Configuration Question - Advice Sought

  • 20 January 2022
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 1

Greetings.  I have a specific configuration question I would like to pose, hoping someone can help me determine which option is best.  I am about to replace my current wired setup with Sonos - ideally this weekend.  Here is what I am working with, followed by my specific question:

TV:  Panasonic TC-P50C2 (Viera, 2010ish)

SONOS:  Beam (Gen 2), Sub, 2 Play:1s

MEDIA:  Sony BluRay/DVD, S6700

  • The TV is ancient.  Will replace eventually but it’s working fine, so I am putting this off. 
  • I do a ton of streaming primarily, but I am still partially in love with physical media.  Will use the BDP to play all formats, including music on CD.
  • My GOAL is to achieve the best possible sound, given the above specs.

QUESTION:  I know I will have to go optical when joining the TV with the Playbar, no way around that.  Would using an HDMI splitter yield better sound from media played on the BDP or should I just stick with routing all audio output through the TV? 

CDs/DVDs/BRs will be played through the Sony BDP.  I am guessing that most of my streamed audio (Pandora, Spotify, etc.) will be operated through the Sonos app, but the BR player does have this capability, too.  I guess I am thinking that direct-linking the disc player with the Sonos system via a splitter might allow me to take more advantage of the Sonos capabilities and yield a much better sound result when playing physical media.  

Also, are all splitters manually operated or are self-adjusting units available?

Thanks in advance - much appreciated!


Best answer by Airgetlam 20 January 2022, 02:07

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6 replies

First, there are no generations on a PLAYBAR, they’re all exactly the same. 

Second, no, as long as your Viera continues to pass Dolby Digital out via its optical output, there’s nothing to be gained from an HDMI splitter. Since the PLAYBAR itself (and the optical connection) is limited to Dolby Digital, there’s nothing to gain by externalizing that connection.

At the point at which you invest in either a Beam, or an Arc, both of which use ARC / eARC, that’s the point at which you “might” gain something by using an external device….but it wouldn’t likely be a standard HDMI splitter, but instead an HDFury Arcana, or that other product made by Feintech, which I don’t own, and can never remember the name of.  That’s when you can start using different / higher codecs and potentially get a little bit more from your blu-rays.

Userlevel 1

Bruce, thank you for this response.

My apologies, I actually do have a Beam Gen 2.  Still getting the hang of the Sonos terminology - will edit my post accordingly.

So it aounds like I might get a better result by connecting with a splitter?  Do you think it would be worth it? In addition to bluray audio, I am thinking of all of those lovely CD/BR music boxed sets from the Beatles and other artists that I own.  Would be nice to achieve the max amount of listening fun those offer,  I think.

More reading up for me, looks like😁  thanks again.

Aha, yes, that does make a difference. And no worries :)

Unfortunately, due to the age of your TV, there’s not much you can do about sending a signal through it that would work well with the Beam. 

Without replacing the TV set, your best bet would be either the HDFury Arcana or the Feintech (pause, while I go grab links for you) so that your system can deal with something higher than Dolby Digital, which is a restriction both of the PLAYBAR that you don’t have, and the optical connection that you do have. 

Note that the Feintech includes a matrix so you can have up to four devices connected, the HD Fury device requires you to purchase a separate one. 

A “standard” splitter won’t do much for you, they’re usually optical, which means limited to Dolby Digital, and also the Sonos, when not using optical via the adapter, is looking for ARC or eARC, and not a standard HDMI signal. The electronics that generate those types of signals are usually built in to the display device (read TV set), so there’s a bit of a cost when including that electronics outside of a TV.  

Userlevel 1

Bruce, you are amazing.  Many thank yous for the sage advice, and bonus thank-yous for the linkage!  You have saved me hours of reading, I am starting to love this community already.


The TV will get an eventual upgrade, but I have a few other larger ticket purchases ahead, so I am delaying that one for now.


Thanks again, man.

Userlevel 1

I think I’ve decided to update the TV.  

I figure, why spend $250ish on a retrofit solution when I’m going to be upgrading the TV within the next 18 months anyway?

Rather than go super high-end, though, I’m looking at the Sony X90J - mainly for the price point + HDMI 2.1 inclusion + some amount of future-proofing bang for the relatively modest buck.

Doing a search here on these forums now to try and discover any potential problems with the Sony X90J . . . 


While I don’t have any specific knowledge about the TV set, I think you’re taking the right decision, in general. One of the resources I use for investigations in that area is

Good luck!