an addendum of 1) Can your TV pass Dolby Digital through to the optical connection? Many TVs do as a matter of course, but there are some who don't. There quite a lot of threads in the Home Theater area of this board that discusses issues and possibilities of various TVs around this.

Hope that helps.
I appreciate the response.

The answer to 1, 2, and 3 is we plan on upgrading to a new TV when we move in July. TV to be determined. So I would love to get a TV that can do what you are suggesting.


Our current TV is an older Vizio 46" LCD I'm not even sure it's 1080P. It does have an Optical output. I haven't looked at the settings if we can force a certain sound format.

I'll take a look at the other forum. I appreciate the quick response.
Sure. I can tell you I have a couple of Vizios in my home that pass through the data just fine, but I don't think they're much older than 2 or 3 years.
We have an all Streaming household, read some limitations with play base, would like some clarification before the investment.


Just to give you a data point, I have a Shield TV and Playbar. My TV can pass DD 5.1 over optical.

I have not been able to get the playbar to play 5.1 at all from the Shield via any of the apps I use (Kodi, SPMC etc). I've read about more Shield users having success with audio pass through since the latest update but it seems most are trying to pass audio directly to receivers over hdmi.

Netflix and the like seem to have a lot of newer content in dd+ so they will only be 2.0 for the playbase/playbar unless they add the ability to trans-code to DD which is very unlikely IMO.
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We have an all Streaming household, read some limitations with play base, would like some clarification before the investment.


Just to give you a data point, I have a Shield TV and Playbar. My TV can pass DD 5.1 over optical.

I have not been able to get the playbar to play 5.1 at all from the Shield via any of the apps I use (Kodi, SPMC etc). I've read about more Shield users having success with audio pass through since the latest update but it seems most are trying to pass audio directly to receivers over hdmi.

Netflix and the like seem to have a lot of newer content in dd+ so they will only be 2.0 for the playbase/playbar unless they add the ability to trans-code to DD which is very unlikely IMO.


Insertusernamehere, I also have a Shield TV and I'm able to get 5.1 DD from Kodi, however not from netflix and other apps. The reason is that NVIDIA did not choose to enable E-AC3 decoding, so it will only output Dolby Digital+ from those apps, and it relies on the TV to decode it to DD (AC3) which most TVs don't do.

For Kodi specifically, you can use the built-in Dolby transcoder, found in system audio settings in Kodi. It's a little confusing because you need to set it to 2.0 channel output in order for the transcoding option to work, but I can confirm you'll get everything output as DD5.1 from Kodi after that. I use my TV's Netflix app when I want 5.1 from Netflix.

Steps for enabling DD5.1 transcoding:
Set "number of channels" to 2.0.
"Output configuration" to optimised.
"Enable Passthrough" on
"AC3 capable receiver" on
" - Enable Dolby Digital transcoding" on
"DTS capable receiver" off

Enjoy 🙂

Steps for enabling DD5.1 transcoding:
Set "number of channels" to 2.0.
"Output configuration" to optimised.
"Enable Passthrough" on
"AC3 capable receiver" on
" - Enable Dolby Digital transcoding" on
"DTS capable receiver" off

Enjoy :)


Hi I've tried these settings like a hundred times but it won't work for me ?

I'm able to get the passthrough with Kodi working with my RPi. The maddening thing is I connected the Shield to my old receiver and it registers as DD - :?
Just to update. As of Shield experience v 5.2 my TV is successfully passing DD5.1 and transcoding movie rips from dts>dd5.1 to my Playbar.

Added a Sonos sub, sounds very good


Steps for enabling DD5.1 transcoding:
Set "number of channels" to 2.0.
"Output configuration" to optimised.
"Enable Passthrough" on
"AC3 capable receiver" on
" - Enable Dolby Digital transcoding" on
"DTS capable receiver" off

Enjoy :)


Hi I've tried these settings like a hundred times but it won't work for me ?

I'm able to get the passthrough with Kodi working with my RPi. The maddening thing is I connected the Shield to my old receiver and it registers as DD - :?
Hi, this is great news as I have the same setup. Was the DD5.1 just for Kodi with the settings mentioned or is it now working for other apps e.g. Netflix etc?
Hi, this is great news as I have the same setup. Was the DD5.1 just for Kodi with the settings mentioned or is it now working for other apps e.g. Netflix etc?

This was just for Kodi. Netflix app + 5.1 + Playbar doesnt work AFAICT.
ok thanks for confirming, hope spring eternal for the shield to do full DD+ to DD trancoding
ok thanks for confirming, hope spring eternal for the shield to do full DD+ to DD trancoding

The sheild itself doesn't have a decoder to do this afaik - so Netflix would have to add transcoding to the app I think.