How do I set up an HDMI streaming stick/projector/two AMPs&SUB for auto switching 4.1 surround sound?

  • 27 December 2023
  • 3 replies

I have the two AMPs and SUB playing house music via Ethernet in the main bedroom. There is a motorized screen with projector in the headboard and four ceiling speakers. No place for a soundbar. What is the easiest way to autoswitch the audio source from Sonos music to HDMI Roku streaming stick? I have gotten the two AMPs to sense and switch the line out stereo from the projector but want 4.1 surround. Do I need an HDMI ARC Audio Extractor? Will each AMP get its own HDMI feed? Can the surround AMP be configured to play only the surround HDMI signal? Will this gizmo help:

Again, no place in this room for a soundbar (I own two ARCs for other rooms). The two projector HDMI ports do not say ARC. I now have the Roku stick connected to one of these ports.

This is the closest thread but its 2-3 years old:



Best answer by Airgetlam 27 December 2023, 06:14

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3 replies

1) The ‘autoplay’ function on the HDMI input should work, when you send an HDMI ARC signal…but it must be an ARC signal. You can’t hook up a regular video signal. If you have a Roku stick, you could connect it to a standard HDMI switch with an optical output, and connect that via an optical cable to the Sonos adapter, to the ARC input on the Amp. I wouldn’t bother with the much more expensive Atmos capable devices, as the Sonos Amp can’t process an Atmos signal. 

2) The second Amp would be ‘bonded’ to the first to supply the surround signal, most often via a radio signal, but could fall back to Ethernet…but not via an HDMI carrier, ARC or otherwise.

3) I don’t understand the next question. The Amp will play what signal you send to it…which likely means I’m confused as to what you mean.

4) Yes, something like that is what I was suggesting in the first answer.


Hi Bruce,

Thanks for that info. The HDMI extractor/switch I have in mind

should pass HDMI Arc from the Roku to the front AMP.

What happens to the 5.1 signal to make it 4.1? I understand about bonding the rear AMP but tech support says for it to play the surround signal it must be connected with WiFi (no Ethernet cable). Does this make sense?



Yes, the design is to ‘bond’ the rear Amp to the front Amp via WiFi. The fallback is to use Ethernet cables back to the router. 

The front Amp uses that center channel to create a ‘faux’ center channel by splitting the signal between the two front speakers. 

Remember, when driving surrounds, as that ‘rear’ Amp will be doing, the line in and Sub out will be turned off. Both will be on, on the front Amp, though.