Sonos Arc eARC Splitter for Changing from TV to Projector

  • 18 November 2023
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Hello Sonos Community.

We’re (hopefully) in the process of moving house and I’ve got a connectivity logistics question I’d appreciate some help with.

Currently we have a Sonos Arc plus a Sub Mini with 2xGen Sonos Ones as surrounds connected via eARC to a 55” Samsung Frame TV One Connect box where Apple TV 4K, PS5 and Nintendo Switch are all connected.

As part of this house move, I want to reintroduce a cinema screen and projector into the mix but trying to work out how to reuse all the same AV sources without having to rewire anything but continue to use the Arc setup for all the sound. The Samsung OneConnect box seems to complicate things a little because of the proprietary cable to the screen vs HDMI and I don’t know how a HDMI switch might complicate the audio to the Arc.

I had thought a HDMI switch initially so as not to confuse the projector which source is active at anyone time (otherwise ensuring all non used devices are switched off) but don’t know how that would work in this setup.

The only other thing I can think of is having a HDMI splitter/passthrough between all devices (including the Arc) thus constantly sending the same signal to both OneConnect box and projector. This way, the projector would only be visible when the projector is turned on and I only assumes that the audio traffic to the Arc will passthrough unaffected.

Does this make sense and is it viable? If anyone has any recommendations of 4K splitter/duplicator/passthrough, I’d appreciate. Also open to better alternative solutions, e.g. using a HDMI switch, having an AV amp in between, etc. so would welcome any suggestions. Appreciate any thoughts and ideas.

Thanks in advance.


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Not really. Or kind of…your second solution makes more sense.

ARC is created in the TV set or the projector, not in the source device. And in order for the Sonos Arc to work, it has to be fed the ARC data back from the ‘monitor’, the signal doesn’t exist before it reaches the device. 

So, the option of creating ARC outside, before sending the signal to the monitors makes sense. I’m aware if three such potential devices. 

There is the HD Fury Arcana, the Feintech VAX04101k, and the OREI HDA-935. You can also order from those links from the companies directly, or check your local retailers for availability. Amazon may carry some, depending on location. At this point, there may be more manufacturers, I haven’t been keeping track. And in your case, you may want to optimize for two monitor outputs. 

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Thanks for the rapid thoughts and insight Bruce. Really appreciate it.

Using something like your suggestion of the Feintech VAX04101 (TBTW) or something with dual video out, I’m assuming it looks something like this:

The only thing that wouldn’t work in this scenario would be playing audio/eARC/Atmos content from the smart apps on the TV itself, right?

Yes…, although I’m pretty sure some of those devices provide a ‘loop’ for that. I just don’t know if that’s on those devices that have multiple video outputs. For instance, the HD Fury device does allow that, but only has the one video output.

At least you should look at the various manufacturer’s websites, and see if they make more devices that fit your requirements, my links are six months (or more) old. Nor do I spend much time looking at their solutions, as I don’t have a need. Your setup is relatively rare, in the grand scheme of things, I’d expect. 

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Thanks Bruce. 

Your setup is relatively rare, in the grand scheme of things, I’d expect. 

Yeah. I’m finding that. It’s the Frame TV that’s throwing a curve ball into the mix with its OneConnect box and the proprietary fibre connection to the screen itself (which to be fair is the main value proposition). If everything was normal HDMI, it would be SO much easier. 

I’ve spent the last couple of hours looking around but not finding anything yet that doesn’t come without a compromise:

  • Find the 4x2+ HDMI switching  they only come with ARC vs. eARC and lose the Atmos/Heigh channels
  • Find the eARC split but would have to drop down from 4K@120Hz  to 60Hz on the TV

Think I’ll just need to keep looking around and hopefully avoid having to create a daisy chain fiasco.

Note that most Atmos content out there currently is ARC enabled (Dolby Digital Plus, that most streaming companies use). It is only the uncompressed (more channels you don’t use) version of Atmos (Dolby MAT, amongst others) that requires eARC, due to bandwidth issues. 

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Note that most Atmos content out there currently is ARC enabled (Dolby Digital Plus, that most streaming companies use). It is inly the uncompressed (more channels you don’t use) version of Atmos (Dolby MAT, amongst others) that requires eARC, due to bandwidth issues. 

Hmmmm...interesting. I’ll check what the Apple TV does because that’s the main source of video content/streaming but if I can find a soundbar/ARC enabled switch that supports 120Hz on at least one outbound interface, that might give me enough and still keep my Atmos.

Time to go shopping and testing it seems. Thanks Bruce. I’ll aim to feedback what I find if I can.

 

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So after almost a full day of research, I’ve not been able to find anything consumer grade that’ll do everything in one box that I think I’ll need.

Feels like I’ll have to use both a HDMI Switch with ARC extract to the Sonos AND a HDMI splitter out to the projector and TV. Both will need to support 4K@120Hz for the PS5 gaming mode but it’s going to be seriously janky and look something like this:

...whereas I’d MUCH prefer a single box (4in/out) solution:

I’ve sent a message to Feintech to see if the VAX04101 can/will support 4K@120Hz now or in the future. Failing that, I’ll probably have to accept the downgrade of the PS5 to 60Hz so to at least ensure I can use my Sonos Arc set up for audio in both setups. It’s probably the easiest compromise (though visually I’m sure it’ll suck)

Thanks again Bruce. Any other ideas or suggestions welcome.